Tracking Mystery Fiction in North Carolina

A few years ago, a Charlotte Mecklenburg Library adult services librarian developed a reader’s advisory tool which was shared with several library branches, including South County and Steele Creek. She created a series of large bookmarks listing various reading genres.  One bookmark covers mysteries with a regional focus entitled: Authors Who Write Mystery & Crime Fiction About NC.  That bookmark lists a total of 40 authors on its front and back.

Despite the fact the librarian concedes it needs to be updated and edited, with some names removed, it offers a wealth of reading options.  A closer review of the bookmark’s author list gives 10 writers with a reasonably current book series or multiple stories set in North Carolina. 

From the list consider:

  • Lucy Arlington:
    • writes the "A Novel Idea mystery" series featuring middle-aged, ex-journalist now literary agent Lila Wilkins in (fictional) Inspiration Valley, NC.     
  • Mark de Castrique:
    • writes the "Burying" Barry mystery" series featuring funeral director and part-time sheriff Barry Clayton in (fictional) Gainesboro, NC and the "Sam Blackman mystery" series featuring the private investigator of the same name in Asheville, NC
  • Peter Deutermann:
    • had written stand-alone thrillers set in North Carolina.   
  • John Hart:
    • writes thrillers stand-along thrillers set in North Carolina.
  • Joyce Lavene:
    • wrote with Jim Lavene several cozy mystery series including the “Peggy Lee garden mystery” set in Charlotte, NC and the “Missing pieces mystery” set in Duck, NC.
  • Michael Malone:
    • writes the “Justin & Cuddy novel” series featuring the “street-smart and straightforward police chief Cuddy Mangum and his refined homicide police detective Justin Saville V” in (fictional) Hillston, NC.
  • Margaret Maron:
    • had written the long-running “Deborah Knott mystery” series featuring the district court judge of the same name in (fictional) “Colleton County.” 
  • Kathy Reichs:
    • writes best-selling novels featuring forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan set in North Carolina
  • Sarah R. Shaber:
    • writes the “Professor Simon Shaw mystery” series featuring the university history professor of the same name in Raleigh, NC.
  • Jane Tesh:
    • writes the “Grace Street mystery” series with private investigator David Randall and his psychic friend Camden in Parkland, NC.      

A bonus reading selection would be writer Terry Hoover’s “Double Dead” featuring private investigator Steve Harlan in Charlotte, NC during 1961.