Grab Bag: A Collection of Stories

Open Road Media
3
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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.
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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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Additional Information

Publisher
Open Road Media
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Published on
Nov 6, 2012
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Pages
212
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ISBN
9781453277379
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Collections & Anthologies
Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Cozy
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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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Before Agatha Christie, there was America’s Mistress of Mystery. This is the story of her life and creative legacy, from the butler who did it to Batman.

In the decades since her death in 1958, master storyteller Mary Roberts Rinehart has often been compared to Agatha Christie. But while Rinehart was once a household name, today she is largely forgotten. The woman who first proclaimed “the butler did it” was writing for publication years before Christie’s work saw the light of day. She also practiced nursing, became a war correspondent, and wrote a novel—The Bat—that inspired Bob Kane’s creation of Batman.

Born in Allegheny City, Pennsylvania, before it was absorbed into Pittsburgh, and raised in a close-knit Presbyterian family, Mary Roberts was at once a girl of her time—dutiful, God-fearing, loyal—and a quietly rebellious spirit. For every hour she spent cooking, cleaning, or sewing at her mother’s behest while her “frail” younger sister had fun, Mary eked out her own moments of planning, dreaming, and writing. But becoming an author wasn’t on her radar . . . yet.

Bestselling mystery writer Charlotte MacLeod grew up on Rinehart’s artfully crafted novels, such as the enormously successful The Circular Staircase—“cozies” before the concept existed. After years of seeing Christie celebrated and Rinehart overlooked, MacLeod realized that it was time to delve into how this seemingly ordinary woman became a sensation whose work would grace print, stage, and screen. From Rinehart’s grueling training as a nurse and her wartime interviews with a young Winston Churchill and Queen Mary to her involvement with the Blackfoot Indians and her work as doctor’s wife, mother of three, playwright, serialist, and novelist, this is the unforgettable story of America’s Grande Dame of Mystery.
 Alexandra—Sandy—Kellick had come from Colorado to help her aunt, May Brewster, with her antique shop in Massachusetts while that good lady went off on a buying trip. 

A small girl, with softly curling brown hair and a delicate heart-shaped face, Sandy looked almost too young to be left with such an important assignment, but she felt quite equal to the task. It would be fun, she thought, learning the antique business, and now, standing in the shop's wide driveway, she looked at the White Knight himself, prancing bravely before her eyes. A fantastic sculpture of white-painted stovepipe and sheet metal, he bestrode a wooden sawhorse with leather ears and a rope-yarn tail. The tin plume on his rakish helmet glistened like silver in the late afternoon sun, and a soft June breeze Muttered the red pennon on his lance. All at once, Alexandra Kellick felt a thrill of excitement. 

That excitement was to grow into fear as the odd and rather frightening-looking man in the old blue car became a more and more frequent visitor. 

Still, nothing could hurt her, Sandy thought. Not with tall, handsome Don Mil­ler, her next-door neighbor, so near. 

But when the Currier & Ives print came into her possession—and she knew that the man in the blue car and a mysterious some­one else were after it—Sandy realized that it would take all her wits, plus a great deal of courage, to foil the attempts of a collec­tor who would stop at nothing to gain pos­session of the print. In all Sandy's imagin­ings, there had been no thought of the strange new world into which she was to enter—a world in which antique dealers rode around in purple station wagons painted with pink roses, a world in which Currier & Ives prints of two kittens and a field mouse were always turning up. 

The adventures and near-tragic climax of a young girl's attempt to run a country an­tique shop singlehanded make an exciting and spine-chilling Mystery.

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