Burke Events & Happenings



“Most people’s mothers told them about Winnie the Pooh and Tigger the Tiger; my mother told me about a woman who cut her husband’s head off with an axe and similar stories—I’ve always been grateful for that.”

Just in time for Christmas, bestselling author Perry Deane Young has announced the publication of a new edition of his widely-praised true murder mystery, The Untold Story of Frankie Silver, Was She Unjustly Hanged?  

Two days before Christmas in 1831, Frankie Silver killed her husband, Charles, with an axe and burned parts of the body in the fireplace in their little cabin near the Toe River in what is now Mitchell County, N.C.  She was tried at Morganton, convicted and hanged for her crime in July of 1833.  The story gave rise to generations of folktales and ballads that were all false.  Native son Perry Deane Young moves beyond the fiction to explore the fascinating true story of why Frankie Silver may have been unjustly hanged.

World-famous authors and Appalachian chroniclers John Ehle and Wilma Dykeman were among those with high praise for this book.  Ehle wrote:  “Most of my life I’ve heard stories about a pretty mountain lady who was hanged for nothing more serious than murdering her husband.H ere…and I can say at last after one and a half centuries—is the true account, thoroughly researched and beautifully presented.”  Wilma Dykeman wrote:  “Perry Deane Young has taken one of the best-known stories, legends, ballads of the North Carolina Appalachian mountains and reconstructed Frankie Silver’s murder of her husband in December 1831, and her public hanging in July, 1833, as close to the truth as thoughtful research makes possible.  His detailed record of that research reveals a model of professional and personal perseverance that adds a new dimension to an old and riveting tragedy.”  Lynn Moss Sanders, professor of literature and folklore at Appalachian State University, wrote in the Appalachian Journal  that this book “provides important historical background to this fascinating story…Young is able to build suspense, even for a story many of his readers may already know…This personal tone is refreshing in a historical study…By personalizing both Frankie Silver’s story and his own search for it, Young has given readers an interesting and well-written book about history and the way it is created.”

Another fascinating murder mystery from the mountains of Western North Carolina, Hanged by a Dream, was published earlier this year by Perry Deane Young.  Again, this book goes beyond the myths and legends to tell the true story of Steve Effler’s brutal murder of his young wife, Margaret “Peggy” Grindstaff Effler, in their little cabin at Buck Creek Gap near what is now the Blue Ridge Parkway on the McDowell-Yancey County line.  This murder took place on January 6, the twelfth day of Christmas.   1881But for a dream by Young’s granddaddy’s first cousin, Joshua Young, Effler would have gotten away with the murder.  Young had a dream or vision of a young woman appealing to him for help.  The next day, he was shocked to recognize Peggy Effler as that woman in a casket on the way to the cemetery.  Young called for the sheriff and coroner and Steve Effler was tried, convicted and hanged at Marion in 1882, but not before he wrote a grisly detailed confession of his crime.  The confession is among the many documents reproduced in the book, including the entire transcript of the trial. 

            Books may be ordered from Amazon.com or directly from the author by sending a check for $16.95 for The Untold Story of Frankie Silver and $14.95 for Hanged by a Dream  to Perry Deane Young, P.O. Box 1366, Chapel Hill, NC 27514.  Please indicate whether you want your books signed or not.

         Perry Deane Young will be on hand to sign and discuss his books at the Appalachian Book Fair from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday December 3.  The book fair will take place at the Carson House Museum on US 70 between Old Fort and Marion. 

Perry Deane Young
P.O. Box 1366
Chapel Hill, NC 27514

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