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Mass Market Paperback The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter Book

ISBN: 0451403703

ISBN13: 9780451403704

The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter

(Book #2 in the Ballad Series)

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Format: Mass Market Paperback

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

Everyone in Dark Hollow, Tennesee, knew that old Nora Bonesteel had "the Sight." So naturally she was the first to know about the murder-suicide. Four members of the Underhill family lay dead on a... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

A Page-Turner

This is another in McCrumb's Ballad series and, I confess, it is only the second of her novels I've read. I will be looking for more. This woman knows how to write a tale that keeps one turning the pages. A supposedly disturbed teen shoots his parents and younger brother and then commits suicide, leaving two other siblings as orphans. Sheriff Spencer Arrowood talks Laura Bruce into serving as temporary guardian for the orphans and life goes back to normal in Dark Hollow, Tennessee. Or, does it? Sharyn McCrumb is considered a mystery writer but her mysteries have less to do with murder and mayhem than with the intricacies of life. The novel resonates with contrasts. It illustrates the narrow bridge between life and death as it impacts the Underhill children; Laura Bruce, the minister's wife and their unborn child; the dying Tavy Annis and his friend, Taw McBryde; the seer Nora Bonesteel and the dead with whom she communicates, and the hibernating groundhog, Persey. She also addresses ecological concerns such as the polluted river and how it affects the lives of those who live along it and reminds us of past devastations like the chestnut tree blight, which may now be resurfacing in diseases impacting other trees. There's much in this book that will keep you thinking about the various issues long after you read the final page.


Nora Bonesteel, the wise woman of the Tennessee mountains is what her Celtic forebears would recognize as an "edge witch", one who patrols the boundaries between life and death, good and evil, the supernatural and the mundane. In this novel sorrow comes to the mountain community in the guise of an murder/suicide on a remote farm and via a polluted river that brings death into the valley. Nora Bonesteel, with her graveyard quilt and her herbal remedies does what she can do to protect the ordinary folk from tragedy. This is a wonderful novel to trace the continuance of Celtic heritage and folkways into America's Eastern mountains which were settled by Britain's Highlanders.


This book kept me in awe through-out. When I realized what happened, I was just hit in the face. I had no idea it was coming! Wow! I hope everyone will enjoy this book!

It Feels Like Home

For someone with a Scots-Irish, Appalachian, East TN. heritage who is at the moment, displaced in FL., this book is like coming home. McCrumb knows what it feels like to be a part of those mountain communities, the spirit and prejudices, the superstitions and the faith. This book is more than a murder mystery, it is an insiders look at what makes these regional communities function and what makes them unforgettable. This has all the warmth and authenticity that Fraiser's *Cold Mountain* lacked. McCrumb and fellow writer, Lee Smith, truly understand and recapture the Appalachian spirit.

Great book with wonderful characters

I loved this book, especially because i live very close to her setting. Her depiction of the mountain people is very accurate and colorful, and the storyline was a real page turner. excellent!
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