Author Archives: Jenny McElroy

Lois Gladys Leppard. The Mandie Collection, Volume 1. Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House, 2007.

This volume contains the first five books in the Mandie series of children’s books set in the early 20th century. The main character, Amanda “Mandie” Shaw, lives in the Nantahala Mountains with her family, where she goes adventuring and solves mysteries. In the first few books, Mandie is helped by her best friend Joe Woodward.  She meets another helpful pal, Celia Hamilton, after she is sent to boarding school in Asheville. Mandie’s cat, Snowball, also makes frequent appearances in the books.  Recurring themes in the books are Mandie’s attempts to behave properly, her Christian faith, and her partial-Cherokee background.  Titles included in this volume include: Mandie and the Secret Tunnel, Mandie and the Cherokee Legend, Mandie and the Ghost Bandits, Mandie and the Forbidden Attic, and Mandie and the Trunk’s Secret.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2007, Buncombe, Children & Young Adults, Leppard, Lois Gladys, Macon, Mountains, Mystery, Novels in Series, Religious/Inspirational, Swain

Marcia Colette. Unstable Environment. Mira Loma, CA: Parker Publishing, 2008.

The Charlotte and Triangle Coalitions of were-cheetahs do not get along. When the Charlotte group sabotages an amusement park ride, an innocent human woman and her three year-old niece are injured. In order to save the little girl, Triangle-based were-cheetah healer Rio Velasquez bites her and turns her into a shape-shifter.  The aunt, Sinclair, was already fighting for custody of the little girl, but now she finds herself caught in the middle of the were-cheetahs’ war and falling for the hunky Rio.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2008, Colette, Marcia, Durham, Piedmont, Romance/Relationship, Science Fiction/Fantasy

Maggie Bishop. Perfect For Framing. Boone, NC: High Country Publishers, 2008.

Jemma Chase normally works as a trail leader at her aunt’s ranch just outside Boone. Once winter arrives in the mountains, Jemma tries to get her dream job with the local police and starts making money as an amateur photographer and cabinet-maker.  When one of her clients–the much-disliked president of the local property owners association–has a break-in, Jemma’s CSI-wannabe tendencies start to emerge. Blackmail, arson, and murder soon enter the picture, and Jemma and her boyfriend Detective Tucker are on the case. This is the second book in the Appalachian Adventure Murder series, which feature Jemma and Tucker’s crime-solving talents.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2008, Bishop, Maggie, Mountains, Mystery, Novels in Series, Watauga

Michael Phillips. A Day to Pick Your Own Cotton. Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House, 2003.

Although Katie and Mayme are only teenagers, they are trying to run the Rosewood Plantation on their own and convince everyone in the nearby town of Greens Crossing that nothing is amiss. Under their watch, Rosewood becomes a sanctuary for several other young women in trouble, including a girl whose mother died when she and her daughter were fleeing her abusive husband, and an ex-slave who is hiding herself and her new baby from a cruel former master. Throughout the novel the four girls struggle to survive, keep one step ahead of those who would harm them, and find a way to pay the bank loans against the property. A Day to Pick Your Own Cotton is the the second book of the historical, faith-based Shenandoah Sisters series.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2003, Historical, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Phillips, Michael, Piedmont, Religious/Inspirational

Sandra E. Bowen. This Day’s Madness. New York: iUniverse, 2000.

Trapeze artist Frankie is the young, orphaned star of the Doub Circus. When Frankie’s parents died they left her in the care of the circus owner and he and the other performers became her family. That Frankie is African American does not matter to them, but since she can pass as white, it is kept a secret in order to avoid controversy. On the circus’s first trip into the South, Frankie’s background is revealed and she is taken from the circus by members of the Granston, NC community. She is placed in an orphanage but after standing up for herself to a cruel authority figure, she is moved to a reform school. Eventually she is adopted, renamed Thomasena, and allowed to finish growing up outside institutions, but it is more than six years before she is free to leave Granston again.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2000, 2000-2009, Bowen, Sandra E., Historical, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Piedmont

Linda Howard. To Die For. New York: Ballantine Books, 2005.

A few years ago Blair Mallory divorced her cheating, wanna-be-politician husband and spent her settlement money on opening a classy gym in Western North Carolina. It was a pretty good existence (if a bit bland), but after she witnesses the murder of one of the gym’s clients in the parking lot, things get a lot more interesting. There is a chance that the killer was actually after her, a possibility that is supported by other threats against her life. The cop in charge of the investigation, a man she dated briefly and is still attracted to, spices up the story. While most of the novel takes place in Blair’s unnamed N.C. hometown, it does take a detour to Wrightsville Beach, where Blair tries to escape from the stress of the murder investigation by embracing her inner beach-bunny.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2005, Coast, Howard, Linda, Mountains, New Hanover, Romance/Relationship, Suspense/Thriller

Michael Malone. First Lady. Naperville, IL: Sourcebooks, 2001.

When a pair of teenagers found the body of a young woman in the woods on the north side of the Piedmont town of Hillston, there was a tag was affixed to her foot. The tag was addressed to Lt. Justin Saville and asked him to deliver the body to his friend, Chief of Police Cuddy Magnum. It is now several months later and the two policemen have not only failed to find the killer–nicknamed the Guess Who killer by the media–but they have also failed to determine the identity of the woman. Justin and Cuddy face media and community pressure to solve the case, but other complications arise, including the appearance a famous Irish rock star in town, the interference of crooked politicians, and several other murders. This is the third book in the Justin and Cuddy series of mysteries.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2001, Malone, Michael, Mystery, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Piedmont

Mark de Castrique. Blackman’s Coffin. Scottsdale, AZ: Poisoned Pen Press, 2008.

Chief Warrant Officer Sam Blackman lost a leg in the Iraq War and, after testifying in Congress about the treatment of veterans, was sent where they figured he wouldn’t be able to cause any more trouble: Asheville, NC.  He is almost finished with his rehab when a local woman visits him and offers him a job with her security company.  She promises to visit again, but is murdered before she can do so.  After her death, a diary written by 12 year-old Henderson Youngblood in 1919 is found hidden in her apartment … and Sam’s name is on it.  Sam leaves the VA hospital and begins his civilian life by helping the deceased woman’s sister investigate the modern crime and its connections to a death in the diary.  This is the first book in de Castrique’s series of mysteries featuring the Sam Blackman character.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2008, Buncombe, deCastrique, Mark, Mountains, Mystery, Novels in Series

Cheris Hodges. Let’s Get It On. New York: Dafina, 2008.

Kenya and Maurice were high school and college sweethearts, but they broke up after she caught him in bed with another woman. Now, nine years later, Maurice is the star player for the Super Bowl-winning Carolina Panthers and Kenya is a successful lawyer in Atlanta. When Maurice’s cheating, gold-digging fiancee leaves him at the altar, he heads to the Bahamas with his brother to escape the media. Coincidentally, Kenya is at the same resort, celebrating her promotion and her upcoming move back to North Carolina. The two reconnect while on vacation, but things are much more uncertain when they return to Charlotte.  It seems that after their respective experiences, Kenya can’t trust Maurice and Maurice is having trouble trusting any woman.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2008, Mecklenburg, Piedmont, Romance/Relationship

Joanna Catherine Scott. Child of the South. New York: Berkley Books, 2009.

Child of the South continues the story started in The Road from Chapel Hill. The War has ended, but Eugenia, Tom, and Clyde all face substantial hardships. Eugenia travels to Wilmington, where she lives with family and searches for the truth about her past and her mother. She also meets and becomes friends with Abraham Galloway, the former Union spy who is a charismatic leader and one of the new African American state Senators in Raleigh. Back in Chapel Hill, Clyde–who was crippled fighting for the Union–struggles to keep his farm afloat and his family alive. Ironically, the former fugitive-slave hunter is helped in this endeavor by Tom, the ex-slave who was given his freedom by Eugenia and at one point captured by Clyde.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library Catalog.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2009, Coast, Historical, New Hanover, Novels in Series, Orange, Piedmont, Scott, Joanna Catherine