The Better to Eat You

Open Road Media
Free sample

A professor becomes enchanted with a girl who carries a dangerous jinx
History student Sarah Shepherd does not look like a killer. She is shy, but her writing so impresses Professor David Wakeley that he asks her to become his research assistant. Terrified, she begs him to stay away. For Sarah Shepherd is stalked by death, and the professor could be her next victim. For years, people close to her have died: an office colleague, a coworker’s mother, and Sarah’s husband, who dropped dead on their wedding day. David doesn’t believe her until a few days later, when his parked car rolls down a hill, seemingly under its own power, and kills a stranger. Something is tormenting this young girl, and David suspects it may be her family. To Sarah’s relatives, a group of old vaudevillians, deceit and even murder are second nature.
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About the author

Edgar Award–winning Charlotte Armstrong (1905–1969) was one of the finest American authors of classic mystery and suspense. The daughter of an inventor, Armstrong was born in Vulcan, Michigan, and attended Barnard College, in New York City. After college she worked at the New York Times and the magazine Breath of the Avenue, before marrying and turning to literature in 1928. For a decade she wrote plays and poetry, with work produced on Broadway and published in the New Yorker. In the early 1940s, she began writing suspense. Success came quickly. Her first novel, Lay On, MacDuff! (1942) was well received, spawning a three-book series. Over the next two decades, she wrote more than two dozen novels, winning critical acclaim and a dedicated fan base. The Unsuspected (1945) and Mischief (1950) were both made into films, and A Dram of Poison (1956) won the Edgar Award for best novel. She died in California in 1969.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Open Road Media
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Published on
Feb 21, 2012
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Pages
256
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ISBN
9781453245637
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Traditional
Fiction / Thrillers / Crime
Fiction / Thrillers / Suspense
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Nine stories of revenge, compassion, love, and loathing in a collection “to be cherished” from an Edgar Award–winning author (Dorothy B. Hughes).

A child is unwittingly introduced to the very meaning of terror. A teenage girl eyes her mother’s lover with curiosity and caution. A nasty rumor poisons the reputation of a guarded neighbor. A schoolteacher’s attempt to reach four bullying students results in a wicked sting. An elderly woman’s patience begins to crack in the most unexpected ways. . . .
 
In this suspenseful anthology, author Charlotte Armstrong illuminates the mysteries of life in tales told from perspectives ranging from infancy, childhood, and adolescence to adulthood and the deathbed. In each piece, Armstrong demonstrates how the tiniest spark of emotion—a stray whisper or the impression of a stranger—can shed light on the past, define the future, become a catalyst for tragedy, or influence fears that last a lifetime.
 
Along with Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine First Prize Winner for Best Detective Story “The Enemy”—a story that was made into the 1952 MGM film noir Talk About a Stranger—this gripping anthology also includes “At the Circus,” “The World Turned Upside Down,” “The Enemy,” “Miss Murphy,” “Motto Day,” “The Weight of the World,” “The Conformers,” “How They Met,” and “I See You.”

“I tend to become inarticulate in reviewing Armstrong, largely because the method by which she achieves her magical effect defies critical analysis. You are simply caught up, as you might be by a collaboration of Cornell Woolrich and Shirley Jackson.” —Anthony Boucher, The New York Times
 
The sequel to the Shamus Award-nominated PLAYED TO DEATH

Crime consultant Scott Drayco is in the middle of a thorny case in Washington, D.C. involving murder victims who were all wheelchair-bound. Then, out of the blue, he gets a worried call from a friend on Virginia's Eastern Shore about an attack on an innocent disabled girl.

Working once again with Sheriff Sailor and Deputy Nelia Tyler, Drayco discovers almost everyone believes the girl's attack was an accident. But he begins to suspect otherwise when he crosses paths with a badly disfigured man and the man's enigmatic Goth son, as well as one of the smoothest and most dangerous figures Drayco has encountered in his career.

Meanwhile, his conflicted feelings toward the soon-to-be-divorced town councilman's wife, Darcie Squier, continue to simmer under the surface and threaten to undermine his focus and cloud his judgement. But he's well aware he needs to keep his faculties razor-sharp if he's to solve the riddle of whether the cases in D.C. and the Eastern Shore are linked - or is he dealing with not one monster, but two? 

PRAISE FOR BV LAWSON'S SCOTT DRAYCO SERIES

"Lawson uses the gothic features of the abandoned Opera House to great effect, creating an atmospheric background for the crimes and the solving of them, all of it accompanied with music that's almost like another character. The pace never sagged and it kept me enthralled." - Long and Short Reviews

"Lawson's book was so good, I read it twice from beginning to end...The citizens of Cape Unity are as diverse and multi-layered as any person living in the large cities, and Lawson portrayed them splendidly." - Reader's Favorite Reviews

"The storyline here is nicely structured, and creatively ties together two murder mysteries, which occurred decades apart. The small town setting is ideal, the lead character engaging, and the supporting cast interesting and diverse. Overall, a solid start to this series." - Omnimystery News

"A nice tight mystery in a realistic setting. Totally enjoyable." - Terrie Farley Moran, national bestselling author of the Read 'Em and Eat Mystery Series

Category Keywords:  vigilante justice, crime fiction, FBI agents, murder, private detective, suspense, mysteries, thrillers, mystery & detective, private investigator series, detective novel series, literary mystery, murder mystery series,  serial killers, small town mysteries, vengeful, mystery series, thriller books, crime books, suspense books, best mystery novels, J.A. Jance, Tana French, Louise Penny, Karin Slaughter

Amos Decker -- the FBI consultant with a perfect memory -- returns to solve a gruesome murder in a booming North Dakota oil town in the newest thriller in David Baldacci's #1 New York Times bestselling Memory Man series.

When Amos Decker and his FBI colleague Alex Jamison are called to London, North Dakota, they instantly sense that the thriving fracking town is ripe for trouble. The promise of a second gold rush has attracted an onslaught of newcomers all hoping for a windfall, and the community is growing faster than houses can be built. The sudden boom has also brought a slew of problems with it, including drugs, property crimes, prostitution -- and now murder.

Decker and Jamison are ordered to investigate the death of a young woman named Irene Cramer, whose body was expertly autopsied and then dumped in the open -- which is only the beginning of the oddities surrounding the case. As Decker and Jamison dig into Irene's life, they are shocked to discover that the woman who walked the streets by night as a prostitute was a teacher for a local religious sect by day -- a sect operating on land once owned by a mysterious government facility that looms over the entire community.

London is a town replete with ruthless business owners, shady government officials, and religious outsiders, all determined to keep their secrets from coming out. When other murders occur, Decker will need all of his extraordinary memory and detective skills, and the assistance of a surprising ally, to root out a killer and the forces behind Cramer's death. . . before the boom town explodes.
A New York City drama teacher risks her life to expose a potentially deadly public hoax in this “most uncommon thriller” (New York Herald Tribune).

Olivia Hudson, a drama teacher at a Manhattan girl’s school, refuses to let her uncle John Paul Marcus play the role of dupe in a real-life revenge story. Uncle John is a beloved war veteran, a New York institution, and a hard-working philanthropist with an unimpeachable reputation. His mistake—an honorable one, at that—was disclosing the financial chicanery of industrial heir Raymond Pankerman, and it could cost John his life.
 
Raymond has staged the perfect crime, and the perfect frame-up, to destroy the old man. He has everything he needs: a failed and penniless playwright who’d sell his soul if the price was right, a budding television starlet looking for a breakout role, and a susceptible public suckered into believing a supernatural swindle that’s making headlines.
 
As a good man is taken down by the outlandish claims of an “otherworldly” publicity-seeking beauty nicknamed the Dream Walker, Olivia refuses to stand idly by—especially since she has the talent to outwit and outplay an actress at her own duplicitous game.
 
Inspired by the mob mentality of the postwar McCarthy hearings, Charlotte Armstrong’s The Dream Walker (also published as Alibi for Murder) is both an ingeniously clever mystery of double-crosses and triple-twists, and a still-relevant cautionary tale about the irreversible consequences of tabloid journalism and the gullibility of the masses.
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