A Song of the Past is the story of Deirdre O’Reilly, a detective in the New Haven, CT police department. In investigating the murder of a small-time drug dealer, Deirdre is confounded by disparate clues that link this seemingly ordinary drug killing to a secret Yale society, and to one of the oldest and most prominent families in New Haven. Her colleagues are largely indifferent to the killing of a known criminal from the ghetto, but Deirdre becomes obsessed with bringing the killer to justice. In her quest to do so, her research leads her to explore New Haven’s rich colonial history as well as its complex, multicultural present. Soon, Deirdre realizes that what’s playing out before her may not be what it seems and she quickly has to disentangle what is staged from what is real. In the process Deirdre wrestles with her sense of identity as a Jamaican-Irish woman who grew up in rural Cork, Ireland, and is now trying to be a modern day Sherlock Holmes in urban New Haven.