Sharyn McCrumb Books

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Sharyn McCrumb is a sexagenarian American penwoman. McCrumb, who is a mother of two, was born in February 1948 in North Carolina, in the US. She schooled at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and attended Virginia Tech. She has lectured at various institutions among the Smithsonian Institution, Oxford University, and the Germany-based University of Bonn. She has also coached writers, for example, in Chautauqua Institute and Bristol-based King University.

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Order of Ballad Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 If Ever I Return, Pretty Peggy-O 1990 Description / Buy
2 The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter 1992 Description / Buy
3 She Walks These Hills 1994 Description / Buy
4 The Rosewood Casket 1996 Description / Buy
5 The Ballad of Frankie Silver 1997 Description / Buy
6 The Songcatcher 2001 Description / Buy
7 Ghost Riders 2003 Description / Buy
8 The Devil Amongst the Lawyers 2010 Description / Buy
9 The Ballad of Tom Dooley 2011 Description / Buy
10 King's Mountain 2013 Description / Buy
11 Nora Bonesteel's Christmas Past 2014 Description / Buy
12 Prayers the Devil Answers 2016 Description / Buy

Order of Elizabeth MacPherson Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 Sick of Shadows 1984 Description / Buy
2 Lovely in Her Bones 1985 Description / Buy
3 Highland Laddie Gone 1986 Description / Buy
4 Paying the Piper 1988 Description / Buy
5 The Windsor Knot 1990 Description / Buy
6 Missing Susan 1991 Description / Buy
7 MacPherson's Lament 1992 Description / Buy
8 If I'd Killed Him When I Met Him... 1995 Description / Buy
9 The PMS Outlaws 2000 Description / Buy

Order of Jay Omega Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 Bimbos of the Death Sun 1987 Description / Buy
2 Zombies of the Gene Pool 1992 Description / Buy

Order of St. Dale Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 St. Dale 2005 Description / Buy
2 Once Around The Track 2007 Description / Buy
3 Faster Pastor ( With: Adam Edwards) 2009 Description / Buy

Order of Sharyn McCrumb Standalone Novels

# Read Title Published Details
1 The Unquiet Grave 2017 Description / Buy

Order of Sharyn McCrumb Short Stories/Novellas

# Read Title Published Details
1 A Wee Doch and Doris (Short Story) 1989 Description / Buy
2 The Luncheon (Short Story) 1990 Description / Buy
3 Remains to Be Seen (Short Story) 1990 Description / Buy
4 Happiness Is a Dead Poet (Short Story) 1992 Description / Buy
5 The Monster of Glarnis (Short Story) 1994 Description / Buy

Order of Sharyn McCrumb Short Story Collections

# Read Title Published Details
1 Our Separate Days 1989 Description / Buy
2 Foggy Mountain Breakdown and Other Stories 1997 Description / Buy
3 Fairy Tale Princesses of the Civil War 2012 Description / Buy
4 Old Land, Dark Land, Strange Land 2017 Description / Buy

Order of Sharyn McCrumb Non-Fiction Books

# Read Title Published Details
1 Sharyn McCrumb's Appalachia 2011 Description / Buy

Order of Transgressions Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 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
2 Transgressions, Vol. 2 ( By: Stephen King, Lawrence Block, Ed McBain, John Farris) 2006 Description / Buy
3 Transgressions, Vol. 3 ( With: Anne Perry, Ed McBain, Donald E Westlake, John Farris) 2006 Description / Buy
4 Transgressions, Vol. 4 ( With: Anne Perry, Ed McBain) 2006 Description / Buy

Sharyn McCrumb Anthologies

# Read Title Published Details
1 Mistletoe Mysteries 1989 Description / Buy
2 Sisters in Crime 2 1990 Description / Buy
3 Malice Domestic 1 1992 Description / Buy
4 Women of Mystery II 1994 Description / Buy
5 Partners in Crime 1994 Description / Buy
6 The Year's 25 Finest Crime and Mystery Stories 1995 1996 Description / Buy
7 Great Writers and Kids Write Mystery Stories 1996 Description / Buy
8 Vengeance is Hers 1997 Description / Buy
9 First Cases, Volume 2 1997 Description / Buy
10 Mystery's Most Wanted 1997 Description / Buy
11 AZ Murder Goes... Artful 1997 Description / Buy
12 Once Upon a Crime 1998 Description / Buy
13 Malice Domestic 7 1998 Description / Buy
14 Murder, My Dear Watson 2002 Description / Buy
15 The Dark: New Ghost Stories 2003 Description / Buy
16 The World\\\'s Finest Mystery and Crime Stories: 4 2003 Description / Buy
17 The Longman Anthology of Detective Fiction 2004 Description / Buy
18 Mr. President, Private Eye 2004 Description / Buy
19 The World's Finest Mystery and Crime Stories 5 2004 Description / Buy
20 Thou Shalt Not Kill 2005 Description / Buy
21 Transgressions 2005 Description / Buy
22 Transgressions, Vol. 3 2006 Description / Buy
23 Transgressions, Vol. 4 2006 Description / Buy
24 Poe: 19 New Tales of Suspense, Dark Fantasy, and Horror Inspired by Edgar Allan Poe 2008 Description / Buy
25 Blood Lite 2008 Description / Buy
26 The Monster's Corner 2011 Description / Buy
27 27 Views of Asheville: A Southern Mountain Town in Prose & Poetry 2012 Description / Buy
28 Not Everyone's Cup of Tea 2013 Description / Buy
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Sharyn McCrumb’s books are especially set in the backdrop of the expansive Appalachia Mountains, concentrating on its rich historical aspects and the lore of the regional inhabitants. She is a past master at various Appalachian issues. McCrumb debuted in 1984 and her debut book is titled Sick Shadows. Even then she is most notably renowned for authoring the Ballad series, whose first edition of the first book contained therein was initially published in 1992. Generally, her bibliography is shelved under the mystery, thriller, suspense, and historical fiction genres.

The first book in the Ballad series, If Ever I Return, Pretty Peggy-O, is set in then then peaceful Tennessee neighborhood wherein the sheriff is a certain Spencer Arrowood. The place is generally trouble-free. However, when a once-celebrated folk musician called Peggy Muryan arrives at the town on a soul-searching mission and on the quest for making a musical comeback, she gets a threatening mail.

A resident who is Muryan’s doppelganger goes missing shortly afterwards. Soon the singer, who was once a celebrated artist but she loathes fame nowadays, is facing the very past she would have liked to forget. This book is thrilling like the rest of McCrumb’s books, and the novelist clinched various coveted literary awards such as the Anthony Award.

Sharyn McCrumb Awards

Author Sharyn McCrumb has clinched many awards, sometimes winning an award over and over again. First of all, the following are the books which have, so far, clinched the prestigious Agatha Award. In 1995, McCrumb’s 1995 book titled If I’d Killed Him When I Met Him, which is the eight in her Elizabeth MacPherson series, won in the Best Novel category. In 1994, the third book in the Ballad series, called She Walks These Hills, also won in the Best Novel group. In 1989, the winning book in the Best Short-story category was Doris.

These books clinched the Anthony Award. In 1995, She Walks These Hills won the Best Novel category while The Monster of Glamis won in the Best Short-story section. Third, in 1995, She Walks These Hills won in the Best Novel categories of Nero Award and Macavity Award. In 1991, If Ever I Return, Pretty Peggy-O also won in the Best Novel category of the Macavity Award. Lastly, the 1987 book called Bimbos of the Death Sun, which is the first book in the Joy Omega series, won the Edgar Award in the Best Paperback Original category.

Best Sharyn McCrumb Books

The following is a description of some of the best books penned by Sharyn McCrumb, including those which have had the honor of winning the Agatha and Anthony, and Macavity awards.

If I’d Killed Him When I Met Him: This is the eighth book in the Elizabeth MacPherson; it features protagonist Elizabeth MacPherson, who is a forensic anthropologist-cum-private investigator of her sibling law agency, is handling murder cases associated with love triangles.

This book sees here taking on two cases simultaneously. One is Eleanor Royden, a lawyer’s wife for twenty years who after getting divorced from the man, shot and killed him and his new wife in cold blood. The other is Donna Jean Morgan who is accused of murdering her Bible-thumping bigamist husband. Elizabeth’s lawyer brother Bill, and Bill’s feminist firebrand partner A.P Hill will do their best to defend their clients while Elizabeth’s forensic expertise is put to the ultimate test.

Prayers the Devil Answers: This is a popular book by McCrumb. The book takes place in 1936, in Depression-era Appalchia, where a desperate sheriff’s widow takes her late husband’s job. Ellie Robbins is not trained for this, or any other job, and she needs to support her family so taking the badge is her only way of taking care of the children. While the job is considered mostly symbolic to many, her subordinates and the other males of the town soon become wary of her. Ellie is no pushover though and she can more than handle herself.

Ellie finds herself put to the ultimate test of her mettle as a sheriff when there is a killer sentenced to death for his crime. In this town, there is only one person who can carry out the execution of a convicted prisoner: the sheriff. This book received great review at the time of it’s release with the New York Times Book Review saying that the characters are brought to life with “pure poetry”.

She Walks These Hills: This is the third book in the Ballad series. Hereby, it is presumed that the ghost an abductee, abducted two centuries previously, is on the prowl in the Appalachian region of Dark Hollow. An elderly seer and law enforcer team up to (dis)prove the fable and, in so doing, apprehend the mysterious marauder.

If Ever I Return, Pretty Peggy-O: This book has been previously described above.

Other Book Series You May Like

Readers who were in awe of Sharyn McCrumb’s books were also awe-struck by the following book series. The first one is “Deborah Knott Mysteries” and is written by Margaret Maron; the featured protagonist, Deborah Knott, is a North Carolina-based district judge.

The second one is the “Emma Fielding Mystery” and is authored by Dana Cameron. The protagonist is Emma Fielding, an intelligent and devoted archaeologist who is a past master at searching for long-lost items.

Lastly, is the “Jenny Cain” series authored by Nancy Pickard; Jenny Cain is the heroine and she operates a Massachusetts-based non-profit organization.

When Does The Next Sharyn McCrumb book come out?

Sharyn McCrumb doesn't seem to have an upcoming book. Their newest book is Old Land, Dark Land, Strange Land and was released on October, 18th 2017. It is the newest book in the Sharyn McCrumb Short Story Collections.

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