Arts Literature

Book Feature: And the Crows Took Their Eyes

And the Crows Took Their EyesVicki Lane, Author

Author Vicki Lane turns once again to murder for her latest novel, but in a different genre altogether from her Elizabeth Goodweather Appalachian Mysteries series. “Though I remain very fond of my fictional Elizabeth Goodweather and her friends, after six books I was a little embarrassed by having to saddle this middle-aged farm woman with yet another murder to solve,” Lane says. In Madison County, where she lives, reminders of the Shelton Laurel massacre of 1863 are ever present and inspired her latest work of historical fiction, And the Crows Took Their Eyes.

Her research involved reading everything she could find on the massacre, including newspapers and government records. “In the end, after quite a lot of research, I settled on what seemed to be the most widely accepted version of the massacre,” she says. “I interviewed descendants from both sides and was guided by Shelton descendants up to the wooded gravesite of the massacre victims.”

Staying true to actual events meant a different experience than writing about a fictional Madison County. However, she says, “I felt free to imagine the thoughts and motivations of these people.” One character stood out from the rest. “I discovered that Judy Shelton, a historical woman I’d thought would be a minor character, was determined to have her say and she became the linchpin of the story,” Lane says, adding, “I have lived with these characters for so long now that they still talk to me.”

And the Crows Took Their Eyes, October, 2020, fiction, paperback, $18.95; hardcover, $26.95, by Vicki Lane, and published by Regal House Publishing, Raleigh, NC. To order, visit

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