Winner of the 2004 Mary Higgins Clark Award and the 2004 Oklahoma Book Award for Fiction

Filled with mistaken identities, a bogus oil company, a crazy hermit, and a handsome cowboy -- not to mention murder. Song of the Bones is the second title in M.K. Preston’s Oklahoma mystery series featuring Chantalene Morrell.

Thelma Patterson, Tetumka’s eccentric postmistress and Chantalene Morrell’s surrogate aunt, retains Drew Sander’s legal services, with Chantalene as his assistant. Billy Ray Patterson, the younger man Thelma married thirty years before, disappeared soon after the nuptials and now Thelma needs to find him. An oil company wants to lease Thelma’s land for exploration, but the missing Billy Ray’s name is still on the property and she needs to clear the title. They assume he’s dead---until a handsome cowboy claiming to be Billy Ray shows up in Tetumka.

Thelma takes him back, but after a few days, she’s convinced the man living in her house is not her husband. Who is he? Only Chantalene is willing to help Thelma learn the truth. And that’s when things get dangerous….


"Get to your public library or local book store and get this book. Now.... This is one of the best mysteries I've read in a very long time." ---Mystery News

"Strong writing, great story, suspense, no gimmicks-what more can a reader ask for? Find it, buy it, read it." ---Deadly Pleasures

"Be prepared to read this one in one sitting. The characters are engaging and very real; the plot is logical and the action moves along smoothly. Hints of the supernatural color the tale, and there are just enough glimpses into Chantalene's background (this is the second book featuring her) to make readers crave more. The ending lives up to the rest of the book. Whether you're looking for mystery, romance, or something to make the hairs stand up on the back of your neck, Song of the Bones has it all." ---Futures Mysterious Anthology Magazine

"Preston blends the flavor of rural Oklahoma, lost love, and revenge into a book you will not want to put down - whether you live in a big city or the American countryside."

"... Song of the Bones is an excellent read. Preston is a new, intelligent writer who knows how to tell a good story." -Southwest BookViews

"With a strong, likeable protagonist and prose that crackles like an Oklahoma lightning storm, Song of The Bones proves that M.K. Preston’s award-winning debut was no fluke." ---C. J. Box, Author of Open Season and Winterkill

"The heroine of Song of the Bones is a brave and independent woman who will put her own life in danger to save her friend. M.K. Preston is a talented writer who makes a backwater town in rural Oklahoma seem so real, readers will feel they have visited Tetumka. The protagonist marches to her own drummer but endears herself to the audience who sees her as a colorful friend turning this amateur sleuth tale into must reading." ---Harriet Klausner, Midwest Book Review

"... very likeable heroine ... a good, solid, well-plotted mystery with ... lots of surprises." ---Mary Ann Steel, I Love A Mystery

" ... an intriguing, engrossing novel with an engaging main character.... The characters are richly drawn and likable, the sense of place is strong, and the plot adds layers page after page until the exciting climax." ---ForeWord Magazine




Finalist for the Macavity Award, Barry Award & Mary Higgins Clark Award

perhapscvrFrom Library Journal

“Chantalene Morrell, part Gypsy and recently returned to the family farm, announces to the surly citizens of Tetumka, OK, that a man on death row has confessed to the crime for which four of them lynched her father 12 years ago. Chantalene wants her father's killers apprehended, but the subsequent grisly murder of a prime suspect lands her in jail. After another returning native, New York tax attorney Drew Sander, rescues her, they form an unsteady alliance aimed at uncovering the truth. This first novel by the publisher of the writer's magazine ByLine, features an unusual heroine, idiosyncratic characters, a bucolic setting, and an intriguing plot. Strongly recommended.” -Library Journal, June 2001

From Booklist

If the reason for this book's title is not instantly evident, the author's storytelling abilities are. Preston is the editor and publisher of ByLine, a magazine for writers, and this first installment of a projected new series is charming, suspenseful, and even touching. It's the story of a woman who returns to her hometown after more than a decade to unmask (or so she hopes) the people who killed her father after he was acquitted of rape. But when one of the townsfolk turns up dead, Chantalene finds herself on the wrong side of the law. This young heroine (she's just turned 25) is a splendid character, smart and resourceful but also vulnerable and more than a little unsure of herself. Preston smoothly sets up her story so that, by the end of the novel, Chantalene is in a position from which she can solve mysteries on a regular basis. This sparkling debut is recommended for all mystery lovers but especially those who enjoy strong female leads. David Pitt Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

From Publishers Weekly

“Chantalene Morrell, a Gypsy from Tetumka, Oklahoma, returns in search of the men who lynched her father and caused her mother to disappear in M.K. Preston's first book, Perhaps She’ll Die. She gets a whiff of what she's up against when the butcher offers her information and ends up murdered, but a dauntless Chantalene, aided by a local boy back home for a visit, plumbs the depths of the hostile town and her own memories.” -Publishers Weekly, June 11, 2001.