A thief targets an amateur theatrical group, and murder follows in his wake. Producing a Gilbert & Sullivan opera requires a special kind of madness, and the Kelling family is large enough and peculiar enough to undertake an entire company by themselves. For years now, Sarah Kelling's Aunt Emma has supervised these annual productions-from The Pirates of Penzance to The Mikado - and this year she has invited her cast of relatives to rehearse The Sorcerer in her stately mansion. The show is nearly ready when a team of burglars drugs the cast and crew to make off with a priceless portrait. Theft or no theft, Aunt Emma insists the show must go on. Even when one of the cast dies suddenly, she finds a replacement and continues rehearsal. But when Sarah begins to suspect the actor was murdered, it becomes clear that dear Aunt Emma may be in danger of taking her final bow. Review Quotes: "If this is your first meeting with Sarah Kelling, oh how I envy you!" - Margaret Maron, author of The Buzzard Table. "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. "Charm, wit, and Holmesian logic." - Audiofile.
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.