Category Archives: Balzo, Sandra

Sandra Balzo. Hit and Run. Sutton, England: Severn House Publishers, 2014.

hit&runJournalist AnnaLise Griggs returned home to the fictional town of Sutherton, North Carolina because her mother was struggling with health issues. AnnaLise didn’t expect to get an offer from the town’s “legendary womanizer,” Dickens Hart, to write his memoirs. Even more unexpected was the discovery that Hart is AnnaLise’s biological father.

Dickens Hart is the founder of the White Tail Lodge – a knockoff of the playboy mansion concept. After years spent womanizing, Hart is out to make amends and needs AnnaLise’s help in order to do so. Hart wants AnnaLise to look through his “big black book” and find all the women that he could have had children with through the years, so that Hart can reach out to them. His plan is to have a big Thanksgiving dinner with the mothers and their offspring, AnnaLise included. For her part, AnnaLise will bring her mother Daisy and her mother’s best friend Philomena, affectionately known as Mama, with her. All of the guests will be staying at Hart’s manor.

Out of Hart’s black book come sixty-three possibilities. From these sixty-three possibilities, only three agree to attend along with their offspring. When a fourth shows up, it is clear that Hart decided to include one of his favorite old flames, even though he couldn’t be the father of her child. With the inclusion of ex-wives for good measure, this is sure to be a drama-filled weekend.

Hart ends up being the center of all the action–but probably not in the way he expected–when he becomes the victim of a homicide in his own bedroom. A house filled with people who aren’t sad to see Hart go, and many of them with reasonable cause to have killed the man, provides the police with a multitude of suspects. However, it is soon clear that the evidence is piling up to point at AnnaLise, the only acknowledged heir. Knowing that she did not kill her father, AnnaLise must work fast to solve the case before she ends up paying for a crime she didn’t commit.

Hit and Run is the newest title in the Main Street Mystery series. This series features the journalist AnnaLise Griggs, playing up the ability of journalists to sniff out the facts and discover the truth before all others.

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

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2014, Balzo, Sandra, Mountains, Mystery, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places

Sandra Balzo. Dead Ends. Sutton, Surrey, England: Severn House, 2012.

AnnaLise Griggs has built a life as a journalist in Wisconsin, far away from her childhood home in the fictional town of Sutherton, North Carolina. But when her mother begins having health issues and an affair with a married man has a messy end, AnnaLise takes an extended leave of absence and returns to her home to the North Carolina mountains. She’s worried about her mother, but expects her month-long vacation to be relatively uneventful. Then Ben Rosewood, her erstwhile beau, shows up with his wife Tanja and college-aged daughter Suzanne.

Suzanne is starting as a freshman at a prominent local university, so Ben’s appearance isn’t all that suspicious, but AnnaLise still feels stalked. She ended things with Ben, and he was less than agreeable to the idea. When his wife Tanja is killed in a car accident that turns out not to be an accident, AnnaLise immediately suspects he’s gone off the deep end in order to be with her. But could the steady, very sane Ben Rosewood she knew in Wisconsin really murder his wife in cold blood? Between her mother’s memory lapses and a potential murderer, AnnaLise’s vacation is shaping up to be less vacation and more work than expected. Balzo’s second novel in her new Main Street Murders series gets off to a fast-paced start as her heroine applies all of her investigative skills to the case.

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

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2012, Balzo, Sandra, Mountains, Mystery, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places

Sandra Balzo. Running on Empty. Sutton, England: Severn House, 2011.

AnnaLise Griggs returns to her hometown of Sutherton, North Carolina after her mother almost kills someone at the town’s annual blood drive. AnnaLise, a newspaper reporter working in Wisconsin, thinks she’ll just be in Sutherton over the Labor Day weekend while she assesses the situation. Surely her mother, who is only fifty, can’t be in a mental decline. AnnaLise plans to get her mother to the doctor and then go back to her life in Wisconsin.

But fate intervenes. Sutherton has a reputation as a town where strange accidents happen–college boy pranks gone wrong, hunting mishaps–but murders are rare. Until this Labor Day weekend.  In the space of three days a former police chief is murdered, as is a visitor from Japan, and the town’s middle-aged rich-boy developer is shot with the same rifle that killed the police chief.  Are these crimes related to the new high-end condo complex being built on the lake, or financial crimes, or small town jealousies, or the something further in the past?  Even as AnnaLise works with two of her childhood friends to get to the bottom of it, she worries what the future will hold for her and her mother.

This is the first novel in Balzo’s series Main Street Mysteries.

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

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2011, Balzo, Sandra, Mountains, Mystery, Novels in Series