It looks like wedding bells again for the much-married Cora Felton when distinguished widower Raymond Harstein III moves into town and makes a play for the Puzzle Lady. That is, it does until the mail brings puzzling cryptograms, which, when deciphered, warn Cora off the match.
Or do they?
As the puzzles keep coming, a killer’s game must be played in earnest, and it’s up to the Puzzle Lady to solve the riddle—if anyone is going to live to make it to the altar!
From the Hardcover edition.
Violent crime is rare in tiny Bakerhaven. When the body of an unknown teenage girl turns up in the local cemetery, Police Chief Dale Harper finds himself investigating his first homicide. Nothing about this case is straightforward. Even a thorough search of the crime scene fails to reveal who she was, the murder weapon, or why the killer left her body in a graveyard minus her shoes. A cryptic message on a scrap of paper she carried seems to be a crossword puzzle clue. Could it have been left by the killer? If so, what does it mean?
Fortunately for Harper, Bakerhaven is the new home of Miss Cora Felton, the famed "Puzzle Lady" herself, whose popular crossword puzzle column graces newspapers nationwide. Yet bringing Cora Felton into this case could be his most costly mistake. For though she may look like someone's sweet old grandmother, behind those twinkling eyes and that slightly mysterious smile lies a woman with a whopping secret...and some hidden vices. What's worse, one whiff of mystery turns Miss Felton into a modern-day Miss Marple.
Now Cora is snooping through crime scenes, questioning witnesses, and gaining a lot of unwanted attention. It's just the sort of meddling, mischief-making behavior that drives Chief Harper to distraction and inspires many cross words from her long-suffering niece Sherry. But when another body turns up in a murder that hits much closer to home, Cora must find a killer--before she winds up in a black box three feet across...and six down.
A delicious brew of colorful characters, irresistible intrigue, and dazzling plot twists, Parnell Hall's A Clue for the Puzzle Lady is just what a mystery should be--a generous helping of fun and a puzzle that never fails to surprise and entertain.
“If sweet-looking, gray-haired Miss Marple cursed, smoked, and carried a gun in her purse, she’d be a ringer for Cora Felton.”—Booklist
The Puzzle Lady couldn’t be happier. Matt Greystone, the rookie sensation who just signed a huge contract with the Yankees after coming to the team as the player to be named later in a trade with the Diamondbacks, winning seventeen games as a starting pitcher, was coming to town to rehab from an arm injury. A diehard Yankee fan, Cora was delighted when Matt invited her to a weekend pool party.
On the plus side, she got to meet Derek Jeter.
On the minus side, she had to solve a puzzle (that was also named later), and a couple of the guests got killed.
Solving murders is right up the Puzzle Lady’s alley. Unfortunately, someone has broken into the house of a local psychiatrist and rifled her patient files, and Chief Harper wants Cora to solve that, too.
Cora already knows who broke into the house.
INCLUDES CROSSWORDS AND A SUDOKU BY WILL SHORTZ THAT HELP YOU SOLVE THE MYSTERY
Meg's long-lost paternal grandfather, Dr. Blake, has hired Stanley Denton to find her grandmother Cordelia. Dr. Blake was reunited with his family when he saw Meg's picture—she's a dead ringer for Cordelia—and now Stanley has found a trail to his long-lost love in a small town less than an hour's drive away. He convinces Meg to come with him to meet her, but unfortunately, the woman they meet is Cordelia's cousin—Cordelia died several years ago, and the cousin suspects she was murdered by her long-time neighbor.
Stanley and Meg agree to help track down the killer and get justice for Cordelia. Grandfather even has perfect cover--he will come to stage a rescue of the feral emus and ostriches (escaped from an abandoned farm) that infest this town. He dashes off to organize the rescue—which will, of course, involve most of Meg's family and friends in Caerphilly. But then, the evil neighbor is murdered, and not only Cordelia's cousin but also the entire contingent of emu-rescuers, who have had conflict with the neighbor, are suspects. Only Meg and the cousin—who seems to share a lot of telling traits with Meg—can find the real killer and clear the air in The Good, the Bad, and the Emus, the newest beverage-spittingly funny installment in this uproarious series from the one-and-only Donna Andrews.
Veterinarian and amateur sleuth Jessica Popper races down the rabbit hole and into a vintage case of passion and betrayal in Long Island's elite wine country in…
Hare Today, Dead Tomorrow
It's harvest time, but this season's crop includes chardonnay, merlot…and murder. The victim is heir to one of the North Fork's most prestigious wineries–and if the crime isn't shocking enough, the prime suspect is one of Jessie's closest friends!
Between managing her menagerie of pets, including Lou, the one-eyed Dalmatian, her tailless Westie, Max, and a tiger kitten who thinks she's queen of the jungle, commitment-phobic Jess struggles to adjust to a new addition to her household: live-in boyfriend Nick Burby. But even that proves easy compared to the challenge of catching a killer who's left nothing behind but a "hare"–a stuffed bunny rabbit. To clear her friend's name, Jess must maneuver through a warren of bizarre twists and more suspects than a bunny has offspring–and she'll need her own lucky rabbit's foot to avoid becoming this killer's next victim…
"Five paws up for Cynthia Baxter's Reigning Cats and Dogs series!"—Carolyn Hart
From the Paperback edition.
Cora is eager to undo her Japanese counterpart---at least until the poor woman is arrested for murder and Cora realizes that she accidentally framed her for the crime. As if that weren't frustrating enough, the publicity of her arrest drives Minami's sales through the roof!
Now it's up to Cora to clear her rival's name, get her off the bestseller list, and trap the real killer, but she'd better do it fast, before the cops find out what Cora did, and she winds up facing more jail time than Minami.
Boasting an entertaining, fun-filled mystery, as well as several satisfying crossword and sudoku puzzles, The Puzzle Lady vs. The Sudoku Lady from Parnell Hall's popular mystery series makes for a rollicking good read.
There are Michael's and Meg's doting but demanding mothers, for a start. And then there's the fruitless hunt for a place big enough for the couple to live together. And a succession of crises brought on by the well-meaning but utterly wacky demands of her friends and family. Demands that Meg has a hard time refusing---which is why she's tending the switchboard of Mutant Wizards, where her brother's computer games are created, and handling all the office management problems that no one else bothers with. For companionship, besides a crew of eccentric techies, she has a buzzard with one wing---who she must feed frozen mice thawed in the office microwave---and Michael's mother's nightmare dog. Not to mention the psychotherapists who refuse to give up their lease on half of the office space, and whose conflicting therapies cause continuing dissension. This is not what Meg had in mind when she agreed to help her brother move his staff to new offices.
In fact, the atmosphere is so consistently loony that the office mail cart makes several passes through the reception room, with the office practical joker lying on top of it pretending to be dead, before Meg realizes that he's become the victim of someone who wasn't joking at all. He's been murdered for real.
Donna Andrews's debut book, Murder with Peacocks, won the St. Martin's Malice Domestic best first novel contest and reaped a harvest of other honors as well. This is the fourth book in the Meg Langslow series, which features the intrepid Meg and her cast of oddball relatives. Their capers are a lighthearted joy to read.
At the heart of the matter is the not-so-little white lie Cora has been living for years: assuming the grandmotherly public face of her publicity-shy niece Sherry, who designs crossword puzzles and publishes them under Cora’s name—aka the Puzzle Lady. It turns out that Sherry’s and Benny’s cruciverbalist paths had recently crossed, resulting in the current incriminating conundrum.
As if Sherry’s wedding engagement jitters and a nasty battle over missing antique chairs weren’t enough to deal with, now Cora has to solve the ultimate mystery: how to keep the secret of her identity without losing her life. Because not only does all evidence point to Cora, but someone seems to want her dead. It looks like a riddle with no answer. Luckily for Cora and Sherry, that’s their favorite kind!
Wealthy widow Emma Hurley died with only her servants at her side — but after she passes away, her greedy heirs crawl out of the woodwork to stake a claim in Emma’s fortune. To their surprise, Emma was not content to leave behind a simple will. Instead, her final testament includes a clever puzzle ... one to be given only to her living heirs.
The first one to solve the puzzle will inherit Emma’s entire estate; everyone else will be left with a pittance. The will also stipulates that Cora Felton — local celebrity and famed author of a popular syndicated crossword puzzle column — must referee the contest.
Unfortunately, it’s Cora’s niece, Sherry Carter, who is the brains behind Cora’s “Puzzle Lady” persona. And it’s up to Sherry to unravel the bizarre riddle Emma Hurley engineered before her death. For soon it’s plain that Emma’s game is one without a clear winner ... and that the players could lose far more than they ever imagined!
Cora has no problem tracking hubby to his love nest, but when Brittany refuses to believe he's cheating on her, Cora has to blackmail him to prove the affair. Before she can, a car bomb rocks the quiet streets of Bakerhaven, and the stakes escalate to murder.
To save Becky's clueless client from the clutches of the law, Cora will manipulate a TV reporter, cast suspicion on an innocent man, crack crossword and Sudoku clues, solve the liquor store robbery, and enlist the aid of both Sergeant Crowley and his girlfriend in Parnell Hall's Puzzled Indemnity, this outrageous new entry in the Puzzle Lady Mystery series featuring Sudoku by Will Shortz.
The brilliantly funny Donna Andrews delivers another winner in the acclaimed avian-themed series that mystery readers have come to love. The eighteenth book in her New York Times best-selling series continues to surprise and delight in this next knee-slapping adventure featuring Meg Langslow and all the eccentric characters that make up her world.
It's another holiday and Mayor Randall Shiffley has turned Caerphilly, Virginia into Spooky City, USA. The residents are covering every window with cobwebs and roaming the streets in costume to entertain the tourists, and Meg's grandfather is opening a new "Creatures of the Night" exhibit in the zoo. When a real body at the zoo and a suspicious fire at the Haunted House threaten to mar the town's creepy fun, it's up to Meg Langslow to save Halloween.
Like Meg Langslow, the blacksmith heroine of her series, Donna Andrews was born and raised in Yorktown, Virginia. She introduced Meg to readers in her Malice Domestic Contest-winning first mystery, Murder with Peacocks, and readers are still laughing. This novel swept up the Agatha, Anthony, Barry, and a Romantic Times award for best first novel, and a Lefty for funniest mystery.
With Lord of the Wings, readers can look forward to another zany Meg Langslow mystery--this one filled with Halloween spirit and suspense.
Bakerhaven, Connecticut, seems like the ideal place to host a charity crossword-puzzle tournament–after all, the town is home to Cora Felton, the beloved puzzle columnist known as the Puzzle Lady. A slew of celebrity contestants are on the way. And the locals have been invited to challenge the veteran puzzlers head-on. But soon the town’s attention is fixated on something far more controversial than crosswords...when the body of the town tart is discovered lying dead on her kitchen floor. Before anyone can stop her, Cora is hot on the trail of the truth, interviewing nosy neighbors, digging up dirt, and drawing out a lonely recluse who just may hold the key to cracking the crime. But will she solve the case before the contest comes to a deadly end? Cora once again proves that sleuthing spells S-U-S-P-E-N-S-E–up, across, and down!
Cora pokes into Overmeyer's death, hoping to prove he died of natural causes. She learns the cranky hermit was the sole surviving member of a forty-year-old stock pooling agreement, and before she can say "capital gain," the town is full of heirs. Complicating things is Sherry's ex-husband, Dennis, who is playing detective in the hopes of impressing his ex-wife. With Sherry out of town, her restraining order against him is moot, and he is taking full advantage of the fact.
With Dead Man's Puzzle, Parnell Hall delivers another stellar, puzzle-packed entry in his entertaining Puzzle Lady series.
The brilliantly funny Donna Andrews delivers boughs of holly and barrels of laughs with Meg's latest adventure in her award-winning, New York Times bestselling series. A few nights before Christmas, Meg is awakened when volunteer fireman Michael is summoned to the New Life Baptist Church, where someone has rigged a cage full of skunks in the choir loft. The lengthy process of de-skunking the church requires its annual pre-Christmas concert to relocate to Trinity Episcopal, where Mother insists the show must go on, despite the budget-related protests of Mr. Vess, an elderly vestryman. Meanwhile, when Meg helps her grandfather take the skunks to the zoo, they discover that his boa has been stolen - only to turn up later during the concert, slithering out from the ribbon-bedecked evergreens. The next morning is Sunday, and the congregation of St. Byblig's, the local Catholic church, arrive to find it completely filled with several hundred ducks.
It's clear that some serious holiday pranksters are on the loose, and Meg is determined to find them. But before she can, a fire breaks out at Trinity, and Mr. Vess is discovered dead. Who would have murdered such a harmless - if slightly cranky - old man? Who has the time during the busy holiday season to herd all of these animals into the town's churches? And will Meg ever be able to finish all of her shopping, wrapping, cooking, caroling, and decorating in time for Christmas Eve? A Yuletide treasure for the ages, Duck the Halls is guaranteed to put the "ho ho hos" into readers' holidays.
Now with an excerpt from Donna Andrews' next Meg Langslow holiday mystery How the Finch Stole Christmas!, available in October 2017.
When a key witness in the alimony hearing gets murdered, a KenKen puzzle is left at the scene of the crime. Is someone trying to tell Cora something? Before she can find out, she runs into more murders, more puzzles (both KenKen and crossword) and a murder weapon that seems to point to Melvin as the killer! At least it might have, if Cora hadn't suppressed it.
Does the Puzzle Lady still have feelings for the scoundrel she once married? Don't ask. She might kill you!
The twelfth in the Puzzle Lady series, Parnell Hall's The KenKen Killings is sure to please fans, and make some new ones.
The brilliantly funny and talented Donna Andrews delivers another winner in the acclaimed avian-themed series that mystery readers have come to love. Cozies make excellent stocking-stuffers, and The Nightingale Before Christmas is guaranteed to put the "ho ho hos" into the holidays for the legions of fans hungry for another Christmas book featuring Meg Langslow. Donna has won many awards for this very popular series, and continues to come up with new hilarious adventures for her endearing heroine. The novel is full of superb screwball comedy as well as Donna's trademark crisp plotting, not to mention bushels of holiday cheer--it wouldn't be the most wonderful time of the year without it.
A shocking crime of passion has Bakerhaven buzzing!
In Parnell Hall's Presumed Puzzled, the Puzzle Lady gets more than she bargained for when she’s hired to track down Paula Martindale’s straying husband. She finds him, all right—hacked to pieces on his living room rug, while his blood-drenched wife haunts the crime scene clutching a butcher knife.
It’s a tough spot for attractive young attorney Becky Baldwin. Paula is presumed innocent until proven guilty, but try to find one juror who’s going to think so.
It’s up to Cora to find the evidence to save the day. She has just two problems: She’s a witness for the prosecution, and every bit of evidence she finds in Paula’s favor, from crossword puzzles to Sudoku to alibi witnesses, tends to indicate that Cora herself is the killer!
So far Meg Langslow's summer is not going swimmingly. Down in her small Virginia hometown, she's maid of honor at the nuptials of three loved ones--each of whom has dumped the planning in her capable hands. One bride is set on including a Native American herbal purification ceremony, while another wants live peacocks on the lawn. Only help from the town's drop-dead gorgeous hunk, disappointingly rumored to be gay, keeps Meg afloat in a sea of dotty relatives and outrageous neighbors.
And, in whirl of summer parties and picnics, Southern hospitality is strained to the limit by an offensive newcomer who hints at skeletons in the guests' closets. But it seems this lady has offended one too many when she's found dead in suspicious circumstances, followed by a string of accidents--some fatal. Soon, level-headed Meg's to-do list extends from flower arrangements and bridal registries to catching a killer--before the next catered event is her own funeral...
When full-time vet and part-time sleuth Jessica Popper is asked to treat a billionaire's ailing horse, she gets a deadly glimpse into the lifestyles of the rich and felonious….
Murder gallops after Jessie when an emergency call sends the traveling vet to a posh Long Island estate with her one-eyed Dalmatian, Lou, and her tailless Westie, Max. A prized Arabian steed needs minor medical care–but it’s the rider who grabs Jess’s attention. The handsome young horseman exudes plenty of animal magnetism as he canters across the field…and then takes an inexplicable, fatal fall.
The dead man was one of the finest polo players in the world, but it was no accident that killed him. The culprit was poison. And as Jess soon discovers, a number of people had the means, motive, and opportunity for foul play, from the hostile barn manager to the businessman’s disgruntled wife. But Jess will have to temper her feline instinct with good old-fashioned horse sense if she’s going to stop a killer from leading a certain sleuth to her death.
“Five paws up for Cynthia Baxter’s Reigning Cats & Dogs series!”—Carolyn Hart
From the Paperback edition.
Parnell Hall delivers another entertaining, puzzle-packed adventure with his delightfully untraditional sleuth in The Sudoku Puzzle Murders, featuring for the first time sudoku puzzles by New York Times crossword editor Will Shortz.
Then an antiques dealer is found stuffed in a trunk with his head bashed in—and the yard sale turns into a day's-long media circus. Even worse, the suspect arrested for the crime is the person Michael needs to secure academic tenure. Now, Meg is juggling an ever-growing list of suspects. And she's going to have to outthink and outwit one clever murderer who lives by "everything must go..."
Meanwhile, a diabolical killer is leaving puzzle clues. If only they were just sudoku puzzles-Cora can't solve the crosswords without the help of her niece, Sherry, who's back in Bakerhaven taking care of her toddler. In order to clear her name, Cora must match wits with a gruff NYPD homicide sergeant who is quite attractive, except for the fact that he suspects her of murder.
NYPD Puzzle is a clever mystery, boasting madcap hijinks as well as fun puzzles. Mystery readers will thoroughly enjoy this latest from acclaimed author Parnell Hall.
The hilariously funny Donna Andrews delivers another winner in the award-winning New York Times bestselling series that has captured human and avian hearts alike. Meg Langslow is plying her blacksmith's trade at "Caerphilly Days," a festival inspired by her town's sudden notoriety as "The Town That Mortgaged Its Jail." The lender has foreclosed on all Caerphilly's public buildings, and all employees have evacuated —except one. Phineas Throckmorton, the town clerk, has been barricaded in the courthouse basement for over a year.
Mr. Throckmorton's long siege has only been possible because of a pre-Civil War tunnel leading from the courthouse basement to a crawl space beneath the bandstand. The real reason for Caerphilly Days is to conceal the existence of the tunnel: the tourist crowds camouflage supply deliveries, and the ghastly screeching of the tunnel's rusty trap door is drowned out by as many noisy activities as the locals can arrange. But the lender seems increasingly determined to evict Mr. Throckmorton—and may succeed after one of its executives is found shot, apparently from inside the basement. Meg and her fellow townspeople suspect that someone hopes to end the siege by framing Mr. Throckmorton. Unless the real killer can be found quickly, the town will have to reveal the secret of the tunnel—and the fact that they've been aiding and abetting the basement's inhabitant. Meg soon deduces that the killer isn't just trying to end the siege but to conceal information that would help the town reclaim its buildings--if the townspeople can find it before the lender destroys it in a gut-busting caper that will have giggles and guffaws coming as fast as a four-alarm fire.
A gaggle of praise for Donna Andrews and the Meg Langslow Mystery Series:
"If you long for more fun mysteries, a la Janet Evanovich, you'll love Donna Andrews's Meg Langslow series." —Charlotte Observer
"A long-running series that gets better all the time. A fine blend of academic satire, screwball comedy, and murder." —Booklist
"As always, Andrews laces this entertaining whodunit with wit, a fine storyline and characters we've come to know and love." —Richmond Times-Dispatch on The Real Macaw
When young attorney Becky Baldwin hires Cora Felton to make a blackmail payment drop, it couldn't go worse: she stumbles over a corpse and a puzzle, and someone steals the money. Becky
won't tell her who the client is, but the most likely suspect is Cora's least favorite ex-husband, Melvin, who claims he's being framed by a psychopath with a grudge. Soon Cora finds herself in a no-win situation. Solving the murder will either put Melvin's neck in the noose, or incur the wrath of a cunning, cold-blooded killer who delights in playing deadly mind games and may be targeting her niece Sherry and Sherry's new baby girl.
$10,000 in Small, Unmarked Puzzles is another delightful entry in Parnell Hall's entertaining Puzzle Lady series, featuring new puzzles by Will Shortz that help readers solve the mystery!
Book 8 of the Port Danby Cozy Mystery Series. Each book can be read as a standalone but they are best read in order.
1. Marigolds and Murder
2. Carnations and Chaos
3. Mistletoe and Mayhem
4. Roses and Revenge
5. Tulips and Trouble
6. Dahlias and Death
7. Peonies and Poison
8. Hyacinths and Homicide
Books 9-14 TBA
Full-length novel ~50,000 words
Holly Winter’s a Dog’s Life columnist in the wrong side of thirty, a canine-loving detective sniffing our crime and corruption on the streets of Cambridge. Holly is a dog’s best friend—and murder’s worst enemy. . . .
If your name is Holly Winter, Yuletide can be a real female dog. When a local vet and a pampered pet suddenly disappear, Holly scents hemlock amid the pine and mistletoe and follows the tracks of a purebred killer.
To get a leg up on the mystery, Holly takes her two Alaskan malamutes and hunk veterinarian Steve Delaney into the exclusive Cambridge Dog Training Club and back out onto the dangerous streets of the city. She won’t quit until she muzzles a rare breed of two-time killer because—when it comes to dognapping and sudden death—Holly has a short leash for murder. . . .
When an elderly boarder at a Bakerhaven bed-and-breakfast drops dead during afternoon tea, there's nothing particularly suspicious about it—except for the Sudoku in his jacket pocket. But when a second body turns up in the window seat and an autopsy shows both men were poisoned with elderberry wine, the Puzzle Lady suspects she's dealing with a cold-blooded killer who for some reason is copying the Cary Grant movie Arsenic and Old Lace, in which two old ladies who run a boarding house poison elderly widowers and bury them in the basement. More murders, more puzzles, and a grave dug in the cellar seem to cement the theory.
Ordinarily, Cora would eat a case like this for breakfast, but for once she can't figure it out. And she's not sure if the clues don't add up, or if the much-married Puzzle Lady is just distracted by being involved in her first romantic entanglement in years.
Arsenic and Old Puzzles is filled with laughs, mayhem, and fun new puzzles by Will Shortz. Mystery and puzzle fans will find much to enjoy in this latest treat from Parnell Hall.
The newest mystery in Donna Andrews's gut-bustingly funny, award-winning, New York Times bestselling series is anything but elementary. Meg Langslow is helping Mayor Randall Shiffley organize the Virginia Un-Fair, Caerphilly's entry in the race to replace the old state fair (which has gone bankrupt). Before a line can even form outside the ticket booth, however, a pair of Bantam Russian Orloff chickens are stolen from their coop in the chicken tent. Soon, a rash of vandalism crops up at the fair, showing no heritage farm animal, prize vegetable, or artisanal craft to be safe.
While patrolling the fairgrounds, determined to catch the perp, Meg runs into her friend Molly, who has been building a successful business making goat cheeses. Molly is terrified that she may lose her farm because her idle husband Brett has left her for Genette Sedgewick, a rich hobby winemaker, and is demanding his half of the land. Meg enlists Mother's help to find Molly a divorce lawyer, but later that night, Brett is found murdered and Molly is swiftly accused as his killer.
Meg is convinced that her friend wouldn't so much as harm a fly, but can she find the real killer before it's too late? Will she track down the vandal who has been terrorizing—however creatively—the fair's participants? And will Michael be able to convince her to add members of his new favorite heritage breed to their growing menagerie? Meg's most hilarious caper yet, the curious incident of the hen in the nighttime will have readers rolling on the floor with laughter.
Of course, Michael's not the only person whose career the dictatorial star has manipulated. So when the star is found murdered, the police have plenty of suspects. Trouble is, Meg doesn't believe they're going to arrest the right one. Soon she finds herself following the murderer's trail through a hotel filled with egotistical actors, costumed fans, and a motley flock of monkeys and parrots who, rebelling against their role as live scenery, have escaped from their cages to take an active (and noisy) role in the festivities.
When the obnoxious sixteen-year-old Peggy Dawson asks Cora Felton to solve a puzzle for her, Cora is delighted to find that the puzzle has been stolen. She is less delighted, however, when a blood-stained knife is found in its place.
Soon a body is discovered in the middle of Main Street, and Cora has a murder investigation on her hands. It does not help matters when she hears that her least favorite ex-husband, Melvin, is in town pulling a real estate scam, particularly when she discovers that Melvin may have purchased the knife. Now it’s up to the Puzzle Lady to figure out what really happened, in The Purloined Puzzle, from the New York Times' bestselling author Parnell Hall.
But dead bodies do seem to keep crossing her path. And now her friend Rosalie has been killed just hours after confiding a secret to Josie, leaving a bereaved twelve-year-old sister, Paige, who reminds Josie of herself when her mother died. It turns out that Rosalie had other secrets too: a mysterious treasure she told her sister she was leaving behind—and a secret admirer who now seems to be turning his creepy attention to Josie!
As Josie races to solve the crime while helping Paige and trying to keep her business afloat, Jane K. Cleland brings us an irresistible new blend of coziness, crime, and collectibles.
Stanley Hastings finally felt like a real PI, staking out a New Jersey motel to get evidence on a woman’s cheating husband.It should have been a piece of cake. Only the husband wasn’t cheating, someone killed him, and the cops are trying to pin the murder on the man apprehended at the scene, who just happens to be Stanley.
To clear his name, Stanley will wind up jumping bail, impersonating a police officer, staking out a mob boss, and appropriating a murder weapon from a sassy Jersey Girl who keeps trying to distract him by ripping her clothes off.
And that’s just for starters . . .
During a 2am feeding for her four-month-old twins, Meg Langslow hears an odd noise and goes downstairs to find her living room filled with dozens of animals—cats, dogs, hamsters, gerbils, rabbits, guinea pigs, and a stunningly foul-mouthed macaw. She soon learns that financial woes have caused the local animal shelter to repeal its no-kill policy.
Her kindhearted father, her zoologist grandfather, and other like-minded citizens have stolen all the shelter's animals, both as a gesture of protest and to protect them until the hated policy can be repealed. But the volunteer who was to transport the animals to new homes has been murdered. Was it the victim's tangled love life that drove someone to murder? Or the dark secrets behind local politics? And will Meg ever succeed in finding homes for all the animals that have landed in her life?
Full of the hilarious shenanigans – avian as well as human – that have come to surround Meg and her eccentric band of friends and family, the latest from the one and only Donna Andrews will have you laughing until the very last page: it's The Real Macaw!
"People who love cats...have a friend in Rita Mae Brown," declares The New York Times Book Review. And nowhere is it more obvious than in this, her sixth deliciously witty foray into detective fiction written with the paws-on help of collaborator Sneaky Pie Brown, and starring that irrepressible crime-solving tiger cat, Mrs. Murphy.
As the principal of St. Elizabeth's, an exclusive private school that caters to Crozet, Virginia's, best families, Roscoe Fletcher has proven himself to be a highly effective and vastly popular administrator. So when his obituary appears in the local paper, everyone in town is upset. Yet nothing compares to the shock they feel when they discover that Roscoe Fletcher isn't dead at all. Someone has stooped to putting a phony obituary in the newspaper. But is it a sick joke or a sinister warning?
Only Mrs. Murphy, the canny tiger cat, senses the pure malice behind the act. And when a second false obit appears, this time of a Hollywood has-been who is Roscoe Fletcher's best friend, Mrs. Murphy invites her friends, the corgi Tee Tucker, and fat cat Pewter, to do a bit of sleuthing. It's obvious to this shrewd puss that two phony death notices add up to deadly trouble. And her theory is borne out when one of the men is fiendishly murdered.
"Harry" Haristeen, in her position as Crozet's postmistress, is the first to hear all the theories on whodunit—starting with the man's jealous wife. Then a second bloody homicide follows, and a third. People are dropping like flies in Crozet and no one seems to know why.
Fearlessly exploring all the places where humans never think to go, Mrs. Murphy manages to untangle the knots of passion, duplicity, and greed that have sent someone into a killing frenzy. Yet knowing the truth isn't enough. Mrs. Murphy must somehow lead Harry, her favorite human, down a trail that is perilous...to a killer who is deadly...and a climax that mystery lovers will relish.
From the Paperback edition.
Poor Stanley Hastings. After getting hired by a hitman and nearly getting shot, the put-upon PI needed some fun, so when a gorgeous damsel in distress walks through his office door, she seems just what the doctor ordered.Wrong again.
The fair maiden turns out to be a married mom who wants Stanley to find out why her teenage daughter is skipping school. Playing truant officer isn't exactly Stanley’s idea of fun, but at least it should be easy. Fat chance.
Stanley being Stanley, nothing goes right, nothing is as it seems, bodies start to pile up, and faster than you can say “fall guy,” guess who’s left holding the bag?
Meg has been volunteered to organize the parade, which is to proceed from her house to the local campus, where Santa will take up residence to hear the Christmas wishes of the town's children. Of course, getting all the camels, pipers, leapers, and drummers in order is proving every bit as difficult as Meg feared it would be. Then her nephew Eric, wide-eyed and ashen-faced, whispers, "Meg, something's wrong with Santa."
The local curmudgeon, whose beard and belly made him a natural for the role, has been murdered. Now Meg and Chief Burke, who is playing one of the wise men, are faced with the two-fold mission of solving the murder and saving Christmas!
Readers can look forward to another zany Meg Langslow mystery---this one filled with outrageous Christmas spirit...and mayhem.
Now Richard's in court fighting for his life, and Stanley's out on the firing line trying to dig up some evidence in his favor. It won't be easy. The murdered woman was a law clerk for a prominent judge, and everyone Stanley needs to question is currently tied up in a high-profile Global Banking trial.
As Stanley races back and forth between two courtrooms, searching for the key to the mystery through investigative techniques that could easily get him charged as an accessory, every fact tends to point to Richard's guilt: DNA evidence proves he is the man who had sex with the victim just before she died, eyewitnesses put him at the scene of the crime, and his fingerprints are on the murder weapon.
In desperation, Richard resorts to a series of courtroom tactics so outrageous they would make Perry Mason blush. Before the case is over, everyone in the courtroom will be convinced that not only does Richard Rosenberg have a fool for a client, but the client has a fool for a lawyer.
Meg is eight and a half months pregnant with twins when Michael asks if she wouldn't mind another houseguest. One of his doctoral students is directing his new translation of a play by a minor Spanish playwright, and the playwright has agreed to come to town for the production.
Senor Mendoza turns out to be a drinker, a smoker, and an inveterate partygoer. Before long, Meg's kitchen is filled with the smells of Spanish food and the voices of all the wilder souls in both the drama and Spanish departments. Into this chaos arrive two prune-faced administrators, the dean of the English department and a man from the college president's office, who say that the play must be canceled.
When the dean is found murdered, Meg's house becomes a crime scene, and the only way to restore peace is to help Chief Burke solve the murders---while rescuing the student's dissertation and Michael's tenure---all before dashing off to the hospital to give birth to her twins!
The one and only Donna Andrews continues to surprise and delight in this next knee-slapping adventure featuring Meg Langslow and all the eccentric characters that make up her world.
There are two social functions in Savannah guaranteed to get people talking: weddings and funerals. And just as consignment shop owner Reagan Summerside agrees to marry the hunky Walker Boone, her neighbors, sisters Annie Fritz and Elsie Abbot, step up their business as professional mourners. They are so successful that the Sleepy Pines Retirement Center has hired them as a part of their retirement package. But the celebration over good business is cut short when the residents at Pines suddenly begin dying at an alarming rate. And the sisters are the first suspects.
Reagan has her doubts, however, and begins to look into the strange phenomenon. But then something even stranger happens: a body winds up in the sisters’ pink Caddy. The evidence begins to pile up and the suspicious case of Willie Fishbine, who swindled the sisters out of a fortune and coincidentally died prior to the Pines case, is reopened.
Not wanting Willie to be buried until they can find the killer responsible for the murders, Reagan must catch the culprit in time to walk down the aisle. Witty, fabulous, and full of charm, Lethal in Old Lace is perfect for fans of Ellery Adams and Jenn McKinlay.
Unable to resis the scent of the hunt, Jess is soon investigating a casting director's dream of potential suspects. But if Jess isn't careful, she just might become the next victim of a killer determined to prove she's barking up the wrong tree.
From the Paperback edition.
Gone Gull brings readers yet another knee-slapping adventure filled with New York Times bestselling author Donna Andrews’ cast of wacky characters.
Meg is spending the summer at the Biscuit Mountain Craft Center, helping her grandmother Cordelia run the studios. But someone is committing acts of vandalism, threatening to ruin the newly-opened center’s reputation. Is it the work of a rival center? Have the developers who want to build a resort atop Biscuit Mountain found a new tactic to pressure Cordelia into selling? Or is the real target Meg’s grandfather, who points out that any number of environmentally irresponsible people and organizations could have it in for him?
While Meg is trying to track down the vandal, her grandfather is more interested in locating a rare gull. Their missions collide when a body is found in one of the classrooms. Can Meg identify the vandal and the murderer in time to save the center’s name—while helping her grandfather track down and rescue his beloved gulls?
When President Kate Lee calls Stone Barrington to Washington on an urgent matter, it’s soon clear that a potentially disastrous situation requires the kind of help more delicate than even he can provide...and he knows just the right man for the job.
Teddy Fay: ex-CIA, master of disguise, and a gentleman not known for abiding by legal niceties in the pursuit of his own brand of justice.
Meg Langslow is at Trinity Episcopal Church locking up after an event and checking on the toucan her friend Rev. Robyn Smith is fostering in her office. When she investigates the sound of hammering in the columbarium (the underground crypt where cremated remains are buried), Meg finds the murdered body of an elderly parishioner. Several niches have been chiseled open; several urns knocked out; and amid the spilled ashes is a gold ring with a huge red stone.
The curmudgeonly victim had become disgruntled with the church and ranted all over town about taking back his wife's ashes. Did someone who had it in for him follow him to the columbarium? Or was the motive grave robbery? Or did he see someone breaking in and investigate? Why was the ruby left behind?
While Chief Burke investigates the murder, Robyn recruits Meg to contact the families of the people whose ashes were disturbed. While doing so, Meg learns many secrets about Caerphilly's history—and finds that the toucan may play a role in unmasking the killer. Clues and events indicate that a thief broke into the church to steal the toucan the night of the murder, so Meg decides to set a trap for the would-be toucan thief—who might also be the killer.
Toucan Keep a Secret is the twenty-third book in New York Times bestselling author Donna Andrews' hilarious Mag Langslow mystery series.
Ever a man of mystery and intrigue, Teddy Fay has donned a new disguise--that of Mark Weldon, a stuntman and actor starring in Centurion Studios' newest film. When the picture's leading lady begins receiving blackmail threats, Teddy is in the perfect position to investigate, and it soon becomes clear that the villains have more in their sights than just money. Money they've got. What they need is prestige, the cache of a respected studio to lend authority and legitimacy to their artistic endeavors . . . and a little bit of vengeance in the bargain.
From the seedy hidden corners of Los Angeles to the glamorous Hollywood Hills, it will take every ounce of Teddy's cunning to save an actress's career, protect the studio, and finish filming Centurion's next big hit.
Besides, she has taken on another responsibility--making sure none of her fellow crafters ruin the historical authenticity of the fair with forbidden modern devices--like wrist watches, calculators, or cell phones. She's only doing it to keep peace with the mother of the man she loves. And Michael himself will don the white-and-gold uniform of a French officer for the re-enactment--what actor could resist a role like that?
Meg's also trying to keep her father from scaring too many tourists with his impersonation of an 18th century physician. And to prevent a snooping reporter from publishing any stories about local scandals. Not to mention saving her naive brother, Rob, from the clutches of a con man who might steal the computer game he has invented. It's a tough job--at least, until the swindler is found dead, slain in Meg's booth with one of her own wrought-iron creations.
Now Meg must add another item to her already lengthy to do list: "Don't forget to solve the murder!"
Fortunately, the more trouble Meg faces, the more fun the reader will have--and Meg faces plenty of trouble in this lighthearted and funny novel.
Under the tutelage of Stone Barrington, Herbie Fisher has transformed from a bumbling sad sack into the youngest partner at the white-shoe law firm Woodman & Weld, and a man whose company is in high demand both because of his professional acumen and his savoir faire. But even his newly won composure and finely honed skills can’t prepare him for the strange escapade he’s unwittingly pulled into, and which—unbeknownst to him—has put him at the center of a bull’s-eye. In the city that never sleeps there are always devious schemes afoot, and Herbie will have to be quick on his feet to stay one step ahead of his enemies...and they’re closing in.
On a sparkling spring day in the cozy coastal town of Rocky Point, New Hampshire, with the lilacs in full bloom and the wisteria hanging low, antiques dealer Josie Prescott is showing a stellar doll collection she's just acquired to Alice Michaels, the queen of the local investment community. Moments later, Josie watches in horror as Alice is shot and killed. Within hours, one of Josie's employees, Eric, is kidnapped. The kidnapper's ransom demand is simple—he wants the doll collection. Working against the clock with the local police chief, Josie discovers that the dolls hold secrets that will save Eric and uncover the truth behind Alice's murder.
With Dolled Up for Murder, Jane K. Cleland's Josie Prescott Anitques Mystery Series "continues to offer clever mysteries studded with enough information on antiques to keep collectors coming back for more." --Publishers Weekly
When Teddy Fay receives a freelance assignment from a gentleman he can't refuse, he jets off to Paris on the hunt for a treasonous criminal. But as Teddy unearths more information that just doesn't seem to connect, his straightforward mission becomes far bigger--and stranger--than he could imagine. The trail of bread crumbs leads to secrets hidden within secrets, evildoers trading in money and power, and a global threat on an unprecedented scale. Under the beautiful veneer of the City of Lights, true villainy lurks in the shadows...and Teddy Fay alone can prevent the impending disaster.