Trevor and Margaret Rudley, proprietors of the Pleasant Inn, are looking forward to autumn at their bucolic Ontario cottage-country hotel, expecting only a little Halloween high-jinks to punctuate the mellow ambiance. However, the first maple leaf has barely turned red when Gerald, an old female-impersonator friend of the Pleasant's esteemed cook Gregoire, turns ups dragging his very frightened friend Adolph behind. On the lam from Montreal after witnessing a drug deal in progress, the two effect to blend into the Pleasant's pleasant rhythms, hoping to remain anonymous until the heat is off. Alas, they hope in vain, and it is more than the pumpkins in the patch that suffer violence
About the author
Judith Alguire's previous novels include Pleasantly Dead, The Pumpkin Murders, and A Most Unpleasant Wedding, the first three books of the Rudley Mystery series, as well as All Out and Iced, both of which explored the complex relationships of sportswomen on and off the playing field. Her short stories, articles, and essays have appeared in such publications as The Malahat Review and Harrowsmith, and she is a past member of the editorial board of the Kingston Whig-Standard. A graduate of Queen’s University, she has recently retired from nursing.
Excerpt: Pumpkin Murders, The: Rudley Mystery, A (by (author) Judith Alguire)
Chef Gregoire surveyed the sandwiches. “We have enough left over for some bedtime snacks. The children demolished everything I prepared for them.” He snapped to attention. “What was that?”
Tim reached for a serviette and wiped his fingers. “One of our drunken patrons must have set off a firecracker.”
“It sounded like a very big firecracker.”
As Tim reached for another meringue, another sharp report sounded.
Gregoire grabbed Tim’s arm. “That was not a firecracker.”
“You’re probably right.” Tim dropped the meringue and dove under the table.
Gregoire joined him.
“It’s probably one of the boys from town,” Tim said. “Maybe that idiot who murdered the pumpkins last year.”
“You mean tipping cows is now out of fashion?”
“What should we do?”
“Call the police.”
Gregoire glanced toward the phone. “Which one of us is going to put our head over the table?”
“How about the short one with the tall hat?”
“ Alguire is clearly of the sly and cosy old-school British detective fiction à la Agatha Christie's Miss Marple. And that's a venerable genre of mystery writing.”
—Winnipeg Free Press