Arts Literature

Book Feature: The Tannery

Michael Almond, Author

Michael Almond set his debut novel The Tannery, a mystery and legal thriller, in the familiar world of his native North Carolina, taking a step back into its past. “In NC and the South, the dawn of the 20th century was a period of tremendous technological change and innovation: beginning of the Industrial Revolution, telephones, electric lights, expansion of global trade,” Almond says. “But these were also turbulent times regarding political, social and racial conditions. Themes of white supremacy, Black voter suppression, vigilante ‘justice’ and racial violence drive the narrative in the book.” When he set out to outline and research the book 14 years ago, Almond says, he had no idea that its themes would still be so relevant today.

The book’s protagonist is a poor, mixed-race teenage boy accused of murdering a young Jewish woman in North Wilkesboro in the early days of the Jim Crow era. A retired attorney, Almond brings legal expertise to the story as well as knowledge gleaned from a lifelong love of reading southern history and historical fiction. “My goal was to write a fast-paced, suspenseful, compelling and, most of all, entertaining story with lots of twists, turns and surprises, all while weaving in the historical details that, hopefully, enrich the narrative,” says Almond.

The Tannery, October 2021, fiction, hardcover $29.95, softcover $19.95, ebook $7.99, by Michael Almond, and published by Köehler Books, Virginia Beach, VA. To learn more, visit The book is available at City Lights Bookstore in Sylva, Malaprop’s Bookstore/Café in Asheville and Books Unlimited in Franklin.

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