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.

Order of Ballad Series

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

Order of Elizabeth MacPherson Series

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

Order of Jay Omega Series

#ReadTitlePublishedDetails
1Bimbos of the Death Sun 1987Description / Buy
2Zombies of the Gene Pool 1992Description / Buy

Order of Malice Domestic Series

#ReadTitlePublishedDetails
1Malice Domestic 1 ( By: Elizabeth Peters) 1992Description / Buy
2Malice Domestic 2 ( By: Mary Higgins Clark) 1993Description / Buy
3Malice Domestic 5 ( By: Phyllis Whitney) 1996Description / Buy
4Malice Domestic 7 1998Description / Buy
5Malice Domstic 8 ( By: Margaret Maron) 1999Description / Buy

Order of St. Dale Series

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

Order of Sharyn McCrumb Standalone Novels

#ReadTitlePublishedDetails
1The Unquiet Grave 2017Description / Buy

Order of Sharyn McCrumb Short Story Collections

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

Order of Sharyn McCrumb Non-Fiction Books

#ReadTitlePublishedDetails
1Sharyn McCrumb's Appalachia 2011Description / Buy

Order of World's Finest Mystery and Crime Stories Series

#ReadTitlePublishedDetails
1The World's Finest Mystery and Crime Stories 1 2000Description / Buy
2The World's Finest Mystery and Crime Stories 2 2000Description / Buy
3The World's Finest Mystery and Crime Stories 3 2002Description / Buy
4The World's Finest Mystery and Crime Stories 4 2003Description / Buy
5The World's Finest Mystery and Crime Stories 5 2004Description / Buy

Sharyn McCrumb Anthologies

#ReadTitlePublishedDetails
1 Sisters in Crime 21990Description / Buy
2 Great Writers and Kids Write Mystery Stories1996Description / Buy
3 Vengeance Is Hers1997Description / Buy
4 The World's Finest Mystery and Crime Stories 42003Description / Buy
5 Thou Shalt Not Kill2005Description / Buy
6 Transgressions2005Description / Buy
7 Transgressions vol. 42006Description / Buy
8 Poe: 19 New Tales of Suspense, Dark Fantasy, and Horror Inspired by Edgar Allan Poe2008Description / Buy
9 Blood Lite2008Description / Buy
10 The Monster's Corner2011Description / 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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