Results of the Agatha Award in the year 1989.
She may be a bestselling author, but ex-librarian Jacqueline Kirby’s views on the publishing biz aren’t fit to print. In fact, she’s thinking of trading celebrity for serenity and a house far away from fiendish editors and demented fans when her agent whispers the only words that could ever make her stay: Naked in the Ice.
Seven years ago, this blockbuster skyrocketed Kathleen Darcy to instant fame. Now the author’s heirs and looking for a writer to pen the sequel. It’s an opportunity no novelist in her right mind would pass up, and there’s no doubting Jacqueline’s sanity…until she starts digging through the missing woman’s papersand her past. Until she gets mixed up with Kathleen enigmatic lover. Until a series of nasty accidents convince her much too late that someone wants to bring Jacqueline’s storyand her lifeto a premature end.
A relic of Manhattan’s Gilded Age, when Edith Wharton and Henry James chronicled its inhabitants, the Erich Bruel House on Gramercy Park contained three floors of glorious art-and one Christmas corpse. While the mansion was being decorated with antique ornaments, and preparations were being made for a lavish holiday party, someone killed the obnoxious art historian Dr. Roger Shambley. Lieutenant Sigrid Harald of the New York Police Department comes up with a long list of suspects, and must sort through all sorts of motives, including academic rivalry, infidelity, art fraud, and good old-fashioned spite. Unless Sigrid can wrap up this homicide before the killer strikes again, her romantic white Christmas is going to be splashed with crimson.
When mystery bookstore owner Annie Laurance is invited to teach “The Three Great Ladies of the Mystery” class at Chastain Community College, the sometime sleuth discovers that all is not strictly academic in Chastain’s hallowed halls of learning. And when a shocking scandal in the school newspaper erupts in a suicide and two violent deaths, Professor Laurance enlists the talents of her new hubby, private eye Max Darling, and dons her thinking cap to probe intrigue and vengeance among Chastain’s faculty.
Max and Annie, with dubious help from three of their own great ladies of the mystery—Annie’s pixilated mother-in-law, a batty local dowager, and a Christie crime fanatic—learn that just about everyone at the school had means, motive, and access to the murder weapons. From the secretly boozing professor of advertising to the muscle-bound campus cad who barters passing grades for a little extracurricular activity, anyone on the faculty is a possible killer—waiting to strike again!
Amanda Pepper, an English teacher at school for Philadelphia’s filthy rich, is determined to teach the kids a lesson about the true spirit of Christmas. She intends to have them cook and serve a meal to the homeless, but unfortunately a powerful parent takes over, and the simple meal turns into a catered affair—topped off by murder. Of course, Amanda wants to solve the crime with her sometime boyfriend and cop C.K. Mackenzie. She’s equally determeind to teach the the elusive killer a lesson or two, as well.
Young barrsiter Michael Cantrip has skipped of to the Channel Islands to take on a tax-law case that’s worth a fortune—if Cantrip’s tax-planning cronies can locate the missing heir. But Cantrip has waded in way over his head. Strange things are happening on these mysterious, isolated isles. Something is going bump in the night—and bumping off members of the legal team, one by one. Soon Cantrip is telexing the gang at the home office for help. And it’s up to amateur investigator Hilaray Tamar (Oxford don turned supersleuth) to get Cantrip back to safety of his chambers—alive!