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The With-Drawing Room por Charlotte MacLeod
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The With-Drawing Room (original 1980; edição 1980)

por Charlotte MacLeod (Autor)

Séries: Sarah Kelling (2)

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387851,076 (3.83)28
Death pays a visit to Sarah Kelling's Boston boardinghouse in this cozy mystery from the bestselling author of the Peter Shandy series.   Though the inheritance from her dearly departed Alexander was meant to set Sarah Kelling up for life, it vanishes quickly in the face of hounding from charitable organizations and the IRS. Facing the loss of her stately Back Bay brownstone, Sarah opens her home to lodgers--deciding she prefers a boardinghouse to the poorhouse. Soon she is cooking meals and serving tea for a cast of quirky residents, a cozy little family that would be quite happy were it not for the unpleasant presence of a certain Barnwell Augustus Quiffen--a man so rude that no one really minds when he is squashed beneath a subway car.   Sarah replaces her lost boarder quickly, and the family dynamic is restored. But when another lodger dies suddenly, the boardinghouse appears to be cursed. Now it will take more than a glass of sherry to soothe Sarah's panicked residents, and she must turn to detective Max Bittersohn for help before her boarders bolt. "The epitome of the 'cozy' mystery" (Mostly Murder), award-winning author Charlotte MacLeod's Sarah Kelling and Max Bittersohn Mysteries have charmed readers the world over.… (mais)
Membro:Vbob
Título:The With-Drawing Room
Autores:Charlotte MacLeod (Autor)
Informação:Doubleday (1980), Edition: Book Club (BCE/BOMC), 186 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
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The Withdrawing Room por Charlotte MacLeod (1980)

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Mostrando 1-5 de 8 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
A clever story with interesting characters. You should "The Family Vault" first to get a head start on half the characters. ( )
  GeoffSC | Jul 25, 2020 |
cozy-mystery, reread

After finding out that she is deep in debt following the murders of her beloved older husband and detestable mother in law, young Mrs Kelling determines to turn the contested house into a higher class boarding house with her being both landlady and cook. Good thing she was used to pinchpenny ways even when everyone believed that her family was wealthy! Applicants were many, but she thought she did well until she not only had two awful tenants in a row, but each of them got murdered. Nicely done and with plenty of humor. First published in 1980, there are landlines and other things unusual today. ( )
  jetangen4571 | Jun 27, 2018 |
The friend who introduced me to this series said it was best to start with book two because book one was too sad. Well, The Family Vault has yet to be unpacked, although I've found the rest of the series.

The events of that first book have left Sarah Kelling widowed, hard up for money, and uncertain whether she or the High Street Bank owns the Tulip Street Boston brownstone townhouse and the Victorian clapboard house at Ireson's Landing on the North Shore. In order to raise the money for taxes and interest she's turning the townhouse into a classy boarding house. The best room she'll have to offer is being made from the old [with]drawing room.

I'm a nobody from a long line of nobodies. The old soap opera, Dark Shadows, taught me that there are such things as drawing rooms. (Wow! Imagine having enough rooms so you could keep one ready for guests all the time instead of having Mom order you to make sure the living room was super-tidy!) This book taught me the longer name and their original purpose. It also taught me about Boston Brahmins, Ms. MacLeod having been a former resident of Beacon Hill.

The Kelling clan, or at least those members we see or hear about, are quite a bunch. Naturally there's an uproar that one of their own would even think of turning her home into a boarding house. That's where the book opens, and Sarah will learn a lot before it closes, such as how much work being a landlady is, and how very unlucky one might be with a tenant.

Even though I hadn't reread this one in almost 10 years, I remembered whodunnit. It didn't matter. The charm of Ms. MacLeod's mysteries are in the characters and dialog. Now that the internet makes it easy, I recommend looking up any reference one doesn't know, as I just did with the boy who stood on the burning deck. I find it adds to my enjoyment.

Sara Kelling series tidbits for fans who share my difficulty in remembering in which book they appear:
Chapter 1:

Jem Kelling is only 5 years older than his nephew, Dolph.
Sarah will soon be 27.
A couple of Jem's disreputable souvenirs are mentioned.
Alexander Kelling was Sarah's 5th cousin once removed.
Charles C. Charles looks like Leslie Howard.
Aunt Bodie's name is Boadicea.

Chapter 2:

Sarah's car is a 1950 Studebaker Starlite Coupe.
Mrs. Theonia Sorpende rents Sarah's old bedroom.
Miss Jennifer LaValliere rents Alexander's old room.
Mr. Eugene Porter-Smith rents one of the attic rooms.
Prof. Oscar Ormsby rents the other attic room.

Chapter 3:

Sarah had Christmas dinner with Aunt Appie and Uncle Samuel in Cambridge.
Dolph can recite some of 'Gunga Din'.

Chapter 4:

Sarah serves the after-dinner coffee in Export China brought back by a seafaring ancestor.
Jem's Old Barflies Reunion had trouble finding a disreputable saloon.
Sarah's original telephone is in the front hall.
George Protheroe is likened to Alice's dormouse.
The law firm with Dickensian names is mentioned.

Chapter 6:

The limerick about the gentleman dining at Crewe is mentioned
Where Mariposa's dog went is revealed.

Chapter 7:

Why Sarah never got to travel.
Sarah and Alexander donated a royal Hawaiian peacock feather fan to the Iolani Palace people.
Why Mariposa isn't that sure about the validity of her last two divorces.
Max has a genuine hand-carved teakwood back-scratcher.

Chapter 8:

Description of the apartment made from Edith's old room in the basement
How Sarah established her bona fides as an illustrator to her boarders.

Chapter 9:

Dolph's parents died when he was young and he was reared by Great-uncle Frederick and Great-aunt
Matilda Kelling.
Great-Uncle Fred's frog scheme and Dolph's part in it are described.
Great-Uncle Fred overheard a teasing about submarine races and what happened after that is also described.
Why Dolph had to buy a new topcoat last year and how he feels about it.

Chapter 10:

Why Great-uncle Fred set aside his natty brown Homburg during the Hoover campaign of 1928
Anora Protheroe's cook had a nice cat named Percival that Sarah loved when she was little. (Sorry, but if Cousin Percy ever knew about the cat and, if so, how he felt about it having the same name isn't mentioned)
Cook taught Sarah how to make carrot pudding and why Sarah hasn't made it in years

Chapter 12:

Sarah has her Great-grandmother Kelling's Coalport vases in her china cupboard.

Chapter 13:

Cousin Mabel wound up with the lion's share of Aunt Caroline's clothes when Sarah gave most of them away.

Chapter 17:

There's an unflattering reference about what Cousin Mabel would do even if the whole Kelling tribe had died.
Cousin Mabel adores tearooms.

Chapter 18:

Sarah describes what the Ireson's Landing house would be like to stay in at this time of year.
The old loo downstairs is now reachable only through the front bedroom. Sara's personal loo is the first door on the left at the head of the stairs.
Charles has a broken tooth he wants capped.

Chapter 19:

Sarah thinks Alexander must have had that boy-stood-on-a-burning-deck streak in him. (If you've read the first book, you'll know why Alexander had no chance to develop a normal adult independence.)

Chapter 20:

Mrs. Sorpende tells Sarah her life's story.

Chapter 21:

Jeremy is wearing a massive chain and emblem from one of the disreputable chowder and marching societies to which he belongs.
Mary Smith's idea about recycling centers is described.
Dolph has recently learned the expression 'know-how' and is using it too frequently.

Chapter 23:

We learn what drove Dolph to have Great-uncle Frederick declared mentally incompetent.
Miss LaValliere doesn't know who the Dashwoods were and Sarah fears she doesn't know who Jane Austen was.

Peter Rauch did the cover with the blue sky, multi-story house drawn in black and white, a reddish-brown flag with a skull and crossbones on it flying from the house's flagpole, and the title & author's name appearing on a cloud in the upper right corner. ( )
  JalenV | Feb 11, 2012 |
Substance: Entertaining cast and dialogue, but there is absolutely no preparation for the solution.
Style: Fun to read. ( )
  librisissimo | Dec 21, 2011 |
This is my first Charlotte MaCleod. Not too big on the mystery but, I really enjoyed the different characters. The plot being taken place among the Boston aristocrat it was hard to figure out when this was supposed to be taken place. Not that it really mattered. ( )
  cindysprocket | Apr 12, 2010 |
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[Jeremy Kelling on the subject of drawing rooms] Idiotic antediluvian custom anyway, the ladies withdrawing to sit on their bustles and gossip while the men stayed at the dining table and drank themselves blotto. When I start seeing double, I'd rather be sitting across from a daring decolletage than a red nose with a walrus mustache under it. (chapter one)
Mr. Quiffin was correct in black tie. His clothes were probably even older than Sarah's gown since he also was of a caste that didn't believe in discarding anything that still had good wear in it just because a garment happened to be a few decades out of style. (chapter two)
Sarah saw a child of fourteen or so, who ought to be in school at this hour, slouching from the building in a pair of too-tight blue jeans, a fuzzy fake fur jacket so short that it might indeed lead to severe kidney disturbances, and backless mules with fantastically high heels she didn't have the remotest idea how to manage. The girl was puffing inexpertly at a cigarette and made Sarah want to cry out of pity for her. (chapter twelve)
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Death pays a visit to Sarah Kelling's Boston boardinghouse in this cozy mystery from the bestselling author of the Peter Shandy series.   Though the inheritance from her dearly departed Alexander was meant to set Sarah Kelling up for life, it vanishes quickly in the face of hounding from charitable organizations and the IRS. Facing the loss of her stately Back Bay brownstone, Sarah opens her home to lodgers--deciding she prefers a boardinghouse to the poorhouse. Soon she is cooking meals and serving tea for a cast of quirky residents, a cozy little family that would be quite happy were it not for the unpleasant presence of a certain Barnwell Augustus Quiffen--a man so rude that no one really minds when he is squashed beneath a subway car.   Sarah replaces her lost boarder quickly, and the family dynamic is restored. But when another lodger dies suddenly, the boardinghouse appears to be cursed. Now it will take more than a glass of sherry to soothe Sarah's panicked residents, and she must turn to detective Max Bittersohn for help before her boarders bolt. "The epitome of the 'cozy' mystery" (Mostly Murder), award-winning author Charlotte MacLeod's Sarah Kelling and Max Bittersohn Mysteries have charmed readers the world over.

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