Category Archives: Cabarrus


Caleb Wygal. A Murder in Concord. Baltimore: PublishAmerica, 2009.

concordLucas Caine thought that he was lucky to get a job with Fitzgerald, Incorporated in Concord, North Carolina right out of college. The Fitzgeralds–Trent Simon Fitzgerald II, and his father, Trent, Sr.–pay very well and Lucas has been proud to work for such a successful company.  Lucas is the personal assistant to Trent II, who runs the company; he handles his boss’s schedule and media interactions. Lucas thinks he knows his boss well, but everything that Lucas thinks he knows is called into question when he finds his boss shot to death in the company parking lot.

The murderer was someone with access to the very secure Fitzgerald, Inc. corporate compound. The police initially see Lucas as their prime suspect, in part because Lucas was the last person known to see Trent alive but also because Trent and the rest of the Fitzgeralds are such upstanding members of the Concord community.  To clear his name, Lucas looks into the circumstances of his boss’s death–why the security system went out and how someone could enter the parking lot undetected–and conflict within the Fitzgerald family.  What Lucas finds upends his view of his boss and changes his own life.


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

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2009, Cabarrus, Mystery, Piedmont, Wygal, Caleb

Erin McCarthy. Fast Track.

  • Flat-Out Sexy. New York: Berkley Sensation, 2008.
  • Hard and Fast. New York: Berkley Sensation, 2010.
  • Hot Finish. New York: Berkley Sensation, 2010.
  • The Chase. New York: Berkley Sensation, 2011.
  • Slow Ride. New York: Berkley Sensation, 2011.
  • Jacked Up. New York: Berkley Sensation, 2012.
  • Full Throttle. New York: Berkley Sensation, 2013.
  • Final Lap. New York: Berkley Sensation, 2014.

The motorsports industry is reported to pump $4 billion into the economy of the Charlotte metro area–that means lots of jobs beyond just racers and their pit crews.  That wider circle of racing is present in Erin McCarthy’s Fast Track series.  The drivers—all hot, hot, hot—share their high-pressure world with journalists, PR consultants, team owners, sponsors, hangers-on, and even a few academics.  Each book features two people who are clearly attracted to each other but whose path to happily-ever-after is complicated things such as professional jealousies, previous relationships, pride, and Mars/Venus misunderstandings.  Snappy repartee and sexy scenes are standard elements of this series, but some of the novels include as plot elements serious subjects such as adult illiteracy and alcoholism.  The novels are loosely connected in that some characters–especially the Monroe brothers–appear in several books, but each book can stand on its own–and each one is a wild, fun ride.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2010-2019, Cabarrus, McCarthy, Erin, Mecklenburg, Novels in Series, Piedmont, Romance/Relationship, Series

Erin McCarthy. Hot Finish. New York: Berkley Sensation, 2010.

Ryder Jefferson and his feisty ex-wife, Suzanne, take center stage in this third book in McCarthy’s Fast Track series.  Suzanne has her hands full planning an over-the-top wedding for a race car driver and his bridezilla fiancée.  After a stint on the board of a medical charity, Suzanne’s heart just isn’t in wedding planning anymore, but she has to keep at it.  Suzanne is close to broke, without a steady income or alimony from Ryder.

Ryder would be happy to pay alimony to Suzanne.  He considers himself an openhanded man, and he is concerned about Suzanne’s financial security.  But there’s more to it than that.  He still has feelings for Suzanne and wishes that he tried harder to keep her.  In the parlance of his profession, he thinks he quit the race a few laps too soon.

But fate may give them another chance.  For the past few months, Suzanne has been enlisting Ryder’s help with the matchmaking she’s done for some friends; Ryder is to be a groomsman in bridezilla’s wedding; and on top of that, it turns out that the paperwork for their divorce is incomplete.  Suzanne and Ryder are still legally married!  As the story unfolds, readers learn the history of Ryder and Suzanne’s marriage and the source of Suzanne’s prickliness.  The character development is particularly good  in Hot Finish, but the book also delivers the snappy repartee and sexy scenes that are standard elements of  this series.

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

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Filed under 2010, 2010-2019, Cabarrus, McCarthy, Erin, Mecklenburg, Novels in Series, Piedmont, Romance/Relationship

Janet Evanovich. Motor Mouth. New York: HarperCollins, 2006.

At the opening of Evanovich’s second Alexandra “Barney” Barnaby thriller, Barney is just finishing up her first season as a mechanic and spotter for her NASCAR-driving ex-boyfriend, Sam Hooker. While watching the season’s last race in Florida, she becomes convinced that one of the teams is cheating. Her suspicions–combined with the bumbling of a desperate friend and co-worker–lead her and Hooker to “borrow” an 18-wheeler carrying two racecars and a shrink-wrapped corpse and starts them on an action-packed adventure that includes stops in Concord, NC. Quirky characters abound, including Beans the drooling St. Bernard. The action in the series’ first book, Metro Girl, takes place mainly in South Florida.

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

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2006, Cabarrus, Evanovich, Janet, Novels in Series, Piedmont, Suspense/Thriller

Buddy Strickland. Dreamweaver. Indian Trail, N.C.: Dreamweaver Publishing, 2006.

This part-memoir, part-novel alternates the story of Buddy, a southern boy growing up in the 1940s, with a fictional recreation of the lives of Lea and Amos, Buddy’s Cherokee ancestors. Through the two stories readers can learn about the enslavement of Native Americans, mill village life, and mid-twentieth century Southern popular culture.

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

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2006, Cabarrus, Historical, Piedmont, Rowan, Strickland, Buddy