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The Haunting Ballad

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The Seance Society introduced mystery lovers to Mr. O'Nelligan and Lee Plunkett, an unlikely pair of sleuths on an equally unlikely case with a supernatural twist. Having taken over his father's PI business, Lee enlists O'Nelligan, a dapper Irishman with a flair for solving mysteries, to help catch a killer. Now, in Michael Nethercott's The Haunting Ballad, this sleuthing The Seance Society introduced mystery lovers to Mr. O'Nelligan and Lee Plunkett, an unlikely pair of sleuths on an equally unlikely case with a supernatural twist. Having taken over his father's PI business, Lee enlists O'Nelligan, a dapper Irishman with a flair for solving mysteries, to help catch a killer. Now, in Michael Nethercott's The Haunting Ballad, this sleuthing "odd couple" are back in another witty, charming, and wonderfully written mystery, this time set in 1957 in the burgeoning music scene of New York City's Greenwich Village. It's the spring of 1957, and O'Nelligan and Plunkett are summoned to New York to investigate the death of a controversial folk song collector. The trail leads the pair to a diverse group of suspects including an eccentric Beat coffee house owner, a family of Irish balladeers (who may be IRA), a bluesy ex-con, a hundred-and-five-year-old Civil War drummer boy, and a self-proclaimed "ghost chanter" who sings songs that she receives from the dead. To complicate matters, there's a handsome, smooth-talking young folk singer who Lee's fiancée Audrey is enthralled by. And somewhere in the Bohemian swirl of the Village, a killer waits...


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The Seance Society introduced mystery lovers to Mr. O'Nelligan and Lee Plunkett, an unlikely pair of sleuths on an equally unlikely case with a supernatural twist. Having taken over his father's PI business, Lee enlists O'Nelligan, a dapper Irishman with a flair for solving mysteries, to help catch a killer. Now, in Michael Nethercott's The Haunting Ballad, this sleuthing The Seance Society introduced mystery lovers to Mr. O'Nelligan and Lee Plunkett, an unlikely pair of sleuths on an equally unlikely case with a supernatural twist. Having taken over his father's PI business, Lee enlists O'Nelligan, a dapper Irishman with a flair for solving mysteries, to help catch a killer. Now, in Michael Nethercott's The Haunting Ballad, this sleuthing "odd couple" are back in another witty, charming, and wonderfully written mystery, this time set in 1957 in the burgeoning music scene of New York City's Greenwich Village. It's the spring of 1957, and O'Nelligan and Plunkett are summoned to New York to investigate the death of a controversial folk song collector. The trail leads the pair to a diverse group of suspects including an eccentric Beat coffee house owner, a family of Irish balladeers (who may be IRA), a bluesy ex-con, a hundred-and-five-year-old Civil War drummer boy, and a self-proclaimed "ghost chanter" who sings songs that she receives from the dead. To complicate matters, there's a handsome, smooth-talking young folk singer who Lee's fiancée Audrey is enthralled by. And somewhere in the Bohemian swirl of the Village, a killer waits...

30 review for The Haunting Ballad

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sandy

    Set in 1950s era Greenwich Village, Plunkett and O'Nelligan are hired to investigate the true reason for the apparent suicide of Lorraine Cobble, a song collector. Lorraine is not a nice person and the motives for murder are plenty. I found it interesting to read about the PIs unraveling the intertwined lives of the Italian night club owner, the loud Irish brothers, the acerbic ghost song singer and the 105-year-old Civil War Drummer boy. While well-written, I did not find this book to be a page Set in 1950s era Greenwich Village, Plunkett and O'Nelligan are hired to investigate the true reason for the apparent suicide of Lorraine Cobble, a song collector. Lorraine is not a nice person and the motives for murder are plenty. I found it interesting to read about the PIs unraveling the intertwined lives of the Italian night club owner, the loud Irish brothers, the acerbic ghost song singer and the 105-year-old Civil War Drummer boy. While well-written, I did not find this book to be a page turner. But I would back-track to read The Seance Society.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Emmett Hoops

    I read a very entertaining story by Nethercott in a recent issue of Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, and this caused me to look up this author and his books. Amazon had a copy of The Haunting Ballad. I was all set for a good read. That is not what I found. I found moderately entertaining characters speaking in sentences that simply mill about the page, unsure of any direction. Half-way through the book, I was struggling with the pages as one may recall having done with an unpleasant homework I read a very entertaining story by Nethercott in a recent issue of Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, and this caused me to look up this author and his books. Amazon had a copy of The Haunting Ballad. I was all set for a good read. That is not what I found. I found moderately entertaining characters speaking in sentences that simply mill about the page, unsure of any direction. Half-way through the book, I was struggling with the pages as one may recall having done with an unpleasant homework assignment. By the end, I had to reappraise the attempts at humor that suffuse the story: it's there because of the absence of more riveting ingredients. It's just not a riveting mystery, nor do we care about any characters. The story I read in AHMM may well be a sign that Nethercott is improving. I hope so. There's a lot of possibilities in his writing.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Susan Hunt

    Very enjoyable mystery and follow up to Nethercott's first book of the series, The Seance Society. I liked both, but particularly enjoyed this one, set in Greenwich Village. I particularly enjoy the references to poetry, and specifically to Yeats. Mr. O'Nelligan is a delight, and I enjoy Lee Plunket too. I look forward to future books in this series. Very enjoyable mystery and follow up to Nethercott's first book of the series, The Seance Society. I liked both, but particularly enjoyed this one, set in Greenwich Village. I particularly enjoy the references to poetry, and specifically to Yeats. Mr. O'Nelligan is a delight, and I enjoy Lee Plunket too. I look forward to future books in this series.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Maria

    Too slow for me. It was ok.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ron

    Great period piece. Quick enjoyable read.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kaarin

    Another good read from Nethercott.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Loretta Darmstadt

    Good characterization, good story plot, but disappointing ending.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Irenic

    If Max Allen Collins and Tamar Myers had a child, it would be Michael Nethercott. The reluctant P.I. and his distinguished sidekick are at it again, this time in 1950's Greenwich Village. Hilarious! If Max Allen Collins and Tamar Myers had a child, it would be Michael Nethercott. The reluctant P.I. and his distinguished sidekick are at it again, this time in 1950's Greenwich Village. Hilarious!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    Lee Plunkett inherited his Connecticut detective agency from his much-tougher father, but he manages to keep it going, with the help of elderly Mr. O'Nelligan, his unpaid aide. When they're asked to investigate the death of a song collector in Greenwich Village, where the folk craze is building to a peak, Lee doubts if the death is murder, as opposed to suicide, as the police contend. There were, and are, many colorful characters in local hangout Café Mercutio, and among the dead woman's neighbo Lee Plunkett inherited his Connecticut detective agency from his much-tougher father, but he manages to keep it going, with the help of elderly Mr. O'Nelligan, his unpaid aide. When they're asked to investigate the death of a song collector in Greenwich Village, where the folk craze is building to a peak, Lee doubts if the death is murder, as opposed to suicide, as the police contend. There were, and are, many colorful characters in local hangout Café Mercutio, and among the dead woman's neighbors are an 105-year-old Civil War veteran and a woman who claims to receive songs from ghosts.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Luci

    It was ok.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Doreen

    8/26/14 Review tk.

  12. 5 out of 5

    PottWab Regional Library

    SM

  13. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    I loved it! I can't wait for the next one. I loved it! I can't wait for the next one.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sara

  15. 5 out of 5

    Cecilia McNamara

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sheila Johnston

  17. 5 out of 5

    Pat

  18. 4 out of 5

    L

  19. 4 out of 5

    John Barclay

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jim DeVries

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jane Dietzel-cairns

  23. 4 out of 5

    Owen McKeon

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kayanna Nelson

  25. 5 out of 5

    Linda Holland

  26. 4 out of 5

    Blossom 121486

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jasmina Uzunovic

  28. 4 out of 5

    Becky Hueniken

  29. 5 out of 5

    Nbenn

  30. 4 out of 5

    Mirjana

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