Leigh Perry is the author of the Family Skeleton Series: A Skeleton in the Family, The Skeleton Takes a Bow, and The Skeleton Haunts a House.
The town of Norbold, England is famous for its low crime rate, thanks to the zero-tolerance policy of Chief Superintendent John Fountain. And Norbold's newest police recruit, Hazel Best, is happy to help keep it that way. But numbers never tell the whole story, do they?
Jerome Cardy knew he was going to die. He also knew that it would be made to appear like an accident. He might not be able to prevent it, but Jerome was determined to make sure that someone knew what was going to happen—even if that someone was a man with a concussion lying with his dog in a jail cell next to him.
After Jerome is found beaten to death by a fellow inmate in another cell, Ash is unable to forget Jerome's last awkward words to him: "I had a dog once. Othello. That was its name. Othello." Certain there is a hidden message in these words, Ash is determined to discover the truth. But it won't be easy—no one believes his account of that night. And Hazel Best must decide whether pursuing the truth is worth her career.
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.
"A masterwork of horror."— Time
Victoria McQueen has an uncanny knack for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. When she rides her bicycle over the rickety old covered bridge in the woods near her house, she always emerges in the places she needs to be.
Charles Talent Manx has a gift of his own. He likes to take children for rides in his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith with the vanity plate NOS4A2. In the Wraith, he and his innocent guests can slip out of the everyday world and onto hidden roads that lead to an astonishing playground of amusements he calls Christmasland. The journey across the highway of Charlie's twisted imagination transforms his precious passengers, leaving them as terrifying and unstoppable as their benefactor.
Then comes the day when Vic goes looking for trouble...and finds her way to Charlie. That was a lifetime ago. Now, the only kid ever to escape Charlie's evil is all grown up and desperate to forget. But Charlie Manx hasn't stopped thinking about Victoria McQueen. On the road again, he won't slow down until he's taken his revenge. He's after something very special—something Vic can never replace.
As a life-and-death battle of wills builds, Vic McQueen prepares to destroy Charlie once and for all—or die trying.