Category Archives: 2004

2004

Linda Lehmann Masek. The Poison Tree. New York: Avalon Books, 2004.

Anyone who has worked in a library or a used bookstore knows that any bag or box of donated books can contain a surprise–a treasure in among the ragged discards of someone’s bookshelves, basement, or attic. When bookstore owner Jo Sharpe agrees to take the odds and ends that once belonged to the late Bridie MacPherson she gets two surprises–a cat she names “Marlowe” and the diary of Cristabel Lamonte. Christabel, the daughter of a plantation owner on the Carolina coast in the early 1700s, lived an unremarkable life until she was kidnapped by the pirate Edward Teach (“Blackbeard”).  Jo becomes obsessed with what happened to Cristabel–and the buried treasure that her diary mentions. As her investigations take her up and down the coast, several murders ensue.

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

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2004, Coast, Dare, Historical, Hyde, Masek, Linda Lehmann, Mystery

Maggie Bishop. Emeralds in the Snow. Boone, NC: High Country Publishers, 2004.

Emerald Graham, a petite math professor at Appalachian State University, has always had the best of everything – the right clothes, the best schools, the promise of a large inheritance, and plenty of the gemstones she’s named after.  Em decides to take up skiing and after an embarrassing fall, meets Lucky Tucker, a handsome and rugged member of the ski patrol.  Lucky has been working since he was a young boy to help his large, close-knit family make ends meet.  Despite their drastically different lifestyles, Em and Lucky quickly find that they get along well.  After Em finds an old treasure map that used to belong to her grandfather, the two decide to embark on what appears to be an innocent adventure.  When they uncover an old murder and a case of emeralds, the pair opens up a mystery that shakes up both their families.  Will this tension drive them apart or closer together?

This is the second novel in Maggie Bishop’s Appalachian Adventure series, and includes cameo appearances by Wes and Suzanne from Bishop’s first novel, Appalachian Paradise.

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

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2004, Bishop, Maggie, Mountains, Mystery, Novels in Series, Romance/Relationship, Watauga

Joyce and Jim Lavene. Last One Down. New York: Avalon Books, 2004.

When Sheriff Sharyn Howard leaves Diamond Springs to attend a law enforcement training retreat, her staff must solve a murder and deal with a sniper in town.  Meanwhile, Sharyn has her own problems.  One of her deputies is seriously injured when he falls down an old mine shaft, another man is found dead in the woods, and several others are killed when a car explodes.  Unfortunately, the retreat is in an abandoned mining town on isolated Sweet Potato Mountain, their radio is broken, and a vicious storm begins flooding the area streams.  This is the tenth book in the series of Sharyn Howard mysteries.

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

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2004, Lavene, Jim and Joyce, Montgomery, Mystery, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Piedmont

Thomas Fahy. Night Visions. New York: Dark Alley, 2004.

Frank arrives in San Francisco looking for a missing woman and he convinces his former girlfriend Samantha to help out with the investigation. Samantha, a lawyer suffering from severe insomnia, has just begun an experimental treatment to help her sleep.  After she starts to notice connections between the murders and her sleep clinic, she wonders if she might be the next victim.  The plot with Samantha and Frank takes place in San Francisco, but a series of flashbacks within the story take place in North Carolina locations like Chapel Hill, Durham, and Wilmington.

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

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2004, Coast, Durham, Fahy, Thomas, Mystery, New Hanover, Orange, Piedmont, Suspense/Thriller

Yvonne Lehman. Coffee Rings. Uhrichsville, OH: Barbour Publishing, 2004.

Four college girls go to the beach and cut loose. One of them dies. When the book opens, the remaining three friends are women in their early forties. Each of the friends has built a life, but all are still affected by what happened those many years ago. When the dead girl’s mother discovers she has terminal cancer, she asks her daughter’s friends to accompany her to the scene of the accident. All the women have secrets and guilty feelings; these come out. Religious faith enables the characters to achieve self-acceptance and forgiveness.

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

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2004, Buncombe, Coast, Lehman, Yvonne, Mountains, Religious/Inspirational

Dixie Browning. Driven to Distraction. New York: Silhouette Books, 2004.

Advice columnist Maggie Riley has heard it all and when a friend of hers falls for an artist/scam artist, Maggie sets out to expose the phony. This means signing on for a week-long painting class at a retreat in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Ex-Texas lawman Ben Hunter is also at the retreat, trying to get the goods on the snake who cheated his grandmother. They could work together to nail the swindler, but first they have to get past their independent and suspicious natures–and some feelings that are far from professional.

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

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2004, Browning, Dixie, Mountains, Romance/Relationship

E. D. Arrington. Stay the Course. Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse, 2004.

This fictionalized autobiography is a paean to the support that a loving mentor can provide.  The main character, Lori, is being raised by her grandparents.  Her grandmother offers guidance and stories of past racial injustices and recent improvements; all this helps Lori when she becomes one of the first African American students at a previously all-white high school.  Lori is smart and a good student, but she is not welcome and within the first year she is expelled.  The local African American community fights for her reinstatement.  Although the terms of her readmission are distasteful, Lori understands the lessons her Ma has taught her.  The novel focuses on Lori’s growth, but it also contains a warm, rich picture of her family and the African American community in a rural North Carolina county.

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

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2004, Arrington, E. D., Coastal Plain, Novels Set in Fictional Places

Sallie Bissell. Call the Devil By His Oldest Name. New York: Bantam Dell, 2004.

Atlanta prosecutor Mary Crow is in the middle of a heart-wrenching child abuse/child pornography case when she is informed that her infant goddaughter has been abducted. The call sends her to a Cherokee gathering in Tennessee and into the woods after the perpetrator. The kidnapping is not a random event, but rather an attempt by Mary’s nemesis to lure her to her death. Although most of the novel is set on the Tennessee section of the Trail of Tears, Mary’s North Carolina hometown, the fictional Little Jump Off, makes an appearance.

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

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2004, Bissell, Sallie, Mountains, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Suspense/Thriller

Mark de Castrique. Grave Undertaking. Scottsdale, AZ: Poisoned Pen Press, 2004.

While moving the coffin of the long-dead Pearly Johnson to a new grave, Buryin’ Barry Clayton unearths a skeleton with a bullet hole in the skull. It turns out that the body belongs to a private investigator from New York and that he has a photo of Barry’s girlfriend Susan in his wallet. Barry investigates the murder with help from his friend, Sheriff Tommy Lee Wadkins, and tries to decide if he should sell the family business to corporate interests.

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

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2004, deCastrique, Mark, Mountains, Mystery, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places

Penelope J. Stokes. Circle of Grace. New York: Doubleday, 2004.

On the day they graduated from college, four close friends–Grace, Liz, Tess, and Lovey–promised to keep in touch with each other using a “circle journal.” The plan was for each woman to write about her life and then pass it on to the next friend. For thirty years the women have been contributing to the journal and telling stories about successful careers, marriages, and families. When one of the diarists – a resident of Asheville – is diagnosed with cancer, she makes a confession to the others: she hasn’t always told the truth in the journal, letting it reflect her life as she had hoped it would be rather than how it has really turned out. Her candor leads to similar confessions and the four friends are drawn even closer together.

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

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2004, Buncombe, Mountains, Stokes, Penelope J.