Friday, July 22, 2016

One More Novel...I really like this author.

I can across "Paying the Piper" by regional American author Sharyn McCrumb; the novel predates cellphones and the internet, so as a "cozy mystery" it feels a little out of date. Her heroine, forensic anthropologist Elizabeth MacPherson (whose description would fit as the author's alter-ego) is a young intellectual who is also in love with all things Scottish, including a young scientist from Edinburgh. In the book, he is doing research in Scotland; she gets a slot on an archaeological dig on a remote Scottish isle. Here the mystery unfolds. The author embellishes the science-based solution to the murder mystery with interesting historic details about the remote islands.

Sharyn McCrumb writes about the life and times, historic and modern, of Appalachia, especially western North Carolina. Her "Ballad" series (different from the Eliz MacP series) of novels are evocative; she weaves the history and lore of the mountain region with crime stories involving modern characters, the descendants of the early ones. Examples are "She Walks these Hills" or "The Rose Wood Casket".

As an award-winning regional writer, McCrumb's works may not be household names, but if you enjoy history, myth, folklore, mystery, good writing, well crafted stories, etc., you should find titles by Sharyn McCrumb.

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