Death in Store

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Overview

It wouldn't be Christmas without a visit to Fredericks' department store, whose festive atmosphere and lavish decorations are famous. The sounds of carols and tiny silver bells lilt and tinkle through the halls, glittering ornaments adorn the trees and angels, and the delightful Fredericks' Santa Claus reigns supreme in his grotto. A trail of enthralled children line up through the magic forest of Christmas trees that surround the grotto, anxiously awaiting their turn to meet the kind, jolly figure in red, sit on...
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Overview

It wouldn't be Christmas without a visit to Fredericks' department store, whose festive atmosphere and lavish decorations are famous. The sounds of carols and tiny silver bells lilt and tinkle through the halls, glittering ornaments adorn the trees and angels, and the delightful Fredericks' Santa Claus reigns supreme in his grotto. A trail of enthralled children line up through the magic forest of Christmas trees that surround the grotto, anxiously awaiting their turn to meet the kind, jolly figure in red, sit on his lap atop his elegant golden throne, and receive their special gift to take home and put under their own tree. No expense is spared to create the Fredericks' Christmas magic. That's the Fredericks' tradition. But among the staff at the big store this year, tidings of comfort and joy are noticeably lacking and the strain is obviously telling. And Verity Birdwood, sent to research a TV program about Christmas in a big store, gets more than she bargained for. Between interviews, Verity sleuths her way through a maze of decked halls and suspicious personnel only to discover that not everyone is in the holiday spirit. In fact, for someone, the holidays can be murder....

Christmas may be the season to be jolly, but there's a noticeable absence of good will at Frederick's Department Store, where behind the very professional smiles lurk thoughts of murder. As Verity Birdwood recounts in this witty collection of her most intriguing cases, the Australian sleuth discovers that tidings of joy can be overshadowed by Death's dark hand. Author Jennifer Rowe is called the Agatha Christie of Australia.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
These eight short, peppy puzzlers by Australian mystery writer Rowe ( Grim Pickings ) feature bespectacled amateur detective Verity Birdwood, who solves knotty problems with ease and doesn't mind upstaging her policeman friend Det. Sgt. Dan Toby. In the opening tale, ``Forbidden Fruit,'' Birdie tells Dan about her first case, when, as a 14-year-old, she determined how a rich old man married to a young woman with a lover was killed at his annual neighborhood Christmas party. The closing title story describes how Birdie gathers clues and names the murderers of a department-store Santa and his photography assistant. In between, Birdie visits an isolated farm where a retarded hired hand has been accused of having strangled the farmer's wife (``Rabbit Killer'') and goes to the beach, not a favored spot, where she discovers that a fellow bather has succumbed (``Death Warmed Up''). Cleverly plotted and peopled by characters deftly, if lightly, sketched, the stories skimp on Birdie, who remains a puzzle. (Jan.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780553568752
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 11/1/1994
  • Series: Verity "Birdie" Birdwood, #3
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.88 (h) x 0.58 (d)

Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2001

    Shorts to fill in time

    I can¿t say the detective come journalist, Verity Birdwood, who is Rowe¿s leading character and crime solver appealed to me. I believe there are several novels featuring Birdie and I might give one a try, short stories are fine when you are unable to read a book but this anthology did not work for me. The crimes are all murders and Birdie solves them with logic, assisted by, to my mind, a stupid and too helpful police officer. I don¿t believe any self respecting detective would allow this modern day Australian Miss Marple anywhere near his cases.

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