Sharyn McCrumb Books In Order

Publication Order of Elizabeth MacPherson Books

Sick of Shadows (1984) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Lovely in Her Bones (1985) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Highland Laddie Gone (1986) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Paying the Piper (1988) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Windsor Knot (1990) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Missing Susan (1991) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
MacPherson's Lament (1992) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
If I'd Killed Him When I Met Him... (1995) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The PMS Outlaws (2000) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Bombs Of The Death Sun Books

Bimbos of the Death Sun (1987) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Zombies of the Gene Pool (1992) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Ballad Books

If Ever I Return, Pretty Peggy-O (1990) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter (1992) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
She Walks These Hills (1994) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Rosewood Casket (1996) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Ballad of Frankie Silver (1998) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Songcatcher (2001) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Ghost Riders (2003) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Devil Amongst the Lawyers (2010) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Ballad of Tom Dooley (2011) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
King's Mountain (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Nora Bonesteel's Christmas Past (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Prayers the Devil Answers (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

St. Dale (2005) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Once Around the Track (2007) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Faster Pastor (2010) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Short Story Collections

Our Separate Days (1989) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Foggy Mountain Breakdown and Other Stories (1997) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Fairy Tale Princesses of the Civil War: Rattler and Celtic Magic (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Anthologies

Malice Domestic 7 (1998) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Sharyn McCrumb's Appalachia (2011) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

The most successful authors are those that can find their own voice and unique identity. Sharyn McCrumb is that author. McCrumb, a Virginia native, stands to claim that the American south is a mix of cultures, not simply one. From a young age, she noticed the differences between what she calls the “flatland people” and the “mountain people.” McCrumb was frustrated that the south was primarily represented by plantation culture. Because of this, her work is focused around the lives of the early mountain people; the culture she feels more apart of. With the backdrop of the Appalachian Mountains, this celebrated author commands the hearts of her readers to investigate the often forgotten, often heartbreaking lives of the people that came before her.

Almost all of McCrumb’s novels are set in the American Appalachian Mountain range. In these books, McCrumb explores the relationship between the people of this region and how they interact with the natural world around them. For some of her characters, like Katie Wyler of She Walks These Hills, the mountains are a force of nature to be feared but retain their breathtaking beauty. In King’s Mountain, the landscape is the site of a momentous victory that proved the resilience of the southern people.

One of her most successful pieces was St. Dale. This modernized retelling of The Canterbury Tales follows the lives of Nascar fanatics, as they seek to honor the immortalized NASCAR racer Dale Earnhardt. This piece shows how playful McCrumb can be. By modernizing this classic, she made it so much more accessible for the people around her. It’s filled with zany and eccentric southern flare, and an original cast of characters to match. She was able to apply her own life to this very old piece of literature. St. Dale was made the AWA Book of the Year. She followed this book with two more in her NASCAR series; Once Around the Track and Faster Pastor

Some consider McCrumb a historian. She takes great lengths in her research to ensure her books are historically accurate. Unlike a history text book, McCrumb humanizes American history. She is able to use her characters to show how wars, industry, and advances in technology affected everyday American citizens. When a history teacher talks about the Civil War, they can say how many lives were lost. But McCrumb takes it further, giving a name to the dead and how the death affected those who loved them. She also makes it a point to not only cover White American History, but also Native American History. She is at the forefront of southern historical fiction.

Like many authors, McCrumb draws inspiration from her own family history. Both of her grandfathers were what is known as “circuit preachers.” In the early 1900’s, they rode on horseback from town to town spreading the word of the Lord. Hearing the stories of their adventures set a passionate fire within her to become a story teller as well, spreading the culture of her region. Her own family was a mix of southern culture, with her mother and father coming from two very different worlds. McCrumb pushes against the “unwritten rules” from her mother’s culture, while giving dignity to her father’s more simple ways.

McCrumb is a rule breaker. She wants to tackle tough subjects for what they are. For instance, in her New York Times Best Seller The Ballad of Tom Dooley, she takes on the centuries old murder trial of Laura Foster. This was not a pretty story. In fact, McCrumb does everything she can to make it as gritty as the actual lives affected by this murder. It starts with the teenaged affair between Tom and Ann Foster. As a matter of stability, she marries and older farmer. Tom decides to try and make a name for himself by signing up to fight in the Confederate Army. Upon his return, the affair between them only rekindles. Fearing judgement from their community, Ann instigates an affair between Tom and Laura’s cousin Pauline. This way, people will assume Tom is visiting Pauline in the home, which is less scandalous as Pauline is unwed. Tom then spreads syphilis between Ann, Pauline, and their other cousin Laura. Soon after, Laura Foster was found murdered in an abandoned farm stead. Was Laura killed by her lover, or one of her jealous cousins? So many authors would be tempted to spice up this tale with romance, but McCrumb breaks the mold by portraying this circle of people as vaguely dispassionate country folk simply using each other for pleasure. McCrumb is bold. This novel was met with great success thanks to the hard work McCrumb put into its research. She teamed up with lawyers, researchers, and historians to deliver the most accurate and engaging text possible. It is considered the American Wuthering Heights.

This was not McCrumb’s first work involving murder mystery. In fact, her early work was a series of novels following Elizabeth MacPherson, amateur sleuth. In her first adventure, MacPherson must figure out who is the murderer among her cousin’s wedding party. In her next quest, Elizabeth tires to mediate between and Indian tribe and an Appalachian dig team. Things only get more complicated when one of them is murdered. It’s clear that the character of Elizabeth is in many way an extension of McCrumb herself. They are both strong, smart women who love their surroundings, history, and getting to the bottom of things. In these books especially, McCrumb laces her words with humor and witticisms.

Sharyn McCrumb has written over twenty novels. She has won a number of awards, such as the Outstanding Contribution to Appalachian Literature Award, The Chaffin Award for Achievement in Southern Literature, and the Los Angeles Times Notable Book Citation, to name a few. Perhaps her greatest achievement is being a New York Times best selling author. Her work has been translated into eleven different languages, such as Arabic, Dutch, Italian, Japanese, French, and German. It is studied by literature students around the world. McCrumb is a restless soul, and will probably never stop writing. She currently lives in the Virginia Blue Ridge region.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Sharyn McCrumb