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Margaret Maron (1938–2021), award-winning mystery novelist

by Linnea Crowther

Margaret Maron was a mystery novelist known for books including her Sigrid Harald series.

Writing career

Maron began her writing career with a short story, “The Death of Me,” published in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine. She began writing novels and published her first, “One Coffee With,” in 1981. It was the first book in her Sigrid Harald series, focusing on an NYPD lieutenant. Maron’s novels also included the Knott series about North Carolina Judge Deborah Knott, the daughter of a bootlegger. Writing the Knott series set in the Raleigh area, where she lived, Maron became a pioneer of the genre of regional mysteries, set outside major cities and focusing more on small-town quirks than big-city crime. Maron’s work was widely honored, winning several Agatha Awards and nominations as well as Anthony, Edgar, and Macavity Awards.

Notable quote

“My favorite writing quote is from Walt Whitman: ‘I am large. I contain multitudes.’ When I get behind the eyes of whatever character is telling the story, I do become that character. At least, I try to. I see, feel, taste, smell, hear whatever that character would be experiencing in that scene.” —from a 2017 interview with the Los Angeles Review of Books

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Tributes to Margaret Maron

Full obituary: The News & Observer

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