Authors: Charlotte MacLeod
Tags: #Mystery & Crime
A Christmas Stocking
Full of Praise for
“A fine gift for any mystery fan, a package of holiday
goodies you can devour without giving a
thought to calories.”
“A good way for mystery buff to satisfy their need
to read a good yarn even during the hectic
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“The yuletide cheer and seasonal mayhem wrapped up
in these 13 tales make a package suitable for any
reader’s Christmas list.”
“I can’t think of anything better to put in mystery
readers’ stockings than
“Only the most hard-boiled Scrooge will “bah,
humbug” this baker’s dozen of new mystery short
stories from an interesting collection of holiday elves.
a fun read—and a fine
introduction the work of 13 talented writers.”
“Something to put under the tree for your favorite
mystery addict (or yourself).”
will provide mystery buffs several
hours of reading enjoyment during the holidays or on
a cold winter’s night.”
“Every bit as entertaining as
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“Counterfeit Christmas” by Charlotte MacLeod. Copyright © 1991 by
Charlotte MacLeod. “The Running of the Deer” by Reginald Hill. Copyright © 1991 by
Reginald Hill. “Liz Peters, PI” by Elizabeth Peters. Copyright ©1991 by Elizabeth
Peters. “Angels” by Medora Sale. Copyright © 1991 by Medora Sale. “The Only True Unraveller” by John Malcolm. Copyright © 1991 by
John Malcolm. “The January Sale Stowaway” by Dorothy J.
. Copyright © 1991
by Dorothy J.
. The story appears by arrangement
with the author and the Jane
Agency. “The Santa Claus Caper” by Bill Crider. Copyright © 1991 by Bill
Crider. “Family Christmas” by Patricia
. Copyright © 1991 by Patricia
. “Miss Melville Rejoices” by Evelyn E. Smith. Copyright © 1991 by
Evelyn E. Smith. “Two in the Bush” by Eric Wright. Copyright © 1991 by Eric Wright. “The Fabulous Nick” by Mickey Friedman. Copyright © 1991 by
Mickey Friedman. “A Political Necessity” by Robert Barnard. Copyright © 1991 by Robert
Barnard. “Fruitcake, Mercy, and Black-Eyed Peas” by Margaret
© 1991 by Margaret
MYSTERIOUS PRESS EDITION
Copyright © 1991 by Charlotte MacLeod All rights reserved.
Cover illustration by Mark Hess
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Mysterious Press Books are published by Warner Books, Inc. 1271 Avenue of the Americas New York, NY 10020 - A Time Warner Company
Printed in the United States of America
Originally published in hardcover by The Mysterious Press. First Printed in Paperback: December, 1992 10 987654321
Scanned and proofed by
It was in 1978 that Professor Peter Shandy introduced me to Balaclava Agricultural College and its traditional Grand Christmas Illumination . . . at which he behaved disgracefully, as anyone who has read Peters and my first collaborative venture,
Rest You Merry,
Since that time, I’ve served as Peter’s Ms. Watson in seven other adventures, but I’d never been invited back to Balaclava at Illumination time until this odd situation cropped up. I did expect the dauntless agronomist and the possibly even more dauntless President Thorkjeld Svenson would have got all the bugs worked out by now, but it seems that the best-laid plans of mice, men, and even the Illumination Committee can still go agley.
Deck the halls with boughs of holly,
Professor Peter Shandy of Balaclava Agricultural College found the carolers’ injunction as superfluous as that inane string of meaningless syllables tacked on after it Every house on the Crescent was already as bedizened as it could get, for Yuletide was rife and the annual Grand Illumination was not only heard all over campus and down in the village but could also be seen, smelled, touched, and even tasted, if you got close enough.
During most of the year, the open space encircled by eight faculty dwellings, including Peter’s, was placid enough; merely a grassy sward kept in seemly order by the trusty men of Buildings & Grounds and appropriately bedded out here and there with flowers of spring, summer, or fall, depending. Came the holiday season, however, and the usually by then snow-covered Crescent erupted into a festive welter of illuminated Christmas trees and quaint gingerbread
houses cut from plywood and assembled by the trusty screwdrivers of brawny students, who then donned oversized elf suits and flung themselves joyously into the time-honored Yankee pastime of turning an honest buck.