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The Weaver and the Factory Maid

(Haunted Ballad #1)

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  147 ratings  ·  31 reviews
Haunted by the ghosts of characters memorialized in their songs, a pair of lovers must uncover the truth behind the ghosts' deaths.

When Ringan Laine, British folk musician, becomes the owner of a restored eighteenth-century cottage, he discovers right away that the cottage and the ancient barn on Ringan's property are haunted.

Ringan and his longtime lover Penny, researchin
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published December 10th 2003 by St. Martin's Minotaur
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3.76  · 
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 ·  147 ratings  ·  31 reviews

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Lauren Stoolfire
Ringan Laine, a folk musician, quickly realizes that his new home, a restored 18th century cottage, is haunted. Together Ringan and Penny, his significant other, look into the history of the house, only to learn that it was the site of a famous double murder in 1817, and that one of the folk songs that Ringan is known for performing tells the story of the victims, a young couple. Before you know it, Ringan and Penny are making arrangements to hold a full scale musical exorcism.

A friend of mine l
May 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mysteries
Not really a mystery, not really a spooky ghost story, but I enjoyed it. Ringan Laine is a fold musician and house-restorer/historian who gets an 18th century cottage as payment for a job. As he is moving in, he and his girlfriend discover that it is haunted. Some of the reviews I read about it were disparaging about the lack of suspense in the murder mystery part of the story, but I don't think it is a problem. No, it isn't a who-done-it, but the story of the characters is still interesting. Th ...more
Jul 04, 2008 rated it did not like it
In which a folk musician and his lover attempt to uncover the truth behind the haunting of his new home. Interesting concept, poor execution. I got about halfway through before I decided I was horribly bored and gave up. The set-up was taking far too long, and I didn't think I could bear to read another pointless description of Penny's clothing and its effect on her various male acquaintances. I think I'll be passing on the rest of this series.
Mar 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
#1 Haunted Ballad mystery set in the UK. Is it a mystery? A gothic ghost story? A charming English story? Yes, yes and yes. Ringan Laine is the guitarist and vocalist in a traditional folk band, which doesn't often pay enough of a living wage to subsist on. So he also does home restorations. When the owner of the manor home he's nearly finished restoring explains that he isn't able to pay him in cash due to a problem with the courts tying up his liquid assets, Ringan is livid--until the man offe ...more
Cheryl Gatling
Ringan Laine plays in a band that plays English folk music. Since that doesn't pay the bills, he also renovates old houses on the side. When one of his wealthy clients has a little cash flow problem, and can't pay Ringan, he deeds him an old cottage instead. Hmm. Why is the landlord so eager to get rid of this little property, complete with valuable antique furniture? Because it's haunted, naturally, and not with one ghost, but with two, a pair of young lovers. Betsy inhabits the house, and Will ...more
Aug 18, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sf-f
The premise of this book was a ghost story based on an old folk song - which it was, but not a very good one.
Ringan Laine is a British folk musician who moves into an old cottage that is also inhabited by a ghost. Additionally, the ancient barn on his property is also haunted - by a different ghost. These ghosts affect Ringan and his friends in various ways, but eventually they figure out who the ghosts are and how to "exorcise" them.
All along I felt I was missing something in the story - many
Nov 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
Having read the author's "JP Kinkaid Chronicles", I was intrigued by the premise in her other series. Mysteries featuring the ghosts from folk ballad characters. I was not disappointed. A short book(only 182 pages), I was quickly enthralled with the two main characters: Ringan and Penny and the ghosts that haunt Ringan's new home and barn. Can't wait to start on the 2nd story in the series!

"Haunted by the ghosts of characters memorialized in their songs, a pair of lovers must uncover the truth b
Nov 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, mystery
There is a bunch of commentary on the cover of this book that explains what it is better than I can:
"Murder, music, and ghosts of the past."
"The first in a new series bringing old English mystery ballads into the modern world."
Which promises some fun, eh? I'm only not sure if it's the same group of people in each title. We shall see; this is a brand-new book.

The premise in this is that one member of a folk music group (named Ringan) is paid for a rehab job with a small house of his own. The
Sep 04, 2007 rated it really liked it
Deborah Grabien – 1st in series
Thomas Dunn Books, 2003- Hardcover
Ringan Laine, a British folk musician and period architecture restoration expert, accepts a piece of land containing a cottage and tithe barn in lieu of payment. What he didn’t know, at the time, was it also contained a pair of ghosts. With the help of his girlfriend, benefactor and band mates, he becomes determined to find out who they are and how to release them.
*** I’ll a
Ringan is a musician and does renovations. When someone he has done some renos for can't pay, but instead, offers an old house and property, Ringan can't resist. However, he soon learns that the place is haunted. When his girlfriend, Penny, arrives, they work together to figure out who the ghosts are and why they are there.

It started a little slow for me, but it got better and I enjoyed the second half more. I really liked the epilogue. It was short and a quick read. I'm still unsure whether or
Nov 26, 2007 rated it really liked it
A great ghost story - not so scary that you stay awake or have nightmares, but it imparts just enough chills. The fact that it is based on an English folk song is really fun, and the characters are well developed. The story is fairly simple and wraps up quickly, but it's a good, gentle read. The fact that it's set in the English countryside makes it very enjoyable, too. I look forward to reading the other books in the series.
Jan 02, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: adult, horror
When Ringan is offered a cottage and tithe barn as payment for work on an aristo's home, he is beyond belief. But after he moves in he learns both buildings are haunted, and his girlfriend and band mate have an extra sensitivity to the ghosts-a sensitivity that he worries could hurt them. Took a third of the book to catch the rhythm, but was pulled in as the ghostly events became more and more pronounced.

Sara Sheehy
Feb 05, 2011 rated it liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I wasn't blown away by the writing, but the storyline was good and it kept me interested. The first 2/3 of the book - the unfolding of the story - was maybe drawn out a little longer than necessary. I say this to explain my three star rating - I liked and enjoyed the book, but it wasn't amazing. A good read for a lazy Sunday, or on vacation in an old English farmhouse.
Anne Barwell
Oct 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library, wish-list
Wow. A friend reccommended this one and I can see why. I loved it and once I started it couldn't put it down. The pacing and feel of it is not fast but it suits the story and characters perfectly. The descriptions are wonderful - I could very well imagine being there. Not sure why it's in the library as mystery/detective - it's a ghost story, but so much more and I love the role that music plays in it.

Apr 06, 2008 rated it it was ok
This is a good ghost story - sort of creepy in parts but you can still sleep after. However, I didn't connect with the characters at all. I thought they were over analytical and almost pious. Maybe it is because the author is English and I didn't really get the phrases they used. However, I know people who loved this book.
Jun 13, 2010 rated it really liked it
I got this in my attempt to move away from some of the paranormal reading. How was I to know this was a ghost story? I loved the texture of the countryside, the glimpse into British culture, and learning about the structure of British society. Loved how the characters didn't get in the way of the story, yet still liked the characters.
Jul 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book- it was a quick read and I think this will be an interesting series. I liked how the mystery of the two ghosts evolved and how they were tied into the folk ballad. I believe Ringan, Penny and the rest will be intriguing characters going forward.
Sherri Gates
Nov 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
Book was a suggested reading from the library and my introduction to Grabien's Ballad series. A modern murder based on an old ballad. Subsequent books on this series were well written and dug some of the research on how certain ballads came to be and how a murder in the present could relate to it.
Apr 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This whole series of books is excellent. It's historical fiction woven with mystery and modern day occurances. I really enjoyed the Haunted ballad series and now need to find the new book that just came out- New Knight. Can't wait to read it...when I have the time! :)
May 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
Written with energy and verve, this ghost story/mystery takes its inspiration from the ballad of the title (this is the first in a series of five "Haunted Ballads") and its lush prose from the English countryside and the world of British folk music. Can't wait to read the rest of them.
Samonia Byford
Jul 23, 2007 rated it really liked it
Though I adored the setting (and especially the cottage), I didn't find myself caring very much for the main characters. Luckily, the story was interesting enough I didn't mind.
Kathy Rogers
Oct 22, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: ghosties, 2015
Fairly effective ghost story, although I found the slow pace challenging.
Jan 21, 2008 rated it really liked it
This book actually gave me goosebumps. It was creepy, but not downright terrifying.
Sep 07, 2015 rated it liked it
I read it in a day and found it relaxing and fun like a Hallmark channel mystery movies. I will read the next in the series.
main characters Penny Wintercraft-Hawkes a theatre director, Ringan Laine a folk musician and architectural historian/restoration consultant
Oct 27, 2011 marked it as to-read
Recommended to Monica by: Sue
Shelves: fiction
Sounds interesting. Brit folk has a special place in my heart thanks to Bert Jansch and some of his drinking buddies. This may be the book to set me off in search of a books on tape service.
Jul 31, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2008-reads
An interesting ghost story.
May 03, 2012 rated it liked it
Great fun and a quick read.
Oct 26, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, paranormal
This is a short book and not a bad story, but it's taking me FOREVER to read!
Eileen Burbage
Feb 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book. I can't wait to get the next...
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Deborah Grabien is a world traveller, retired medieval historian, and lifelong rocker chick. Her short fiction, reviews, and essays can be seen in many diverse venues.

Other books in the series

Haunted Ballad (5 books)
  • The Famous Flower of Serving Men (Haunted Ballad, #2)
  • Matty Groves (Haunted Ballad, #3)
  • Cruel Sister (Haunted Ballad, #4)
  • New Slain Knight (Haunted Ballad, #5)