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Death pays a visit to Sarah Kelling's Boston boardinghouse in this cozy mystery from the best-selling author of the Peter Shandy series.
Though the inheritance from her dearly departed Alexander was meant to set Sarah Kelling up for life, it vanishes quickly in the face of hounding from charitable organizations and the IRS. Facing the loss of her stately Back Bay brownstone, Sarah opens her home to lodgers - deciding she prefers a boardinghouse to the poorhouse. Soon she is cooking meals and serving tea for a cast of quirky residents, a cozy little family that would be quite happy were it not for the unpleasant presence of a certain Barnwell Augustus Quiffen - a man so rude that no one really minds when he is squashed beneath a subway car. Sarah replaces her lost boarder quickly, and the family dynamic is restored. But when another lodger dies suddenly, the boardinghouse appears to be cursed.
Now it will take more than a glass of sherry to soothe Sarah's panicked residents, and she must turn to detective Max Bittersohn for help before her boarders bolt.
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After finding out that she is deep in debt following the murders of her beloved older husband and detestable mother in law, young Mrs Kelling determines to turn the contested house into a higher class boarding house with her being both landlady and cook. Good thing she was used to pinchpenny ways even when everyone believed that her family was wealthy! Applicants were many, but she thought she did well until she not only had two awful tenants in a row, but each of them got murdered. Nicely done and with plenty of humor. First published in 1980, there are landlines and other things unusual today.
- Pamela C. Alger
I love these books. The author uses language so well. The characters are zany but real. Of the 2 narrators currently available Ms. Boyce is by far the best. I’m only sorry that this is the only book of the series for which she has been used