A widow meets a ghost with an appetite for treasure, liquor, and revenge.
Zilla Trott is pouring her cat some chamomile tea when the drifter appears in her kitchen. He is grubby and crude - not at all the kind of person you'd usually find in the pleasant town of Lobelia Falls - but something about him intrigues the aging widow. Perhaps it's his rugged good looks, or the way he seems to come from another time and place. Or perhaps it's the fact that he's been dead for nearly a century.
When Lobelia Falls was in its rough-and-tumble frontier infancy, Hiram Jellyby was the best mule driver the town had ever seen, until an argument over a hidden cache of gold left him bleeding to death in a back alley. He returns in spectral form to secure a proper burial, and finds that in modern-day Lobelia Falls, no one knows more about turning the soil than Zilla Trott's gardening buddies - all members of Dittany Monk's fearless Grub-and-Stake Gardening and Roving Club.
"One of the most gifted mystery authors writing today." - Sojourner Magazine.
"The screwball mystery is Charlotte MacLeod's cup of tea." - Chicago Tribune.
"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.
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.