On Groundhog Day, secrets surface alongside a waterlogged corpse
The rural town of Balaclava greets Groundhog Day as an excuse for one last cold-weather fling. The students and faculty of the local agricultural college drink cocoa, throw snowballs, and, when the temperature allows, ice skate. Oozak’s Pond is not quite frozen this year, though, and as the Groundhog Day celebrations reach their peak, the students see someone bobbing through the ice. The drowning victim is long past help, though; he’s badly decomposed and dressed in an old-fashioned frock coat with a heavy rock in each pocket. First on the scene is Peter Shandy, horticulturalist and, when the college requires it, detective. But solving this nineteenth-century murder will take more than Shandy’s knack for rutabagas. Relying on his wife’s expertise in local history, the professor dives into a gilded-age mystery that cloaks secrets that remain potent enough to kill.
YA Young adult readers with a lively sense of humor and an appreciation for the fine old family names such as Fortitude Lumpkin will find the latest Peter Shandy mystery to their liking. Balaclava Agriculture College has two problems: the unfortunate discovery of three victims of very foul play and (more importantly) a lawsuit by the greedy heirs of college founder Balaclava Buggins to reclaim part of the college, namely Oozak's Pond. With his usual aplomb and the help of the college community and various bizarre local folk, Professor Shandy solves both problems to the vast enjoyment of readers. Rosemary Smith, Albright Middle School, Houston (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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April 01, 1992
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