Pushing Murder

Overview

Clara Gamadge's latest adventure finds the white-haired sleuth in the hospital, at Christmas of all times, a victim of a bad hors d'oeuvre consumed at the opening of a friend's new mystery book shop, Pushing Murder, in Greenwich Village. A poisoning attempt at the hospital, however, convinces Clara and her family that the mishap at the party was no accident, but attempted murder! Who could possibly want to kill Clara, and why? She hasn't been involved in any cases for quite some time, so the murder attempts must ...
See more details below
Available through our Marketplace sellers.
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (26) from $1.99   
  • New (4) from $2.34   
  • Used (22) from $1.99   
Close
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
$2.34
Seller since 2005

Feedback rating:

(1565)

Condition:

New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

New
1993-09 Hardcover New Never Used. May have remainder mark.

Ships from: West Babylon, NY

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$2.49
Seller since 2015

Feedback rating:

(2)

Condition: New
1993 Hard cover New in new dust jacket. Sewn binding. Paper over boards. 149 p. Audience: General/trade.

Ships from: Newark, OH

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$24.00
Seller since 2015

Feedback rating:

(88)

Condition: New
0805019707 Only 1 copy left. Clean, unmarked copy. Hardcover, with dust jacket- In great shape! I can send expedited rate if you chose; otherwise it will promptly be sent via ... media rate. Got any questions? Email me; I'm happy to help! We recommend selecting Expedited Shipping to get your book as fast as possible. Read more Show Less

Ships from: Sherman Oaks, CA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$58.77
Seller since 2008

Feedback rating:

(213)

Condition: New

Ships from: Chicago, IL

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Close
Sort by
Sending request ...

Overview

Clara Gamadge's latest adventure finds the white-haired sleuth in the hospital, at Christmas of all times, a victim of a bad hors d'oeuvre consumed at the opening of a friend's new mystery book shop, Pushing Murder, in Greenwich Village. A poisoning attempt at the hospital, however, convinces Clara and her family that the mishap at the party was no accident, but attempted murder! Who could possibly want to kill Clara, and why? She hasn't been involved in any cases for quite some time, so the murder attempts must mean she's been drawn into a new case without her knowledge. She suspects that someone will need her services in the near future. Sure enough, an old friend suddenly appears on the scene seeking Clara's help, and a web of ancient deceptions and greed ensnares both women, involving them in a deadly game of extortion and murder. As Clara's family, including her charming yet irascible cousin Sadd, rallies to protect both women, Clara directs the investigation from her hospital bed. To her sorrow, however, she finds that the spirit of Christmas is proof against only the chill and is not strong enough to protect them all from the malice of one ambitious man.

The fourth cozy caper featuring senior citizen sleuth Clara Gamadge. A week before Christmas, there's more than just mice stirring. A killer tries to poison Clara, and plunges her into a deadly hunt to unmask the sinister Scrooge. "A fast, snappy mystery."--Mostly Murder.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The fourth appearance of New York City amateur sleuth Clara Gamadge finds the white-haired widow trying to trap her own would-be murderer. Clara is hospitalized after eating poisoned hors d'ouevres at the opening of her friend Sal's new mystery bookstore. Very soon, Clara and readers learn whodunit; the point of the tale is to prove the perp's guilt before he succeeds in murdering Clara and possibly Sal, who is his new wife. While still confined, Clara survives another poisoning attempt, but a third friend, also aware of the poisoner's intentions and his shady past, is strangled in the hospital chapel. Clara, her loyal cousin and friend Charles Saddlier, her grown children and a private detective all work together to foil a murderer whose access to the hospital frightens everyone. The fiesty Clara is more sharply etched than the other characters and the plot exhibits some gaps and slow patches, but Boylan ( Murder Machree ) nevertheless tailors a diverting and sprightly old-fashioned cozy in modern dress. (Sept.)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805019704
  • Publisher: Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/29/2000
  • Series: A Clara Gamadge Mystery Series
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Pages: 160

Read an Excerpt

Pushing Murder


By Eleanor Boylan

Henry Holt and Company

Copyright © 1993 Eleanor Boylan
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-8050-1970-4


CHAPTER 1

"I could not believe, Clara, that you'd be so inconsiderate as to die before this matter is settled."

The voice was the voice of my cousin, Charles Saddlier, but Sadd lived in Florida, and I was in bed in New York City trying to get some sleep. And what "matter" was he talking about?

The second voice made even less sense. "You gave us a scare, Mom."

That was my daughter, Paula. But she lived in Boston. Scare?

The third voice made the least sense of all. It was female and unknown to me. "Better let her get some sleep."

Thanks, whoever you are. Sleep was all I wanted now, especially as the weird sensation in my stomach was beginning to recede.... But why was something pinning my left foot to the bed?

* * *

"It was arsenic, Mrs. Gamadge. Do you feel like talking about it?"

Not really. Nor was I at all sure what the attractive, fortyish woman in the white coat meant by "it" unless she was referring to the cast on my ankle, which I'd been told was broken, and what did that have to do with arsenic? I felt miserably confused, but with my family sitting there looking at me expectantly I supposed I must gather my wits.

I'd been told it was ten hours since their voices and that of Dr. Martha Somebody had penetrated my consciousness, that I was in Room 220 at St. Victor's Hospital on Tenth Street, and that "my condition" would keep me there another four or five days. Now pale morning sun slanted through the window, and sitting up in bed in a bright pink bed jacket I'd never seen before, Paula braiding my long white hair which must be in hideous disarray, I felt weak and embarrassed.

I said lamely, "I'm afraid I don't remember much," and looked at Sadd, who was reading, then at my son, Henry, then at his wife, Tina. Their constant presence along with Paula's I'd been dimly feeling. Idiotically I began to cry.

"Go home all of you," I blubbered. "You'll lose your jobs because of me. You haven't left this room for—"

They began telling me to shut up, that now that I was out of danger yes, they'd go about their business, and Sadd, who is my senior by several years and hates New York in the winter, said I didn't seem very grateful that he'd come all the way from Florida when he heard the awful news.

"What awful news?" I was making an earnest effort to put all this together.

"That you'd been poisoned, Mom," said Henry gently.

Poisoned? I'd been poisoned?

"I came at once," said Sadd, looking virtuous. "And in this appalling December weather too."

Still at sea, I blew him a feeble kiss, and he blew one back. The doctor—I assumed that's what she was—smiled at these family pyrotechnics and said, "Mrs. Gamadge, I'm sorry to press, but if you could remember—"

"Doctor," I said, trying to rally, "I should be the sorry one. You must be a busy woman. Tell me your name."

"Martha Cullen. Your own doctor—Arthur Kingman, isn't it?—is in Bermuda, we learned."

Henry said, "Dr. Cullen was on duty in Emergency when you were brought in, Mom."

Brought in? Brought in from where? From where I'd been poisoned? Broken my ankle? What possible connection could one have with the other—or either one with me, for that matter?

"Let me think ..." I sat up straighter in the bed and received a twinge in my leg that made me gasp.

Tina, my petite, sensitive daughter-in-law, said at once, "You're not up to this, Clara."

"Yes, I am." I gritted my teeth, a painful act in itself as nothing in my miserable old frame was prime for gritting.

Paula finished my braid and patted the end where she'd attached a little bow. She said, "There. Now you'll be more comfortable. How does she look?"

"Rather like an over-the-hill Rapunzel," Sadd said.

This produced giggles from my children, and Dr. Cullen looked a bit aghast, but how could she know my nutty family?

"Doctor, I think it's coming back to me," I said. It was, actually, mistily and piecemeal. "I seem to recall ..." Then a quick, penetrating ray. "I was lying on a sidewalk somewhere."

Five heads nodded encouragingly, and Henry said, "Cornelia Street, outside your friend's bookstore."

"Bookstore?"

"Sal's new one," said Tina. "The one you thought up a name for?"

"Name?"

I sounded like a darned parrot, but each word I repeated helped to dispel the mist. "Yes, Sal's new store." Then a fine, productive burst. "It was the day she opened!"

Five more vigorous nods, and I waxed positively chatty. "You see, Doctor, this friend of mine has always wanted to open a bookstore specializing in mystery fiction. There are quite a few of them around the country—a famous one here in New York called The Mysterious Bookshop and one in San Diego called Grounds for Murder, and there's Murder Under Cover and The Scene of the Crime—so for my friend's store I came up with Pushing Murder."

I beamed at the doctor, expecting her to be impressed with the cleverness of it, but she looked rather blank.

Paula said loyally, "An inspired name, really."

Henry and Tina agreed that it was, and Sadd, the eternal grammarian, said, "Of course a participle is never as strong as a verb, but in this case it's quite effective."

Dr. Cullen cleared her throat. "Mrs. Gamadge, do you remember whom you talked to and what you ate at that party?"

"Party?" I was feeling spent. I yanked at the bed jacket and tried to concentrate. "Party. Oh, yes. Sal had a wine-and-cheese do. She wasn't really ready to open yet, but with Christmas coming ..." Oh, no! Christmas—and me in the hospital! I plowed on. "I remember that Sal's husband was still putting up shelves. They've just been married, you know. He's a dear—very handy, too. He made a clever sign for out front. It has the words Pushing Murder between bookends that look like tombstones with—"

"Clara," said Sadd, his eyes on his book, "you're rambling."

"I know it." I suddenly felt exhausted, angry, and put upon. "What happened to my ankle, for heaven's sake? It's hurting again."

Dr. Cullen nodded quickly to Paula, who scooted out the door.

Henry said, "What happened was this: You tripped—you were sick as hell—coming down the steps of Sal's store and crashed on the pavement. By the time the paramedics got there you'd passed out. The broken ankle was obvious, but we couldn't figure out why all the puking. Dr. Cullen recognized poisoning and gave you—what's it called, Doctor?"

"Chelation therapy. It's an intravenous treatment."

"So she saved your life, and all we want you to do is tell us who you think might have wanted to take it."

I looked at my son stupidly. "You mean kill me?"

"What else?"

I stared around in bafflement for a few seconds, then felt sudden relief. The answer was obvious.

Sister Agnes, a brisk, sixtyish nun—the floor supervisor, hadn't she told me?—came purposefully into the room. I pushed up the fluffy sleeve of the bed jacket and said, "Dears—and this means you too, Doctor—isn't it perfectly plain what happened? The poison was meant for another person. I simply got the wrong canapé. Somebody who has it in for somebody decided—oh, how sordid and sick!—to do it at Sal's party but did it clumsily and goofed and got me instead. Oh, thank you, Sister!"

The needle was in and out. I closed my eyes and started to count backward. " ... Ninety-eight, ninety-seven ... Go home, all of you. I love you ... Don't worry ... Nobody wants to do in poor old Clara ... Ninety-three, ninety-two ... Problem is I love anchovies ... Eighty-eight ... eighty-seven ... eighty-six ... Just want to know one thing ... Sixty ... Fifty ... Where did this awful bed jacket come from? ... Forty-two ... buckle my shoe ..."

"Sal," said Tina's voice.

"What about her? ... Thirty ... Twenty ... Jack jump over the ..."

"She brought the bed jacket."

"Oh ... Fleece was white as ... Eighteen ... Poor Sal ... probably blaming herself ... Shouldn't ... Ten—no, nine ... Jack Sprat could eat no ... I should have been like Jack ..."

I snickered at this witticism, then felt irritated because they were all still standing there. I'd told them to go. I'd explained everything. Why were they gawking at me and not going?

Well, then, I'd go myself.

I went.

CHAPTER 2

I swam up from the depths of the drug reluctantly, relaxed, remembering Caliban's words "and when I waked I cried to dream again."

The sun seemed less bright, and there was frost on the window. From somewhere—the street probably—came faint, mechanical strains of "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing."

My eyes focused slowly and showed me Sadd sitting in a chair by the window. My children appeared to have left, thank heaven. Why didn't this dear man go too? I was in no danger; there was no reason for this kind of hospital vigil so wearisome to a family. Sadd had to be exhausted. But oddly, he wasn't even dozing. He was sitting upright, gazing into space. I looked at him over the mound of pillows that supported my knees and tried to figure out what was wrong with this picture. His appearance was no different from what it had been last March when I visited him in Florida. There was no thinning of the heavy white hair, no increased stoop of the shoulders. The different factor was something ... abstract.

My cousin Sadd, you must understand, is an incessant reader. A former publisher, he read, until his retirement, for both business and pleasure, and since then entirely and addictively for pleasure. He claims that if a day goes by without a glimpse of the printed word, he suffers withdrawal pangs. Sadd reads anywhere and everywhere. He reads in the bathroom, in the car, at meals, at parties, sometimes all night, often while sitting before the television, and he always brings a book to church, declaring it's the only way he can survive the sermon. I cannot imagine a place or occasion that would find him without something to read. Sadd will bring a book to Judgment Day.

He was without one now.

I lay considering this phenomenon, then said, "What time is it?"

He got up and came to the bed. "One o'clock. Your lunch tray came and went."

"Not hungry. My stomach still hurts."

"A nurse came in with a pill for that while you were under." Sadd pulled a chair to the bed. "Also the doctor who set your ankle. They'll both be back. How do you feel generally?"

"Somewhat better." I struggled to a sitting position. "Sadd, you have got to get some rest. Where are you staying?"

"Leave out got. Have to get some rest. Henry and Tina insisted I stay at Nice Ugly."

It was thus they had christened a nondescript old house in Brooklyn Heights that they'd renovated and made comfortable, if not beautiful.

"Paula's there too," Sadd added.

I shook my head glumly. "She has got—and I'm keeping this got—got to go back to Boston. Poor Andy!"

"He was all for packing up the kids and coming too."

I groaned. "This is awful. And at Christmas, too! I hate whoever did this to us. It can't have been anybody at the party—they were all Sal's friends and mine. The bastard must have followed his victim down to the Village and into the store."

"His victim? Poisoners are more often women, I believe."

I shrugged. "The point is—my God, Sadd—who was the stuff meant for?"

He said nothing, and I thrashed impatiently, receiving a sharp warning from my ankle. "Ouch! Damn! Oh, why couldn't I have had flu or something and missed Sal's opening? This is such a downer for her, and she's been so happy about the store and—and everything."

"Everything meaning what's-his-name?"

"Yes. Dwight Dunlop. Nice guy."

Sal, who had been a widow for as long as I, had met a pleasant widower her age at a small-business seminar at Cooper Union. They'd been married the week before.

"And I'll bet that in some crazy way"—I thrashed again—"she and Dwight are probably blaming themselves for this."

"Yes, they are." Sadd stood up. "They are also out in the hall champing to come in."

"Really?" Delighted, I reached for the bed jacket. "Remind me to thank her for this. Where's the sleeve? There's everything on here but feathers."

"You're sure you're up to seeing them?" Sadd started toward the door.

"Of course I'm sure." I adjusted the lacy collar. "But I wish we had something to drink. They tell me in hospitals now you're allowed—"

"Have no fear." Sadd grinned. "Dwight's come well supplied—and with Dr. Cullen's permission as well."

And the next minute I was being smothered with hugs, heaped with flowers and candy, plied with champagne, and repeatedly asked if I could ever forgive them.

"Are you both insane?" I laughed and sipped happily. "Anybody would think you were responsible."

"Sal feels as if we are." Dwight Dunlop was a big, very personable man with a penchant for ribald jokes which he told extremely well. "If you hadn't come to our opening—"

"Rubbish." I kissed Sal as she hung over me, her kind, humorous face full of concern.

"Oh, Clara, this is too ghastly. Who could have done such a thing to you? I hope the police are working night and day."

"Police?" I looked at Sadd in alarm. He shook his head.

"No police." He refilled my glass. "You see, Clara believes that she was merely an accidental victim and the poison was intended for somebody else."

"Of course it was." I said. "I'm sorry for the poor thing who was supposed to get it—I hope it isn't anybody we know, Sal—but it certainly wasn't me. Marvelous champagne."

They looked at each other—oddly, I thought—then Dwight shrugged and Sal said, "You haven't had one of your ... er ... cases lately that might involve somebody who ...?

I laughed and sipped. This was the right medicine. "I haven't had a 'case,' as you put it, in over a year. My life has been bland and blameless. All I've done is play grandma and volunteer at the museum. By the way, thanks for the bed jacket. I feel like Jean Harlow."

"What?" Sal stared at me. "Oh—well, it's awfully frilly, but I had to grab it fast."

Dwight said, "Look what we brought you," and dumped a tote full of paperbacks on my bed.

"You angels!" I cried.

"And here's the fall issue of The Armchair Detective"—Sal reached into another bag—"and a first edition of L. P. Hartley's stories, and The Rumpole Omnibus."

"Sal!"

"I was going to save the Hartley for your birthday but—but nothing's too good for you now."

She bit her lip and gulped, and Dwight looked at her anxiously.

"Will you please quit that?" I said. "I'll be out of here in a couple of days and—"

"—and on a plane to Florida with me," said Sadd.

"Now you're talking!" Dwight was his jovial self again.

"Well, we'll see about Florida." I was feeling very mellow. "I sort of hate to spend Christmas away from the kids. Now, how's business, and who's minding the store?"

Sal and Dwight both started to talk at once, and it was lovely and garbled and enthusiastic. There had been seventy—count 'em—seventy persons in already that day, sales had been brisk, and telephone orders above expectation. There was to be an article about them in some magazine and ... I was conscious of growing tired. Sal sensed it at once.

"We're going." She stood up. "If I can get in again—"

"Don't you dare," I said. "You stay in that store and make money."

She leaned over and hugged me hard. "Take care of your dear, darling self."

I simply could not fathom this emotional parting. Dwight said, "Chin up!" and Sadd went out with them. I lay wondering what on earth ...

Sadd came back and stood looking out the window. He said, "It's snowing. I haven't seen snow in five years."

I poured myself the last of the champagne and said, "Sadd, what's bugging everybody? Am I in worse shape than I've been told?"

"No, you're in good shape actually." He turned. "You're going to be fine."

"Then why is everybody acting like—"

"Acting as if. Clara, really, that is the most deplorable—"

"Oh, for God's sake, tell me what's wrong!" I pulled off the bed jacket, which was tickling my chin unbearably. "Why is everybody acting as if I'm in mortal danger?"


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Pushing Murder by Eleanor Boylan. Copyright © 1993 Eleanor Boylan. Excerpted by permission of Henry Holt and Company.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)