Tag Archives: Journalists

A. L. Provost. The Trust of Old Men: The Coastal Plain Conspiracy. New York: Xlibris, 2010.

This complicated mystery, set in North Carolina during the Roaring Twenties, begins simply. UNC Hill freshman Alan Barksdale has labored diligently all first semester, with the dream of one day becoming a banker like his esteemed father, Marvin Barksdale. Mr. Barksdale is currently both the trust officer and manager of the enormously wealthy Commerce Bank in Raleigh due to the terrible death of the previous manager. Impatient to be reunited with his family for the winter holidays, young Barksdale hops in his brand-new, 1920 four-door Ford the minute classes end on the evening of December 20th. The snow falls thick and fast, and Alan tragically fails to see the young woman waving her hands in the middle of the road until it is too late. At least that’s what the Good Samaritan who stops to help tells the distraught young man.

Speaking of tragedy, seventeen wealthy, elderly men and women have passed away during 1920 on the Coastal Plain. But these deaths are no mystery: the Lenoir County Medical Examiner has carefully determined that each death was simply the result of age. Heart attacks, a misstep on the stairs, and falling overboard during fishing expeditions are only to be expected when men and women pass their seventies! Unfortunately for the departed, it’s possible that their ends were hastened by a lack of living kin on whom to spend their time and considerable fortunes–kin who might have prevented these accidents.

At first glance, no honest citizen would ever think that these deaths and Alan’s fatal car crash were related. But Norman Bates, a hotshot young reporter from Kinston, smells a rat. Now he’s on the tail of the biggest heist in North Carolina…maybe even America. But will he survive long enough to discover the truth?

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

 

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Filed under 2010, 2010-2019, Historical, Lenoir, Mystery, Provost, A. L., Suspense/Thriller, Wake

Chris Forman. Killer Cuisine. Lexington, KY: CreateSpace, 2011.

Ian Porthos Wallace feels lucky to live in the lovely (fictional) town of Port City on the coast of North Carolina. There, he makes his living as a local food critic and photographer, and indulges in his love for wearing the kilts of his Scottish ancestors whenever he can. He most definitely isn’t a detective, but because he tries his hand now and then at writing mystery novels, his friend Demos Spyros begs him to help solve a case. Their mutual friend Nick has been falsely accused of murdering his boss, chef Mitchell Reede, and Demos is convinced that Ian can prove Nick innocent. Ian isn’t so sure–he’s no professional gumshoe–but eventually he agrees to give it his best shot. It helps that Demos’s attractive sister, and Ian’s off-again-on-again girlfriend, Athena, owns a store near the crime scene. Athena, traumatized years ago by an abusive husband, has been more than a little distant up until now, but lately Ian is convinced that she’s making a real effort to open up to him.  The sensitive food-critic-turned-investigator does what he can to encourage her feelings, but he is distracted by the murder, which only gets more mysterious as the evidence piles up. Worst of all, it’s starting to look as though Athena’s no-good, abusive ex is back in town, and possibly involved with the crime. As the situation heats up, it’s all Ian can do to keep Athena safe and solve the mystery at the same time.

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

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2011, Coast, Forman, Chris, Mystery, New Hanover, Novels Set in Fictional Places

Deborah Wallis. Child’s Play. New Bern, NC: McBryde Publishing, 2011.

The subject matter of this book is every parent’s worst nightmare: the kidnapping of children by a pedophile ring. When Abby Weaver sees the Amber Alert message for a missing boy on her television, she wants to take action. Abby joins the group of volunteers looking for Garrett Morrow, hoping to give back to the community some of the kindness that she experienced when her husband died six months ago.  When another young boy is kidnapped and Garrett’s body is found, Abby’s thoughts turn to something else.  In an earlier book, Sweet Dreams & Flying Machines, Abby’s son, Chris, was almost abused by a pedophile. That experience has haunted Abby, and when she sees how much the kidnapped boys looked like each other and their resemblance to Chris, Abby injects herself into the investigation.  As a journalist, she knows how to talk to people, and her articles in the Raleigh newspaper give her visibility. Following a lead given her by an elderly woman, Abby and her friend Fran find where the boys have been kept, but the danger is far from over as Abby and Chris become targets of two men who want revenge.

Although parts of this book are chilling, there are some lighter moments, and the reappearance of NCIS special agent Brad Marshall left this reader wondering if future books in the series will include a new romance for Abby.

This is the second book in the Abby Weaver Mystery series.

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

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2011, Coast, Craven, Novels in Series, Onslow, Wallis, Deborah

Susan Donovan. Cheri on Top. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2011.

Cherise “Cheri” Newberry returns to her hometown just as Barbara Jean Smoot’s Impala is pulled from Paw Paw Lake. Cheri is back in Bigler, North Carolina after a wildly successful stint as a realtor in Tampa. Her beloved grandfather has asked her to come home to take over the family newspaper, the Bigler Bugle,  but Cheri expects to stay in the mountain community only for a month or two. Too much baggage remains in Bigler: her memories of being an ambitious, resourceful woman in a place that stifled her as she was growing up; fears that her parents’ death was her fault; and the still painful sting of losing her first true love, J.J. (now the Bugle‘s dashing editor). She just wants to get the paper running smoothly, and the discovery of the car owned by Smoot, a young woman who went missing in the 1950s, is sure to sell papers and make her return to Florida quicker.

As Cheri begins to sift through the Bugle‘s financial paperwork, she discovers something far worse than low readership. Thousands of dollars have been taken from the company, and that illegal deed is connected to Smoot’s murder. Fortunately for Cheri, she has reconciled with J.J., and their growing relationship gives her strength to confront the truth–and expose some of her own skeletons.

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

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2011, Donovan, Susan, Mountains, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Romance/Relationship

Richard Folsom. Indian Wood. [United States: BookSurge?], 2009.

Is it possible that three people were murdered because of something they found on an old reel of microfilm?  That’s what newspaperman Luther Surles wants to find out in this mystery that moves between the Court of Queen Elizabeth I and present day Greenville and Lumberton, North Carolina.

Carl Burden and Luther Surles met when they were covering a Klan rally in Robeson County in 1958. Carl was a cub reporter; Luther had been a newspaperman for a few years.  Luther stayed in journalism, but Carl went to graduate school and eventually became a history professor at East Carolina University.  Carl’s research interest is the Lost Colony and a possible connection between the colonists and the Lumbee Tribe.

Carl’s new graduate student, the lovely Roberta Locklear, is also interested in a Lost Colony-Lumbee connection, and soon both Carl’s research and his love life heat up.  But Roberta has her own history, and Luther begins to suspect that some piece of that ties into Carl’s murder.  This novel moves weaves stories of the wars, exploitation, and double-dealing of earlier centuries with a very twenty-first century story of property development and greed.  As a bonus, the book contains a novel-within-a-novel–Carl’s historical novella on the Lost Colony.

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

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2009, Coast, Coastal Plain, Cumberland, Dare, Folsom, Richard, Greene, Historical, Mystery, Robeson

J. Keith Jones. In Due Time. Hamilton, MI: White Feather Press, 2010.

As this novel opens, the American republic is getting a second chance.  Decades after the independent United States of America was absorbed into a world government, a rebel movement has ousted the globalists.  The rebels were led by Alexander Birch, a fighter from the mountains of North Carolina.  But while Birch is satisfied with the turn of events in the nation, a mysterious threat of a scandal is troubling him.  For help, he turns to another North Carolinian, the writer Howard Spence.  Through Spence, Birch and the reader learn the story of two young men, their unlikely friendship, the loves they find, the company they build, and the role they play in bringing liberty back to this country.  It’s a story of danger and personal betrayals, but also of  faith in the old values, courage–and time travel.

 

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

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Filed under 2010, 2010-2019, Jones, J. Keith, Mountains, Piedmont, Suspense/Thriller

Jeanne Webster. Strays. Fawnskin, CA: Personhood Press, 2011.

Jane is deeply unhappy. At 24, just starting out in life, she feels as though she has come to the end of the road. She lives with a smothering boyfriend in Atlanta, a city she dislikes, putting her dreams of being an author on hold just to make ends meet. She exists, but she does not live, no matter how hard she tries or prays for some kind of sign. No one answers. Things disintegrate further when she looses her job. With only a few hundred dollars in her bank account and feeling lost, she heads north to a cabin in the Smoky Mountains to regroup and get her life back on track. One wet, rainy day, she stops at a mountain outlook, thinking that if God is anywhere, surely she will find Him here. But the silence is louder than ever. Enraged and frightened, she pleads, screams, and threatens whatever is out there until a chance misstep sends her crashing onto the stony outcrop.

Waking with a large, throbbing lump, Jane is at first frightened and then bewildered to find that she has developed an interesting gift: she can understand the speech of animals and plants. Soon, a guide arrives: a tough and capable but compassionate stray mutt who calls himself Max. With Max as her companion, Jane slowly learns about the power that has always existed within her to change, to choose, and to fill her life with meaning. Together they wander the mountains, speaking with ancient trees, animals, and insects who share their purpose and wisdom with the two strays.

Jeanne Webster, a certified life coach, has written a narrative that is both a novel and a guide for those of us seeking our own passion and authenticity as human beings. Based around Native American stories she heard as a child, the plot is heavily focused on Jane’s, and by extension the reader’s, inner journey. As Jane finds her truth through the wisdom of the natural world, we begin to believe that such a transformation is possible for us as well. Readers will be particularly charmed by the sweet and lovable Max, a familiar figure of wisdom and grace to any friend of dogs.

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

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2011, Mountains, Religious/Inspirational, Webster, Jeanne

Deborah Wallis. Sweet Dreams and Flying Machines. New Bern, NC: McBryde Publishing, 2010.

What would you do if your husband died and no one will give you a straight answer about why it happened?

When Major Danny Weaver’s Harrier jet goes down during an air show at Cherry Point Marine Air Station everyone’s initial assumption is that it was a terrible accident.  Did a part break?  Was the maintenance check incomplete?  Was it pilot error?   Abby, Major Weaver’s widow, is relieved when the commanding officer tells her that a preliminary investigation has ruled out pilot error, but she is disturbed when he warns her to expect a prolonged investigation and some uncomfortable questions.  It seems that Danny’s unit is under investigation for an unspecified problem.

Abby had some hints that the unit had problems.  Not long after the unit returned from Iraq, Danny had words with another officer, and an enlisted man asked for Danny’s help with a personal problem that forced Danny to go up the chain of command.  Abby didn’t push Danny for details, but after his death she wished that she had.  Using the skills she learned as a reporter, Abby embarks on an investigation that exposes the dark side of several service members’ lives. She also puts herself and her young son in danger.

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

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Filed under 2010, 2010-2019, Carteret, Coast, Craven, Mystery, Novels in Series, Wallis, Deborah

Alice J. Wisler. Hatteras Girl. Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House Publishers, 2010.

Jackie Donovan is about to turn thirty and she still has not realized her two life-long goals: to be married to her soul mate and to own and operate a bed and breakfast at the old Bailey House. When she interviews Davis Erickson, a local Outer Banks real estate agent, for a magazine article, Jackie finds a charming, handsome bachelor who also happens to be the owner of the Bailey House. She shares her interest of the property with him, and they begin seeing each other. When Davis decides that Jackie has the right passion for the Bailey House, he offers her a rent-to-buy option. The catch is that she and Minnie, her best friend, must agree to run it exactly as his grandparents, the Baileys, had. The two women had been fond of the Baileys and are happy to continue their traditions, such as serving their special lemon cookies.

Just when Jackie begins to think that her situation is too good to be true, she realizes that it is. She catches Davis cheating on her, and her close friend, Buck, gives Jackie evidence that Davis is a dead-beat landlord. She enlists the help of her devoted family members, friends, and co-workers to expose Davis’s crimes. He quickly cowers at the threat of a damaged reputation and agrees to properly fix up the house. At last, just a few months after turning thirty, Jackie finds herself falling in love with Buck and the proprietor of the newly reopened Bailey House.

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

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Filed under 2010, 2010-2019, Coast, Dare, Romance/Relationship, Wisler, Alice J.

Cheris Fredricka Hodges. Searching for Paradise. San Jose: Writers Club Press, 2001.

Kenya Washington is just starting out as a journalist.  After a stint in Georgia, she is back in North Carolina, working in Greensboro.  She likes being back in the state where she went to college and feels that she is making some progress in her career, but her love life is stalled.  Her good friend, Drew, a DJ on an Atlanta radio station, is in a similar boat. Drew’s radio show is just taking off, but she is still within the orbit of her college boyfriend, Xavier.  Luckily for Drew, a young doctor has moved into the apartment next to hers.  Drew may find love, but what about Kenya?

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

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2001, Guilford, Hodges, Cheris F., Mecklenburg, Piedmont