Exit the Milkman - Charlotte MacLeod - ebook

Exit the Milkman ebook

Charlotte MacLeod

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When the dullest man in town goes missing, Professor Peter Shandy must figure out where to look. Although he towers over his neighbors, Jim Feldster is otherwise unremarkable, except for his mastery of cow milking and his membership in every lodge, rotary club, and brotherhood that Balaclava County has to offer. And anyone who's met his wife, Mirelle, a vicious gossip with a hysterical streak, can understand why he never misses a meeting. But one night their neighbors, the sleuthing academics Peter and Helen Shandy, wake at 2:47 a.m. to the sound of Mirelle screaming. Jim hasn't come home, and she will lose her mind if he isn't found quickly. None of Jim's lodge brothers know where to find him, and Peter's investigation turns up few clues. 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. Review Quotes. "Endearing . . . bewitching!" - Chicago Sun-Times. "In the 10th Shandy tale, MacLeod again demonstrates her skill and with incomparable whimsy makes her bucolic puzzles great fun." - Publishers Weekly. "One of the most gifted mystery authors writing today." - Sojourner Magazine. "The screwball mystery is Charlotte MacLeod's cup of tea." - Chicago Tribune. Biographical note. 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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Contents

Cover

About the Book

About the Author

Title Page

Copyright Page

Dedication

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

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About the Book

When the dullest man in town goes missing, Professor Peter Shandy must figure out where to look.

Although he towers over his neighbors, Jim Feldster is otherwise unremarkable, except for his mastery of cow milking and his membership in every lodge, rotary club, and brotherhood that Balaclava County has to offer. And anyone who’s met his wife, Mirelle, a vicious gossip with a hysterical streak, can understand why he never misses a meeting. But one night their neighbors, the sleuthing academics Peter and Helen Shandy, wake at 2:47 a.m. to the sound of Mirelle screaming. Jim hasn’t come home, and she will lose her mind if he isn’t found quickly.

None of Jim’s lodge brothers know where to find him, and Peter’s investigation turns up few clues. 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.

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.

Exit the Milkman

A Peter Shandy Mystery

Charlotte MacLeod

 

BASTEI ENTERTAINMENT

 

Bastei Entertainment is an imprint of Bastei Lübbe AG

 

Copyright © 2015 by Bastei Lübbe AG, Schanzenstraße 6-20, 51063 Cologne, Germany

 

For the original edition:

Copyright © 2012 by The Mysterious Press, LLC, 58 Warren Street, New York, NY. U.S.A.

 

Copyright © 2003 by Charlotte MacLeod

 

Project management: Lori Herber

Cover adaptation: Christin Wilhelm, www.grafic4u.de

Cover design by Mauricio Diaz

 

E-book production: Jouve Germany GmbH & Co. KG

 

ISBN 978-3-95859-379-4

 

www.bastei-entertainment.com

 

All rights reserved, including without limitation the right to reproduce this e-book or any portion thereof in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereinafter invented, without the express written permission of the publisher.

 

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, businesses, companies, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

 

For Sarah Freed

and the Wonder Workers

Chapter 1

“HI, PETE. WALKING THECAT?”

Professor Peter Shandy, internationally acclaimed monarch of the turnip fields, refrained with some difficulty from grinding his teeth. This was the five hundred and eighty-seventh time since the halcyon day when the Shandys had acquired a frolicsome tabby kitten that Professor James Feldster had asked Peter that same damn fool question. Peter knew, he’d kept count.

Time had passed; that beguiling scrap of feline femininity had become a gracious lady cat of exactly the right size to occupy a favorite chair or a friendly lap. She was charmingly turned out in elegant tabby stripes of gray, grayer, and grayest, accented by a jabot and gloves of purest white; she’d been named after another dainty little lady, long gone but never forgotten. A brief visit from the present Jane Austen was considered a mark of honor by those neighbors who lived around the Crescent, all except Mirelle Feldster, Jim’s wife, who hated cats on principle and didn’t much care for people either.

Jim himself had been one of Jane’s earliest conquests. She had him well trained to pause at the street end of the Shandy’s front walk long enough for her to climb his faded blue denim pant leg, poke her pink nose inside the baggy white jacket he always wore, and discover which of his regalia Jim would have festooned himself with for tonight’s lodge meeting. Whatever it was, it would clank. Jim’s regalia always clanked, even when Jane wasn’t around to check him out.

Although Jim Feldster stood six feet five in his milking boots, he was not the sort of man who got noticed in a crowd. His only claims to recognition were two. First, he was Balaclava Agricultural College’s never-surpassed expert on the fundamentals of dairy management, a course that he’d taught with unflagging zeal for the past thirty-seven years. Second, he knew more secret handshakes and esoteric passwords than any other dedicated lodge brother in Balaclava County. Maybe more than all the members of all the lodges in all the states put together. Maybe even in the entire galaxy, if those provocative theories which quantum physicists and authors of science fiction stories had been propounding for quite a while should happen to be true. As why should they not?

Peter found such erudite speculations mildly interesting to muse upon, particularly when he happened to be wandering alone at eventide through the college’s extensive turnip fields, as he sometimes did for no special reason. It would never have occurred to Jim Feldster, he thought, that either quantum theory or turnips might be worth investigating. And why should they? Professor Feldster knew more than anybody else about dairy management. He’d taken the trouble to learn a vast deal about mystic rites and earned the right to clank all he wanted to at appropriate times and places. Those ought to be enough for any reasonable professor to think about.

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!