Category Archives: Mecklenburg

Mecklenburg

Liz Clarke. Aunt Ellie Turns Sleuth. New York: iUniverse, 2007.

Eleanor Lee’s life has settled into a pleasant groove.  Although the niece who she raised has left for Wyoming, Ellie still has family and friends in North Carolina.  Ellie and her partner Kathryn have bought a nice house in Charlotte. To complete the household Ellie has gotten a big dog, the appropriately named Mutt.

As this novel opens, Mutt and Ellie are on their morning walk in a Charlotte park when Mutt pulls Ellie off the path after he picks up the scent of a dead body.  In short order the police arrive and determine that the man had been stabbed to death.  A nice young police officer, Chris Marchand, takes Ellie’s statement and sees to it that she and Mutt get home safely.   Although Ellie is shaken by the discovery of the body, she is curious too.  Despite advice from family and friends to leave the investigation to the police, Ellie starts making her own inquiries.   She has a good network to tap: a local judge who walks his dog in the same park, Kathryn’s psychiatrist brother who treated the dead man’s wife, and that nice police officer–who has been dating Kathryn’s niece.  As this leisurely cozy mystery unfolds, readers learn more about Ellie’s past, and the surprising way it connects to the case.

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

The UNC-Chapel Hill Library also has the prequel to this novel, She Sold Sea Shells, in which Aunt Eleanor’s niece, Shell Lee (Shelly) McGivern, learns what happened to the mother who abandoned her.  Although Shelly is a small town police officer in North Carolina, the action of the novel takes places in Wyoming.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2007, Clarke, Liz, Mecklenburg, Mystery, Piedmont

Casey Mayes. A Deadly Row. New York: Berkley Prime Crime, 2010.

Savannah Stone isn’t pleased that her husband Zach, the retired police chief of Charlotte, North Carolina, is going back to the Queen City to help with a murder investigation, but she knows that she can’t stop him. Their friend, Mayor Grady Winslow, appears to be in danger, and besides, Zach misses the thrill of the hunt. That’s one of the benefits of Savannah’s job as a crossword puzzle maker – she can work on the go and even help Zach solve cases from time to time. As much as Savannah and Zach hate leaving their new happy home in Parson’s Valley, they are excited to return to their old stomping grounds. From the get-go, Savannah and Zach are confronted with questioning their friends to find out who has already murdered two people. As they collect clues left by the villain, the Stones realize that they are in danger. Using her gifts as a math whiz, Savannah cracks the code – and uncovers a mystery about her own family.

A Deadly Row is the first novel in the “Mystery by the Numbers” series.

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

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Filed under 2010, 2010-2019, Mayes, Casey, Mecklenburg, Mystery, Novels in Series, Piedmont

Erin McCarthy. Flat-Out Sexy. New York: Berkley Sensation, 2008.

Tamara Briggs was widowed at thirty when her husband, NASCAR driver Pete Briggs, was killed during a race at Talladega.  In the two years since then, Tamara has concentrated on her career as a sociology professor and on providing nurture and normalcy for her two children.  Her only foray into the world of dating has been some decidedly lukewarm evenings with one of her colleagues.  When Tamara takes him to  a cocktail party fundraiser and her good friend Suzanne gives the sweater-clad professor a very critical once-over, Tamara knows that Suzanne speaks the truth–this man is not for her.  Distracted by this realization, Tamara bumps into a stranger, Elec Monroe. The attraction is instantaneous and mutual.

During their first night together (graphically described) Tamara remembers how exciting a man can be, but Elec is just the kind of man she promised herself she’d stay away from–a race car driver.   A driver’s life is too  nomadic and unpredictable–and full of temptations and danger.  Having lost her husband, the father of her children, Tamara can’t face that heartbreak again.  Plus, Elec Monroe has more than the average amount of baggage–his father and Tamara’s father-in-law, once good friends, are now bitter enemies; he is being pursued by a woman who just might be crazy;  and Elec’s career is about to take off–he may even be rookie of the year.

Like a race track designed by a joker, Tamara’s romance with Elec takes some unexpected turns.  Chicken pox, jury duty, unhappy in-laws, a wreck, and a false paternity claim all stand between Tamara and Elec and happily-ever-after, but readers will enjoy the ride.

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

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2008, McCarthy, Erin, Mecklenburg, Novels in Series, Piedmont, Romance/Relationship

Casey Mayes. Mystery by the Numbers Series.

Puzzles require patience, and luckily for Savannah Stone, her husband Zach knows that better than anyone. As a popular crossword puzzle designer, Savannah has a method for each of her creations that demands quiet and room for trial and error. Zach appreciates these techniques because before he retired as police chief of Charlotte, North Carolina, he employed many of them himself. Now that Zach is doing consultant work with police forces around the country, Savannah finds herself following him on his adventures (after all, she can always fax her puzzles into her syndicate). But she isn’t just along for the ride: Savannah’s penchant for cracking codes complements Zach’s detective expertise. As they work together to solve problems quickly, their love for each other is a mystery to no one.

Find all the novels in the “Mystery by the Numbers” series at the UNC-Chapel Hill Libraries by clicking on the titles listed below:

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Filed under 2010-2019, Mayes, Casey, Mecklenburg, Mystery, Piedmont, Series

Shana Burton. Catt Chasin’. Deer Park , NY: Urban Books, 2011.

Who likes it when some new co-worker comes in and starts telling you that you’ve been doing your job wrong?  That’s what chemist Catt Cason gets when Jamal Ford joins the R&D department at Telegenic, an up-and-coming cosmetics company in Charlotte.  Catt has just been promoted from the teen fragrance line to the women’s line.  Jamal thinks her creations are unsophisticated bubble gum scents.  Catt is stunned by Jamal’s arrogance and the way he doesn’t hesitate to get in her face with his opinions.  Catt complains to management, but she is told that Telegenic has paid a lot of money to lure Jamal and that she will have to learn to work with him.  And Catt gets no sympathy from her friends at the the company– Jamal is good looking, charming, and sexy, and half the women in the company want to date him.

Jamal is not the only man making trouble for Catt.  Her father, Pastor Jeremiah Cason, thinks that it is time for his only child to marry and produce some grandchildren.  Pastor Cason is sure that that his assistant, Eldon James, would be a perfect husband for Catt and begins to put the two of them together in all kinds of situations.  Catt is a dutiful daughter and a believing Christian, but she knows that there is no real spark between her and the young minister.  Although she resists it, Catt feels an electricity between her and her arrogant, sexy co-worker.  Her faith and self-restraint are put to a test when Catt and Jamal are sent on a three week promotional tour for a new product line. Pastor Cason gathers a group of prayer warriors to pray for her, but little do they know what the trip has in store for Catt–and for Jamal.  This will be a road trip that goes a long way toward healing some old hurts, and advancing their careers—and just maybe something else.

 

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

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2011, Burton, Shana, Mecklenburg, Piedmont, Religious/Inspirational, Romance/Relationship

Kayla Perrin. Control. Don Mills, Ontario: Spice Books, 2010.

Elsie Campbell was a struggling waitress in Charlotte, North Carolina. Robert Kolstad was a wealthy, retired CEO thirty years her senior. While others might dismiss her as nothing better than a gold digger, Elsie knew she married Robert for all the right reasons. But now, eight years into their fairy tale, things are starting to change. Robert is beginning to control everything, from where they go out to eat, to how Elsie dresses, to far more serious subjects. Elsie desperately wants to have children, and she thinks Robert does too…until she finds out a terrible secret he’s been hiding from her.

This stunning revelation comes on top of Elsie’s own shameful secret: she’s been having thoughts about another man. A nameless, handsome stranger bought flowers in her shop just a few weeks earlier, and Elsie can’t stop thinking about him. Soon this stranger enters her private fantasies, and when she meets him again in person, she begins to learn what true love really means. But Robert won’t give up his young wife that easily, and soon Elsie fears for her life and her future.

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

 

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Filed under 2010, 2010-2019, Mecklenburg, Perrin, Kayla, Piedmont, Romance/Relationship

Cheris Hodges. Recipe for Desire. New York: Dafina, 2012.

Imagine a “chocolate Paris Hilton” and you have Charlotte’s number one party girl, Marie Charles. Wealthy, spoiled, and riding on her father’s coattails, Marie is living a life of luxury until the night that she drunkenly assaults her ex at Mez, an exclusive nightclub. Such an embarrassing act would be enough fodder for The Queen City After Dark, Charlotte’s version of TMZ, but blogs and papers go wild when Marie is found behind the wheel of her wrecked Jaguar. Thinking that her father will get her out of her latest crisis, Marie takes the blame for the accident although it was her unlicensed public relations intern who was really behind the wheel. But Richard Charles, a prominent civil rights attorney, is not happy with his daughter’s latest antics, and he supports the judge’s decision to give Marie a strict sentence: a suspended license and five hundred hours of community service at a local women’s shelter.

Marie is angry, but she realizes that she can cope as soon as she lays eyes on Devon Harris, her supervisor at the women’s shelter. Incredibly good-looking and a successful gourmet chef, Devon is not impressed with Marie’s party girl past. Over time, though, the two find that a person’s reputation doesn’t always match who they are: Marie has a generous heart, and Devon is not as guarded as he thought he was. After five hundred hours together, Marie and Devon fall in love, with both agreeing that Marie’s meltdown was the best thing that ever happened to either of them.

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

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2012, Hodges, Cheris F., Mecklenburg, Piedmont, Romance/Relationship

Mike Sanders. Thirsty 2. East Orange, NJ: Wahida Clark Presents, 2011.

Justice Dial is back in this bloody sequel to Thirsty, Mike Sanders’s novel about hustling on the streets of Charlotte, North Carolina. Beautiful, clever, and ruthless, Justice used to make loads of cash by seducing men, gleaning the location of their wealth, and passing on the information to her brother, Monk. But then it all went wrong, and in a terrible case of mistaken blame, her murderous, drug lord ex-boyfriend Carlos came after the brother and sister. Monk was killed, but Justice fled to Chicago.

Now Justice owns and operates a successful strip club but has never stopped plotting her revenge on Tan, the vicious drug dealer who killed her brother. The situation heats up when Justice returns to the Queen City to support her best friend Sapphire, whose mother is dying. Sapphire was a victim of a nearly fatal beating when Carlos’s crew thought she crossed them, and Carlos has been making restitution ever since he discovered her and Justice’s innocence. Sapphire has forgiven him, but Justice refuses, so Sapphire sees her best friend’s return to Charlotte as an opportunity to convince her of Carlos’s sincerity.

Meanwhile, Tandora Mendoza, daughter of the Mendoza crime family, is out for her own revenge. Robbed by Justice, Monk, and their gang, Tan has already eliminated one sibling, and now she’s waiting for her chance at Justice…before Justice can get to her first. The two women stalk one another through Charlotte and finally Chicago, surrounded by their henchmen and women. But who can they really trust? In the end, a true enemy may be the one they least expect. Justice must survive the hatred of those who want her dead, while fighting the love of the one man she swore never to forgive.

This novel contains graphic sexual and violent content.

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

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2011, Mecklenburg, Piedmont, Sanders, Mike, Suspense/Thriller, Urban Fiction

H. Leigh Aubrey. A Keen Edge. New York: iUniverse, 2009.

Scott Davan is the man with everything: he is a partner in his father’s successful architectural firm, has a supportive wife and three loving sons, and at thirty-seven, is still in peak physical condition. Poised to run for state senator, he is Charlotte, North Carolina’s golden boy in every way. There’s no reason for him not to be happy…but he isn’t. Randall Davan is a controlling man who refuses to relinquish his hold on both his son and the business, and in reality, Scott’s relationship with his wife Paula has been cold and distant for years. When the senior Davan hires Scott an assistant without his knowledge, it’s the last straw, but not in the way he thinks. Instead of plunging Scott deeper into his father’s stifling grasp, Neil Phelan will free him.

Because Neil turns out to be just what Scott needs: he’s an excellent architect, a competitive jogging partner, and incredibly easy to talk with, not to mention handsome. There is an undeniable connection, and the two men fall for one another instantly. Neil has identified as gay for some years, always struggling with the fact. Scott has denied that he is anything but heterosexual for his entire life, and must now embark on an inner journey to find his true self. The outside world is little help. The Davans have always held conservative views on certain topics, homosexual relationships included. When Paula and Randall are faced with Scott’s self-discovery, a painfully difficult time ensues for all involved, especially the children.

H. Leigh Aubrey, a pen name for an author who has written over forty romances for straight audiences, has tackled some of the most charged issues in his first novel for “romantic gay men.” He fits a great deal into 288 pages, but the result is a combination of many different types of love: romantic, sexual, familial, and most importantly, the love and acceptance of oneself. Romance readers everywhere will enjoy Neil and Scott’s budding relationship, and applaud their courage in the face of so many trials.

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

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2009, Aubrey, H. Leigh, Mecklenburg, Piedmont, Romance/Relationship

Kathy Reichs. Flash and Bones. New York, NY: Scribner, 2011.

This image courtesy of www.kathyreichs.com/bones.

Emily Deschanel portrays Dr. Temperance Brennan in the TV show Bones. She poses here with Kathy Reichs (right). Image courtesy of www.kathyreichs.com/bones.

What do NASCAR, missing teenagers, and an audacious tabby cat all have in common? None other than Dr. Temperance Brennan, the brilliant, savvy forensic anthropologist based in Charlotte, NC. In her latest case, Brennan is called out to the nearby Charlotte Motor Speedway to look at a barrel containing human remains. Soon she is caught in a tangled investigation involving the FBI, a dangerous white supremacist group, a local organic farmer, and sweaty, chain-smoking detective Erskine “Skinny” Slidell. But perhaps most dangerous of all, Brennan’s ex-husband, Pete, has asked her to intervene on his behalf with his new fiancée: blonde, bosomy Summer. Driven to hysterics over planning their wedding (and Pete’s disinterest in the ceremony), Summer clings to Brennan for emotional support, calling at all hours of the day and night. Harassed by both FBI agents and dangerous militants, drenched by unpredictable Piedmont storms, and romantically adrift, disgruntled Temperance doesn’t realize that she will soon be more thankful for the needy Summer than she thinks.

Kathy Reichs upholds her winning formula of science, mystery, and a strong female lead in this fourteenth installment of the series that inspired the hit TV show Bones. NASCAR fans will be delighted to watch Brennan’s education in racing , as well as the slew of characters she meets along the way. When she can take a break from the Speedway, Temperance touches base with her daughter Katy, old flame Andrew Ryan, and stalwart feline companion Birdie, although beau Charles Hunt doesn’t make an appearance. But Team Ryan and Team Hunt beware- there’s a new man on the scene providing Brennan with equal parts assistance and annoyance: tall, dark and handsome ex-detective (and ex-con) Cotton Galimore.

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

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2011, Mecklenburg, Mystery, Novels in Series, Piedmont, Reichs, Kathy, Suspense/Thriller