Tag Archives: Dogs

Donna Ball. Bone Yard. Mountain City, GA: Blue Merle Publishing, 2012.

Raine Stockton is ready for the quiet life. After the adventures of the past few years, all she wants is to sit back and run her boarding kennel in peace. Well, in as much peace as one can have with two active Australian shepherds, one very regal collie, and a two-and-a-half year old golden retriever. Raine is actually doing very well: she’s expanding her boarding kennel in the mountains of Hansonville, North Carolina to include an indoor training ring. If it would just stop raining, the construction crew could finally pour the concrete and she could get started working with her dogs on agility and obedience in much greater comfort.

But life is going to stay interesting for Raine and her excitable pooches. During an especially wet and muddy day, her retriever, Cisco, digs up a bone from the construction site. When a friend points out that the bone the retriever dug up is a human tibia, Raine prepares herself for the worst– an encounter with her ex-husband, the local sheriff. Soon her backyard is crawling with state police in addition to the sheriff and his men, and when a plastic bag full of remains is discovered, Raine knows that her indoor training ring won’t be built anytime soon. But how could a body be buried here in the first place? The home has been in her family for over a hundred years, which could lead to some awkward questions. On top of the bones, Raine has other problems with both dogs and men– her collie Majesty keeps sneaking off, and handsome Miles Young, a local developer whom she should dislike, is clearly attracted to her. Luckily, her faithful companion Cisco is never very far away, especially when Raine has liver treats.

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

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2010-2019, 2012, Ball, Donna, Mountains, Mystery, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places

Donna Ball. Smoky Mountain Tracks. Mountain City, GA: Blue Merle Publishing, 2012.

Raine Stockton, like generations of Stocktons before her, lives in the small (fictional) town of Hansonville, North Carolina. Nestled just on the edge of the stately Nantahala National Forest, Hansonville has gone largely undiscovered by the outside world– it’s still a small town with the same families that have lived there from time out of mind.

While her ancestors may have been livestock farmers, Raine has chosen to focus on a different animal: dogs. In addition to running a small boarding kennel and grooming salon out of her home, she trains her golden retriever, Cisco, in agility and tracking. So she shouldn’t be surprised when deputy sheriff Buck Lawson (who is also unfortunately her ex-husband) calls her up at three o’ clock in the morning to ask for her and Cisco’s help with a manhunt. Angel Winston, the young daughter of a local ne’er-do-well, has been kidnapped and taken deep into the woods. But Cisco is very young and mostly unproven, and instead of finding Angel, he leads the police to an empty cabin with a discarded can of baked beans inside. Heartsick and returning home, Raine inadvertently discovers what her dog did not– the kidnapper, murdered.

Angel is still missing, but the circumstances of her disappearance become more and more bizarre. Could they be related to a wealthy developer’s plans to bring Hansonville into the 21st century? Like Cisco, Raine is stubborn when she smells something funny, and despite Buck’s warnings and her own common sense, she persists in asking troublesome questions. Will Raine and the energetic Cisco sort out the truth before it’s too late?

Check the availability of this first book in the Raine Stockton Dog Mysteries in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

 

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2010-2019, 2012, Ball, Donna, Mountains, Mystery, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places

Donna Ball. The Dead Season. Mountain City, GA: Blue Merle Publishing, 2012.

Raine Stockton and her energetic golden retriever Cisco are back in action in this, the sixth novel in the Raine Stockton Dog Mysteries. Their latest adventure opens on a snow-bound Hansonville, North Carolina in January, in the middle of what the locals call “the dead season.” There are no tourists, no holidays to look forward to, and no one feels like venturing very far beyond the cozy heat of his or her wood stove. Raine Stockton is going out of her mind with boredom. So when the director of a local hiking organization for troubled teenagers called New Day Wilderness Program asks her to join his staff temporarily for a winter hike, she can’t resist going along. She and Cisco will be joining Paul Evans, his wife Rachel, a young counselor named Heather, and five teens enrolled in the program as they embark on a trust-building journey into the mountains.

At first, Raine is excited. She’ll get to teach the youngsters about wilderness survival, and Cisco will perform some search and rescue demonstrations. But as the expedition progresses, it becomes increasingly apparent that New Day holds some dark and ugly secrets. Paul and Rachel’s approach to team building often seems more cruel than instructive, and Heather is still traumatized by the recent, unexplained death of her boyfriend, a fellow New Day counselor. Cisco brings joy and life to the trail as usual, but when an unexpected blizzard blows in, the tension and the cold both begin to snap. Will anyone get out of the mountains alive? And will Raine end up needing Cisco’s rescue skills in earnest? Join the savvy woman and dog duo as they follow this mystery’s trail to its gripping conclusion.

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

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2010-2019, 2012, Ball, Donna, Mountains, Mystery, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Suspense/Thriller

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.

Leave a Comment

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

Stephanie S. Tolan. Applewhites at Wit’s End. New York: Harper, 2012.

It’s the end of the world!

Okay, maybe that’s a little dramatic, but what sort of proclamation would you expect from a family of artists who picked up their New York City lives to establish a “creative compound” in rural North Carolina and then discovered that their finance adviser embezzled all of their money? The Applewhites’ various livelihoods are at risk unless they can think of some way to stay afloat — and fast! Fortunately, it does not take long for the bunch of innovative free-thinkers to come up with a solution: an expensive summer camp for gifted and talented children. After all, who would not what to send their special child to a camp that is run by famous professional artists?

Everything is under way and the Eureka! summer camp is up and running. There are a few things, however, that the Applewhites did not plan for: dietary restrictions, an unwillingness to “rough” the hot summer, and campers’ aversions to branching out to other arts. In other words, spoiled, uncooperative children. Things begin to change, though, when unsigned and alarming letters are sent to the camp. Just as the camp’s very existence is threatened, the Applewhites and the campers band together to find the value in each other and to save Eureka!

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

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2010-2019, 2012, Children & Young Adults, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Tolan, Stephanie S.

Travis Thrasher. Gravestone. Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook, 2011.

Chris Buckley still isn’t sure whether or not he survived the ritual murder of his true love. He’s walking and breathing, but something inside feels dead. Unfortunately, life goes on as usual (or unusual) in the strange and sinister town of Solitary, North Carolina. In this sequel to Solitary and the second book in the Solitary Tales, Chris finds himself swept along in the daily grind with the rest of the kids at Harrington High– taking classes, eating lunch, and getting picked on by the school bully. His mother still struggles with alcoholism and depression following her divorce, but she manages to bring in a steady income and even finds Chris a part-time job. On the outside, Chris looks and acts like any other teenager.

However, unlike his compatriots, Chris’s goals have nothing to do with going to college or getting good grades. He has one thing on his mind: exposing Solitary’s evil, embodied by Pastor Jeremiah Marsh, to the world. The problem with this is that the Devil in Solitary is strong and watches Chris unceasingly. Bad things have happened in the past to those who have tried to root it out, and if Chris keeps pushing, he might be next. Thankfully, Chris isn’t alone in his fight, but he isn’t sure who to trust: Iris, the strange old lady who runs the inn where he works? Jared, his long-lost cousin? Poe, who used to be Jocelyn’s best friend? Sheriff Wells, who once told Chris to come to him with anything? As before, no one is forthcoming, and Chris must make his way blindly forward, hoping that this time, his decisions won’t result in his own or anyone else’s death. But evil is strong, and that hope may be in vain.

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

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2010-2019, 2011, Children & Young Adults, Henderson, Horror, Mountains, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Religious/Inspirational, Thrasher, Travis

Ashley Memory. Naked and Hungry. Banner Elk, NC: Ingalls Publishing Group, 2011.

H.  T. McMullen has been roughing it. Once a successful loan officer with an expensive house, car, and wife, he lost it all to the recession. Disillusioned with his formerly excessive existence, he builds a rickety cabin in the backwoods of his fictional hometown of Yatesville, North Carolina, set deep in the Smokies. McMullen is surprisingly happy living with minimal comforts and growing his own food, despite the uncomfortable proximity of his Bible-thumping, gambling mother. He has his prize motorcycle and an ill-tempered dog named Shorty for company. What more could a man need? But one day he pulls a bright purple fish out of the nearby pond, and his simple life begins to disintegrate.

It’s clear that someone is poisoning the surrounding environment, and H. T. McMullen aims to find out who. But it’s more than just a simple matter of cornering the perpetrators. They know H. T. is sniffing around and decide to send a brash message in the form of two bullets– one in H.T.’s leg, and one in his dog, who barely survives. H. T. sends a plea for help to a Raleigh-based environmental coalition, but he doesn’t really expect an answer. He is delightfully surprised when stunning environmental lawyer Jessica Beane shows up on his doorstep, ready to personally take on his complaint. McMullen hasn’t really thought about romance since his divorce, but something about Jessica and her long red hair makes him a bit distracted. Unfortunately, there isn’t much time for a budding affair, since someone is clearly out to silence him. Soon H. T. and Jessica are on the run, and up to their necks in both poisonous water and deadly killers.

Ashley Memory’s debut novel, Naked and Hungry is simultaneously a romance, an environmental thriller, and the story of a man’s attempt to reinvent himself in our shifting times.

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

1 Comment

Filed under 2010-2019, 2011, Memory, Ashley, Mountains, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Romance/Relationship, Suspense/Thriller

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.

1 Comment

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

Ellery Adams. The Last Word. New York: Berkley Prime Crime, 2011.

Oyster Bay, North Carolina, has changed Olivia Limoges. When she arrived a few years ago, people referred to her as “the grouchiest woman on the entire North Carolina coast.” Now she’s a fixture of this tight-knit community who is about to open a new restaurant with her long-lost half-brother, Hudson. She also leads the Bayside Book Writers group and is developing an meaningful relationship with the Chief of Police, Sawyer Rawlings. Although it’s hectic, the refined Olivia is content with the life that she has created, especially with the presence of her attentive poodle, Captain Haviland.

In the midst of planning menus, reworking drafts about Ramses the Great and his courtesan, Kamila, and helping Hudson and his wife, Kim, prepare for a new child, the unthinkable strikes Oyster Bay. Nick Plumley, a bestselling author who has just moved to the seaside town is found (by none other than Olivia) murdered. His book, The Barbed Wire Flower, described a horrifying scene at the nearby New Bern POW Camp in which two German prisoners escape after killing one of the guards; Plumley had hoped to do research along the coast for a sequel. As Olivia and the Bayside Book Writers help Chief Rawlings search for the reasons why someone would want the well-known writer dead, they discover a more sinister side to Plumley and his associates. Plumley’s murder also exposes long-buried secrets about one of their own that stun Olivia and Oyster Bay.

Check the availability of this title in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog, or start with the first two “Books by the Bay” mysteries, A Killer Plot and A Deadly Cliché.

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2010-2019, 2011, Adams, Ellery, Coast, Mystery, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places

Schweizer, Mark. The Tenor Wore Tapshoes. Tryon, NC: SJMP Books, 2005.

With writing that compares the rustling of a woman’s gown to the sounds of a cockroach rooting in a sugar-bowl, it’s safe to say that Police Chief Hayden Konig will never join the greats of American literature. Still, he insists on trying, even purchasing an old typewriter that once belonged to Raymond Chandler. Mr. Chandler, and his pipe, even show up on occasion to compliment Hayden’s efforts. Poor prose and ghostly sightings notwithstanding, Konig is an excellent police chief, and a talented organist at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in the small, sleepy mountain town of St. Germaine, North Carolina.

Hayden has just settled in from his last crime-solving adventure, which included the theft of a valuable diamond, a dead chorister, and multiple trips to England. You’d think that life would resume its leisurely pace, but this is just when St. Germaine chooses to get…interesting. First, there’s the body that parishoners discover hidden in the altar at St. Barnabas. Next, the local bakery produces a miraculous cinnamon bun in the shape of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which is soon stolen. Poor Hayden loses a bet with his beautiful girlfriend Meg, and is made to enroll in a program designed to help him discover his religious masculinity, known simply as the Iron Mike Men’s Retreat. As if this weren’t enough, an itinerant preacher blows into town with his large revival tent and a feathered assistant known as Binny Hen the Scripture Chicken, who helps him select passages from the Bible.

Reeling from the amount of insanity a small town can apparently inflict in such a short time, Chief Konig somehow also finds time to be troubled by the arrival of a charming attorney called Robert Brannon, who immediately worms his way into everyone’s heart, and the very center of church politics. Hayden is also perplexed by the crimes that have sprung up throughout the community–very specific crimes that seem to follow a popular hymn depicting the trials of the saints. Will Konig solve all, or any of these mysteries? More importantly, will he have time to pay attention to what, or who, really matters? And will she say yes?

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

Leave a Comment

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