On Christmas Day, a University scrooge finds a murdered librarian. Each December, the faculty of Balaclava Agricultural College goes wild with Christmas lights. The entire campus glitters with holiday decorations, save for one dark spot: the home of professor Peter Shandy. But after years of resisting the Illumination festival, Shandy snaps, installing a million-watt display of flashing lights and blaring music perfectly calculated to drive his neighbors mad. The horticulturalist flees town, planning to spend Christmas on a tramp steamer, but soon feels guilty about his prank and returns home to find his Christmas lights extinguished, and a dead librarian in his living room. Wishing to avoid a scandal, the school's head asks Shandy to investigate the matter quietly. After all, Christmas is big business, and the town needs the cash infusion provided by the Illumination. As Peter Shandy will soon find, though, there is a dark side to even the whitest of white Christmases. Review Quotes: "Charm, wit, and Holmesian logic." - Audiofile. "MacLeod can be counted on for a witty, literate and charming mystery." - Publishers Weekly. "The epitome of the 'cozy' mystery." - Mostly Murder. Biographical note: 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.