It’s summer in England, and---with nothing urgent demanding their attention---Ringan and Penny are planning a quiet vacation alone together. Their plans change when Ringan’s niece, fourteen-year-old violin prodigy Becca, is dumped in their care while her parents deal with an emergency abroad.
Ringan has no idea what to do with a teenage relative. Penny points out that Becca is more a musician than a child, and suggests a musical holiday in Cornwall. Playing in front of a live audience with Ringan and a band will give the girl much-needed experience and confidence. It will let Ringan get to know his niece better, as well.
It’s a good plan, and everyone approves. And yet something about the St. Ives home of their host, Gowan, leaves Penny uneasy. She hears voices in her mind, speaking in Cornish, and has a horrifying vision through the eyes of a dying man. When, soon after, she finds Becca sleepwalking, Penny learns from Gowan that, many years earlier, his emotionally unstable lover hanged herself in this house. It may simply be the echoes of that tragedy disturbing both her and Becca. But after Becca has a seizure during a live performance of a seemingly harmless song, Penny and Ringan realize that a much older tragedy hangs over Gowan and his family. And if they can’t find the truth and lay to rest whatever ghosts still walk, they may lose Becca.
New-Slain Knight, the fifth in the Haunted Ballad mystery series, touches on the ties that bind: family, the past and the present, and the mystery that lies behind every story.