Category Archives: Mitchell

Mitchell

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

Stacey Cochran. The Loneliest. Raleigh, NC: Stacey Cochran Books, 2011.

Jason Roberts is a small-time author who has just tragically lost his wife to cancer. Following a struggle with depression and thoughts of suicide, he sells their home in Arizona and hits the road. His travels take him all the way to Little Switzerland, deep in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina. Jason eventually finds a small cabin to rent, and attempts to settle in and write his next novel. But something isn’t right– his landlord, a taciturn man named Cyrus, gives him the creeps, and while hiking in the woods, Jason  discovers a concrete slab that just may be covering the entrance to Hell itself. Worst of all, his wife may be trapped there, and Jason is the only one who can rescue her. But is it all a delusion?

As the tormented author writes his novel, he discovers that his fiction seems to be accurately predicting reality. Is art imitating life, or is it the other way round? Hounded by a curious local news reporter and the voices in his own head, Jason might be losing his mind…or seeing clearly for the first time. Is Cyrus really who he says he is? Is his wife truly dead? Do ghosts exist?  Described by Cochran as “part psychological thriller, part paranormal romance,” The Loneliest is a mind-bending exploration into the nature of how we construct reality.

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

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2011, Cochran, Stacey, Horror, McDowell, Mitchell, Mountains, Suspense/Thriller

Julia Montgomery Street. Fiddler’s Fancy. New York: Follett Publishing Co., 1955.

In this novel for children, the arrival of a traveling peddler breaks the tedium of a small mountain community. Peddler O’Halloran has the usual array of goods for sale, but he is also a fiddle player who entertains as well as sells.  The  McCrary family enjoys his company, and when he leaves young Angeline gives him a comforter with a pattern on it that she calls “Fiddler’s Fancy.”

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

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Filed under 1950-1959, 1955, Children & Young Adults, Mitchell, Mountains, Street, Julia Montgomery

Lawrence Thackston. The Devil’s Courthouse. Baltimore: PublishAmerica, 2010.

“I’m telling ya, there’s something screwy going on in our little corner of the wild kingdom.”

These words, from forest ranger Lem Astin, are a light-hearted understatement.  In the spring of 1974 several grizzly murders occur in Great Smoky Mountains.  The bodies are so horribly mutilated that police and locals initially believe that bears are responsible for the attacks.  As the body count rises, authorities take ever more extreme measures–killing bears within thirty miles of camp sites, closing the national park, shutting down a section of the Blue Ridge Parkway, and mishandling an attack on Cherokee lands.

Park rangers Nic Turner and Cole Whitman are skeptical of the bear theory.  So too are some older members of the Cherokee community.  Cherokee elders know the story of Tsul-kalu, a ferocious giant who lives in a cave on top of the Devil’s Courthouse, a rock formation in Transylvania County.  Cole’s skepticism is based on something more personal–a family tragedy and the torment he carries within himself.  It will be locals, not outside authorities, who are able to stop the killings.

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

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Filed under 2010, 2010-2019, Jackson, Mitchell, Mountains, Suspense/Thriller, Swain, Thackston, Lawrence, Transylvania