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The Tannery is historical fiction, a murder mystery/legal thriller set in 1900 Wilkes County, North Carolina. The story unfolds in the context of post-Reconstruction social, political, and racial conditions in NC and throughout the South. Prominent themes are Black voter suppression and intimidation, White Supremacy campaigns, the Wilmington Massacre of 1898, the Red Shirts and vigilante “justice,” and the rise of Jim Crow. The plot revolves around the brutal murder of a young Jewish girl, daughter of the local tannery owner. A 16-year-old mixed-race boy is arrested, and the county prosecutor believes the case is open and shut. The NC Governor, a native of Wilkes, has doubts, however, and dispatches his chief legal advisor to investigate the crime and ultimately defend the boy at trial.
As he did his research, Michael came to realize that turn-of-the-century Southern political leaders unfortunately have much to answer for in terms of the racial injustice that plagues our country to this day. The Tannery is intended to shed new light on this dark and largely forgotten epoch in our history, told through an entertaining story line. For more information on The Tannery, visit http://www.michaelalmondbooks.com
Michael A. Almond, a retired international business attorney, was raised in the small town of Pilot Mountain in the Piedmont foothills of North Carolina. He received his undergraduate (Morehead Scholar) and law degrees (Morehead Fellow) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and was a Fulbright Scholar in political science at the University of Mannheim, Germany. An avid reader of Southern history and literature, Michael and his wife Helen Ruth live at Almond Springs Farm in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina with two horses, three donkeys, and their canine companions, Lucy and Greta. The Tannery is his debut novel.
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