Category Archives: Sampson


Tim Downs. Ends of the Earth. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2009.

A call from the sheriff’s department in Sampson County gives North Carolina State University professor Nick Polchak a chance to escape the beginning-of-the-school- year receptions that he abhors.  Professor Polchack is known as “the Bug Man” and he assumes that Sampson County authorities know his reputation and requested his services.  But they didn’t.  It’s the dead man’s wife who asked for Nick.  Kathryn Guilford made her first series appearance in Shoofly Pie, but in the intervening years a lot has happened, including her marriage to a bi-polar man who is the murder victim.

The authorities think that the killing is drug-related but early on readers learn that the victim was connected to a new NCSU graduate student with ties to a sinister, wealthy Russian.  What takes Nick time to discover is that the grad student’s interest in Nick’s work may be his way to keep track of the investigation.  Nick can be forgiven for being a little slow on the uptake.  His feelings for Kathryn re-emerge as they eat meals together and he sees how she mothers her autistic daughter.  Alena Savard, the dog trainer from series novel Less than Dead, has also come to the farm to aid in the investigation. She’s clear on her feelings for Nick and she knows that Kathryn and her daughter are rivals for Nick’s heart.  Bioterrorism, entomology, and matters of the heart vie for center stage in this book.  Rest easy, the terrorism threat is resolved; romantic matters will be settled later.

This is the fifth  novel in the Bug Man series. Not all of the books in the series are set in North Carolina.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2009, Coastal Plain, Downs, Tim, Novels in Series, Sampson, Suspense/Thriller, Wake

Susan Whitfield. Hell Swamp. Spring, TX: L & L Dreamspell, 2009.

UPDATE NOV. 17, 2015: Susan Whitfield’s books are now published by Studebaker Press.

She was supposed to be taking a few days off to work on her wedding plans, but when the SBI is short-staffed, Agent Logan Hunter is called in to work a gruesome murder case. When she gets to the crime scene–a historic house in rural Ivanhoe, NC–both it and its evidence have been compromised, and she is told that she won’t be receiving any additional SBI help any time soon. It doesn’t take long to figure out that dead woman, an animal rights activist, had a lot of enemies in the surrounding community. As she searches for the killer, Logan questions local hunters, has a run in with a snake-handling congregation, and battles her own night terrors. This is the third book in the Logan Hunter Mystery series.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2009, Coastal Plain, Mystery, Novels in Series, Sampson, Whitfield, Susan