Category Archives: 2010

2010

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

Victor L. Martin. The Game of Deception. East Orange, NJ: Wahida Clark Presents Publishing, 2010.

At twenty-six Ghetti is beginning to tire of his life as a drug hustler in Durham, North Carolina.  It’s a dangerous life and it has been getting harder and harder to know who to trust. Still, Ghetti is surprised when a deal with two new customers–Arabs looking to make a big purchase–turns out to be a near-deadly setup.  Can it be that his young buddy Poo-Man has turned on him?

After Ghetti settles the score with his two dangerous customers, he hightails it to Goldsboro, North Carolina where he hides away with his cousin Mance.  There he plots his revenge against Poo-Man.  Back in Durham police detectives Amanda Hartford and Volanda Carter investigate the murder of two Arab men. A nosy neighbor leads them to Poo Man’s girlfriend, Maria.  Maria become one–but not the only–point where the officers’ professional–and personal–lives intersect with Ghetti’s.  The mistaken identities and hidden connections that fuel the plot of this book may remind readers of Elizabethan comedies, but Shakespeare and his contemporaries never wrote anything as X-rated as The Game of Deception.

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

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Filed under 2010, 2010-2019, Durham, Martin, Victor L., Piedmont, Urban Fiction, Wayne

Sundee T. Frazier. The Other Half of My Heart. New York: Delacorte, 2010.

Minni and Keira King are fraternal twins, so they already look different from one another. But most people have trouble telling they’re related at all, or don’t believe it, due to a one-in-a-million genetic coincidence: Minni is white, and Keira is black. This phenomenon, known as “mixed twins,” occurs because only eight or nine chromosomes in the human genetic code determine skin tone. Each human being possesses the possibility to pass on a lighter or darker skin tone to their children, and both father and mother’s genes are in the mix. Born to a black mother and a white father, Minni and Keira often describe their family as a walking chessboard.

Now entering the sixth grade, the twins and their parents live in dreary, drizzly Washington State. But a phone call from their maternal grandmother in North Carolina means a visit to the sunny South. As a child, their mother competed in  the Miss Black Pearl Preteen pageant in Raleigh, winning the Miss Congeniality award. Grandma Johnson is determined that her granddaughters will continue the tradition, and is even more certain that one of them will win. But Mama and Grandma Johnson have very different ideas of what it means to be beautiful, and what it means to be black. While practicing for the competition, by turns both girls feel criticized and incomplete due to their many differences in appearance and talent. This pageant marks Keira and Minni’s coming of age, when they must learn to accept their uniqueness along with their identity as sisters.

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

 

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Filed under 2010, Children & Young Adults, Frazier, Sundee T., Piedmont, Wake

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

K. Robert Campbell. Second Hand. North Carolina: Coastal Highlands Press, 2010.

Cameron Scott thinks of himself as a simple country lawyer, but he does have a way of getting into things.  In this, the fourth novel in this series, Cameron heads to Raleigh to argue a case before the North Carolina Court of Appeals.  The case–involving the sale of a used furniture business–hardly seems worth the court’s time.  It’s such a small-time case that the disgruntled store owners, the Bentons, are being represented by their son, who has just been admitted to the bar.  Ken Benton seems nice enough, but Cameron barely has time to size him up before a tornado bears down on the courthouse.  In an instant, the courtroom is in shambles and a judge is dead.  This is just the beginning, for soon another judge will die, unexplained explosions will occur around town, and authorities will rush to see if any of this is related to the President’s impending visit to Raleigh.  The two lawyers, and Cameron’s wife Mary, are caught up in the Secret Service’s investigation in this fast-paced, high-stakes novel.  Ken Benton provides comic relief even as he shows some surprising abilities; readers will be watching to see if he appears in future books in the series.

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

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Filed under 2010, 2010-2019, Campbell, K. Robert, Novels in Series, Piedmont, Suspense/Thriller, Wake

Travis Thrasher. Solitary. Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook, 2010.

Chris Buckley is dealing with a lot for a 16-year-old: first his parents divorced, and now Chris and his mother have moved from Chicago to the small town of her girlhood in the rural North Carolina mountains. Solitary, North Carolina is as different from Chicago as night from day– here Chris and his mother live in a three-room cabin without internet access or television, and the center of town is small enough to fit into one city block. Chris is miserable at the town high school, where he manages to get on the wrong side of the school bully and his posse, can’t find his classes, and everyone stares at him constantly. But Solitary has one thing Chicago doesn’t: Jocelyn Evans.

Jocelyn is the most beautiful girl in Solitary, the most beautiful girl Chris has ever seen. Although she first ignores him and then treats him with disdainful politeness, he can’t help but keep trying to befriend her. Little by little, her icy exterior thaws, and he starts to see the real Jocelyn, who is kind, spirited–and fears for her life. Chris doesn’t understand what she’s so afraid of, but the rest of the school seems to know. Only no one’s talking, and when Chris tries to solve the mystery on his own, things get ugly quickly.

There are cryptic, anonymous notes warning him to stay away from Jocelyn, strange dogs haunting the woods behind his house, and the stares of his new classmates now seem more sinister than curious. There’s something strange about the church everyone attends, as well, especially Jeremiah  Marsh, the charismatic pastor. Everyone in town seems to take the time to tell Chris that he and his mom don’t belong here, they’re outsiders, and they had better keep their heads down if they know what’s good for them. But no one tells Chris Buckley what to do, and he refuses to give up his precious relationship with Jocelyn, even if it means his destruction. Which it surely will, because the Devil is alive and well in Solitary.

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

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Filed under 2010, 2010-2019, Children & Young Adults, Henderson, Horror, Mountains, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Thrasher, Travis

E. R. Herring. Goshen’s Watch. Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse, 2010.

Jaysie Curtis and her husband Kayle lead a quiet life in Traverstown, a fictional hamlet in North Carolina’s Piedmont region. Bordered by a marsh known as Goshen’s Swamp, the town has remained a sleepy backwater in spite of encroaching developments and highways. In fact, when the town attempted to build a major thoroughfare through the swamp, the project failed within a matter of days, and most troubling of all, the entire road crew disappeared.

They aren’t the only ones. Lately, strange disappearances have become the norm in Traverstown. If someone lives in a reckless way, endangers other members of the community, or is just plain mean, he or she will vanish without a trace. As time goes on, some people even claim to see these wicked individuals disappearing in clouds of acidic steam. Community elders declare that “Goshen is angry,” and it certainly feels as though something supernatural is afoot. But what kind of force is ridding Traverstown of unsavory individuals? Is this entity out for justice … or blood? Jaysie’s voice guides us through this spooky tale, but at times it feels as though the narrative takes on the unsettling perspective of whatever resides in Goshen’s Swamp itself.

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

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Filed under 2010, 2010-2019, Herring, E. R., Horror, Mystery, Piedmont

Everett and Ann Colby. …Face Down and Very Dead. New York: iUniverse, 2010.

When Ed and Chris Loving retired from the high pressure world of big-time banking, they never expected to see the likes of Horace Tydings again.  Ed had steered his bank away from loaning money to Tydings and his ruthless, if not shady, mergers-and-acquisitions empire.  But Tydings has not forgotten Ed Loving and on the weekend of the Bele Chere Festival he shows up at the Loving’s Asheville bed and breakfast with the intention of humiliating Ed.  Ed surprises himself by keeping his cool in the face of Tydings’ drunken, boorish behavior on Friday night.

But on Saturday morning everything changes.  Responding to a sound that he thinks is a neighbor’s dog poaching koi from the B and B’s pond, Ed instead finds Horace Tydings face down and very dead.  Richard Davis, the police lieutenant who is first on the scene, is no friend of Ed’s.  To Lieutenant Davis Ed and Chris are part of the group of newcomers who have gentrified his old neighborhood and left longtime residents feeling like outsiders.  When Lieutenant Davis finds out about Ed’s history with Tydings, Ed knows that he’ll be tagged as Suspect #1.  To protect himself, Ed starts doing his own investigation, and as the novel continues readers are introduced to a series of characters who have reasons to want Tydings dead.  It’s a classic mystery in the style of Agatha Christie–including the twist at the end.

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

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Filed under 2010, 2010-2019, Buncombe, Colby, Everett and Ann, Mountains, Mystery

Jody Meacham. Through the Heart of the South. San Jose, CA: Doodlebug Publishing, 2010.

It’s the summer of 1968, and Chris McAndrew should be relaxed and looking forward to his senior year of high school in Shortridge, North Carolina. But this year, the local black school, Booker T. Washington High, is closing, and all of the students there will matriculate at the formerly whites-only Shortridge High. The School Board fought long and hard against this integration, and when nothing prevented it, did everything they could to make this year as uncomfortable as possible for the black community. Class activities and trips are eliminated, and if any black player should even think of scoring the winning point in a football game, there will be hell to pay. Chris is convinced it’s just plain wrong to treat anyone this way, but speaking up means being labeled a “nigger-lover” by the rest of the whites in Shortridge, especially his girlfriend Susan Marks’s angry father, Wade.

But as Chris and his best friend Cam get to know the new students, especially Malachi Stevens, a particularly gifted singer and football player, it gets harder to be friends in the classroom but treat them as less than human when school lets out. Susan and the rest of the town continue to try to convince Chris that “they” are the ones taking everything from the white population and polluting it, but somehow that doesn’t make sense. The situation finally comes to an ugly head when a local NAACP representative is murdered and found by his young daughter, and a teenage biracial couple flee to South Carolina to get married, only to return under a shadow when they find out it’s illegal. With the Vietnam War hanging over their heads and the railroad industry that supports Shortridge sliding under their feet, the graduating class of 1969 must at least agree on one thing: the times, they are a’changin’.

This heartfelt and engaging coming-of-age novel is Meacham’s first, and is based partially on his own experiences growing up in Hamlet, North Carolina.

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

 

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Filed under 2010, 2010-2019, Historical, Meacham, Jody, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Piedmont, Richmond

Mark Schweizer. The Organist Wore Pumps. Tryon, NC: SJMP Books, 2010.

It’s been two years since St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in St. Germaine, North Carolina burned to the ground, and the holidays are just around the corner. Police Chief  Hayden Konig, also the organist at St. Barnabas, is looking forward to a long month of Advent music and writing bad prose between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly for those familiar with St. Barnabas, murder and mayhem intervene. First, Old Man Hiram Frost, the town grump, dies after the bank forecloses on his property. At the resulting auction, Hayden gets sucked into a bidding war with a stranger over three cases of French wine. A week later, the mystery bidder shows up again…floating face-first in Tannenbaum Lake. Additionally, St. Barnabas has a new deacon: the aptly named Donald Mushrat (that’s Moo-shrat). Deacon Mushrat is oily, overfond of the word “awesome” and obsessed with tithing. Everyone feels blessed that the beloved Rector Gaylen Weatherall will still be giving the sermons, but thanks to a terrible car accident, Rector Weatherall is put out of action for a time, opening the way for Deacon Mushrat’s pontificating. Even worse, Konig was in the car with Gaylen during the accident…and his arm is broken. A substitute organist is found, and Konig will just have to grit his teeth and endure their “creative differences.” But when another murder occurs and it becomes clear that a killer is stalking St. Germaine, the Chief finds he has bigger fish to fry.

Filled with the hilarity and quirky characters that are distinctive of The Liturgical Mysteries, this book includes a live creche, an inflammatory (literally) Christmas parade complete with a tap dancing Virgin, a scoodle of skunks, and the “liberation” of a priceless medieval reliquary by a gang of hyperactive children trapped in the church for a lock-in. It may be many things, but at least St. Germaine is never boring.

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

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Filed under 2010, 2010-2019, Humor, Mountains, Mystery, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Schweizer, Mark, Watauga