Read Christmas Stalkings Online

Authors: Charlotte MacLeod

Tags: #Mystery & Crime

Christmas Stalkings

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Table of Contents

Cover

A Christmas Stocking

Full of Praise for

Christmas Stalkings

*
         
*
         
*

“A fine gift for any mystery fan, a package of holiday

goodies you can devour without giving a

thought to calories.”


DPI

“A good way for mystery buff to satisfy their need

to read a good yarn even during the hectic

holiday season.”


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.”


Publishers Weekly

“I can’t think of anything better to put in mystery

readers’ stockings than
Christmas Stalkings.”

—Virginian-Pilot

“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.

MacLeod’s collection
is
a fun read—and a fine

introduction the work of 13 talented writers.”

—Booklist

“Something to put under the tree for your favorite

mystery addict (or yourself).”


Washington Times

“Christmas Stalkings
will provide mystery buffs several

hours of reading enjoyment during the holidays or on

a cold winter’s night.”


Milwaukee Journal

“Every bit as entertaining as
Mistletoe Mysteries.”


Chicago Sun-Times

Published by
THE MYSTERIOUS PRESS

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Other Christmas Pleasures

Edited by

Charlotte MacLeod

MISTLETOE MYSTERIES

PLEASING, PERPLEXING MYSTERIES

FROM ACCLAIMED AUTHOR

CHARLOTTE MACLEOD!

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Christmas Stalkings

COLLECTED BY

CHARLOTTE MACLEOD

THE MYSTERIOUS PRESS New York •Tokyo • Sweden

Published by Warner Books

A Time Warner Company

If you purchase this book without a cover you should be aware that this book may have been stolen property and reported as “unsold and destroyed” to the publisher. In such case neither the author nor the publisher has received any payment for this “stripped book.”

CHRISTMAS STALKINGS

“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.
Cannell
. Copyright © 1991

by Dorothy J.
Cannell
. The story appears by arrangement

with the author and the Jane
Rotrosen
Agency. “The Santa Claus Caper” by Bill Crider. Copyright © 1991 by Bill

Crider. “Family Christmas” by Patricia
Moyes
. Copyright © 1991 by Patricia

Moyes
. “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
Maron
. Copyright

© 1991 by Margaret
Maron
.

MYSTERIOUS PRESS EDITION

Copyright © 1991 by Charlotte MacLeod All rights reserved.

Cover illustration by Mark Hess

The Mysterious Press name and logo are trademarks of Warner Books, Inc.

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
ebookman
version 1.0

CONTENTS

Cover

CHARLOTTE MACLEOD - COUNTERFEIT CHRISTMAS

REGINALD HILL - THE RUNNING OF THE DEER

ELIZABETH PETERS - LIZ PETERS, PI

MEDORA SALE - ANGELS

JOHN MALCOLM - THE ONLY TRUE UNRAVELLER

DOROTHY CANNELL - THE JANUARY SALE STOWAWAY

BILL CRIDER - THE SANTA CLAUS CAPER

PATRICIA MOYES - FAMILY CHRISTMAS

EVELYN E. SMITH - MISS MELVILLE REJOICES

ERIC WRIGHT - TWO IN THE BUSH

MICKEY FRIEDMAN - THE FABULOUS NICK

ROBERT BARNARD - A POLITICAL NECESSITY

MARGARET MARON - FRUITCAKE, MERCY, AND BLACK-EYED PEAS

Back cover

CHARLOTTE MACLEOD
-
COUNTERFEIT CHRISTMAS

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,
can attest.

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,


Fa
, la
la
la
la
, la
la
, la
la
.”

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.

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