A Simple Shaker Murder (Sister Rose Callahan Mystery)

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9780380804252: A Simple Shaker Murder (Sister Rose Callahan Mystery)
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Despite the hardships of the Great Depression, Sister Rose Callahan's Shaker village of North Homage is surviving nicely. Now they have visitors--a group of "reformers" hoping to create a utopian community that allows more freedom. Rose is disturbed by the group's attitudes...and stunned when one of their members is found hanging from a tree.

The police are quick to rule the death a suicide but as Rose is leaving the orchard she notices a child hiding in a tree. She is Marin, the orphaned foster child of the dead man, and Rose believes she may have witnessed the hanging. The little girl appears to be deeply troubled, and Rose is shocked to discover the cruelty and neglect that has cursed her short life. Rose's fears grow as Shaker beliefs are challenged, questions about the death remain unanswered, and the little girl draws strange and mysterious pictures of her dreams...images revealing a terrible evil, and the danger that someone may be plotting to silence the only witness to a murder.Despite the hardships of the Great Depression, Sister Rose Callahan's Shaker village of North Homage is surviving nicely. Now they have visitors---a group of "reformers" hoping to create a utopian community that allows more freedom. Rose is disturbed by the group's attitudes...and stunned when one of their members is found hanging from a tree.

The police are quick to rule the death a suicide but as Rose is leaving the orchard she notices a child hiding in a tree. She is Marin, the orphaned foster child of the dead man, and Rose believes she may have witnessed the hanging. The little girl appears to be deeply troubled, and Rose is shocked to discover the cruelty and neglect that has cursed her short life. Rose's fears grow as Shaker beliefs are challenged, questions about the death remain unanswered, and the little girl draws strange and mysterious pictures of her dreams...images revealing a terrible evil, and the danger that someone may be plotting to silence the only witness to a murder.Despite the hardships of the Great Depression, Sister Rose Callahan's Shaker village of North Homage is surviving nicely. Now they have visitors---a group of "reformers" hoping to create a utopian community that allows more freedom. Rose is disturbed by the group's attitudes...and stunned when one of their members is found hanging from a tree.

The police are quick to rule the death a suicide but as Rose is leaving the orchard she notices a child hiding in a tree. She is Marin, the orphaned foster child of the dead man, and Rose believes she may have witnessed the hanging. The little girl appears to be deeply troubled, and Rose is shocked to discover the cruelty and neglect that has cursed her short life. Rose's fears grow as Shaker beliefs are challenged, questions about the death remain unanswered, and the little girl draws strange and mysterious pictures of her dreams...images revealing a terrible evil, and the danger that someone may be plotting to silence the only witness to a murder.

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About the Author:

Deborah Woodworth spent her childhood in southern Ohio near the abandoned sites of several Shaker villages. Before turning to writing, she earned her Ph.D. in Sociology of Religion and spent a decade conducting research and teaching. She lives in New Brighton, Minnesota, near the Twin Cities.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Chapter One

A shadow lept up the barn wall, followed by a squeak of animal terror from a comer. The dirt floor softened the sounds of scuffling. A man swore, loudly at first, whispering by the end of the oath. He paused and straightened, resting a moment on the heavy crate he'd been dragging from a comer of the barn. He had no idea what might be in the crate--he bad never been near a farm before, let alone a barn--but the thing was large and heavy and nailed shut. He'd need something tall and stable, just in case all this didn't work out and he bad to take drastic steps.

The thought of what he might have to do sent a shiver through him and brought back the damp chill of the November morning. He shivered again. He was a slight man, unused to discomfort or physical labor. Fear drove him on. He leaned against the crate and pushed again. It scraped across the floor, leaving a trail of gouges in the dirt.

He positioned the crate under a low rafter, crawled on top, and reached upward. Should be just about right: He jumped to the floor and stood silent for a moment, conscious of the soft thump his shoes had made. He sucked in his breath and released it as a field mouse squeezed from under a hay bale and skittered away from the human presence.

After a brief search, the man located a neatly wound coil of heavy rope, worn but not too frayed. He unwound the rope along the floor, nodded when he'd estimated its length, then carried it over to the crate. He glanced up at the beam, and for a split second his eyelids fluttered, the only outward sign of the terror that flashed through his body.

He had done all he could. If the meeting went as be hoped, he'd have no need of these preparations. There would just be time to move everything back in place, and the Shaker brethren would notice nothing amiss when they arrived to feed the animals. If the meeting didn't go well, the brethren would be in for a shock. But he couldn't concern himself with that. This is the way it's got to be, he thought; it's the only way. They couldn't go on like this.

The creak of the barn door told him the time had come. He brushed the dust off his coat and forced his lips into the curve of a smile. It wouldn't do to look desperate or frightened. Although he was both.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9781574905519: A Simple Shaker Murder (Beeler Large Print Mystery Series)

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  1574905511 ISBN 13:  9781574905519
Publisher: Thomas t Beeler, 2004
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