Seventeen priceless stories from the author often referred to as “America’s Agatha Christie” Charlotte MacLeod’s heroes were men and women like Peter Shandy and Sarah Kelling—genteel sleuths who fight crime with brains, not brawn—and her settings were the drawing rooms and servants’ quarters of New England and beyond. With a keen wit and a strong eye for detail, she crafted some of the most memorable victims, murderers, and innocent bystanders of twentieth-century detective novels. In this volume, she proves herself a master of the short story as well. Here is the original Peter Shandy story, featuring the school that would eventually metamorphose into Balaclava Agricultural College. Here is peculiar Cousin Claude, who strangles himself with his own necktie. And here is the tale that answers the question “What does Max Bittersohn do when his wife is not around?” Whether the characters are familiar or not, the style is irresistible, and the mysteries are as delightfully puzzling as ever.
About the author
Charlotte MacLeod (1922–2005) was an internationally bestselling author of cozy mysteries. Born in Canada, she moved to Boston as a child, and lived in New England most of her life. After graduating from college, she made a career in advertising, writing copy for the Stop & Shop Supermarket Company before moving on to Boston firm N. H. Miller & Co., where she rose to the rank of vice president. In her spare time, MacLeod wrote short stories, and in 1964 published her first novel, a children’s book called Mystery of the White Knight. In Rest You Merry (1978), MacLeod introduced Professor Peter Shandy, a horticulturist and amateur sleuth whose adventures she would chronicle for two decades. The Family Vault (1979) marked the first appearance of her other best-known characters: the husband and wife sleuthing team Sarah Kelling and Max Bittersohn, whom she followed until her last novel, The Balloon Man, in 1998.
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