Category Archives: Lane, Vicki

Brian Lee Knopp. Naked Came the Leaf Peeper. Asheville, NC: Burning Bush Press of Asheville, 2011.

What happens when you mix twelve of western North Carolina’s most adept storytellers with one impossible plot? The answer is Naked Came the Leaf Peeper, a merry and mysterious game of literary tag among the likes of Vicki Lane, John P. McAfee, Tony Earley, and Alan Gratz. Brian Lee Knopp, the mastermind behind this zany novel, begins the plot: high on an overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway, a man falls to his death…helped by a young assassin armed with a potato gun. Improbable? Absurd? The fun is only just beginning.

Garnell Lee Ray, assassin-for-hire, is out to avenge her mother and father, murdered for their land by greedy developers and their compatriots. She has knocked off three of the four with her simple, yet effective style: the use of gravity. A man overbalances on an overlook, helped along by a stray potato. Another is crushed by a conveniently placed tree. Gunning down the first was a mistake, but not one that the savvy Garnell will make again. Now the only one left is rapacious State Senator Andy Micheaux…and Garnell is coming for him. Unfortunately, someone gets to Garnell first, and she is highly annoyed to find herself passing out from a gunshot wound at her campsite in Linville Falls. She survives, but getting shot raises questions, even in the Appalachians. Relocated Yankee detective J.D. Kontz has a lot of questions for the attractive Miss Ray, but she escapes from the hospital before providing any real answers. Still, Detective Kontz begins to piece together Garnell’s tale, despite the clumsy ministrations of his dim-witted deputy, Marshall Harris. In fact, if he didn’t know better, Kontz would suspect the Fife-like deputy to be purposely misleading him.

Buckle up as this story weaves through the switchbacks at breakneck speed in a plot including (but not limited to): llamas, Baptists, golf, the Blue Ridge Parkway, moonshine, first love, runaway wives, pigs, tourists, heathen Yankees, beagles, ladies selling Mary Kay, gun-toting grannies, the SBI, ravens, backstabbing relations, secret agents of all different kinds, camping, and folk tunes. So grab some biscuits and red-eye, y’all, and gather round for the tallest tale ever told!

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

This is our 1000th post. We’ll be celebrating and hope that you will too.

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2011, Avery, Barrett, Linda Marie, Buncombe, Caldwell, Wayne, Chappell, Fred, Cheek, Gene, Clapsaddle, Annette Saunooke, Earley, Tony, Gratz, Alan, Hays, Tommy, Knopp, Brian Lee, Lane, Vicki, Madison, McAfee, John P., Mitchell, Mountains, Mystery, Reinhardt, Susan, Romance/Relationship, Suspense/Thriller

Vicki Lane. Under the Skin. New York: Bantam Books Trade Paperbacks, 2011.

Elizabeth Goodweather has seen her fair share of mysteries in Ridley Branch, a small hamlet in the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina. For now, though, Elizabeth just wants to settle down on her Full Circle Farm, manage her herb and flower business, and marry her handsome policeman boyfriend, Philip Hawkins. Elizabeth’s peaceful life is interrupted, however, when her sister Gloria descends on the homestead. Fresh from Florida and avoiding her potentially dangerous current husband, Gloria is the complete opposite of Elizabeth. Compared side-by-side, Elizabeth and Gloria’s relationship is a mystery in itself. Gloria loves material things, steals men’s attention with her beauty, and buys into all of the new age remedies that plain-looking, salt of the earth Elizabeth mocks. With all this, Gloria grates on Elizabeth’s nerves.

Now that Gloria has made herself at home, however, Elizabeth begins to see a new side of her sister. While she may have some annoying traits, Gloria proves to be a generous, thoughtful, and complex. A skeptical Elizabeth decides to join her sister at a workshop with a medium to show her support, but events that unfold during a séance leave her questioning reality – and put both sisters in danger. It is up to Elizabeth to uncover the truth and to restore harmony in her life, which now includes her sister.

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

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2011, Lane, Vicki, Mountains, Mystery, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places

Vicki Lane. The Day of Small Things. New York: Dell Books, 2010.

In the remote mountains of Dark Holler, North Carolina in 1922, a girl is born to a bitter mother who vows to keep her last child all to herself. Least, as the girl is called, grows up with very little affection from her mother and few interactions with others. Neighbors are told that she is a simple child, and she learns neither to read nor to write.

When Granny Beck, her maternal grandmother, comes to live with Least and her mother, light is cast upon Dark Holler. Granny Beck secretly teaches her skills to the girl and captivates her with old mountain stories and Cherokee legends. Granny Beck tells Least that she has magical “Gifts and Powers” to save herself and to protect others. As Least matures, she feels a kinship to the Little People (Yunwi Tsunsdi). However, some people are suspicious of her Gifts and Powers; they see them as contrary to Christianity. Luther Gentry, Least’s sweetheart, is one of those doubters. When the two marry, Least promises to part with her old life, which includes her magic as well as her cheerless name. She becomes Birdie Gentry and, for once, lives in a home of unconditional love.

When she is an elderly woman of eighty-five, she is faced with a difficult choice. A relative is in trouble, and her Gifts and Powers are needed – fast. Miss Birdie must weigh the promise she made to her husband and to herself so many years ago against the safety of a young boy.

Interspersed throughout the novel are images of artifacts from Birdie’s life, including hymns and advertisements.

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

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Filed under 2010, 2010-2019, Lane, Vicki, Madison, Mountains, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Yancey

Vicki Lane. Old Wounds. New York: Bantam Dell, 2007.

Ten year-old Maythorn Mullins disappeared on Halloween in 1986. After nineteen years of trying to forget all about the incident, UNC professor Rosemary Goodweather has returned home and is determined to find out what happened to her childhood best friend. Her mother Elizabeth helps with the investigation, worries about her daughter, and tries to figure out her maybe-romance with former detective Phillip Hawkins. Old Wounds is the third of the Elizabeth Goodweather Appalachian mysteries.

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

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2007, Lane, Vicki, Mountains, Mystery, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places

Vicki Lane. In a Dark Season. New York: Bantam Dell, 2008.

Elizabeth Goodweather has never liked the look of the old house called Gudger’s Stand. Dolls hanging from the porch, an angry old man, stories of runaway wives and violence–Elizabeth has ignored all that until one December day when she sees an elderly woman jump from the upstairs porch. It’s Miss Nola Barrett and Miz Barrett did not seem deranged or suicidal when Elizabeth met her a month before. Miz Barrett survives the jump, and as Elizabeth tries to help her she is drawn into the dark history of the house, a history that a murderer will do anything to hide.

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

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2008, Lane, Vicki, Mountains, Mystery, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places

Vicki Lane. Art’s Blood. New York: Dell, 2006.

Elizabeth Goodweather, who first appeared in Lane’s Signs in the Blood, is back in another mountain mystery. Elizabeth pursues the case of a murdered local artist in a story that takes place among the arts community in and around Asheville.

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

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2006, Buncombe, Lane, Vicki, Mountains, Mystery, Novels in Series

Vicki Lane. The Elizabeth Goodweather Appalachian Mysteries.

Elizabeth Goodweather runs a small herb and flower farm in the fictional mountain town of Ridley Branch, N.C. At the opening of the first book in the series, she has recently been widowed and, with both of her children moved away, she feels a little lonely and bored. The boredom quickly vanishes when she’s dragged into a local mystery. In each of the following novels Elizabeth investigates missing persons, stolen items, and murders, all of which relate to the clash of old and new in the North Carolina mountains. Much like her heroine, author Vicki Lane lives on a farm in the North Carolina mountains.

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Filed under Lane, Vicki, Mountains, Mystery, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Series

Vicki Lane. Signs in the Blood. New York: Dell, 2005.

Elizabeth Goodweather runs a small herb and flower farm in the fictional mountain town of Ridley Branch, N.C. Recently widowed, and with both of her children moved away, Elizabeth is feeling a little lonely and bored, but that quickly changes when she’s dragged into a local mystery. When a neighbor’s son is found dead, the police determine it was an accident, but the boy’s mother isn’t convinced. As Elizabeth pursues the case, she digs up evidence of a long ago crime that is suspiciously similar to the current mysterious death.

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

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2005, Buncombe, Lane, Vicki, Mountains, Mystery, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places