NC Literary Hall of Fame



Murder On Black Mountain by Ruben D. Gonzales

Kindle Direct Publishing
$12.99, paperback / $3.98, e-book
ISBN: 979-8678479433
September, 2020
Fiction: Mystery / Women Sleuths
Available from your local bookstore or

Forced to return to her Appalachian mountain home to bury her big brother, Police Chief Early Shaw, Emma Shaw finds the circumstances of his death a mystery that no one wants to talk about. For centuries, the Shaw family has run the small town with an iron fist—and Emma learns fast it doesn’t pay to ask too many questions—even though she is one of their own. The facts don’t add up, and Emma will get her answers, one way or the other—even though her questions have stirred up a hornet’s nest.

There’s one thing the Shaw family doesn’t know: Emma possesses a mystical ability to read the energy auras that surround most people, and she can tell a lot about a person by the qualities of those auras. If they’re lying, she knows. Will that gift be enough to help her solve the case of Early’s murder?

As the list of suspects grows—along with her frustration—Emma grapples with untangling her mysterious past from the dangerous present. Under the shadow of Black Mountain, Emma confronts the town’s ruling family and the secrets they keep. Can she manage to stay alive long enough to learn who killed her brother? One thing she knows for sure—Early’s death was no accident. She’s determined to prove it was Murder On Black Mountain.

Ruben D. Gonzales was born and raised in East Los Angeles but has called NC home since 1976. After graduating from college he joined the Peace Corps and taught elementary school in a small village in Africa. During this time Ruben sold a short story to the BBC for world broadcast. Ruben was a finalist in the North Carolina Writers' Network 2018 Doris Betts Fiction Prize. Ruben retired from employment and now writes full time and teaches part time with the community college system. Ruben’s first book, The Cottage on the Bay, is about a Civil War plantation family and their search for redemption. Much of Ruben’s novel is based on historical facts including many period photos, public records, and family letters. His second book, Murder On Black Mountain, is a mystery that takes place in a fictional town in the N.C. mountains.

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