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Ballad Books In Order

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Publication Order of Ballad Books

If Ever I Return, Pretty Peggy-O (1990)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
She Walks These Hills (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Rosewood Casket (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Ballad of Frankie Silver (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Songcatcher (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
Ghost Riders (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Devil Amongst the Lawyers (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Ballad of Tom Dooley (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
King's Mountain (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
Nora Bonesteel's Christmas Past (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Prayers the Devil Answers (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon

The Ballad series is a famous series of the novels on the Appalachian fiction, mystery, and historical fiction genres. It is written by a highly renowned American author named Sharyn McCrumb. The series consists of 11 novels and 1 novella in total, which were released between the years 1990 and 2011.

In all the books of this series, author Sharyn has told the stories about Appalachia. She has made use of the geography, the issues, and the legends of Appalachia to develop the stories. The timeline depicted in the books is that of the contemporary time. Each of the novels is shown making use of one of the histories of the Appalachian region to describe a story around it. Author Sharyn started writing this series in the year 1990 and also came up with the release of its debut book in the same year.

It is believed that the series is still going on because author Sharyn is known to be working on the plot of a new story based on the same region. So, it can be rightly said that she could come up with a new book any time soon. Sharyn McCrumb was born on 26th February 1948 in Wilmington, North Carolina, United States. Her birth name is Sharyn Elaine Arwood.

Author Sharyn is among the very few authors who write books about the folklore and history of Appalachia. Her novels and short stories have helped her win many prestigious literary awards in her career. Apart from the award winning Ballad series, Sharyn has also penned a couple of other very popular book series. They are St Dale series and the Elizabeth McPherson series. Author Sharyn was named as a Virgina History Woman for Literature Achievement in 2008. Before entering the world of writing, Sharyn McCrumb completed her graduation from the North Carolina University at the Chapel Hill. She also earned her master’s degree from the Virginia Tech in the English Literature. Author Sharyn has also succeeded in becoming the first author-in-residence at the King College, Tennessee. She received the honor of being the Writer of the Year at the Emory and Henry College. Many of the novels written by Sharyn are studied in numerous universities all around the world.

They have also been translated into as many as 11 foreign languages for publication, including Dutch, Italian, French, Japanese, German, and Arabic. Sharyn McCrumb has given a lecture at Oxford University on the topic of the works that she has done in her life and career. She has also been invited to give lectures at the Bonn-Germany University and Smithsonian Institution. Besides writing books, author Sharyn likes to keep herself involved in teaching the upcoming writers about the various aspects of creative writing. She has conducted one such writing workshop in Paris. The Ballad novels that Sharyn wrote are set in the mountains of Appalachia.

Her stories based in this region seem to be rich with culture, tradition, and beautiful locations. The books also show the spirit and true character of the breathtaking region. Author Sharyn appears to have celebrated the mountainous land in the South as well as ancestors by choosing describe the region in her novels. With her hard work and dedication, Sharyn has successfully developed a huge fan base. The readers always wait with eagerness for the release of her latest books. The debut book of the Ballad series written by author Sharyn McCrumb is entitled ‘If I Ever Return Pretty Peggy O’. It was released by the Fawcett publication in the year 1991. The central characters mentioned in this particular book include Spencer Arrowood, Peggy Muryan, and several others. At the start of the book’s story, Spencer Arrowood is introduced as a sheriff, working in a small town in Tennessee. He likes to keep the peace in his town and manages to do so on most occasions.

But, something or the other keeps going wrong in between sometimes. Peggy Muryan a famous folk singer from the 1960s, visits the town to seek solitude and hoping to have a comeback in her singing career, she gets a very scary welcome. Someone sends her a threatening message in a postcard and this makes her feel shattered from within. After a little while, a girl from the town vanishes mysteriously. Spencer Arrowood comes to know that the girl bore a striking resemblance to Peggy Muryan, her traces could not be found even after everything possible. Peggy was very popular at one point of time. But now, she does not wish to have the limelight like she had during the old times. Even Spencer Arrowood wishes to let his old days remain forgotten for reasons completely personal to him. However, both of them learn that they cannot forget their past and no matter how much they resist, it keeps coming back to haunt them. For having to relive everything again makes Spencer and Peggy feel doomed. So, they begin to look for ways in which they can get done with the past life completely.

This novel was awarded with the Macavity Award and also received a nomination for the Anthony Award. Another very famous novel written in the series is called ‘The Hangman’s Beautiful Daughter’. This book was published by the Onyx publication in 1992. Once again, the plot takes place in Dark Hollow, Tennessee, US. The chief characters of this particular novel include Nora Bonesteel, Laura Bruce, Miz Bonesteel, etc. At the beginning of the story of the book, it is depicted that people in Dark Hollow town have the belief that Nora Bonesteel has a special ‘Sight’. It allows her to see things before they take place in real time. Mostly, Nora visualizes the events of the crime and homicide, and tries to assist the local police authorities in solving them. Miz Bonesteel also seems to have a sight, but it is not as effective as that of old Nora. One such gruesome event witnessed by Nora Bonesteel in her Sight is the murder/suicide of the 4 members family members of the Underhills.

The bodies of the victims are recovered from their farm. The only survivors of the tragic event are 2 small children, who don’t look like they have any knowledge of what happened at the farm. As the children are not left with any family, Laura Bruce comes forward to adopt them as her own and be their guardian. Laura is the wife of a local minister from the town. Spencer Arrowood begins his investigation with the aid of Nora Bonesteel and gathers evidence and clues to get to the bottom of the mystery and catch the brutal killer.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Ballad

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