Charlotte novelist Mark de Castrique earns high advance praise for upcoming book

Poisoned Pen Press announces the upcoming release of The Sandburg Connection by Charlotte novelist Mark de Castrique. The Sandburg Connection (Category: Mystery. Hardcover, ISBN: 978-1-59058-941-0, $24.95, 298 pages/Trade Paper, ISBN: 978-1-59058-943-4, 298 pages, $14.95/Large Print Trade Paper, ISBN: 978-1-59058-942-7, $22.95, 420 pages) will be available wherever fine books are sold on October 4, 2011.

In a pre-publication Starred review, Publishers Weekly (July 29, 2011) calls The Sandburg Connection “Stellar… a marvelous blend of history and mystery. This strong regional mystery should resonate with a much wider audience.”

Novelist Mark de Castrique has earned high praise from a variety of critics. The Chicago Tribune wrote, “As important and as impressive as the author’s narrative skills are the subtle ways he captures the geography— both physical and human—of a unique part of the American South.” In a starred review, Library Journal added, “De Castrique’s unassuming but commanding prose style is comparable to James Lee Burke and Margaret Maron.” The Sandburg Connection is Mark de Castrique’s tenth book.

It was only routine. A simple assignment for private investigator Sam Blackman and his partner Nakayla Robertson: follow a history professor who’s suing a spinal surgeon for malpractice and catch her in physical activities that undercut her claim.

When professor Janice Wainwright visits Connemara, Carl Sandburg’s home in Flat Rock, North Carolina, and climbs the arduous trail to the top of Glassy Mountain, Sam believes he has the evidence to wrap up the case—until he finds the woman semiconscious and bleeding on the mountain’s granite outcropping. Her final words: “It’s the Sandburg verses. The Sandburg verses.”

Having discovered the dying woman, Sam becomes the first suspect. And now the routine case is personal. An autopsy reveals painkillers in Janice Wainwright’s blood and solid proof of the surgeon’s errors. Sam is haunted with questions: Why would this suffering woman endure the climb to the mountaintop? Did she stumble and fall? Or was her death not an accident—but murder?

A break-in at the Wainwright farmhouse and the theft of Sandburg volumes convince Sam someone is seeking information worth killing for. But what in Pulitzer-Prize-winner Carl Sandburg’s literary collection could have lead to multiple murders?

And who will be the next target?

A native of North Carolina, Mark writes mysteries primarily set in the Appalachian mountains. He is an award-winning film and video producer whose work has been broadcast on PBS, HBO, and network-affiliate stations. Mark de Castrique is the author of the Sam Blackman mystery series, the Buryin’ Barry series, and two mysteries for young adults. He lives in Charlotte, North Carolina. Visit Mark de Castrique online at: For a video preview of The Sandburg Connection and a tour of Connemara, please visit:

Founded in 1997, Poisoned Pen Press is an independent publisher specializing in high quality mystery works. Based in Scottsdale, Arizona, Poisoned Pen Press is the second largest publisher of hardcover mysteries in the United States. Titles from Poisoned Pen Press are distributed by Ingram Publisher Services, and are available through such wholesalers as Ingram, Baker & Taylor, and Brodart, and directly from the publisher. Visit Poisoned Pen Press on the web at: