At Christmastime in Boston, a thief targets the local Scrooge.
The angry old men of the Convivial Codfish celebrate yuletide doing what they do best: eating, drinking and greeting the season of giving with a spirited "Bah, humbug!" Though well past sixty, Jem Kelling is a relative infant compared to some of the club's elder statesmen, and he has waited decades to host their annual Christmas scowl. In his first evening as Exalted Chowderhead, he is thrilled to find the wine abundant, the chowder superb, and the humbugs as lusty as ever. But as the night winds down, Jem is horrified to find that the ceremonial Codfish necklace has vanished - right off of his neck!
His nephew-in-law, art investigator Max Bittersohn, is convinced his new uncle was the victim of a practical joke. But when the old man takes a hip-snapping tumble, Max is forced to conclude that one of the scrooges is trying to perpetrate a deadly new Christmas jeer.
"Charlotte MacLeod does what she does better than anybody else does it; and what she does is in the top rank of modern mystery fiction." - Elizabeth Peters, creator of the Amelia Peabody series.
"The epitome of the 'cozy' mystery." - Mostly Murder.
"MacLeod can be counted on for a witty, literate and charming mystery." - Publishers Weekly.
Charlotte MacLeod (1922-2005) was an internationally bestselling author of cozy mysteries. Born in Canada, she moved to Boston as a child, and lived in New England most of her life. After graduating from college, she made a career in advertising, writing copy for the Stop & Shop Supermarket Company before moving on to Boston firm N. H. Miller & Co., where she rose to the rank of vice president. In her spare time, MacLeod wrote short stories, and in 1964 published her first novel, a children's book called "Mystery of the White Knight."
In "Rest You Merry" (1978), MacLeod introduced Professor Peter Shandy, a horticulturist and amateur sleuth whose adventures she would chronicle for two decades. "The Family Vault" (1979) marked the first appearance of her other best-known characters: the husband and wife sleuthing team Sarah Kelling and Max Bittersohn, whom she followed until her last novel, "The Balloon Man," in 1998.