Table of Contents
Praise for Patricia Sprinkle
Who Killed the Queen of Clubs?
“Time to sit on the veranda with a nice glass of lemonade and enjoy this down-home mystery full of charming characters and sparkling Southern witticisms.”—
“A terrific read.”—
When Will the Dead Lady Sing?
“Patricia Sprinkle takes the reader on a trip to the ‘real’ South, the South of family traditions, community customs, church-going, and crafty, down-home politics. Reading it is like spending an afternoon in the porch swing on Aunt Dixie’s veranda. . . . A delightful book.”
—JoAnna Carl, author of the Chocoholic mysteries
Who Let That Killer in the House?
“Sprinkle’s third Thoroughly Southern Mystery is thoroughly absorbing.”—
The Orlando Sentinel
Who Left That Body in the Rain?
“Forming a triumvirate with Anne George and Margaret Maron, Sprinkle adds her powerful voice to the literature of mysteries featuring Southern women. . . . Highly recommended.” —
Who Left That Body in the Rain?
charms, mystifies, and delights. As Southern as Sunday fried chicken and sweet tea. Patricia Sprinkle’s Hopemore is as captivating—and as filled with big hearts and big heartaches—as Jan Karon’s Mitford. Come for one visit and you’ll always return.”
—Carolyn Hart, author of the Henrie O and Death on Demand mysteries
“Authentic and convincing.”
—Tamar Myers, author of
“An heirloom quilt. Each piece of patchwork is unique and with its own history, yet they are deftly stitched together with threads of family love and loyalty, simmering passion, deception and wickedness, but always with optimism imbued with down-home Southern traditions. A novel to be savored while sitting on a creaky swing on the front porch, a pitcher of lemonade nearby, a dog slumbering in the sunlight.” —Joan Hess, author of
The Goodbye Body
Who Invited the Dead Man?
“A wonderfully portrayed Southern setting . . . MacLaren seems right at home in her tiny town.”—
“Touches of poignancy mixed with Southern charm and old secrets make
Who Invited the Dead Man?
a diverting read.”
And her other novels . . .
“Light touches of humor and the charming interplay between MacLaren and her magistrate husband make this a fun read for mystery fans.”—
“Sparkling . . . witty . . . a real treat and as refreshing as a mint julep, a true Southern pleasure.”—
“Sparkles with verve, charm, wit, and insight. I loved it.”
“Engaging . . . compelling . . . a delightful thriller.”
“The sort of light entertainment we could use more of in the hot summer days to come.”—
The Denver Post
“[Sprinkle] just keeps getting better.”
The Post and Courier
Thoroughly Southern Mysteries
WHO INVITED THE DEAD MAN?
WHO LEFT THAT BODY IN THE RAIN?
WHO LET THAT KILLER IN THE HOUSE?
WHEN WILL THE DEAD LADY SING?
WHO KILLED THE QUEEN OF CLUBS?
Published by New American Library, a division of
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First published by Signet, an imprint of New American Library, a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
First Printing, February 2006
Copyright © Patricia Sprinkle, 2006
All rights reserved
REGISTERED TRADEMARK—MARCA REGISTRADA
Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
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eISBN : 978-1-101-03434-7
For Babs and Dave Rose, for I was a stranger and you took me in.
I spent the fall, winter and early spring of 1966-67 in the village of Braemar, Scotland, to see if I had the discipline and any talent to write. The village took me into its heart and so entered my own heart that I have returned several times. The idea for this book has grown with each visit, and was finalized during a visit in the spring of 2003.
The village of Auchnagar in this book is not Braemar, and all persons in the book are fictitious. Only the cheerful goodwill and tolerant kindness toward strangers are the same.
History recounted in the book comes primarily from the 1978 edition of a series of histories written by Scottish historian John Prebble:
The Highland Clearances, Glencoe
(published by Penguin Books). The poem which Mac shouts into the mist at Glen Coe is a personal translation of the first stanza of Hermann Hesse’s “Im Nebel.”
I want to particularly thank the Kilgour/Ewan families, who treat me like a cousin and who all pitched in enthusiastically to help create this book. Thanks to Martin for consultation on certain legal aspects of this case; to Davie, John and Lisa for a fantastic ceilidh at Eddie’s eightieth birthday party; to Liz for putting up with me on a tour of the western Highlands that formed the basis for Mac’s tour here; to Julie and Eddie for chuckles, information, and countless cups of tea; to Davie for patiently answering frantic e-mails on such varied subjects as the price of wooden coffins and whether a touring piper would be permitted to play spontaneously at various sites, and to Julie, Eddie, Davie, Eileen, Lisa and even little Calum for sitting down and coming up with a name for Auchnagar. Finally, thanks to their patriarch, the former Dave Rose, a wise and humorous Scot who first gave me copies of John Prebble’s histories of Scotland. Where I have failed to capture Scotland well, it is certainly not their fault! Davie, an accomplished piper, appears briefly as himself in the book.
Thanks also to the Morgan family—Cathie, John, and Mary—who graciously house me on each visit and treat me like family, and who agreed I could base Heather Glen on their Mayfield Guest House.
American piper Dave Love helped keep me straight on what an American piper would be likely to wear abroad, and Sulena Long shared her expertise after taking several American-based bus tours in the United Kingdom. I appreciate you both.