Category Archives: 2002

2002

Jim Booth. The New Southern Gentleman. Los Angeles, CA: Wexford College Presss, 2002.

gentlemanBy the time a man is in his twenties, he’s usually made some progress on figuring out who he is and what his place in the world might be.  Work, friendship, ethics, and love are some of the big issues that he’s grappled with.  Daniel Randolph Deal has an additional issue.  A descendant of two distinguished Virginia families, he has been raised by his traditionalist grandfather, a man obsessed with the glories of his family’s past.  Grandfather Deal is a Southern gentleman of the old school, and he expects his grandson to understand what is expected of him.

But Dan has been finding his way without much help.  Dan’s father died when Dan was two.  A few years later, his mother married a Frenchman and went to live abroad with her new husband.  Dan has done what he is supposed to–doing well in the classroom and on the playing field, going to the right schools, studying to be a lawyer.  But certain things still elude him.  He has been thrown off balance by certain romantic possibilities, especially Evelyn Daiches, a young woman he meets during a party at the house of his boisterous, boorish neighbor.  The New Southern Gentleman follows Dan through his first semester of law school at Wake Forest University and a fateful Christmas vacation when his relationships–with his friend Alex, his cousin Ramona, his grandfather, and Evelyn–collide.

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

 

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2000-2009, 2002, Booth, Jim, Forsyth, Piedmont

Jacqueline DeGroot. The Secret of the Kindred Spirit. Bloomington, IN: 1st Books Library, 2002.

kindredDevelopment is always a contentious issue on the barrier islands along the North Carolina coast.  Be it beach nourishment, road improvements, or an ocean-front mansion, locals perceive that there will be winners and losers.  As this novel opens, Cassie Andrews has arrived on Sunset Beach Island to begin a controversial, long overdue replacement for the bridge linking the island with the mainland of Brunswick County.  As she surveys the old bridge close up in her kayak, she is horrified to discover a man’s head bobbing up against a pylon.  Soon the police are on the scene, and when the man is identified as one of the chief opponents of the new bridge, Cassie knows that this assignment will be more challenging than previous ones.

Part of the challenge for Cassie will be to keep her mind on her work.  Michael Troy, one of the police officers on the murder case, is instantly attracted to Cassie, an attraction that grows when he follows her to nude bathing section of Bird Island.  Much of the novel is devoted to verbal–and other–interplay between Cassie and Michael.  Interwoven with that is the story of the victim, Damn Duke Ellington, a seemingly destitute island native who was known chiefly for his opposition to the new bridge and his support of the island’s feral cat population.

The break in the case comes from a message in a notebook left in the Kindred Spirit mailbox on Bird Island.  Micheal’s good detective work with the notebook leads him to the murderer, and not a minute to soon.  The Kindred Spirit mailbox is a real part of the Sunset Beach story, and it figures in at least one other novel on this blog, Marybeth Whalen’s The Mailbox.  Readers who like softer, more meditative romances, should read The Mailbox.  Readers who prefer a fast-paced, more graphic story will enjoy The Secret of the Kindred Spirit.

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

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2000-2009, 2002, Brunswick, Coast, DeGroot, Jacqueline, Mystery, Romance/Relationship

Leigh Greenwood. Family Merger. New York: Silhouette Books, 2002.

This is not your typical romance novel.  Cynthia Egan is a pregnant high school student who has taken refuge in a small Charlotte home for unwed mothers.  Cynthia grew up wealthy, but she felt neglected by her widowed father who was often away on business.  When he learns that his daughter has left home, Cynthia’s dad, Ron, flies back to Charlotte ready to make things right.  But he is clueless about what Cynthia needs and how she got to the situation she’s now in.  Kathryn Roper, who runs the home that Cynthia is staying in, plans to set Mister Hot-Shot Business Man-Neglectful Dad straight. What Kathryn hadn’t planed on was Ron’s interest in her and her attraction to him.

Kathryn and Ron spar over Cynthia in crisp and believable dialog.  But the budding relationship between Kathryn and Ron does not dominate the book.  Equal time is given to Cynthia and how her pregnancy affects the people in her life–from the baby’s father to the household staff who brought her up–making this a novel with some social weight. Family Merger takes on the troubling topic of teen pregnancy–but like all romances, the book has a happy ending.

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

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2000-2009, 2002, Greenwood, Leigh, Romance/Relationship

Mark Schweizer. The Alto Wore Tweed. Hopkinsville, KY: St. James Music Press, 2002.

In this novel, the first book in the Liturgical Mysteries series, we are introduced to Hayden Konig, the chief detective in (fictional) St. Germaine, North Carolina.  St. Germaine is a quiet little mountain town, one that hardly needs a full-time detective.  Which is good, because Hayden’s passions are elsewhere.  Hayden likes the ladies, he has long wanted to write a detective novel, and he is a knowledgeable and talented organist.  Week in and week out, Hayden probably spends more time at his church than at his office.  When the longtime rector at St. Barnabas retires, Hayden is none too pleased with his replacement, Loraine Ryan.  Mother Ryan favors hymns and a service style that Hayden barely tolerates.  But soon it turns out that the style of the Sunday morning service is the least of Hayden’s concerns.  On the same night that someone steals the church’s communion wine, the sexton is murdered, and Detective Konig finds that few of his his fellow church members will give him a straight story.

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

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2000-2009, 2002, Mountains, Mystery, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Schweizer, Mark, Watauga

Holly Lisle. Memory of Fire. New York: EOS, 2002.

Usually when people consider magic, the end result is something that benefits them. Who wouldn’t want a million dollars to magically appear in his or her pocket? Who wouldn’t want to walk in the warm sands of Bali? Unfortunately, there are some who would use magic for evil. Such is the case in the town of Cat Creek, North Carolina.  Cat Creek, located in Richmond County, is a special place because it is home to the Sentinels, individuals who are capable of magic and who are the gatekeepers of an alternate universe called Oria. When one of the Sentinels turns on his allies, he not only puts them in danger but also causes an epidemic, called the Carolina Flu, which puts humans the world over in danger. As the Sentinels try to make peace between the two worlds, an unlikely pair of strangers provides indispensable help. Lauren Dane, the daughter of Sentinels who were killed for being suspected traitors, has special magical powers that allow her to be one of the rare gateweavers. Molly McColl, who has just been kidnapped by Oria natives and is believed by them to be a Vodi (Orian goddess), is Lauren’s long-lost half-sister. The two women use their talents to save both worlds and to reclaim the honor that their families deserve.

Memory of Fire is book one of Lisle’s The World Gates series.

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

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2000-2009, 2002, Coastal Plain, Lisle, Holly, Novels in Series, Richmond, Science Fiction/Fantasy

Lynne Hinton. Hope Springs. San Francisco, CA: HarperSanFrancisco, 2002.

The sequel to Friendship Cake finds the women of the Hope Springs Community Church Women’s Guild at it again. Although their cookbook has been published, the group has become accustomed to getting together on a regular basis to talk about their lives – the joys as well as the concerns. The core group – Beatrice, Charlotte, Jessie, Louise, and Margaret – decide to continue meeting. As each woman faces new trials, including breast cancer, depression, and the possibility of moving across the country, they provide care and encouragement to each other. For example, upon hearing that one member may have to have chemotherapy, the other four shave their heads in solidarity. Through being there for each other during every crisis, the women of Hope Springs offer a true picture of friendship.

Hope Springs is Lynn Hinton’s second book in her Hope Springs series.

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

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2000-2009, 2002, Hinton, Lynne, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Religious/Inspirational

Maggie Bishop. Appalachian Paradise. Boone, NC: High Country Publishers, 2002.

Suzanne decides to take a break from her workaholic tendencies as a computer programmer for a large Baltimore company and go hiking alone in the Pisgah National Forest.  She’s fiercely independent, driven, and always has a plan.  In fact, her 5-day solo hike is practically planned down to the minute, but all that goes out the window when her concerned uncle sends along an uninvited mountain man named Wes to keep an eye on Suzanne.  Despite Suzanne’s reluctance to let go of her itinerary and the initial tension of hiking with a handsome stranger, Wes manages to teach Suzanne how to slow down and see the forest through the trees.  As their romance grows, Suzanne becomes more aware of past disappointments, especially her relationship with her father who she hasn’t spoken to in over ten years.  When he shows up at one of Wes’ family gatherings, she is forced reconsider her emotional distance and embrace the present.

This is the first novel in Bishop’s Appalachian Adventure Series.

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

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2000-2009, 2002, Bishop, Maggie, Mountains, Novels in Series, Romance/Relationship, Watauga

Joan Medlicott. From the Heart of Covington. New York: Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press, 2002.

From the Heart of Covington continues the stories of Hannah, Amelia, and Grace, older ladies who share a house in the fictional town of Covington, NC. In this, the third book in the series, a close friend’s cancer impacts all of the women, but each has her own issues to contend with. Amelia furthers her photography career and takes a trip to New York. Grace volunteers at the local elementary school, deals with her son’s rocky relationship, and faces a diabetes diagnosis. Hannah is reunited with her estranged daughter and the younger woman, Laura, comes to live in Covington after she is seriously injured in a boating disaster.

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

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2000-2009, 2002, Medlicott, Joan, Mountains, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places

Dixie Browning. Beckett’s Cinderella. New York: Silhouette Books, 2002.

The theme of family honor makes this a satisfying read for someone looking for an old-fashioned tale. Money has been a problem for Eliza Chandler Edwards.  As a married woman she had plenty, but only because her husband was scamming his investors.  (Eliza was an innocent bystander to this.)  As a widow (her husband was killed by one of his clients), she is poor as a church mouse, in part because she felt honor-bound to sell her home and personal goods to repay her husband’s victims.  When the novel opens, Eliza is living in Currituck County with her great-uncle Fred, helping him run a produce stand.  Just as Eliza tried to right her late husband’s wrongs, the wealthy Beckett family wants to make up for a wrong committed by a family member.  Patriarch PawPaw Beckett summons handsome grandson Lancelot to track down the last heirs of Elias Chandler, a business partner cheated by PawPaw’s father.  Eliza is suspicious of Beckett and the money he wants to give her, but they are clearly attracted to each other.  A hurricane and the arrival of someone from Eliza’s Texas days help move the plot along.

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

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2000-2009, 2002, Browning, Dixie, Coast, Currituck, Novels in Series, Romance/Relationship

Sarah R. Shaber. The Fugitive King. New York: Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Minotaur, 2002.

In 1958 Roy Freeman, a Melungeon man from Kentucky, plead guilty to murdering his girlfriend to avoid being lynched or facing the death penalty. When the girlfriend’s remains are found more than 40 years later in a rusty pickup in the Blue Ridge Parkway, Freedman escapes prison and turns up in Professor Simon Shaw’s living room. After the convict asks the “forensic historian” to help prove his innocence and turns himself in, Shaw travels to his hometown of Boone to visit family and investigate Freeman’s claims. This is the third book in the Professor Simon Shaw series of mysteries.

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

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2000-2009, 2002, Mountains, Mystery, Piedmont, Shaber, Sarah, Wake, Watauga