Skylar in Yankeeland (Skylar Series #2)

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A rogue and a rascal—the trumpet playing, lady-killing toast of Greendowns County, Tennessee—Skylar Whitfields talented lips have won him the affection of many a local belle. Now theyve won him a scholarship to a prestigious Northern music school—which is what brings young Skylar into the home of his snooty Boston Brahmin relatives, where he is decidedly not welcome. Perhaps their disdain has something to do with the disappearance of five million dollar-worth of family gembobs on the very night he arrives. Or his...

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Overview

A rogue and a rascal—the trumpet playing, lady-killing toast of Greendowns County, Tennessee—Skylar Whitfields talented lips have won him the affection of many a local belle. Now theyve won him a scholarship to a prestigious Northern music school—which is what brings young Skylar into the home of his snooty Boston Brahmin relatives, where he is decidedly not welcome. Perhaps their disdain has something to do with the disappearance of five million dollar-worth of family gembobs on the very night he arrives. Or his amorous effect on some of the Beantown females, whose explicit fantasies could have dire consequences for the visiting country cousin. And of course, theres the murder that Skylar seems involved in up to his Dixie neck. . .

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
There's mystery in this second Skylar adventure, but readers must dig through a huge helping of cornpone to find it. Skylar Whitfield, a strapping Tennessee farmboy, is said to radiate sexy charm. Beneath the bumpkin exterior, of course, he is supposedly one smart feller. We are often told of these attributes, but Skylar shows little evidence of them. When he ventures north to study trumpet at a Boston music school, he visits wealthy kinfolk nearby. Upscale and uptight, they wince at his uninhibited folksiness. Told that a cobblestone driveway dates from the 18th century, Skylar says: "Time it got tore up, wouldn't you say?" When the family jewelry disappears from a safe, Skylar is suspected. His one big fan in the family, 12-year-old Ginny, vanishes when she becomes a suspect in the shooting death of a playmate. Because Skylar's role in solving the late-blooming mysteries is almost nil, he seems to have no purpose in the story other than to gush country-cousin clichs and provide sexual diversion for a couple of unnecessary characters. Mcdonald is a two-time Edgar winner and author of several bestsellers, including the Fletch and Flynn series. His admirers deserve better than this Southern fried mistake. (Jan.)
Library Journal
From the fellow who tickled our funnybones with the "Fletch" series comes this follow-up to Skylar (Morrow, 1995), in which a comely Southern hunk uses his wits and good looks to solve crimes.
Kirkus Reviews
Even apart from their dinner for an unnamed foreign ambassador, it's been quite a Labor Day weekend for redneck sexpot Skylar Whitfield's northern cousins. First, there's the advent of Skylar, come to Boston on a music scholarship. Then Aunt Lacey's jewels go missing from Uncle Wayne's safe. Cousin Jonathan's fiancée Joan ("Jonesy") Appleyard accuses Skylar of raping her; Skylar rescues Jonathan's sister Calder and her boyfriend Tom Palmer from a near-fatal car accident; and Lacey's playboy brother Calder confides to her that the family firm is bankrupt. It's almost an anticlimax when neighboring teen Louise Oglethorp is shot to death and Ginny Whitfield, the best friend last seen clutching the murder weapon, skips out. Through all the misadventures of his proper, moneyed cousins, Skylar, though out of his element in Tennessee (Skylar, 1995), has time for some sweet sex, some sweet trumpet music, and an arrest that snatches him out from under a little dispute with the Knightsbridge School of Music about his eligibility for that scholarship before the wheels of justice begin to grind.

Perhaps the liveliest of Mcdonald's recent books, though the multiple domestic crises never do grow together—you can just see Mcdonald ticking them off as he wraps each one up and soldiers on to the next.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780380725250
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/1/1998
  • Series: Skylar Series , #2
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 10
  • Product dimensions: 4.19 (w) x 6.92 (h) x 0.69 (d)

Meet the Author

Gregory Mcdonald is a veteran editor of The Boston Globe. A native New Englander, he now lives on and operates an antebellum cattle farm in Tennessee.

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Read an Excerpt

Sitting at the table, Lacey said, "I'm sure that soon after Skylar's term begins at the Knightsbridge School of Music next week, and he is living in the room in Boston Jon has arranged for him, Skylar will make his own friends."

"And so we won't have to see him very much?"

Calder asked happily.

"This will be his home away from home," Lacey pronounced. "Your father and Skylar's father are brothers. As your father so pointedly insists upon reminding us. Which is why he brought up the topic of Skylar's arrival at this juncture."

The look of mutual curiosity, with which the children were well familiar, passed between husband and wife.

"Should we get some fleas and ticks and scatter them around the yard to make him feel at home?" Ginny asked. "How about placing a few cow flops artfully on the lawn? We could start a trend. New En gland Taste might feature Paxton Landing again."

"We should import some copperhead and cotton mouth snakes, too," Jon said. "Rattlers. Wolves, coyotes. And don't forget wrapadangs."

"What's a wrapadang?" Ginny asked.

"Oh, you never want to come across a wrapadang," Jon warned her.

"I don't think it's fair for you to be prejudiced against the South," Wayne said. "Or Southerners. Your father is a Southerner. Are you prejudiced against me? Especially since Calder, with prejudice, just hypothesized Skylar is a racist. You don't know that he is. Do you consider me a racist?"

"'Hypothesized'?" Ginny frowned. "I wonder if Louise Uglythorpe can spell that one."

"Why did you leave the South?" Calder asked her father.

"There weren't many opportunities there, at that time. When I left."

"You've never been back," Lacey said.

"No," Wayne said. "Ihaven't."

Ginny asked Jon, "What's Skylar really like?"

"Well, he's nine feet tall, has two heads, feet that are a meter long—"

"Good," Ginny said. "He won't need to borrow our skis." Jon sighed. "I doubt you'll ever see Skylar Whitfield on skis. That boy slows down walkin' on wetgrass."

"Good!" Calder said. "We won't have to invite him for Christmas in Vail."

"Actually, he can be quite charming," Jon said. "At least the ladies seem to like him. Rather too much, I'd say. And he can play the trumpet like you've never heard it played before."

"Sure," Calder said. "But I've already heard 'When the Saints Go Marching In.' "

Lacey said, "I surely hope young Skylar does not think our annual Labor Day formal party Saturday is in his honor."

"Aunt Monica and Uncle Dan gave me a big welcoming party."

"Never," said Lacey, "would I dare imitate Southern manners. Whatever they are."

"They are difficult to comprehend," Jon muttered. "In the South, you can hit someone upside the head, but you're supposed to do so only in a kindly manner, and with the best of intentions."

"Closer to my definition of a gentleman," Wayne said.

His wife said: "Of course."

"What I'm trying to say," Wayne said, "is that there is no reason to be prejudiced against your cousin Skylar. You don't even know him."

"Are you saying we have to wait until after we know Skylar to be prejudiced against him?" Calder asked.

"But, Wayne," Lacey said, "you've ignored your nephew all his life."

"Guilty as charged," Wayne admitted. "My brother's family hasn't been much of a factor in our lives."

"I'm not prejudiced against him." Ginny took her fifth piece of pizza. "I liked Dufus. He was funny. Of course, I didn't understand much of what he said."

"That may be all for the best," Calder said. "I understood a bit of what he said."

Lacey asked, "Wayne, tomorrow will you stop by the bank, please, and pick up my tiara rig for the party?"

"Not that old thing again." Calder smiled.

"Sure," Wayne said.

"I'm wearing that rather regal gown I ordered in London in June."

"It arrived?" Calder asked.

"Last week."

"You never showed us," Calder complained.

"Show us after supper?" Ginny asked.

"If you ever stop eating," her mother said.

Wayne said to his son, "The arrival of a gown is of more interest than the arrival of a blood relative."

"I suppose we'll have to have Alex Broadbent to the party." Lacey sighed. "The Broadbent flotilla."

"Unavoidable," Wayne said, "as long as he lives in our boathouse."

Lacey said, "His entourage are like vermin."

Wayne said, "I think mostly he feeds his entourage appetizers provided by others."

Calder said, "Alex is brilliant. He interests people. Everybody reads his column in The Star."

"Then why," Lacey asked patiently, "do people have to see him? Him and his utterly boring wife? Especially when people are coming here supposedly to see us, not them? I rather wish we'd leased the boathouse to someone far less interesting. A mass murderer or something. Well, maybe he'll arrive late, as usual."

Wayne chuckled. "He'll still arrive like the Seventh Fleet."

"He'll apologize to me, saying he just can't get rid of people."

Ginny said, "He can't."

Wayne stood up from the round table and stretched his arms over his head, something he never would do with servants in the house. "I, for one, look forward to meeting my nephew. It should be amusing."

"Skylar is amusing, all right," Jon said. "About as amusing as a cricket in your shorts."

Copyright ) 1997 by Gregory McDonald

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