Vane Pursuit - Charlotte MacLeod - ebook
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While tracking down rare weather vanes, Helen Shandy stumbles on a case of arson. The weather vanes of the famous craftsman Praxiteles Lumpkin are one of the great cultural treasures of rural Massachusetts. Helen Shandy, librarian at Balaclava Agricultural College, is roaming the countryside, camera in hand, capturing images of these lovely copper sculptures, trying to give them the attention they deserve. But each time she takes a picture, the featured vane vanishes. Could there be a gang of breezy-minded burglars on her tail? The night after Helen photographs the vane atop the famous Lumpkin soap works, the building burns to the ground. With the help of her husband, Peter, she tries to track the thieves-turned-arsonists. But when the things take a dangerous turn, Helen doesn't need a weather vane to see that a deadly wind is blowing. Review quotes. "The ultimate in escapism: an utterly hilarious albeit totally unbelievable caper." - Publishers Weekly. "One of the most gifted mystery authors writing today." - Sojourner Magazine. "The epitome of the 'cozy' mystery." - Mostly Murder. 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

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Cover

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About the Book

While tracking down rare weather vanes, Helen Shandy stumbles on a case of arson.

The weather vanes of the famous craftsman Praxiteles Lumpkin are one of the great cultural treasures of rural Massachusetts. Helen Shandy, librarian at Balaclava Agricultural College, is roaming the countryside, camera in hand, capturing images of these lovely copper sculptures, trying to give them the attention they deserve. But each time she takes a picture, the featured vane vanishes. Could there be a gang of breezy-minded burglars on her tail?

The night after Helen photographs the vane atop the famous Lumpkin soap works, the building burns to the ground. With the help of her husband, Peter, she tries to track the thieves-turned-arsonists. But when the things take a dangerous turn, Helen doesn’t need a weather vane to see that a deadly wind is blowing.

Review quotes.

“The ultimate in escapism: an utterly hilarious albeit totally unbelievable caper.” - Publishers Weekly.

“One of the most gifted mystery authors writing today.” - Sojourner Magazine.

“The epitome of the ‘cozy’ mystery.” - Mostly Murder.

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. 

Vane Pursuit

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 © 1989 by Charlotte MacLeod

 

Project management: Lori Herber

Cover adaptation: Christin Wilhelm, www.grafic4u.de

Cover design by Mauricio Díaz

 

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

 

ISBN 978-3-95859-382-4

 

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 My Cousins of the Clan MacKay and Their Families

Neither Balaclava County, Massachusetts, nor Sasquamahoc, Maine, and its environs exist on any map except the one inside the author’s head. All their inhabitants and occurrences, agreeable and otherwise, spring from the same wholly imaginary source. Any resemblances to actual persons, places or events would therefore be fortuitous.

Chapter 1

“HEY, YOU! YOU KID! Get the hell down off that cannon.”

Dr. Helen Marsh Shandy ignored the yell even though it came straight from the bullhorn throat of Lumpkinton Chief of Police Wilbur J. Olson. She merely wriggled her new pink sneakers into a more secure stance atop the Civil War relic across from the soap factory, made sure her telephoto lens was on tight, doubled-checked her focus, squinted into her viewfinder, and clicked her shutter.

Olson yelled again. Helen clicked some more. Not until the chief slammed open the door of his cruiser and started trying to squeeze his fat legs out from under the steering wheel did she slip the expensive camera into its carrying case and swing herself to the ground.

“I’m sorry, Chief Olson, but I absolutely had to catch the soap-works weather vane against that magnificent sunset before the sky changed. This one’s considered to be Praxiteles Lumpkin’s masterpiece, you know.”

And so it well deserved to be deemed. The hand-wrought copper silhouette, verdigrised with time and soap fumes, depicted a lanky man sitting in a round washtub. One skinny leg stuck out over the rim. His right hand clasped a long-handled brush with which he was scrubbing his back. The left hand was raised in a gesture of triumph, clutching a small oblong object intended to represent a bar of Lumpkin soap.

Some townsfolk considered the weather vane nothing more than a fairly clean joke. Others thought it was marvelous. Chief Olson clearly didn’t give two hoots for the itinerant weather-vane artist’s chef d’oeuvre, or for Helen’s explanation, either.

“Ungh.” He began working his legs back into the cruiser. “Aren’t you Professor Shandy’s wife? I thought you worked in the library over at the college.”

“Yes, that’s right. I’m doing this for our files. Also for a pamphlet we’re helping the Balaclava County Historical Society assemble as the result of a request from the Smithsonian. The society doesn’t have the resources to collect the data, but we do and I’m it, so to speak. Praxiteles offers a fascinating field for research because he’s left such an impressive body of work and has never been properly documented before. Unless you count a few snapshots Canute Lumpkin’s grandmother took with a folding Kodak,” Helen added fairly. “They didn’t come out awfully well.”

Chief Olson showed no interest in counting Canute Lumpkin’s grandmother’s snapshots. “Huh. So that’s what they’re paying you for? Some women would be home about now getting their husband’s supper on the table. And they wouldn’t have to write a cookbook to get it ready, either.”

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!