Category Archives: Guilford

Guilford

Tom Mendicino. Probation. New York: Kensington Books, 2010.

Andy Nocera seems to have it all: an adoring wife, a successful career, a beautiful house in High Point, and a doting mother. He is content, but he is not satisfied. Andy has long been attracted to men, and he feeds this desire one night in the bathroom stall of an Interstate 85 rest stop. Although in the past these trysts have been discrete, the police catch Andy this time, and he is arrested. Andy’s wife, at the insistence of her father (who is Andy’s boss), kicks him out, and he moves in with his mother. At his hearing, the judge offers Andy probation and an expunged record after a year if he if he goes to counseling. He is reluctant, considering his sessions with Reverend Matthew J. McGinley, S.J., M.D., to be a waste of his time. However, Father McGinley is persistent in helping Andy explore his past, even when that past is difficult. After a period of depression, alcohol and drug abuse, dangerous flings, and the death of his mother, Andy is able to make peace with himself and with his loved ones, including his former wife. In getting Andy to discuss his life, Father McGinley helps him to understand and accept where he is in the present as a gay man.

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

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Filed under 2010, 2010-2019, Gaston, Guilford, Mecklenburg, Mendicino, Tom, Piedmont, Watauga

Cheris Fredricka Hodges. Searching for Paradise. San Jose: Writers Club Press, 2001.

Kenya Washington is just starting out as a journalist.  After a stint in Georgia, she is back in North Carolina, working in Greensboro.  She likes being back in the state where she went to college and feels that she is making some progress in her career, but her love life is stalled.  Her good friend, Drew, a DJ on an Atlanta radio station, is in a similar boat. Drew’s radio show is just taking off, but she is still within the orbit of her college boyfriend, Xavier.  Luckily for Drew, a young doctor has moved into the apartment next to hers.  Drew may find love, but what about Kenya?

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

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2001, Guilford, Hodges, Cheris F., Mecklenburg, Piedmont

Nancy Gotter Gates. When Push Comes to Death. Kernersville, NC: Alabaster Book Publishing, 2007.

Tommi Poag has been rebuilding her life after her husband left her for a younger woman, another lawyer in his firm.  Tommi has bought a condo and gotten a job as an office assistant at a small insurance agency.  The pay isn’t good, but she has met some nice people.  One of them is Nina Sellars, a woman who has just moved back to Greensboro after years in Hollywood.  Nina and Tommi are distantly related through Tommi’s ex-husband, and the women enjoy each others company.

Tommi is looking forward to meeting Nina’s husband, Cap, but before that can happen he dies in an accident.  Only the police don’t think it was an accident, and they arrest Nina for her husband’s death.  Nina’s lawyer is Tommi’s ex-husband, who rebuffs Tommi’s offer to help investigate the death.

Nina’s family is more appreciate of Tommi’s help, but as she questions the eyewitness to the accident and pokes around in Cap’s business and his personal behavior, more bad things happen–there is a suspicious fire at Tommi’s condo and several people are poisoned.   As Tommi and Nina’s father work together they feel a mutual attraction, but before their relationship can develop they have to face some ugly family secrets.

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

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2007, Gates, Nancy Gotter, Guilford, Mystery, Novels in Series, Piedmont

Nancy Gotter Gates. The Tommi Poag Mysteries.

Tommi Poag is a cheerful fifty-something woman who is trying the make it on her own after her husband leaves her for a younger woman.  After decades as homemaker, she now works for a small insurance agency and lives in a little condo in Greensboro, North Carolina.  Because Tommi has a big heart and curious nature, she quickly gets involved in the troubles of others.  It turns out that Tommi is a good, if unorthodox, investigator. Her investigations cause her to bump into her ex, but Tommi is making new friends as she solves crimes large and small.

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Filed under 2000-2009, Gates, Nancy Gotter, Guilford, Mystery, Piedmont, Series

Drew Perry. This Is Just Exactly Like You. New York: Viking, 2010.

In some ways this is a story we’ve all heard before: seven or eight years in, a marriage is on the rocks.  But the particulars of this novel make the story fresh and engaging.

Jack and Beth aren’t quite opposites, but their responses to the difficulties of life are quite different.  Beth, a college professor, likes to plan, prepare, keep things orderly.  Jack is not a planner, and he can be downright impulsive.  He also doesn’t finish things.  The last straw for Beth is when Jack buys the house across the street.  Now there are two houses for him to tinker with–another house that can have a plywood wall and half re-done kitchen.

Jack and Beth have long been friends with one of Beth’s colleagues, Rena, and her on-again-off-again boyfriend, Terry.  When Beth leaves Jack and their autistic son, she moves in with Terry.  Jack and Terry are still friends, and the two men even continue to with their occasional business deals.  Jack soon drifts into a relationship with Rena, a woman who does nothing to check Jack’s crazier angels.  As Jack juggles his business, his son whose development takes a sharp turn for the better, and his relationships with Beth, Rena, and Terry, he begins renovating the new house–and its yard. Jack’s vision exceeds his expertise, and disaster at the new house is just barely averted.  Both Jack and Beth learn something in their time apart, but as they reconcile the reader is sure that there will still be some misadventures ahead.

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

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Filed under 2010, 2010-2019, Guilford, Perry, Drew, Piedmont

Susan Kelly. By Accident. New York: Pegasus Books, 2010.

Laura Lucas has experienced what might be the worst thing a person can experience–the death of a child.  In this introspective novel, the reader follows Laura in her grief–numbly walking through her daily routines, feeling awkward at social events, observing the radical changes in her formerly settled neighborhood. Laura loves the neighborhood, especially the trees.  It’s a pleasant surprise when the elderly woman next door leaves and a young man, an arborist, moves in.

Elliot is lively, a little crazy, and he delights Ebie, Laura’s daughter–and Laura too. They take note of the nature around them and Laura laughs and confides in Elliot. Laura’s husband senses that Elliot could become a rival.  He warns Laura and her friend warns her, but it is not Laura’s infidelity that pushes the marriage to its end.

By Accident won the 2010 Sir Walter Raleigh Award for Fiction.

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

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Filed under 2010, 2010-2019, Guilford, Kelly, Susan S., Piedmont

Nancy Gotter Gates. Death at Play: Murder at the Reenactment. Kernersville, NC: Alabaster Books, 2008.

Tommi Poag is a fifty-plus lady with an ordinary office job, trying to make a new life for herself after a divorce.  It all sounds very sedate, but Tommi somehow manages to get herself involved in controversies and crimes.

In Death at Play Tommi joins the board of her condo association just as it is being sued after the death of one condo owner’s show dog.  Tommi and her friend Constance are unwitting participants in an attempt to blackmail the dog’s owner.  When the dog’s owner is later murdered at a reenactment of the Battle of Guilford Courthouse, Tommi thinks it is time to look into the dead man’s past and his connections to others in the neighborhood. With her ex-husband, Bernard, serving as the main suspect’s lawyer, things get complicated, especially when Frank, Bernard’s cousin and Tommi’s new romantic interest, comes back to Greensboro.

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

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2009, Gates, Nancy Gotter, Guilford, Mystery, Novels in Series, Piedmont

Nancy Gotter Gates. Death on Disaster Day. Kernersville, NC: Alabaster Books, 2008.

Tommi Poag is trying to move on with her life after an unexpected midlife divorce. New activities and new friendships help with that, and one of Tommi’s new friends is her divorce lawyer, Evan McCandless.  It’s Evan who talks Tommi into playing a victim at a disaster preparedness program at a Girl Scout camp outside Greensboro, North Carolina. However, nothing could prepare Tommi for Evan’s murder, or the case that the police build against Tommi’s ex-husband, Bernard. Yielding to the pleadings of Bernard’s new wife, Tommi begins to investigate Evan’s death, turning up shady dealings that put Tommi and those close to her in danger.

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

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2008, Gates, Nancy Gotter, Guilford, Mystery, Novels in Series, Piedmont

Sandi Huddleston-Edwards. Roy’s Sandman. Charlotte, NC: CPCC Press, 2009.

Roy’s Sandman follows the family introduced in Huddleston-Edwards’s earlier book, Richard’s Key. All the children figure in the novel, but the story centers on the narrator, Roy.  Roy is deeply affected by his brother Richard’s death at the orphanage in 1947, but he goes on to build a life and a family of his own.  Roy’s relationship with “Sandman,” his oldest daughter carries the story forward into the new century.  Readers of the earlier novel who are eager to know what happened to these orphaned children and their mother will find their curiosity satisfied in this new work.

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

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2009, Durham, Guilford, Huddleston-Edwards, Sandi, Iredell, Piedmont

T.C. Harbaugh. Under Greene’s Banner, or, The Boy Heroes of 1781. Philadelphia: David McKay, 1904.

The struggle between the Tories and the Patriots in Piedmont Carolina during the Revolution forms the background for this spy story, which is part of the Boys of Liberty Library series.  The prose style is typical of the early twentieth century, but the novel contains enough action scenes to hold a young reader’s attention. The Battle of Guilford Courthouse is vividly depicted.

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

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Filed under 1900-1909, 1904, Children & Young Adults, Guilford, Harbaugh, T. C., Historical, Novels to Read Online, Piedmont