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Two possible killers One dead woman. Who is her murderer? Who will be next? STACCATO: Retribution played double-time. When acclaimed pianist Nicholas Kalman discovers his lover's dead body, he sets out alone to find her killer. During his journey, he meets an unwitting female accomplice who soon becomes determined to help Nicholas wield his retaliation. Following a parallel path for justice, Steven Hawk, the deputy of a sleepy Southern county, is assigned to the case. Pursuing the investigation, Hawk finds himself entangled in a world of vengeance, greed and manipulation. Performed against the backdrop of the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina, STACCATO transports readers to a behind-the-scenes glimpse of professional musicians, the psychological twists and turns of its characters, and in the end, retribution that crashes in a crescendo of notes played at the literary pace of a maestro's staccato. STACCATO is Book One of the Inola Walela/Steven Hawk suspense series. "Staccato is a musical tempo, a beat, a rhythm. Ledford's STACCATO throbs with the tensions of two prodigies vying for their diabolic mentor's approval. A gripping look at the resentments and ambitions at the highest level of musical competition where envy, jealousy and cold ambition lead to murder. And murder. And murder." -Virginia Nosky, award-winning author of Blue Turquoise White Shell and White River "Exciting, riveting, unforgettable characters. A touch noir, a bit gothic, full of captivating suspense. Staccato is a well-crafted psychological thriller that will keep you turning pages." -Sam Barone, award-winning author of Dawn of Empire, Empire Rising

Important places

Bryson City (3)


Swain (15)


North Carolina (1,570)


United States (64,950)

Other geographical areas

Blue Ridge Mountains (74)
Piedmont (USA) (1,063)
Appalachian Mountains (1,111)
Carolinas (2,142)