The Unquiet Grave: A Novel

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From New York Times bestselling author Sharyn McCrumb comes this finely wrought novel set in nineteenth-century West Virginia, based on the true story of one of the strangest murder trials in American history—the case of the Greenbrier Ghost.

Lakin, West Virginia, 1930—Following a suicide attempt and consigned to a segregated insane asylum, attorney James P.D. Gardner finds himself under the care of Dr. James Boozer. Eager to try the new talking cure for insanity, Boozer encourages his elderly patient to reminisce about his experiences as the first black attorney to practice law in nineteenth-century West Virginia. In his forty-year career, Gardner’s most memorable case was the one in which he helped to defend a white man on trial for the murder of his young bride—a case that the prosecution based on the testimony of a ghost.

Greenbrier, West Virginia, 1897—Beautiful, willful Zona Heaster has always lived in the mountains of West Virginia. Despite her mother’s misgivings, Zona marries Erasmus Trout Shue, the handsome blacksmith who has recently come to Greenbrier County. After weeks of silence, riders come to the Heasters’ place to tell them that Zona has died. A month after the funeral, determined to get justice for her daughter, Mary Jane informs the county prosecutor that Zona’s ghost appeared to her, saying that she had been murdered.

With its unique blend of masterful research and mesmerizing folklore illuminating the story’s fascinating and complex characters, The Unquiet Grave confirms Sharyn McCrumb’s place among the finest Southern writers at work today.
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About the author

Sharyn McCrumb is the New York Times bestselling author of the acclaimed Ballad novels. She has received numerous honors for her work, including the Mary Frances Hobson Prize for Southern Literature, the AWA Book of the Year, and Notable Books in both The New York Times and LA Times. She was also named a Virginia Woman of History for Achievement in Literature. She lives and writes in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, fewer than one hundred miles from where her family settled in 1790.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Sep 12, 2017
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Pages
368
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ISBN
9781476772899
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / General
Fiction / Historical
Fiction / Romance / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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In Depression-era Appalachia, a desperate sheriff’s widow takes on her late husband’s job and discovers that a prayer the devil answers comes at a terrible price.

The year is 1936 and society provides no safety net for newly widowed Ellie Robbins, a woman in a small mountain town who suddenly has to support her family on her own. She’s not trained to be a teacher or a nurse, the only respectable careers for a woman. So in order to care for her children, Ellie takes the only job available: that of her late husband, the sheriff.

Ellie has long proven that she can handle herself, and her role as sheriff is largely symbolic. Yet the wariness of her male subordinates and the townspeople is palpable. Soon, as dark secrets come to light, Ellie is forced to grapple with the tenuous ties she shares with a convicted killer and the small-town superstitions that have plagued her for years.

When a condemned killer is sentenced to death for his crime, her opportunity to do so presents itself in a way she never expected. There’s one task that only a sheriff can carry out: the execution of a convicted prisoner.

Atmospheric and suspenseful, Prayers the Devil Answers is rich with the same masterful attention to historical detail and captivating folklore that you cherished in McCrumb’s renowned Ballad novels. Her luscious writing brings her unforgettable characters to life with the “pure poetry” (The New York Times Book Review) that defines her astounding novels. Prayers the Devil Answers is a mesmerizing depiction of one woman’s tenacity and strength in even the most harrowing of circumstances.
THE BLOCKBUSTER HIT—A New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and Publishers Weekly Bestseller

For readers of Orphan Train and The Nightingale comes a “thought-provoking [and] complex tale about two families, two generations apart . . . based on a notorious true-life scandal.”*

Memphis, 1939. Twelve-year-old Rill Foss and her four younger siblings live a magical life aboard their family’s Mississippi River shantyboat. But when their father must rush their mother to the hospital one stormy night, Rill is left in charge—until strangers arrive in force. Wrenched from all that is familiar and thrown into a Tennessee Children’s Home Society orphanage, the Foss children are assured that they will soon be returned to their parents—but they quickly realize the dark truth. At the mercy of the facility’s cruel director, Rill fights to keep her sisters and brother together in a world of danger and uncertainty.

Aiken, South Carolina, present day. Born into wealth and privilege, Avery Stafford seems to have it all: a successful career as a federal prosecutor, a handsome fiancé, and a lavish wedding on the horizon. But when Avery returns home to help her father weather a health crisis, a chance encounter leaves her with uncomfortable questions and compels her to take a journey through her family’s long-hidden history, on a path that will ultimately lead either to devastation or to redemption.

Based on one of America’s most notorious real-life scandals—in which Georgia Tann, director of a Memphis-based adoption organization, kidnapped and sold poor children to wealthy families all over the country—Lisa Wingate’s riveting, wrenching, and ultimately uplifting tale reminds us how, even though the paths we take can lead to many places, the heart never forgets where we belong.

*Library Journal

Publishers Weekly’s #3 Longest-Running Bestseller of 2017 • Winner of the Southern Book Prize • If All Arkansas Read the Same Book Selection 

“A [story] of a family lost and found . . . a poignant, engrossing tale about sibling love and the toll of secrets.”—People

“Sure to be one of the most compelling books you pick up this year. . . . Wingate is a master-storyteller, and you’ll find yourself pulled along as she reveals the wake of terror and heartache that is Georgia Tann’s legacy.”—Parade

“One of the year’s best books . . . It is impossible not to get swept up in this near-perfect novel.”—The Huffington Post
The Ballad of Tom Dooley is a literary triumph—what began as a fictional re-telling of the historical account of one of the most famous mountain ballads of all time became an astonishing revelation of the real culprit responsible for the murder of Laura Foster

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With the help of historians, lawyers, and researchers, Sharyn McCrumb visited the actual sites, studied the legal evidence, and uncovered a missing piece of the story that will shock those who think they already know what happened—and may also bring belated justice to an innocent man. What seemed at first to be a sordid tale of adultery and betrayal was transformed by the new discoveries into an Appalachian Wuthering Heights. Tom Dula and Ann Melton had a profound romance spoiled by the machinations of their servant, Pauline Foster.

Bringing to life the star-crossed lovers of this mountain tragedy, Sharyn McCrumb gifts understanding and compassion to her compelling tales of Appalachia, and solidifies her status as one of today's great Southern writers.

“The book is like a salve. I think the world feels disordered right now. The count’s refinement and genteel nature are exactly what we’re longing for.” —Ann Patchett

“How delightful that in an era as crude as ours this finely composed novel stretches out with old-World elegance.” —The Washington Post

He can’t leave his hotel. You won’t want to.

From the New York Times bestselling author of Rules of Civility—a transporting novel about a man who is ordered to spend the rest of his life inside a luxury hotel.

In 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, and is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and must now live in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history are unfolding outside the hotel’s doors. Unexpectedly, his reduced circumstances provide him entry into a much larger world of emotional discovery.

Brimming with humor, a glittering cast of characters, and one beautifully rendered scene after another, this singular novel casts a spell as it relates the count’s endeavor to gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be a man of purpose.

Soon to be a major television series starring five-time Academy Award® nominee Kenneth Branagh.

“And the intrigue! . . . [A Gentleman in Moscow] is laced with sparkling threads (they will tie up) and tokens (they will matter): special keys, secret compartments, gold coins, vials of coveted liquid, old-fashioned pistols, duels and scars, hidden assignations (discreet and smoky), stolen passports, a ruby necklace, mysterious letters on elegant hotel stationery . . . a luscious stage set, backdrop for a downright Casablanca-like drama.” —The San Francisco Chronicle
In Depression-era Appalachia, a desperate sheriff’s widow takes on her late husband’s job and discovers that a prayer the devil answers comes at a terrible price.

The year is 1936 and society provides no safety net for newly widowed Ellie Robbins, a woman in a small mountain town who suddenly has to support her family on her own. She’s not trained to be a teacher or a nurse, the only respectable careers for a woman. So in order to care for her children, Ellie takes the only job available: that of her late husband, the sheriff.

Ellie has long proven that she can handle herself, and her role as sheriff is largely symbolic. Yet the wariness of her male subordinates and the townspeople is palpable. Soon, as dark secrets come to light, Ellie is forced to grapple with the tenuous ties she shares with a convicted killer and the small-town superstitions that have plagued her for years.

When a condemned killer is sentenced to death for his crime, her opportunity to do so presents itself in a way she never expected. There’s one task that only a sheriff can carry out: the execution of a convicted prisoner.

Atmospheric and suspenseful, Prayers the Devil Answers is rich with the same masterful attention to historical detail and captivating folklore that you cherished in McCrumb’s renowned Ballad novels. Her luscious writing brings her unforgettable characters to life with the “pure poetry” (The New York Times Book Review) that defines her astounding novels. Prayers the Devil Answers is a mesmerizing depiction of one woman’s tenacity and strength in even the most harrowing of circumstances.
Forge Books is proud to present an amazing collection of novellas, compiled by New York Times bestselling author Ed McBain. Transgressions is a quintessential classic of never-before-published tales from today's very best novelists. Featuring:

"Walking Around Money" by Donald E. Westlake: The master of the comic mystery is back with an all-new novella featuring hapless crook John Dortmunder, who gets involved in a crime that supposedly no one will ever know happened. Naturally, when something it too good to be true, it usually is, and Dortmunder is going to get to the bottom of this caper before he's left holding the bag.

"Hostages" by Anne Perry: The bestselling historical mystery author has written a tale of beautiful yet still savage Ireland today. In their eternal struggle for freedom, there is about to be a changing of the guard in the Irish Republican Army. Yet for some, old habits-and honor-still die hard, even at gunpoint.

"The Corn Maiden" by Joyce Carol Oates: When a fourteen-year-old girl is abducted in a small New York town, the crime starts a spiral of destruction and despair as only this master of psychological suspense could write it.

"Archibald Lawless, Anarchist at Large: Walking the Line" by Walter Mosley: Felix Orlean is a New York City journalism student who needs a job to cover his rent. An ad in the paper leads him to Archibald Lawless, and a descent into a shadow world where no one and nothing is as it first seems.

"The Resurrection Man" by Sharyn McCrumb: During America's first century, doctors used any means necessary to advance their craft-including dissecting corpses. Sharyn McCrumb brings the South of the 1850s to life in this story of a man who is assigned to dig up bodies to help those that are still alive.

"Merely Hate" by Ed McBain: When a string of Muslim cabdrivers are killed, and the evidence points to another ethnic group, the detectives of the 87th Precinct must hunt down a killer before the city explodes in violence.

"The Things They Left Behind" by Stephen King: In the wake of the worst disaster on American soil, one man is coming to terms with the aftermath of the Twin Towers--when he begins finding the things they left behind.

"The Ransome Women" by John Farris: A young and beautiful starving artist is looking to catch a break when her idol, the reclusive portraitist John Ransome offers her a lucrative year-long modeling contract. But how long will her excitement last when she discovers the fate shared by all Ransome's past subjects?

"Forever" by Jeffery Deaver: Talbot Simms is an unusual cop-he's a statistician with the Westbrook County Sheriff Department. When two wealthy couples in the county commit suicide one right after the other, he thinks that it isn't suicide-it's murder, and he's going to find how who was behind it, and how the did it.

"Keller's Adjustment" by Lawrence Block: Everyone's favorite hit man is back in MWA Grand Master Lawrence Block's novella, where the philosophical Keller deals out philosophy and murder on a meandering road trip from one end of the America to the other.

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