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    Hippies and Holiness

    Hippies and Holiness is a fictitious tale but it is based on a multitude of crimes of passion that have been committed in rural West Virginia. There is a little slice of several actual murders, and the aftermath of those murders, embedded in the text of the novel.

    The setting is September of 1968 just as rural, conservative Appalachia is beginning to experience the “hippie invasion.” It was a time when hard-line Christians came face to face with some of the most liberal elements in America. It was an interesting collision. Many of the mountain folks looked upon the invaders as a threat to their serenity. Most of the hippies, on the other hand, were fascinated by the fundamental values and culture that they found among the hills and hollers. They were particularly fascinated by the traditional music and quickly adopted it as their own, calling it “old time.” Some of the native mountain musicians were annoyed by them, but others, particularly some of the older one enjoyed the sudden attention.

    But the hippie lifestyle, with its aversion to work, neglect of personal hygiene, avoidance of the draft, drug use, and perceived intellectual arrogance was looked upon with disfavor by most rural Appalachians. Hence, the hippie community often got blamed for all the bad things that happened.

    So when news of a brutal murder began to circulate in rural (imaginary) Vandalia County, West Virginia, many of the natives immediately suspected that it was the work on one of the invaders. But it is the job of State Trooper, Sam Somerville, and old friend Corley Malone—now a nationally known singer to sort it all out.

    Hippies and Holiness is the third and final installment of a trilogy of novels. The three novels center around the activities of Corley Malone who makes his way from a West Virginia beerhall singer to the national state. Each can be read independently but the reader will want to read them all.

    Those who lived through the 1960’s (and remember it) should enjoy be entertained by Hippies and Holiness.

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