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Autumn returns to Ontario cottage country. Leaves redden. Pumpkins ripen. And Trevor and Margaret Rudley, proprietors of the Pleasant Inn, expect nothing more than a little Halloween high jinks to punctuate the mellow ambiance of their much-loved hostelry. However, the frost is barely on the pumpkin when Gerald, an old female-impersonator friend of the Pleasant’s esteemed cook Gregoire, turns up, dragging his very frightened friend Adolph behind. They’ve witnessed a drug deal in progress in Montreal and they’re on the lam, hoping to blend into the Pleasant’s pleasant rhythms until the heat is off. Alas, they hope in vain. The pumpkins in the patch suffer more violence than frost this autumn. And so do other living things. As the bodies pile up, the intrepid Elizabeth Miller, lately returned from a round-the-world adventure, jumps into the homicidal fray, fully armed with her peculiar intuition, her maddening charm, and her devoted swain, Edward Simpson, who proves a useful fellow behind the wheel of a car. Detective Michel Brisbois, in the past bested by Miss Miller in rooting out unpleasantness at the Pleasant, finds himself racing – quite literally – to keep up with his amateur challenger. But, in this second volume of the Rudley mysteries, when the chips are down – as they inevitably are – it’s the laziest creature on earth who ends up saving the day for the good and kindly – and rather eccentric – folk of Ontario’s most peculiar country hotel. Autumn is a wonderful time at the Pleasant. The air is crisp. The food is fabulous. Rudley provokes the guests and Margaret provokes Rudley. A glorious Halloween party is planned. Could someone spoil it? You’d want to murder anyone who did!
- Signature Editions, November 2010
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