Tar Heel Dead

Tales of Mystery and Mayhem from North Carolina

Edited by Sarah R. Shaber

Foreword by Margaret Maron

280 pp., 6 x 9

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8078-5604-8
    Published: April 2005
  • eBook ISBN: 978-1-4696-2553-9
    Published: April 2015

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From O. Henry to Lilian Jackson Braun, North Carolina has nurtured some of the world's best-known mystery writers. This unique collection of mystery short stories showcases some of North Carolina's best writing talent from the past and the present--some famous, some less well known. Some of the mysteries are by authors who have earned solid reputations in other genres, such as Orson Scott Card and William Brittain, but as their stories here demonstrate, their talent embraces the mysterious.

The stories in this collection are as diverse as the "detectives" they feature: the Native American policeman who solves his first case on the reservation; a Siamese cat with an intuitive affection for his paraplegic neighbor; an attentive convenience store owner; and a thirty-year-old computer whiz whose body stopped growing when he was nine. They solve crimes, locate treasures, and uncover deceit in a range of tales that reflects the breadth of the genre. With stories to delight mystery devotees and fans of all good writing, this anthology highlights one of the most vibrant and popular elements of North Carolina's literary legacy.


Nancy Bartholomew, Greensboro, N.C.

Lilian Jackson Braun, Tryon, N.C.

William E. Brittain, Asheville, N.C.

Lisa Cantrell, Madison, N.C.

Orson Scott Card, Greensboro, N.C.

O. Henry (1862-1910)

Toni L. P. Kelner, Malden, Mass.

Michael Malone, Hillsborough, N.C.

Margaret Maron, Willow Springs, N.C.

Katy Munger, writing as Gallagher Gray, Durham, N.C.

BarbaraNeely, Jamaica Plain, Mass.

Guy Owen (1925-1981)

David B. Sentelle, writing as Clyde Haywood, Washington, D.C.

Sarah R. Shaber, Raleigh, N.C.

Elizabeth Daniels Squire (1926-2001)

Kathy Hogan Trocheck, Raleigh, N.C.

Manly Wade Wellman (1903-1986)

Brenda Witchger, writing as Brynn Bonner, Cary, N.C.

About the Author

Sarah R. Shaber won the St. Martin's Press Award for Best First Traditional Mystery for her first book, Simon Said. Three sequels have followed, the most recent of which is The Bug Funeral, and she is at work on the fourth. She lives in Raleigh, North Carolina.
For more information about Sarah R. Shaber, visit the Author Page.


“The stories here range from the cozier end of the genre to some flights of fancy to psychological mysteries. . . . What better way to represent our state, which began with the mystery of the Lost Colony.”--Creative Loafing

"Deftly edited by Raleigh mystery writer Sarah R. Shaber and with a helpful foreword by the doyenne of Tar Heel whoduniteers, Margaret Maron. . . . There must be something here for practically every taste."--Raleigh News & Observer

"A perfect beach read. My advice: Stock up now."--Wilmington Star-News

"It is altogether fitting that the home state of O. Henry should produce other mystery writers, but who would have guessed there were so many, so good, and with such a range of styles? Tar Heel Dead proves the mystery story is very much alive in North Carolina."--Robert Morgan, author of Gap Creek and Brave Enemies

"North Carolina is full of storytellers. . . . Why is this state home to so many good ones? What is it that gives us such literary richness? . . . All we can do is lay out the evidence--such as this collection of short stories--and wait for a scholarly Sherlock Holmes to gather up the clues and give us a logical answer."--Margaret Maron, from the Foreword