In this column we feature books and authors with regional appeal to Western North Carolina and more broadly, with a strong sense of place in the Southeast. Place any of these on hold at the library through the NC Cardinal catalog.
For thrills and chills, a reclusive woman in a Blue Ridge Mountain stopover meets a foreigner in Ways to Hide in Winter
. A new mystery series launches with The Widows
by Jess Montgomery, featuring two women pursuing justice in the Appalachian coalfields. For readers of dark mysteries with rich settings like Greg Iles, John McMahon introduces a flawed cop, unable to make good decisions after a family tragedy, in another series debut called The Good Detective
. For psychological suspense with strong family themes like Jodi Picoult or Diane Chamberlain, The Liar’s Child
by Carla Buckley presents a woman in the witness protection program, marooned on the Outer Banks as a hurricane approaches, forced to rescue two children with problems of their own.
In more mysteries, the Blue Ridge Library Mystery series continues with Past Due for Murder
, and the Lighthouse Library mystery has a new installment called Something Read, Something Dead
coming in March. For the horse crowd, the 11th book in a Rita Mae Brown series is out featuring human and animal characters set in Virginia hunt country with Homeward Hound
There’s a handful of promising titles in a spring crop of Southern historical fiction. Donna Everhart’s Forgiving Kind
describes a North Carolina farm family in the 1950s, the mother is forced to marry a wealthy but bigoted neighbor when 12-year old Sonny’s father dies. A story about Charlotte in the 1960’s by Anna Jean Mayhew, Tomorrow's Bread
looks at a changing black neighborhood facing urban renewal, displacement, and shifting relationships in the community. In North Carolina author Rebecca Davis’ Amidst this Fading Light
a new family in town is the subject of a devastating crime in the Depression-era Piedmont.
For gentle reads about women’s relationships, Low Country Hero
is a clean romance set in Safe Haven, South Carolina about a woman fleeing her abuser and finding a new life. Lauren Denton has a book about 3 generations of women living in the same Alabama town called Glory Road
. In a blend of romance and mystery, Ellen Crosby continues her Virginia Wine Country series with Harvest of Secrets
For popular and literary picks, in a book about being born in the South but being treated like a foreigner in The Atlas of Reds and Blues
, Devi Laskar writes in short vignettes from the perspective of an unnamed narrator, based on her own experience of a home invasion. In True Places
by Sonja Yoerg, a woman driving on the Blue Ridge Parkway encounters a nearly feral girl and takes her in, and as it turns out they have a lot to learn from each other. For a book about counterculture in Western North Carolina, it’s not clear at first what’s going on in The Ash Family
by Molly Dektar, when a girl joins an intentional community, trading identity for belonging.
Thanks for reading!
- Ed Graves, Branch & Collection Coordinator