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Matty Groves (Haunted Ballad) by Deborah…
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Matty Groves (Haunted Ballad) (edition 2005)

by Deborah Grabien

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504422,389 (4.07)None
Ringan Laine has a prized invitation to perform with his band at the Callowen House Arts Festival and he's been asked to bring his longtime lover, actor-producer Penny Wintercraft-Hawkes, along as an honored guest. At the prestigious two-week annual festival, artists not only perform to a handpicked audience, but enjoy every luxury their host has to offer. For Ringan and Penny, it's a mixed blessing. The couple has already held two terrifying exorcisms for ghosts whose stories are told in songs, and Callowen House is known to be haunted by the pretty young wife of a seventeenth-century Leight-Arnold. A famous traditional song, Matty Groves, tells her story, a straightforward one that Miles Leight-Arnold is very proud of. Ringan and Penny decide to attend; after all, this story has no mystery for them to solve. But from the first night it becomes clear that the tragic Lady Susanna is not the only spirit haunting Callowen House. Something else is awake, moving through walls and nightmares, growing stronger as it feeds on Penn's sensitivity and on the very fear it creates: Andrew Leight, a man as twisted and violent in death as he was in life. Lord Callowen insists that Ringan and Penny rid Callowen House of the dangerous Leight but leave Lady Susanna's ghost untouched. As the pair searches the mansion's ancient ledgers, Ringan and Penny begin to suspect that Lady Susanna's death was not as simple as the song suggests, and that the truth may expose a four-hundred-year-old lie. The third entry in this series, Matty Groves is another bewitching tale of how mysteries thought dead and buried can still return to threaten the living.… (more)
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Matty Groves is the third book in the Haunted Ballad mystery series. Ringan Lane's traditional folk song band has been invited to a prestigious music festival at Callowen. Callowen is home to a famous ghost, Lady Susanna, who is featured in the famous folk song Matty Groves. According to the song, her older husband caught her in bed with a young village boy and killed them both. However, as the music festival continues, the Ringan and his ghost sensitive girl friend, Penny, realize that there may be another presence at Callowen that is not as harmless as Lady Susanna. In order to rid Callowen of the malevolent presence, they must first discover the truth of what really happened at Callowen hundreds of years ago.

This was an interesting historical mystery. I liked that all the present day characters were interesting and likable. Having mysteries inspired by traditional folk songs is a great premise for a series. I was not able to get the first two books in the series because they are out of print and unavailable at my library. Although there were times that I felt like I was missing a bit of background about the main characters, it was not necessary to have read them in order to enjoy the story. The story did involve a bit of sexual violence, so if you are sensitive to that you may want to try one of the other books in the series and skip this one. ( )
  Cora-R | Jan 13, 2016 |
This one is more plausible - the reason that brings them in contact with the ghost is foreshadowed in Famous Flower of Serving Men, actually. Not such an accident. And the rest of the band gets a little more 'screen' time - especially Jane. The ghost this time is even nastier - and not strictly speaking a ghost (at least, it doesn't have the same limitations most ghosts do). The Catholic/Anglican thing that has been a feature of the previous books becomes historically important here (I'm Catholic, it's interesting reading from the viewpoint of an Anglican - other people's assumptions/stereotypes are usually fascinating to me). This is the first one where I know the ballad - and amusingly enough, in this one, unlike the previous two, the ballad is _not_ (even nearly) an accurate description of events. ( )
  jjmcgaffey | Oct 18, 2008 |
i will read more of this series-I like the peole and the premise ( )
  ReadingKnitter01 | May 19, 2008 |
Ghostly mystery with Matty Groves ballad framework. An attempt to define motivation for murders in ballad, eventually declares that ballad is cover-up for political and religious murders in 17th century (Charles preventing Puritans from uncovering the scandal). Lord Arnold's wife is named: Susanna. A modern heroine, Charlotte, is tall, strong, beautiful, victorious, and sometimes, all id. Hint of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Hawks and horses are not used true to pattern.
  noharm2004 | Jan 14, 2006 |
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Ringan Laine has a prized invitation to perform with his band at the Callowen House Arts Festival and he's been asked to bring his longtime lover, actor-producer Penny Wintercraft-Hawkes, along as an honored guest. At the prestigious two-week annual festival, artists not only perform to a handpicked audience, but enjoy every luxury their host has to offer. For Ringan and Penny, it's a mixed blessing. The couple has already held two terrifying exorcisms for ghosts whose stories are told in songs, and Callowen House is known to be haunted by the pretty young wife of a seventeenth-century Leight-Arnold. A famous traditional song, Matty Groves, tells her story, a straightforward one that Miles Leight-Arnold is very proud of. Ringan and Penny decide to attend; after all, this story has no mystery for them to solve. But from the first night it becomes clear that the tragic Lady Susanna is not the only spirit haunting Callowen House. Something else is awake, moving through walls and nightmares, growing stronger as it feeds on Penn's sensitivity and on the very fear it creates: Andrew Leight, a man as twisted and violent in death as he was in life. Lord Callowen insists that Ringan and Penny rid Callowen House of the dangerous Leight but leave Lady Susanna's ghost untouched. As the pair searches the mansion's ancient ledgers, Ringan and Penny begin to suspect that Lady Susanna's death was not as simple as the song suggests, and that the truth may expose a four-hundred-year-old lie. The third entry in this series, Matty Groves is another bewitching tale of how mysteries thought dead and buried can still return to threaten the living.

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