Cruel Sister by Deborah Grabien
A Haunted Ballad

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Penny Wintercraft-Hawkes's brother has returned from Hong Kong with a comfortable fortune and a new bride and is planning to build a house on land he's inherited. Because they want a house as much like an Elizabethan mansion as its "mod cons" will allow, they ask Penny's lover, Ringan Laine, to work on it as a consultant. Ringan is not only a noted musician but also a designer and architect well versed in the first Elizabeth's colorful period.
The house is to be on the Isle of Dogs, and Penny's brother, his new wife, and Penny herself are delighted with the site. Ringan, however, comes away feeling very uncomfortable. A few weeks later, in London on business, he goes back alone, hoping to clear up any misgivings he has about the place. But this visit is even worse than the first. He hears women's voices, frightening and full of passion, coming from the air around him.
That evening, Ringan is sleeping in Penny's flat; she has taken her theater troupe to Italy. A late-night phone call from Penny reveals to them both that they had an identical dream. In it, two young women on the Isle of Dogs are fighting. One is begging the other not to drown her. Their speech and their clothes put them firmly in the reign of Henry VIII. Once more, Penny and Ringan are being visited by tragic spirits from their country's past.  
This is the fourth in Deborah Grabien's gripping and unusual Haunted Ballad series. Her stories pair two sophisticated and very likable people whose lives are invaded by tortured souls from England's history. With each encounter, Penny and Ringan are forced to find a way to lay a long-suffering ghost to rest.

About Deborah Grabien

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Deborah Grabien is a cook, guitar player, cat rescuer, traveler, and all-around rocker chick. She also writes a little: She’s the author of the Haunted Ballad series and five stand-alone novels. Additionally, many of her short stories and essays have appeared in anthologies and magazines. Deborah lives in San Francisco, heads back to London and Paris whenever she can, and honestly believes you’re never too old to rock and roll.
Published October 17, 2006 by Minotaur Books. 240 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Horror, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Usually it’s Penny who is the sensitive one of the pair (The Famous Flower of Serving Men, 2004, etc.), but she and her acting troupe are off in Italy, so it’s Ringan who becomes obsessed with, and ultimately possessed by, astral visitors from the Tudor court.

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Publishers Weekly

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In Grabien's mesmerizing fourth mystery of ghostly suspense (after 2005's Matty Groves ), actress Penny Wintercraft-Hawkes gets a call from her long-absent brother, Stephen, who has returned to London from Hong Kong with his wife, Tamsin, to claim land he inherited on the Isle of Dogs, situated o...

Aug 28 2006 | Read Full Review of Cruel Sister: A Haunted Ballad

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Monsters and Critics

One is so determined to win his heart, she drowns her sister on the Isle of Dogs and Ringan must endure witnessing the event, hearing the young woman’s dying pleas as though he were actually there.

Oct 15 2006 | Read Full Review of Cruel Sister: A Haunted Ballad

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