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Sharyn McCrumb 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

Publication Order of Elizabeth MacPherson Books

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

Publication Order of Jay Omega Books

Bimbos of the Death Sun (1987)Description / Buy at Amazon
Zombies of the Gene Pool (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Malice Domestic Books

Malice Domestic 2 (1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
Malice Domestic 14 (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
Each book is an anthology, with the listed author credited as the editor of the book.

Publication Order of St. Dale Books

St. Dale (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
Once Around The Track (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
Faster Pastor (With: Adam Edwards) (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Unquiet Grave (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

A Wee Doch and Doris (1989)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Luncheon (1990)Description / Buy at Amazon
Remains to Be Seen (1990)Description / Buy at Amazon
Happiness Is a Dead Poet (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Monster of Glarnis (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Short Story Collections

Our Separate Days (1989)Description / Buy at Amazon
Foggy Mountain Breakdown and Other Stories (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
Fairy Tale Princesses of the Civil War (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
Old Land, Dark Land, Strange Land (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Sharyn McCrumb's Appalachia (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Transgressions Books

Transgressions (With: Stephen King,Lawrence Block,Anne Perry,Jeffery Deaver,Ed McBain,Donald E Westlake,Bonnie Jeanne Perry,Joyce Carol Oates,Walter Mosley,John Farris) (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
Transgressions, Vol. 2 (By: Stephen King,Lawrence Block,Ed McBain,John Farris) (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Mistletoe Mysteries(1989)Description / Buy at Amazon
Sisters in Crime 2(1990)Description / Buy at Amazon
Malice Domestic 1(1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
Women of Mystery II(1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
Partners in Crime(1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Year's 25 Finest Crime and Mystery Stories 1995(1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
Great Writers and Kids Write Mystery Stories(1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
Vengeance is Hers(1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
First Cases, Volume 2(1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
Mystery's Most Wanted(1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
AZ Murder Goes... Artful(1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
Once Upon a Crime(1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
Malice Domestic 7(1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
Murder, My Dear Watson(2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Dark: New Ghost Stories(2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
The World\\\'s Finest Mystery and Crime Stories: 4(2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Longman Anthology of Detective Fiction(2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
Mr. President, Private Eye(2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
The World's Finest Mystery and Crime Stories 5(2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
Thou Shalt Not Kill(2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
Transgressions(2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
Transgressions vol. 4(2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
Poe: 19 New Tales of Suspense, Dark Fantasy, and Horror Inspired by Edgar Allan Poe(2008)Description / Buy at Amazon
Blood Lite(2008)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Monster's Corner(2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
27 Views of Asheville: A Southern Mountain Town in Prose & Poetry(2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
Not Everyone's Cup of Tea(2013)Description / Buy at Amazon

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

2 Responses to “Sharyn McCrumb”

  1. Melinda Wehri: 2 years ago

    More more.

  2. MK Bearden: 2 years ago

    I adore the Sharyn McCrumb books and stories. My best friend introduced me to her work waaay back in the early 1990’s and I will be eternally grateful to her for that introduction. I also admire Ms McCrumb for her extensive research and then sharing it with the rest of us. I hope she continues to research and write and have FUN doing it for a long, long time.


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