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The Grub-and-Stakers Pinch a Poke von MacLeod, Charlotte (eBook)

  • Erscheinungsdatum: 31.03.2015
  • Verlag: Bastei Lübbe AG
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The Grub-and-Stakers Pinch a Poke

An amateur play turns serious when a prop gun is swapped for a real one. When Jenson Thorbisher-Freep announces an amateur theatrical contest, the women in the Grub-and-Stake gardening club race to join in. They enlist Osbert Monk as their playwright - not only is he married to their club leader Dittany Monk, but he's famous the world over as Lex Laramie, bestselling novelist of Westerns. Taking the legend of Dangerous Dan McGrew as his inspiration, Osbert delivers a rough draft faster than the Pony Express. Now all the Grub-and-Stakers have to do is cast it. To play McGrew, Dittany picks town cad Andrew McNaster, who has recently improved his manners in an attempt to woo Osbert's aunt, Arethusa. The gunslinger's performance gets a bit too real on opening night, though, when his prop bullets are replaced with real ones, and claim the toe of a fellow thespian. Is McNaster as nice as he pretends to be? Or has he taken his part too close to heart, and decided to become very dangerous indeed? Review Quote. 'The screwball mystery is Charlotte MacLeod's cup of tea.' - Chicago Tribune. 'Charlotte MacLeod does what she does better than anybody else does it; and what she does is in the top rank of modern mystery fiction.' - Elizabeth Peters, creator of the Amelia Peabody. series '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.


    Format: ePUB
    Kopierschutz: watermark
    Seitenzahl: 197
    Erscheinungsdatum: 31.03.2015
    Sprache: Englisch
    ISBN: 9783958593916
    Verlag: Bastei Lübbe AG
    Größe: 1513 kBytes
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The Grub-and-Stakers Pinch a Poke

Chapter 1

"WHAT THE HECK DO we need Sarah Bernhardt's Sunday bustle for?" demanded Zilla Trott.

"There's nothing here about Sarah Bernhardt's bustle," said Dittany Henbit Monk. As secretary to the trustees of the Aralia Polyphema Architrave Museum and also to the Grub-and-Stake Gardening and Roving Club into whose collective hands had fallen the task of managing the museum, Dittany had dealt with a wide range of correspondence. This letter opened up a new vista. "It just says theatrical memorabilia."

"Huh! Signed photographs of Ivor Novello and a lock of Rudy Vallee's hair, I'll bet." Hazel Munson was on a diet, therefore inclined to take the darker view.

"Oh, for Pete's sake have a cookie and quit grumping," said Minerva Oakes. "Rudy Vallee had gorgeous hair. Come on, Dittany. Let's hear the rest of the letter before we get down to the wrangling."

"Well, as I said, it's from Desdemona Portley on behalf of the Traveling Thespians. You know how hard she's worked to keep the troupe together, but things haven't been the same with them since Mum married Bert and went into the fashion eyewear business."

"I'll bet the fashion eyewear business hasn't been the same, either," said Dot Coskoff, who'd once played the former Mrs. Henbit's bosom friend in a souped-up production of Anne of Green Gables. "Skip Dessie's maunderings, she always did go on and on. What's the gist?"

"The gist is that Jenson Thorbisher-Freep and his daughter Wilhedra are trying to get up a drama festival over at Scottsbeck. They want to restore the old opera house and make it a center of cultural vibration for the citizens of Scottsbeck and surrounding communities of which, as Dessie points out in some detail, Lobelia Falls is one."

"As if we didn't know," sniffed Dot. "Cultural vibration sounds like a pretty shaky proposition to me. Is she trying to hit us up for a donation?"

"I expect she means vibrancy and not exactly a donation," Dittany replied. "She wants us to participate."

"Participate how?" Zilla shook her head till her thick short gray hair stood out like a Sioux war bonnet, though in fact she was mostly Cree. "Are we supposed to dance in the chorus?"

"Why not?" chirped Minerva. "My varicose veins are no worse than Dessie's."

"And your teeth are a darn sight better," Zilla conceded loyally.

"Look," snarled Dittany. "Do you want to hear this or don't you?"

"Offhand I'd say no," snapped Hazel Munson, "but go ahead and get it over with. Desdemona Portley wants us to be in some play she's getting up for the Thorbisher-Freeps, is that it?"

"Not precisely, eh. The thing of it is, the Thorbisher-Freeps expect the different groups to produce their own plays. Dessie's asking us to write the play, paint the scenery, provide costumes and props, fill whatever parts the Traveling Thespians don't have enough actors for, and sell lemonade and cookies between the acts on behalf of the Opera House Fund."

"Anything else?"

"Nope, that seems to be it. The plum in the pudding is that whichever group puts on the best performance wins the Jenson Thorbisher-Freep collection of theatrical memorabilia."

"You already said that, and what's so plummy?" Zilla argued. "What would we do with a bunch of false whiskers and old theater programs?"

"We'd be expected to keep the collection intact and on permanent display either at the opera house or in some appropriate public building," Dittany explained. "Like for instance the Architrave."

"We do still have that little back bedroom over the kitchen to fill up," Minerva pointed out.

"Yes, but would that be the right kind of stuff to fill it with?" asked Hazel. "The Architrave's supposed to represent a typical Canadian house of the post-prairie settling period, you know."

"Couldn't it be the typical home of some Canadian who collected theatrical memorabilia?" Dittany ar

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