Book 1

Last Dance

Book 2

One Last Goodbye

Book 3

The Last to Remember

Book 4

Until Our Last Embrace

Book 5

For The Last Time

Book 6

Dreams Don't Last

Book 7

Last Fires Burning

Book 8

Glory's Last Victim

Book 9

Last Rites

Oct. 2004

Book 10

Last One Down

February 2005

Book 11

Before the Last Lap

 August 2005

Book 12

The First Shall Be Last

June 2007

All books are available at 


Welcome to the Sharyn Howard Mystery Series

Set in the picturesque Uwharrie Mountains in North Carolina, the Sheriff Sharyn Howard mystery series reflects the changing face of the southern Piedmont. Each book solves a retro mystery and a present day murder mystery that are intertwined. These books are lightly romantic and offer a slice of small town life in the south.


Diamond Springs (DSG Staff Photo / Joyce Lavene)



“Husband-and-wife writing team Joyce and Jim Lavene (One Last Goodbye) present another episode in the Diamond Springs series, Until Our Last Embrace: A Sharyn Howard Mystery, in which a woman is killed by bears. But when Sheriff Howard finds honey and bear attractant on her clothes and strychnine in her body, evidence first points toward the woman’s husband, and then beyond him to his wealthy family.”

Publisher’s Weekly


What the critics are saying about the Sharyn Howard mysteries. . .

From Booklist
Montgomery County, North Carolina, sheriff Sharyn Howard reluctantly leaves town to attend a retreat for local law enforcement personnel in an abandoned mining town on isolated Sweet Potato Mountain. Soon after she and two of her deputies arrive, one deputy is injured in an old mine shaft and another is killed. Next, several men are killed in an explosion. With an old radio, now broken, their only means of communication, the group--deeply distrustful of one another--starts down the mountain after a raging storm floods the local waterways. Back in town, Sharyn's department investigates the death of a young woman from an apparent car accident, and a sniper shoots another deputy. Alternating story lines keep the narrative moving as suspense builds and the two cases tie together. Personal issues, including Sharyn's difficulties with her boyfriend and her ongoing project to decode her father's journal, add texture to the main plot. This tenth in the series offers an entertaining quick read for fans of rural procedurals. Sue O'Brien








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