The clunker once driven by Jemima Ames and later, briefly, by the infamous Lorene McSpee had flunked its last sticker test and been reduced to a foot or two of squashed recyclement. Now President Svenson had undisputed possession of the crummiest car in Balaclava County. I wonder if he took his soil auger with him? Darling, do you remember back in May when we had that gaggle of visiting congressmen up at College? Tim came wandering by with that huge drill in his hand, almost as tall as himself, and one of the congressmen asked him what he used it for.
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Would we happen to have any cold beer in the house? Strong men need strong drink. Is that the telephone I hear? He was, she realized at once, in a dreadful taking. Where are you? Shandy was in the house and at the telephone in three bounds. No damn reason why there should have been. I could help take care of the old lady or something.
You stay here and finish the petunias. Helen stood looking after him, her fair-skinned face tender and her bluebell-colored eyes a little moist. And how remarkably sweet of him to have married her. There was a lot to be said for monogamy, she thought, getting back to her petunias. Peter had begun developing a new strain just because Helen had remarked how elegant it would be to have flowers along the front walk that were exactly the same rosy old-brick shade as the house.
These were not yet a perfect match, but they were going to be lovely all the same. The Galapagos Islands would be fun, or Vermillion, South Dakota, or some other exotic and romantic spot. Unless Peter got himself embroiled in another mess such as wifely intuition told Helen he was heading toward at the moment.
Now that Shandy had revealed an unexpected talent for detection, somebody was always after him to unravel an insoluble mystery that usually turned out to be nothing of the sort. But Timothy Ames was not one to panic over trivia, and Tim had been definitely panicking. Quicklime, ugh! A cloud passed over the sun. She felt it only right and proper that the glorious light should be veiled. Traces of plain limestone were still caked on the bottom of the spreader. It was obvious the quicklime had been dumped in on top of the clogged openings, but why?
How could one human being do this to another? The only way it could have got into the spreader, as far as I can see, is for it to have been put there between the time the spreader was last used and the time Spurge Lumpkin started washing it out. Can you remember what day you last used the spreader, Mr. Four, five days ago anyway. I told Spurge to clean it time and again, but he forgot.
Eh, Tim? Then he nodded. Why the hell not? Let him handle the doings and send the bill to me. Spurge would be as much entitled as any farmhand in Balaclava County, far as I know.
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It was a miracle Henny had managed to keep the farm operating as long as he had. It would take another miracle, no doubt, to find a replacement for the dim-witted but willing Spurge. Lumpkin had most likely been working for his board and keep and a plug of chewing tobacco now and then; and chances were that was about all Henny and Miss Hilda could afford to pay.
That problem would have to be faced when the more immediate one was taken care of. The old farmer shrugged. First it was kid stuff.
Then it was limbs broke off the apple trees. Henny hitched up his suspenders and scratched his left armpit.
Anyways then it begun to get mean. Killed all our best layers. Then a while later it was ground glass in the pig swill. No call to. Hell, we been neighbors for three, four generations now. Tim took his friend by the arm. Nevertheless Hengist Horsefall allowed Professor Ames to lead him into the farmhouse.
Young Cronkite Swope hung around looking hopeful.
Not the doctor, surely? A massive heap of blue denim and orange whiskers was waddling toward them from across the road, waving the sort of straw hat that used to be worn alike by man and beast in rural areas. Spurge is the kack-handedest critter around a place I ever did see. Cronkite took the rebuke with good-humored disdain. Would you like to know how the story ends? Cover Begin Reading. Review quotes. About the Author Charlotte MacLeod — was an internationally bestselling author of cozy mysteries. For Nancy and Charles Copeland.
He just keeps howling for you. But how? But when a mystery author comes to town and Mirelle is found murdered, Peter begins to wonder if the master milker is less wholesome than he appears. Charlotte MacLeod — 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. In Rest You Merry , MacLeod introduced Professor Peter Shandy, a horticulturist and amateur sleuth whose adventures she would chronicle for two decades.
The Family Vault 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 Reviews Review Policy. Published on. Flowing text, Google-generated PDF.
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Best For. Web, Tablet, Phone, eReader. Content Protection. Read Aloud. Flag as inappropriate. It syncs automatically with your account and allows you to read online or offline wherever you are. Please follow the detailed Help center instructions to transfer the files to supported eReaders. Continue the series. See more. Rest You Merry. Book 1. Each December, the faculty of Balaclava Agricultural College goes wild with holiday decorations.
The entire campus glitters with Christmas lights, save for one dark spot: the home of professor Peter Shandy. Then the horticulturalist flees town, planning to spend Christmas on a tramp steamer. After all, Christmas is big business, and the town needs the cash infusion that typically comes with the Illumination.
The Luck Runs Out. Book 2. Although the police recover Helen quickly, her professor husband is badly shaken by the ordeal. By the time Peter discovers the link between the two heists, pigs may really fly.
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Wrack and Rune. Book 3. A professor ponders the possibility of an ancient Viking curse while investigating a death by quicklime, in a novel by the Edgar Award—nominated author. When year-old Hilda Horsefall tells young reporter Cronkite Swope of a stone carved with Norse runes that once sat in the nearby woods, the writer starts salivating at the thought of breaking the news that Vikings once marauded through their sleepy Massachusetts countryside. A farmhand has been burned to death by quicklime, and Cronkite gets an exclusive scoop.
In this neck of New England, strange deaths are invariably referred to Professor Peter Shandy, the only local with the know-how to connect fearsome quicklime to the Vikings of old. But as he digs into the ancient mystery, he finds the forgotten Norse gods are not above demanding a modern sacrifice. Something the Cat Dragged In. Book 4. An unpleasant man in every respect, university professor Herbert Ungley is exceedingly vain.
Ungley is found in the yard behind his social club, with his head bashed in and his baldness plain for the world to see. Although the police are content to call it an accident, sleuthing horticulturalist Peter Shandy is unconvinced, and finds there are too many unanswered questions. How did Ungley come to have such a bulging bank account? And whose is the second body in the woods? The Curse of the Giant Hogweed. Book 5. Chasing a vile English plant, Professor Peter Shandy and his friends go on a most peculiar trip The giant hogweed, a creeping menace known for crushing the life out of any plant foolish enough to get in its way, has put the hedgerows and pastures of the English countryside in jeopardy.
Fishermen find their streams clogged, young lovers are caught with rashes in embarrassing places, and the English nudist colony has been all but exterminated. But when Shandy and his colleagues set out to find hogweed samples, they stumble into an unusually mystical adventure. Trapped in a land of castles, wizards, and knights, Shandy must use every scrap of his horticultural genius to get back home—lest the hogweed triumph in his absence.
More featuring detectives. The follow-up to Death by Cashmere: next in the new mystery series set in a tight-knit seaside community.
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