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The Palace Guard von MacLeod, Charlotte (eBook)

  • Erscheinungsdatum: 31.03.2015
  • Verlag: Bastei Lübbe AG
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The Palace Guard

When a museum guard takes a tumble, Sarah and Max find a forgery. It has only been a few months since Sarah Kelling's elderly husband passed away, and she is struggling to adapt to life as a penniless young widow. To make ends meet, she converts her stately Boston home into a boardinghouse, a decision that brings something even better than money: the company of art-fraud investigator Max Bittersohn. The budding couple is standing on a balcony, recovering from a second-rate concert at a third-rate museum, when something plummets past them. The museum has been robbed, and a guard has fallen to his death. Dozens of priceless paintings have been stolen and replaced with forgeries, and to recover these masterworks will mean tearing the lid off the quiet life of the Boston upper crust. But it is a chance Sarah and Max must take, lest they join the guard on his long trip down. Review Quotes. 'If this is your first meeting with Sarah Kelling, oh how I envy you!' - Margaret Maron, author of The Buzzard Table. '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.

Produktinformationen

    Format: ePUB
    Kopierschutz: none
    Seitenzahl: 170
    Erscheinungsdatum: 31.03.2015
    Sprache: Englisch
    ISBN: 9783958593725
    Verlag: Bastei Lübbe AG
    Größe: 1516 kBytes
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The Palace Guard

Chapter 1

THE BURST OF WELL-BRED applause dwindled to a spattering of claps from the young cellist's more dedicated relatives, then was drowned altogether in the scraping of chairs. The tourists moved toward the exit at the rear of the concert hall. The cognoscenti pressed forward into the Tintoretto Room, to partake of white wine and cheese, say nice things to the musicians, and dodge candle drippings from Madam Eugenia Wilkins's famous cinquecento chandeliers.

Mr. Max Bittersohn, distinguished young art expert, seized the elbow of his remarkably attractive young landlady, Mrs. Sarah Kelling of the Beacon Hill Kellings. "Let's get the hell out of this," he hissed. "That kid who's been slaughtering Boccherini has more sisters and cousins and aunts than a chorus line from Pinafore."

Sarah, who had been brought up in a sterner school, demurred. "We mustn't leave without at least speaking to your friend Mr. Fieringer. You know he's always heartbroken if you don't say something about his latest genius."

"What's to say? Okay, then, come out on the balcony till the crowd thins a little."

"I did think the pianist managed beautifully, all things considered."

"Yes, old Bernie's a damn fine musician still, on the rare occasions when he can find his way to the piano. I wonder how Nick managed to keep him sober for the occasion."

"Heavens, what an impresario must go through," Sarah rested her dainty forearms on the carved marble balustrade and looked down at the enclosed courtyard, now massed with spring flowers for Eastertide or, as in Mr. Bittersohn's case, Passover. "Look, isn't this fantastic?"

On January 1, 1903, Eugenia Callista Wilkins, widow of a railroad baron, had attended the opening of Fenway Court, better known to Boston as Mrs. Jack Gardner's Palace. Seething with what she told herself was scorn, she vowed to show Mrs. Jack how it should have been done. She had then followed the other woman's example by sailing for Europe with her own tame art expert in tow, loaded a Cunarder's hold with an even bigger and more ill-assorted collection of art treasures true and false, come home and built an even more pretentious palazzo on the picturesque banks of the romantic Muddy River, and there arranged her purchases in even wilder confusion.

Mrs. Wilkins had explained to the dumbfounded architect that her indoor garden must have a waterfall full three stories high to plash down over a series of marble basins into a lily pool stocked with exotic fishes. She would have even more flower beds than Mrs. Jack, to be kept ever blooming with stock from even more greenhouses. She would have mosaic walks alleged to have been spirited away during the restoration of Herculaneum and she would have real, live white peacocks fanning their spectacular tails hither and yon as the spirit moved them.

In practice, the peacocks were more apt to be molting, committing nuisances on the mosaics, pecking fretfully at the ankles of visitors, or coming down with various avian ailments and having to be rushed to the Angell Memorial Hospital for treatment. Despite their perverse behavior, though, Mrs. Wilkins's palazzo was generally conceded to be quite a place, even for Boston.

The Kellings, being among Old Boston's richest, most prolific, and sometimes most respected families, had attended the 1911 opening in droves. It was upon that historic occasion that a then Mrs. Alexander Kelling had observed with that tact and courtesy for which the Kellings were noted that the place looked less like an Italian palazzo than a Babylonian bordello. Some other wit had immediately started calling Mrs. Wilkins the Madam, and the name stuck. Making the best of a bad business, Eugenia Callista had thenceforth ordered her visiting cards engraved "Madam Wilkins" but she had never left one on a Kelling.

Even after she died and bequeathed her estate to the city as a museum, there

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