Mysterious, Aug 2002, 23.95, 295 pp.
Judge Deborah Knott of Colleton County, North Carolina first meets Tally Ames in the courtroom when the carnival owner presses charges against three local men who damaged one of her rides. The judge finds in favor of Tally and orders the men to make restitution. The next time the two women meet is at the harvest festival carnival where Deborah is taking in the sights with friends and family.
The evening ends abruptly when Tally's son is found murdered, his face stomped on and his mouth stuffed with quarters. As the police investigate the carny workers, the judge learns that Tally is her long lost niece, even though Deborah's brother refuses to acknowledge her as his own. When another carnival worker is killed, the carny people close ranks against outsiders but none of that fastened tight community ever dealt with the likes of an obstinate individual like the judge.
The latest installment in the Deborah Knott's here comes the judge amateur sleuth investigation mystery series is a well written novel starring a secondary cast that is colorfully eccentric. The judge agrees to marry a local man who has loved her secretly for a very long time and it will be interesting to see if she, in future books, chickens out before she gets to the altar. SLOW DOLLAR is as much a family saga as it is a clever regional mystery.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner