Sharyn McCrumb is an aware winning southern author. The below is from her web site:
"She is best known for her Appalachian "Ballad" novels, set in the North Carolina/Tennessee mountains, including New York Times Best Sellers She Walks These Hills and The Rosewood Casket, which deal with the issue of the vanishing wilderness, and The Ballad of Frankie Silver, the story of the first woman hanged for murder in the state of North Carolina; and The Songcatcher, a genealogy in music, tracing the author's family from 18th century Scotland to the present by following a Scots Ballad through the generations. Ghost Riders, an account of the Civil War in the mountains of western North Carolina, won the Wilma Dykeman Award for Literature given by the East Tennessee Historical Society."
These are excellent books, I have read most of them.
McCrumb's ballad novels are quiet, understated, and nicely done. They are not always the most polished books in terms of writing or plot development, but they tell interesting stories and have a deep appreciation of the people, language, and customs of the area. The recurring characters are real and likeable--Martha, for one, struggling in this book with her high school reunion insecurities, will resonate with many readers. A good series.
Another story from the perspective of the local sheriff's department in Hamelin, TN. A country singer moves to this town, and she begins to receive threatening postcards. Parallel stories involve one of the sheriff deputies. Good descriptions of the countryside. Good writing--engaging--made me want to keep reading to see how the story would turn out.
On e of my favorite mystery writers
Very good, and it is a quick read. I do love the Ballad books, but missed Nora Bonesteel, in this one.
One of the Ballad series. Love it! fast read.
A once famous folk singer arrives in the tiny mountain town of Hamlin, Tennessee, and is soon being stalked by what appears to be her former singing partner, left behind when she made it big and supposedly killed in Viet Name. Good read.
Sheriff Spencer Arrowood keeps the peace in his small Tennessee town most of the time. Every once in a while, though, something goes wrong. When 1960's folksinger Peggy Muryan moves to town seeking solitude and a career comeback, she receives a postcard with a threatening messge and her idyll is shattered. Then a local girl who looks like Peggy vanishes without a trace. Although she was once famous, Peggy has no fondness for the old times. Those days are best left forgotten for Spencer Arrowood, too. But sometimes the past can't rest, and those who try to forget it are doomed to relive it.
For McCrumb fans, beware. The first novel in this series is more serious than the Elizabeth McPherson series. And, in my opinion, is much better too.
It is 1986 and two terrible events are about to happen in a small town in Tennessee. First, there will be murders of animals and people that seem to be related to the war in Viet Nam. Second, and perhaps worse, there will be a twenty year reunion of the 1966 high school class, bringing together all the people you envied and despised 20 years ago. Some memories are best forgotten.
As a Viet Nam vet myself, I was impressed with McCrumb's treatment of the veterans in this novel. And with the character of the county sheriff who struggles with the sudden deaths in his community, which seem to be related to both Viet Nam and the appearance of a somewhat, has been, female folk signer from the 60s who has resettled in his town and may be the new love of his life.
Clues are given early on and throughout the book as to who the killer is. It was only toward the end, before the final confrontation, that one clue slapped me in the face and I realized who I had so completed ignored.
A review of the books in this series on the Fantastic Fiction Web site reveals that the plots in the remaining books in the series are spun around the thread of folk songs, as was this one. Not my cup of tea, so I'll pass on these. Still, McCrumb fans will surely enjoy them. But I recommend this first novel to Viet Nam vets who also enjoy mystery novels.
I enjoyed the book, but I would have ended it differently.
A mystery writers of America award book
I was engaged by the introspection of the characters. Intriguing mystery twist to a lost song.
Sheriff Spencer Arrowood should have been enjoying his high school reunion with 1060's folk star on his arm. But murder and memories of Vietnam continue to interfere. A really good mystery.
This is the first of McCrumb's impressive Ballad series.
Tis is a great ballad novel of the folks who lived in the mountains of North Carolina. It has a folk=song charm and warm, friendly unusual characters.
Another good read by Sharyn McCrumb! I'm really getting addicted to her books. In this one a 60's folksinger is terrorized by someone unknown. His threatening messages contain lines from her little known mountain songs. Good one!
Like all her books this one is wonderful!
It was a pretty good book