Tag Archives: Moonshining

Margaret Maron. Bootlegger’s Daughter. New York: Mysterious Press, 1992.

Lawyer Deborah Knott is a modern southern woman, but as the only daughter of a notorious, retired bootlegger, she still has one foot in the traditions of the old south. After one of the local judges is particularly and unnecessarily harsh on one of her partner’s clients, she decides to run for a seat as district judge in Colleton County. The campaign is a hard one, but Deborah is also distracted by her large family and gets tangled up in trying to resolve the 18-year old unsolved murder of a neighbor. The first in the Deborah Knott series of mysteries, Bootlegger’s Daughter also won four of the major mystery awards: the Edgar, Anthony, Agatha, & Macavity Awards.

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

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Filed under 1990-1999, 1992, Coastal Plain, Maron, Margaret, Mystery, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places

Catherine Marshall. Christy. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1967.

After hearing a missionary doctor speak about his work in the Great Smokies, nineteen year-old, Christy Huddleston volunteers to be a mission teacher. She leaves her home and well-to-do family in Asheville and travels to the remote Cutter’s Gap, a place that does not take easily to outsiders. She faces numerous challenges related to both the place and the people of rural Appalachia–including the lack of modern conveniences, the influence of folk beliefs and superstitions, moonshining, and the community’s abject poverty–but her faith sustains her. Miss Alice, the missionary who founded the school, helps her and she is romantically torn between two men: minister David and the locally-born Dr. MacNeill. Most of the book’s action takes place in Cutter’s Gap, which is actually based on the community of Morgan Branch, located just over the border in Tennessee in the Cherokee National Forest. Based on the life of the author’s mother, Christy has inspired a television series of the same name, as well as several TV movies.

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

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Filed under 1960-1969, 1967, Buncombe, Historical, Marshall, Catherine, Mountains, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Religious/Inspirational, Romance/Relationship

Payne Erskine. A Girl of the Blue Ridge. Boston: Little, Brown, and Co., 1915.

Lurry Bab’s future is bleak, almost Dickensian. When Lurry’s mother dies from her husband’s violence and neglect, Lurry takes her infant brother and runs away from home. Daniel McEwen, an old hermit who rescues Lurry, had a history with Lurry’s late mother. There are many connections among the mountaineers–those on the side of the law and those who make moonshine–and these connections come out during the course of the novel. Lurry is torn between what is left of her family–violent and drunken though they are–and a better life at a settlement school. Dave Turpin, a sometime assistant to the moonshiners, also moves back and forth between the moonshiners and the villagers. Lurry and Dave are attracted to each other, but when Dave is accused of murdering Lurry’s father, a happy life together looks unlikely.

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, 1915, Coast, Erskine, Payne, Mountains, Novels to Read Online

Waldron Baily. June Gold. New York: W. J. Watt & Co., 1922.

It’s rare to find a novel about the illegal liquor trade in North Carolina that isn’t set in the mountains. This is that rare novel. It’s a prohibition era romance set around Bogue Banks. When one of their friends is blinded by bad liquor, a group of New York financiers decided to use a hunting preserve on Bogue Banks as a way station for their rum running. Lora Humphrey falls for one of the New Yorkers and spurns the attentions of a local coast guards man. Her jilted suitor seeks revenge by mobilizing the religious folks in the area against the liquor trade. When Lora takes her New Yorker to a revival they are singled out for condemnation; a well-described brawl ensues. As the locals start taking sides, Lora occupies herself helping a minister’s daughter and searching for long-buried treasure. All the plot lines come together in the end; along the way, the reader gets a good sense of the local geography.

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

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Filed under 1920-1929, 1922, Baily, Waldron, Carteret, Coast, Novels to Read Online, Onslow, Romance/Relationship

Susan Whitfield. Just North of Luck. West Conshohocken, PA: Infinity Publishing, 2007.

In Just North of Luck, the second book in the Logan Hunter mystery series, new SBI agent Logan trades the beach for the Blue Ridge Mountains. Her first assignment is to expose a moonshine ring in fictional Moss County, but after a school janitor is brutally murdered in the town of Trust, she offers to help with that investigation as well. As time passes, the deaths of more school employees have Logan and a local detective searching for a serial killer. In addition to murder and moonshine, Logan also uncovers a local meth producer and faces some of the ghosts from her past.

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

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2007, Madison, Mountains, Mystery, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Whitfield, Susan

J. G. Clinkscales. How Zach Came to College. Spartanburg, SC: W. F. Barnes, 1903.

Zach Whetsone, a lad from Rutherford County, happens to be selling his produce in Spartanburg, South Carolina one spring day when the commencement exercises at Wofford College are taking place. Zach is inspired by the event and later returns to Wofford as a student. As a poor mountaineer, Zach has to overcome many obstacles to complete his degree. When he finally does, he returns home to marry his true love, preach, teach, and start a high school. Zach is presented as an admirable figure: working hard, caring for his widowed mom, staying true to his love, and speaking out for national reconciliation, but his racial attitudes (or, those of the author) will offend many readers.

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

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Filed under 1900-1909, 1903, Clinkscales, J. G., Mountains, Novels to Read Online, Rutherford

Ethel and James Dorrance. Flames of the Blue Ridge. New York: Macaulay Co., 1919.

Calvin Parker is a New York artist who likes his drink–too much. A friend, Spencer Pope, tries to save Parker by sending him to dry out in the North Carolina mountains. It’s a little unbelievable that Pope, an internal revenue agent, didn’t know of the moonshine culture in Dismal Gap. Parker’s landlady is a stalwart dry campaigner and she is thrilled to have one of Mr. Pope’s associates boarding with her. So there’s the set-up: Parker wants a drink, but all the local moonshiners thinks he’s a revenuer. Parker’s romantic interest in Vernaluska Metcalf, a moonshiner’s daughter, adds a complication to the plot. Of course, it’s Parker’s love for the fair Verney that saves him–and her bootlegger dad.

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Filed under 1910-1919, 1919, Dorrance, Ethel and James, Mountains, Novels to Read Online

David Smith Hubbell. Flat Rock Harvest. Chapel Hill, NC: Chapel Hill Press, 2006.

For Doug, a medical student from Durham, finding a summer job during the depression years is a difficult task. He travels west and eventually finds a position at a pharmacy in Hendersonville, where he pours sodas and sells tonics. As he becomes more a part of the town, he also becomes involved in two more controversial, and certainly very illegal, activities: moonshining and abortion. The author Thomas Wolfe makes a brief appearance and there are recurring references to his book Look Homeward, Angel.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2006, Henderson, Historical, Hubbell, David Smith, Mountains

Herbert Carter. The Boy Scouts in the Blue Ridge, or, Marooned among the Moonshiners. New York: A.L. Burt Co., 1913.

Eight Boy Scouts from the North spend the summer hiking and camping in the North Carolina mountains. They encounter moonshiners, rescue two captives, and reform the area’s most notorious bootlegger. During the course of the book, a good bit of Scouting philosophy and practice is displayed.

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Filed under 1910-1919, 1913, Carter, Herbert, Mountains, Novels to Read Online

Clarence Monroe Wallin. Gena of the Appalachians. New York: Cochrane Publishing, 1910.

Gena Filson’s life is hard after her parents die and her brothers move west. She becomes the hired girl in the household of Jase Dillenburger were she works from sunup to sundown. When old Jase is arrested for moonshining, Gena’s life improves. She gains land, goes to college, and marries a good, church-going man.

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Filed under 1910, 1910-1919, Children & Young Adults, Mountains, Novels to Read Online, Wallin, Clarence Monroe