Historical Fiction/True Crime Book Review: The Red Ribbon

About the Book

Title: The Red Ribbon 

Series: True Colors (Volume 8) 

Author: Pepper Basham 

Genre: Historical Fiction/True Crime 

Publisher: Barbour Books 

Release Date: October 1, 2020

Click here to purchase a copy of this novel for yourself. 

Publisher's Book Description

"An Appalachian Feud Blows Up in 1912 


Step into True Colors -- a new series of Historical Stories of Romance and American Crime 


In Carroll County, a corn shucking is the social event of the season, until a mischievous kiss leads to one of the biggest tragedies in Virginia history. Ava Burcham isn’t your typical Blue Ridge Mountain girl. She has a bad habit of courtin’ trouble, and her curiosity has opened a rift in the middle of a feud between politicians and would-be outlaws, the Allen family. Ava’s tenacious desire to find a story worth reporting may land her and her best friend, Jeremiah Sutphin, into more trouble than either of them planned. The end result? The Hillsville Courthouse Massacre of 1912."

My Review

A most worthy story, The Red Ribbon, by Pepper Basham, is volume 8 in the True Colors series of stand-alone historical fiction novels based on true crime events. Beautifully written, thoughtful, and engaging, this captivating book is like a scarlet rose in a field of daisies, stunning and not to be missed. With genuine care and plenty of heart, Ms. Basham brings to life a colorful story that is truly remarkable.  

The Red Ribbon is a moving novel that offers a vivid and compelling story of loss, desperation, loyalty, love, justice, and family. It artfully balances hope and despair, perseverance and struggle, and faithfulness and uncertainty. The development of these themes is significantly strengthened and uplifted by meaningful moments of grace, hope, and faith. 

Within the pages of this novel, Ms. Basham reveals main characters who are relatable, tenacious, authentic, and brave. Their motivations, their needs, and their goals are wholly believable and inspiring. The opportunities, the choices, and the difficulties the characters face are carefully developed, and from them flows a story that is utterly gripping.  


The Appalachian setting, complete with small towns, rustic cabins, mountain trails, and wooded hillsides, enriches the novel as it grows naturally from its deeply historic roots. Abounding with Southern spirit, this mountainous setting hums with vibrant significance in a story that lingers long after the last page has been turned. 


As an avid reader, I find it deeply satisfying to be taught, to be challenged, to be comforted, to be entertained, and to be inspired by what I read. The Red Ribbon easily meets these expectations, imprinting upon me a sincere appreciation for how remarkably talented Ms. Basham is as a writer and storyteller. The Red Ribbon is a very special novel, and I eagerly recommend it to all readers. 

*I was given a copy of this book by the publisher/author. A review was not required. The review I have written contains opinions that are entirely my own.

About the Author: Pepper Basham

"Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes romance peppered with grace and humor with a southern Appalachian flair. Her books have garnered recognition in the Grace Awards, Inpsys, and the ACFW Carol Awards, with The Thorn Healer selected as a 2018 finalist in the RT awards. Both her contemporary and historical romance novels consistently receive high ratings from Romantic Times, with Just the Way You Are as a Top Pick. Most recently she's introduced readers to Bath, UK through her novellas, Second Impressions and Jane by the Book, and taken readers into the exciting world of WW2 espionage in her novella, Façade. The second novel in The Pleasant Gap series, When You Look at Me, arrives in October and her contribution to Barbour's wonderful My Heart Belongs series hits the shelves in January 2019 with My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge. Her books are seasoned with her Appalachian heritage and love for family. She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC where she is the mom of five great kids, a speech-pathologist to about fifty more, and a lover of chocolate, jazz, hats, and Jesus.” --Biography from Pepper Basham’s author page on Amazon.com.

Click here to visit Pepper Basham's website.


  1. Wow!! Lis!! You have me teary-eyed at this review! Wow!! Thank you SO much!!


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