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The Corpse Is In The Mail
Den of Antiquity proprietress Abigail Timberlake's Halloween costume party is a roaring success—until an unexpected fire sends the panicked guests fleeing from Abby's emporium. One exiting reveler she is only too happy to see the back of is Tweetie "Little Bo Peep" Timberlake—unfaithful wife of Abby's faithless ex, Buford. But not long after the conflagration is brought under control, the former Mrs. T. discovers an unfamiliar suit of armor in her ...
The Corpse Is In The Mail
Den of Antiquity proprietress Abigail Timberlake's Halloween costume party is a roaring success—until an unexpected fire sends the panicked guests fleeing from Abby's emporium. One exiting reveler she is only too happy to see the back of is Tweetie "Little Bo Peep" Timberlake—unfaithful wife of Abby's faithless ex, Buford. But not long after the conflagration is brought under control, the former Mrs. T. discovers an unfamiliar suit of armor in her house. And stuffed inside is the heavily siliconed, no-longer-living body of the current Mrs. T.
Certainly some enraged collector of medieval chain mail has sent Abby this deadly delivery. But diving into their eccentric ranks could prove a lethal proposition for the plucky antiques dealer/amateur sleuth. And even a metal suit may not be enough to protect Abby from the vicious and vindictive attentions of a crazed killer.
It isn't every day that a headless woman rings my doorbell. You can be sure, therefore, that I examined this one closely. She was about five feet, six inches tall, sans head, which she held in her right hand. Her severed neck was abnormally large, especially considering the fact that there was a bit of it still attached to her noggin. I peered harder. Yup, there were two eyeholes about five inches down.
"Wynnell!" I cried delightedly. "I'm so glad you're early. I can use all the help I can get. The caterer got sick at the last minute, and although I have all the food, it needs assembling."
The bloody stump blinked. "How did you know it was me?"
"Because you're my best friend. I'd recognize you no matter what you wore." It would not have been kind of me to mention that it was Wynnell's bushy eyebrows poking through the vision slits that had tipped me off.
My buddy sighed and stepped over the threshold. Then, really seeing me for the first time, she gasped.
"Abby! How did you do it?"
"Do what?" I said with a coy smile.
"You're a foot taller. At least!"
"Am I?" I smoothed a portion of my antebellum skirt, which, suspended as it was by hoops and crinolines, puffed in all directions like an organza igloo. Incidentally, I wasn't alone under all that material. My yellow tomcat, Dmitri, had been tickling my ankles with his tail ever since I'd gotten dressed.
"Abby, tell me, or I'm going to peek."
"No need," I said and hoisted my hemline.
Dmitri took one look at my headless visitor, hissed, and shot out of the room like there was a pack of dogs in pursuit.
Wynnelllaughed and peered more closely. "Stilts?"
"Greg made them. I've been practicing all week."
Perhaps I should explain that I am normally only four feet, nine inches tall. My fiancé, Greg, is just over six feet. We would have made an odd Scarlett and Rhett without my wooden appendages. This not to say we make an odd couple in real life, but you know what I mean. Besides, if the hooped skirt gave me the opportunity to experience the rarefied strata to which the rest of you folks are accustomed, why not go for it?
"How do you manage to keep your balance?" Wynnell asked, as she bumped against the hall console.
"I don't always," I said, remembering my bruised right knee. "I can balance about as well as you can see. But I can't walk at all in this dress without the stilts, so I'm stuck until the party's over. You, however, are another story. Why don't set your head down on that console, take off your mask, and help me in the kitchen?"
"Be glad to." Wynnell whipped off her rubber neck. "You'd be surprised how hot it is under here."
I patted my voluminous skirt. "Fifteen yards of fabric is no cool breeze."
Wynnell nodded. Her hair was damp with dew—we Southern women do not sweat—and her face the color of a radish.
"So what do you want me to do first?"
"Stir the punch. And taste the bowl on the left to see if it needs more pizzazz."
"Vodka. I want this party to rock."
"Abby, you're so bad. What will your mama say?"
"She gave me the recipe."
"Speaking of her, did you find out what she plans to wear tonight?"
I shook my head. "Her lips are sealed tighter than a clam at low tide. All she would say is that I was in for a big surprise."
Wynnell frowned, her damp brows fusing like giant spiders. "Doesn't that make you nervous?"
"You bet it does. Last year she came as Mother Teresa—but that was during her nun craze."
Wynnell, having tasted the bowl of spiked punch, decided it need an extra wallop. She added enough imported spirits to keep Kiev humming for a month. And this from a Baptist!
"What does she want to be now?"
"A disc jockey?"
"The kind that ride horses. Her goal is to win the Kentucky Derby before her eightieth birthday."
"Which is how far away?" Wynnell asked cagily. We Southern women would rather sweat than reveal our ages.
"Then she could make it. I wouldn't put anything past your mama."
"Me, either!" I wailed. "That's just what I'm afraid of. She's liable to show up tonight at my Halloween party dressed as a jockey. A woman her age shouldn't wear those tight pants if you ask me."
"Your mama's in good shape, Abby."
"I know." I clomped over to my new oven to take a peek at the lasagna. It was ready to come out. "But she's so embarrassing. If I know her, she'll bring a real jockey with her as her date. Then who knows what the two of them will do. At least last year, when she was a nun, that wasn't a problem."
"That's only because the priest she brought with her was gay. At any rate, you're lucky to have her, Abby. Both my parents are dead."
"I know," I mumbled, "I'm a very lucky woman. I've been telling myself that all day."
And I was a very lucky woman. I, Abigail Louise Timberlake, had not only survived my divorcefrom Buford the Timber Snake, but I was now engaged to Greg Washburn, the sexiest detective on the Charlotte police force, if not the sexiest man in the entire city. My business, the Den of Antiquity, was doing gangbusters, allowing me to buy a brand-new home in the exclusive neighborhood of Piper Glen.Nightmare in Shining Armor. Copyright © by Tamar Myers. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
I have loved every one of the mysteries by Tamar Myers, and "Nightmare in Shining Armor" is no exception. I enjoy the adventures of Abigail Timberlake and her crazy friends. This book is a great fun summer read,take it to the pool or cuddle up with on a rainy afternoon. It helps if you have read other books in Myer's Den Of Antiquity Mystery series, so you have some of the background on the characters. But that also gets you to read the other books, to fill in the blanks.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 10, 2001
Another wonderful Den of Antiquity mystery...Ms. Myers once again delights the senses....this one is difficult to put down...filled with great characters and humor....a winner.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 9, 2008
Everything is going great for Abigail Timberlake, owner of Den of Antiquity in Charlotte, North Carolina. Her business is booming enabling her to buy a home in the posh neighborhood of Piper Glen. Her relationship with Police Detective Greg Washburn is strong. Finally she lets go of the hate she felt for her former husband Buford for dumping her for a younger woman. <P>To prove to herself that she no longer bears a grudge against Buford, Abigail invites Buford and his squeeze Tweety to a costume party. Buford is unable to attend because he is out of town, but Tweety arrives as Little Bo peep. When the party ends, Tweety is found murdered and under the bed in a suit of armor. Abigail visits a Charlotte society woman to inquire about her armor collection but moments after she leaves, someone kills the woman. Abigail is determined to solve the case so she can prove her innocence even if it happens to kill her in the process. <P> NIGHTMARE IN SHINING ARMOR is a cozy lover¿s delight as the heroine keeps landing in hilarious situations, but employs humor to bail herself out of trouble. Tamar Myers shows her genius at creating scenarios that are red herrings and blind alleys. Thus the reader keeps being fooled until the one-sitting tale is finished and the who-done-it and why is resolved. This long running series keeps on getting better with each new release. <P>Harriet Klausner
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Posted August 4, 2010
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