Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Did She Really Kill All Those People?

I have spent two life times in smoke filled bar rooms picking one sort of music or another. After a certain number of years you realize how the music business works. It is very tightly controlled and is almost impossible to “make it big”. If you had to make it “big” with every project or endeavor, you would never see or hear some of the best music. There would be no house bands or local bar bands or independently produced records. ( or CDs or more recently Downloads ).

I am guessing that the writing industry is mirrored in this respect. Book deals with a major publisher seem to be the dream or goal of a lot of writers. I am not a writer and I don’t have this goal at the moment. Neither am I a literary critic other than I know what I enjoy reading.

Since starting this blog, I don’t think I have enjoyed anything as much as reading and writing while interacting within this unique medium. Truthfully, I follow some blogs more regularly than others. As most of you know, I throw myself into two opposing pools of thought with more than one blog site. With this site I work very hard at refraining from espousing my views, but I feel comfortable giving thoughts on a subject.

S. Kay Murphy lives in the San Gabriel Mountains of southern California, but her mother’s side of the family, at one time, lived in Missouri. She spent several years writing and another five years to find a publisher for her book “Tainted Legacy”.

Through chance and reading about followers, I came onto her website.

On Being Simply True

In her posts, she mentioned her book “Tainted Legacy” a couple times, along with how the book came about. My interest was enough that I sent Ms. Murphy an email and in a couple of days, I had the book. I read half of the book in the first sitting. I took the book back to the office and lost it. I finally found it under the passenger seat of my pickup a day later and finished it in the second setting. It, to me, the story was that riveting.

As an adult, Ms Murphy discovered a family secret that she had grown up of not being aware. She learned, in a conversation with her sister, there was a mysterious family secret that she had never heard from her mother. It was about her mother’s grandmother. In the early part of the twentieth century, her great-grandmother, Bertha Gifford, had been accused of murder and was believed to be a serial killer.

Ms. Murphy set out on a journey to find the truth. In this she found, I believe, more than one truth while, perhaps, leaving the real mystery still unsolved. The story is a combination of biography and autobiography intertwined within one tale. As the reader, I often felt that I was a bystander in the scene at the very moment the fabric of mystery was being unfolded. The real characters seem to become “neighbors” of sorts. Seldom do I read a book that I so easily plait myself within the personalities of the characters.

An intriguing part of the characters and events is that Ms. Murphy unravels and sorts out the genealogy of the families then weaves them back together in a family quilt of cousins, sister-in-laws and other various combinations. A unique facet of the story is that you know what happened before you start. She takes you with her on her quest to find the truths in courthouses, cemeteries and homes of the present day. There was never a mention of this, but I think Ms. Murphy’s alter ego is Det. Joe Friday (Dragnet). “Just the Truth Ma’um”. The entertaining part is seeing what happened along the way and the aftershock of the events.

My intent is NOT to give the impression that I am a writing critic of any magnitude but to express my enjoyment of reading Ms. Murphy’s “Tainted Legacy”. I do feel comfortable with the point that I believe it is a good idea to support your fellow artists whether it is with CDs, local musical events or writing, both by supporting their products of just a friendly “pat on the back”.

To Visit Ms. Murphy’s Blog and webpage

On Simply Being True

Click  to enlarge


  1. This book sounds very interesting, I think I would enjoy it as well, thank you for letting me know about it as I am off to check out the above website.......:-) Hugs

  2. It does sound like a really good book!

  3. Thanks for sending us to S. Kay Murphy!

  4. Wow, that sounds like just my kind of book!