University of North Carolina History Professor Simon Shaw doesn't spend all of his time in the classroom or grading term papers. In fact, he has been making headlines for his role in investigating murders that occurred over the last century. Various newspapers and magazines have even dubbed him a "forensic historian." Simon is just starting to warm up to this title when another mystery presents itself. A forest ranger has discovered the remains of a young woman below the Blue Ridge Parkway in Boone, North Carolina. It's ...
University of North Carolina History Professor Simon Shaw doesn't spend all of his time in the classroom or grading term papers. In fact, he has been making headlines for his role in investigating murders that occurred over the last century. Various newspapers and magazines have even dubbed him a "forensic historian." Simon is just starting to warm up to this title when another mystery presents itself. A forest ranger has discovered the remains of a young woman below the Blue Ridge Parkway in Boone, North Carolina. It's the corpse of Eva Potter, who had disappeared in 1958. A man she was dating, Roy Freedman, confessed to her murder. Now Freedman, serving a life term, claims his confession was false and wants Simon's help in dicovering the real killer. Although Simon can't decide whether or not the man really is innocent, he reluctantly agrees. His inquiries take him to Boone, the mountain town where he grew up and where many of his relatives still live. Even if nothing comes of the trip, Simon sees it as opportunity to get away from the unrelenting heat of Raleigh and his current quarrel with his girlfriend Julia; Simon, deep in his research, had forgotten their date and left her stranded on his front steps. It will also give him the chance to catch up with his aunts and uncles and cousins. An old map of Watauga County leads Simon to believe that the key to the solution of Eva's murder is hidden near the spot where she was killed. When a man who seemed to have some long-hidden information about the woman's disappearance is killed, Simon realizes that there is someone in Boone who will stop at nothing to keep him from learning the truth.
Reincarnation mystery: North Carolina past and pre
THE BUG FUNERAL by Sarah R. Shaber is a fast-paced intriguing cozy mystery. The amateur sleuth Simon Shaw looks back into the past to solve a current day problem. The North Carolina setting, past and present creates a wonderful backdrop for this mystery. Doctor Wade Ferrell approaches his friend Simon Shaw, a history professor at a small college in Raleigh, North Carolina with an unusual request. Helen Williams has memories of the life of a woman who lived at the turn of the century. In all other areas, her life is normal and she has been to psychologists and psychologists alike. Nothing can rid her of these memories. She feels she cannot marry her fiance until she knows the truth about whether she killed a baby in a past life of a woman named Annie Evans. Will Simon investigate? Simon figures he will put in a couple of hours of work, say he cannot find anything and then be done with her while satisfying his friend's request. There is just one problem --- the more he investigates history, the more credibility her memories have.
THE BUG FUNERAL captivates. The mystery and the atmosphere intrigue. The look at North Carolina now and in 1910 was beautifully written and opened up an earlier era for me. I had just never really thought before how it must have been like to live in my home state at that time. Readers will appreciate the familiar current day North Carolina landmarks and way of life. Whether it be the K & W cafeteria or mention of NC BBQ or mention of the Jewish, Cherokee and Baptist communities, Sarah R. Shaber transports her readers to North Carolina, past and present.
The sleuth, Helen and Annie Evans are wonderful characters that inspire the reader to unravel the mystery and get to know them. The reincarnation theme was done extremely well. Each chapter starts with a quote about reincarnation from from people and characters like Sherlock Holmes, Benjamin Franklin, Carl Jung, Socrates, Mark Twain, Henry Ford. Religious texts and ideas from different faiths are examined -- not in an academic way but in chapter quotes and dialogue that flow naturally. The mystery itself is quite heart-moving with definitely a surprise or two at the end. The tone is sweet and tender with a unique puzzle to solve. Goodness emanates from the characters and yet the puzzle hints at a darker side. I would definitely include THE BUG FUNERAL in my top mystery reads. This mystery has a nice Christmas touch. The Raleigh are descriptions made me homesick for my native state and add an extra dimension for any North Carolinian fan.
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