Tag Archives: Lumbee

Ellery Adams. Written in Stone. New York: Berkley Prime Crime, 2012.

Written in StoneWhen Oyster Bay’s gossipy diner proprietor Dixie relays a message to Olivia Limoges from the reclusive witch of Oyster Bay, Olivia laughs it off as a bunch of hocus-pocus and horoscopes. The witch, Munin Cooper, wants Olivia to pay her a visit. Olivia is a successful restaurateur and aspiring author. She is a woman who takes care of herself and her constant companion, Captain Haviland, a standard poodle. However, when Olivia discovers that Munin Cooper inexplicably knows a private detail about her deceased mother she decides to brave the journey across the swamp to hear out the witch’s message.

According to local lore, the witch requires her visitors to relinquish their most precious belongings in exchange for her help. Most of Munin’s visitors are just desperate enough to part with their possessions. Tucked away in her shack, Munin embeds those trinkets and mementos into memory jugs. A memory jug serves as “a scrapbook made with found objects” that represent an individual’s life. Munin is an eerie figure. A member of the Lumbee Indian tribe, she lives in primitive but self-sufficient isolation and decorates herself with jewelry fashioned from teeth and small animal bones. She warns Olivia that death surrounds her and that she should protect herself and her friends before any terrible events occur. To help her fend off death, Munin gives Olivia her final memory jug. Despite her otherworldly wisdom, Munin does not realize that death will seek her out first. A park ranger finds her drowned in a stream shortly after Olivia’s visit.

After she learns of Munin’s passing, Olivia refuses to believe that the witch died from natural causes, so she urges Police Chief Rawlings to examine the case further. Because Munin lived in a different county, Rawlings cannot influence the ruling of accidental death. But Olivia knows it was murder and she has all the evidence she needs to solve the crime thanks to the memory jug. In order to identify the killer, she must first understand the relationships among the keepsakes in the jug. With the Coastal Carolina Food Festival gearing up, Olivia is overwhelmed with her restaurant, The Boot Top Bistro. Yet with her life and the lives of her friends in question, she juggles supervising her business and sleuthing a murder. As the web of connections grows clear and clearer, Olivia is shocked by what she unearths.

Novelist Ellery Adams delivers another absorbing mystery for her “Books by the Bay” series. Adams tantalizes her audience with snippets of Olivia’s mysterious back story. She supplies an enigmatic mix of details that will leave readers curious for the full explanation. Moreover, her lush descriptions of food are enough to make your mouth water and your stomach growl. This book should probably be read on a full stomach. For readers interested in more, consult three of the Read North Carolina Novels previous blog posts on Adams’ work: A Killer Plot, A Deadly Cliché, and The Last Word.

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

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2012, Adams, Ellery, Coast, Mystery, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places

Marcia Gruver. Raider’s Heart. Uhrichsville, OH: Barbour Publishing, 2011.

Back in the early 1850s, Silas McRae was a no-good thief and a charlatan. He had to be: despite having the surname name “McRae” he and his family, like other Lumbee residents of Robeson County, North Carolina, were looked down on and scorned by most North Carolinians. Now it’s 1871, and as an older man with a family, Silas regrets his thieving ways. But his greatest regret is the loss of a beautiful golden lamp, stolen from a rich Fayetteville home one fateful night in 1852. Silas has told the tale repeatedly to his two boys, Hooper and Duncan: how beautiful the lamp was, and how Silas was sure that its strange shape held a genie that would answer all of his problems. When Hooper and Duncan hear from a cousin that the lamp might have found its way to the family of a wealthy local planter, how can they resist stopping by to acquire it?

It seems like a simple job of thievery, but the boys don’t count on the feisty Dawsey Wilkes, the (supposedly) gently raised daughter of Colonel Gerrard Wilkes. Dawsey apprehends the criminals in the act of stealing her father’s precious lamp, but the situation goes terribly awry for all parties involved, and somehow the McRaes end up kidnapping Dawsey. But the trouble is just beginning. When the McRaes arrive home in Scuffletown with Dawsey, they discover that she is the spitting image of their little sister Ellie, who is exactly the same age. Are the two girls twins? And could the beautiful, haughty Dawsey ever fall for the likes of Hooper McRae? What unfolds is a tale of danger, unexpected family, and romance. This first novel in Gruver’s Backwoods Brides series charts a stormy course through the racially charged history of Reconstruction era Robeson County.

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

 

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2011, Gruver, Marcia, Historical, Novels in Series, Piedmont, Robeson, Romance/Relationship

Richard Helms. Thunder Moon. Detroit, MI: Five Star, 2011.

Police Chief Judd Wheeler is a man’s man. He would like nothing better than to have a cold beer while grilling some juicy steaks, spend quality time with his smart and sassy girlfriend, and run the small town of Prosperity in Bliss County, North Carolina with a firm yet fair hand. But during the hot summers, when the air lies like a humid weight on the wilting farmland, folks get as unpredictable as heat lightning. Teenagers have idle hands, tempers shorten, and air conditioners quit at the worst possible moments. It’s nothing Chief Wheeler can’t deal with…usually.

But this summer is different. A star football player named Steve Samples is brutally hacked to death in a home he’s renting from the mayor, who happens to be Judd’s closest friend. A convicted sex offender wants to settle down and build a home, making his neighbors uneasy. Two biker gangs, the Outlaws and the Vandals, start a turf war. Alvin Cross, an itinerant preacher, blows into town and starts riling up Prosperity’s residents over all the sin in their midst, with possibly violent consequences. Worst of all, Chief Wheeler suspects that these events are somehow related, but can’t quite see how. He knows things might get clearer if he could get his hands on the good-for-nothing Ricky Chasen, a murderous young man whose name keeps coming up in ominous ways, but Chasen is as elusive as a shadow.

Will Chief Wheeler be able to keep Prosperity from dissolving into a hotbed of crime and murder? Who killed Steve Samples? What is the preacher’s  true agenda? As the summer wears on and Judd gets closer to the truth, he finds himself living in the cross hairs of a killer…or several. Find out what happens in Richard Helms’ second Judd Wheeler mystery, the explosively named and natured Thunder Moon.

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

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2011, Helms, Richard, Mystery, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Piedmont, Suspense/Thriller

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

Lisa Klein. Cate of the Lost Colony. New York: Bloomsbury, 2010.

The death of Catherine Archer’s father in 1583 prompts Queen Elizabeth to invite her to Whitehall to be one of her maids of honor. While in London, Catherine (nicknamed Cat by the Queen) meets Sir Walter Ralegh and becomes enchanted by him. The two secretly begin writing poems of love to each other, and Catherine dreams of joining him in the New World.

However, Catherine and Ralegh’s clandestine relationship comes to a quick end when the queen finds the letters and abruptly sends Catherine to the Tower of London as punishment for her betrayal. Later, thinking that she has found an even stiffer penalty, Queen Elizabeth orders her prisoner to the Virginia settlement. Although the queen believes this to be a hard sentence, Catherine is excited to see America – even if she is without Ralegh.

After enduring months at sea, Cate (as she likes to be called now) and the rest of the Roanoke Island settlers arrive in the New World. Unfortunately, relations between the English and the Native Americans are tense. Conditions are not what were expected, and the expedition leaders return to London for aid, promising to return quickly. Cate works with Manteo, the Croatan translator, in trying to mediate between the two groups. Manteo and Cate feel a mutual understanding, and a trusting relationship develops between them.  Although the English fight in the beginning, they soon realize that while they wait for rescue they must live peacefully among the Croatans to survive.

Three years after Cate and her fellow settlers arrived on Roanoke Island, an English ship carrying their rescuers arrive. However, they are happy living among the Croatans and refuse to return to England. Although their rescuers, including Sir Walter Ralegh, do not understand why they are determined to stay, they depart without them. It is agreed that the Englishmen will not speak of their interaction with the settlers, simply saying that they were not found and their fate is a mystery.

This story is recounted through the perspectives of Catherine Archer, Sir Walter Ralegh, and Manteo. Lisa Klein provides an interesting ending to the tale of the Lost Colony.

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

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Filed under 2010, 2010-2019, Children & Young Adults, Coast, Dare, Historical, Klein, Lisa

T. Lynn Ocean. Southern Fatality. New York : St. Martin’s Minotaur, 2007.

At the opening of Southern Fatality, Jersey Barnes retires from the day-to-day business of her security firm to concentrate on her other Wilmington business, a pub called the Barter’s Block. She has plans for living a (more) quiet life and maybe even marrying her boyfriend, a model named Bill. When Bill asks her to use her security expertise to help an old friend catch her cheating husband, she reluctantly agrees and quickly finds herself caught up in a case that involves computer crimes, kidnapping, huge amounts of money, and murder. Along for the ride are Jersey’s business partner Ox, her dog Cracker, her pill-trading, poker-playing father, and a computer hacker named Soup.

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

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2007, Coast, Humor, Mystery, New Hanover, Novels in Series, Ocean, T. Lynn, Romance/Relationship

T. Lynn Ocean. Southern Poison. New York: St. Martin’s Minotaur, 2008.

Although she has been out of the anti-terrorist game for five years, the small print on Jersey Barnes’ government contract says that she can be recalled into service at any time. When her old handler shows up in her pub, she ends up working undercover. While looking for suspicious activity at an ammunition port outside Wilmington, Jersey uncovers one terrorist plot. But the obvious target isn’t the only one, and she stumbles upon a different scheme that hits much closer to home. In the meantime, she just begins exploring the possibility of a romance with Ox, her sexy friend and business partner, when his daughter and ex-wife arrive in town. This is the second of the Jersey Barnes mysteries and among the returning characters are computer-hacker Soup; Jersey’s dad, Spud; and her white lab, Cracker.

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

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2008, Coast, Humor, Mystery, New Hanover, Novels in Series, Ocean, T. Lynn, Romance/Relationship, Suspense/Thriller

Waldron Baily. The Homeward Trail. New York: W. J. Watt & Co., 1916.

David Simmons and Ruth Swaim were childhood playmates, growing up on adjacent farms by the Yadkin River. Their parents assumed that the young people would some day wed, but when David bungles a sale of Mr. Swaim’s apples, he leaves the area. David’s plan is to earn the money to repay Mr. Swaim. Thus begin a picaresque tale in which David encounters an escaped Union prisoner and an Indian princess. David enjoys his time among the Croatan Indians (Lumbees) and comes to love the Princess Elizabeth. That in itself is a complicated situation, but the plot thickens when the Union soldier turns up where Ruth is staying and tells her about David’s new love. Ruth goes to David, and overhears David confess to Elizabeth his prior relationship with Ruth. Ruth and David recognize that their future is together, but leaving the Croatan settlement proves difficult.

Check this title’s availability and access an online copy through the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 1910-1919, 1916, Baily, Waldron, Novels to Read Online, Piedmont

J.D. Rhoades. The Devil’s Right Hand. New York: St. Martin’s, 2005.

Jack Keller is a bail bondsman and a veteran of the first Gulf War. Still scarred by memories of battle, his life doesn’t get any easier when he’s caught in the middle of a violent struggle in Fayetteville. Jack is on the trail of an elusive bail-jumper who has just murdered a local Lumbee man whose vengeful sons compete with Jack to see who can catch the fleeing killer first. To make things even more complicated, the Fayetteville police department seems to have it in for Jack, so that while he pursues his quarry he’s forced to stay one step ahead of the law. This is the first in Rhoade’s series of Jack Keller thrillers.

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

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2005, Coastal Plain, Cumberland, Novels in Series, Rhoades, J.D., Suspense/Thriller

Josephine Humphreys. Nowhere Else on Earth. New York: Viking, 2000.

Set in Robeson County in the final days of the Civil War, sixteen-year-old Rhoda Lawson tells the story of the last desperate struggle to resist the Union Army. General William Tecumseh Sherman’s army was on its way, and the local Home Guard was rounding up everyone they could for the fight. The local Lumbee Indians, however, wanted no part in a war whose aims they had opposed. When Henry Berry Lowrie comes to help Rhoda’s brothers hide from the Home Guard, she falls in love with him, and leaves to live with the outlaws. Lowrie is an actual historical figure, and the events of this novel are based in part on his life.

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

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Filed under 2000, 2000-2009, Coastal Plain, Historical, Humphreys, Josephine, Robeson