The Mummer's Curse
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In her new novel starring Philadelphia schoolteacher Amanda Pepper, Gillian Roberts once again mixes mystery and mirth. This time Roberts explores Philadelphia's unique flesh and blood "historical monument"-- the Mummers, who live (and perhaps are willing to die) for a few hours of glory every New Year's Day. The famous Mummers' Parade is an extravaganza that draws enormous crowds who cheer through chattering teeth, as more than thirty thousand clowns, string bands, and fancy brigades strut their stuff up Broad Street. But this year, while the music blares and the Mummers dance, a reveling Pierrot suddenly sinks to the ground, shot dead. Amanda is, at first, only a horrified spectator. But when the prime suspect--her friend and fellow teacher at Philly Prep--falsely claims to have been with her at the time of the murder, Amanda can no longer stay on the sidelines. Is the murder a flare-up of deadly rivalries? Is it connected with the disappearance, the week before Christmas, of another Mummer, the heir to a meat-packing family? Does someone disapprove of the Mummers' feathers, sequins, and string bands? And why is no one in the tight-knit world Amanda investigates willing to tell the truth about anything? With Amanda on the scene, the who in whodunit doesn't stay secret for long. In The Mummers' Curse, Gillian Roberts is, as always, at the head of the parade.
- Untreed Reads, August 2012
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