MATTY GROVES by Deborah Grabien


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Historical ghosts threaten to disrupt a prestigious arts festival.

While producer/director Penny Wintercraft-Hawkes is away overseeing her company’s production of Much Ado About Nothing, her lover Ringan Laine gets the offer of a lifetime: to play the very exclusive Callowen Arts Festival with his band Broomfield Hill. As significant other, Penny gets an invite as well but has apprehensions about attending. Callowen House is reportedly haunted by a not-very-benevolent spirit, and Penny has a turbulent track record in dealing with spirits (The Weaver and the Factory Maid, 2003, etc.). She faces a very different and unexpected problem when Charlotte Leight-Arnold, the uninhibited daughter of Lord Callowen, publicly declares her disdain for theater and her desire for a roll in the hay with Ringan. The ghosts are not long in coming, however. Jane Castle, the flautist for Broomfield Hill, bears a strong resemblance to Lady Susanna Leight-Arnold, immortalized in a centuries-old portrait, and begins seeing apparitions and behaving strangely. Her health takes a dramatic turn for the worse, and Penny has an angry showdown with Lord Callowen, who wants to downplay this development for the sake of the festival. When Ringan also shows sign of possession, Penny knows that immediate action must be taken. A local genealogist and an old folk song provide the keys to the mystery of Matty Groves.

Penny and Ringan may be the most appealing couple of modern mystery, and Grabien again provides terrific historical tidbits.

Pub Date: Oct. 11th, 2005
ISBN: 0-312-33389-7
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Dunne/Minotaur
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2005


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