By Angie Georgeff

With Thanksgiving upon us, our thoughts naturally turn to home and family. The mountains that embrace us and the people who populate them have an enduring claim upon our affections.  Therefore stories set in these hills and tales about our people pique our interest. A new book from Sharyn McCrumb, Ron Rash or another regional writer generates nearly as much excitement and demand at our library as bestsellers by James Patterson, David Baldacci, and Janet Evanovich.

Two weeks ago we were introduced to another local author when Bev Freeman came to the library and read an excerpt from her book “Where Lady Slippers Grow.” This book, which is scheduled for release at the end of this month, will be the second volume of Bev’s “Madison McKenzie Files” trilogy. All three books will be set along the southern reaches of the Appalachian Trail. While she was here, she presented the library with a copy of “Silence of the Bones,” the first book in the series.

On her twenty-first birthday, Aunt Denny gives Madison McKenzie the day off from work so she can hike a portion of the Appalachian Trail. Madison is accompanied on the morning run by her beloved dog Bud. When the dog’s curiosity is attracted by a tooth he finds along the way, his sensitive nose lures him off the trail to unearth a skull. The remains prove to be human, so the question becomes who, when and why. When she was a baby, Madison’s mother had vanished without a trace. While aching to solve the mystery of her mother’s disappearance, Madison takes a personal interest in the questions that surround the skull.

Spotlight Books

December is remarkable for the abundance and variety of products that are offered and for the paucity of books that are released. There’s too much competition for the consumer’s time and money in December, so many authors and publishers make an effort to get books out before Thanksgiving.

Consequently, I was not surprised when we recently received books by the aforementioned James Patterson, David Baldacci and Janet Evanovich.

Patterson’s “Count to Ten” is a “Private” novel co-written by Ashwin Sanghi. Jack Morgan, global head of the elite investigation agency, persuades Santosh Wagh to take on Private’s new office in Delhi. He may live – or die – to regret it.

In Baldacci’s “End Game,” assassins Will Robie and Jessica Reel investigate the disappearance of their handler “Blue Man,” who vanished while on vacation in his rural Colorado hometown. Bounty hunter Stephanie Plum is back in Evanovich’s “Hardcore Twenty-four,” along with Joe Morelli, Ranger, Diesel, Grandma Mazur and a boa constrictor named Ethel. Hmmm: Ethel and Diesel. Do you think they’ll get along?