Catering the annual pre-Easter brunch and egg hunt is a hare-raising hassle for Judith McManigle, hard-working hostess of the Hillside Manor.And this year's egg scramble gets particularly messy when the reclusive wife of a local scion is fatally perforated my a fiend dressed in a bunny suit. Never one to pass up a good murder, Judith solicits the help of her sometime-beau policeman Joe and her irrepressible Cousin Renie to get energized and get hopping down the floppy-eared assassin's trail. But soon the list of suspects is multiplying faster than a hutch-full of rabbits. And Judith might very well end up a basket case-or worse-before this whole thing is through...now the the party-planning sleuth's unsolicited snooping has put a killer hot on her cottontail!
About the Author
Mary Richardson Daheim is a Seattle native with a communications degree from the University of Washington. Realizing at an early age that getting published in books with real covers might elude her for years, she worked on daily newspapers and in public relations to help avoid her creditors. She lives in her hometown in a century-old house not unlike Hillside Manor, except for the body count. Daheim is also the author of the Alpine mystery series, the mother of three daughters, and has three grandchildren.
Read an Excerpt
Judith Grover McMonigle put an ice pack on her head and sucked on a cough drop. She hated Lenten fast days. Self-denial was no problem; coercion was. Fasting wasn't voluntary, even in the contemporary Church. Not being able to eat between meals never failed to make Judith absolutely ravenous. Any other time of the year, she could go for the better part of a busy day and not so much as think about food. But come Lent, she always got a headache and a sore throat, and felt weak at the knees. It was illogical, and therefore out of character Judith sucked the cough drop so hard that it stuck to the roof of her mouth.
Her headache wasn't helped by the sound of her mother, who had thumped her walker into the living room. "Why are you wearing a turban?" she demanded in a raspy voice. "You some kind of swami? It's Good Friday. Why aren't you in church?"
"I was," said Judith, with a glance at the grandfather clock in the comer of the room. "It's three-thirty. I just got back from Stations of the Cross. We had it out on the playground."
"The playground? What did they do, use home plate for the Tomb?" growled Gertrude Grover, whose chartreuse and lavender housecoat was misbuttoned. "That knothead of a pastor at Star of the Sea has some of the daffiest ideas!"
Judith shifted the ice bag on her prematurely gray hair and kicked off her shoes. "It was arranged by the school kids. We formed a procession inside the church, then went outside. Prayerfully."
"Nuttily. That's the doing of that nitwit principal, Quinn McCaffrey, you can bet your butt on it. Whoever heard of a Catholic school being run by a man instead of a nun?" Gertrude wasstill looking for her cigarettes, but found only a couple of old garters. Disgusted, she tossed them onto the coffee table between the matching sofas that Ranked the fireplace. "Imagine, Mister McCaffrey, instead of Sister Mary Joseph or Mother Immaculate! It's all over, two thousand years down the dram. Might as well be a Lutheran or a Baptist or a Hottentot. Being a Catholic meant something in my day. It's a good thing I'm too crippled to go to church any more."
"You still go to bingo, you old fraud," Judith murmured, stretching out her long legs on the coffee table and hoping that Gertrude was too deaf to hear her riposte.
"Bingo?" Gertrude's little eyes bulged. "Don't tell me they're having bingo during Holy Week! Did I miss it?"
"No, Mother." Judith sighed. "I said it was nice that the Ringos brought you Holy Communion every week."
"Hunh. Those old saps." Gertrude thumped the walker on the dark green Oriental rug. 'That's another thing, phonies like the Ringos running around Heraldsgate Hill handing out Holy Communion like Girl Scout cookies! I remember when I was in the Mothers' Club with Clara Ringo and she was so lazy she went to Begelman's Bakery and bought cupcakes for the bake sales instead of making them herself like the rest of us. Then she'd lie about it. Bragged about her frosting, too. And then her and that lunkhead of a husband practically put on halos when Father Hoyle slaps a title on them like eucalyptus ministers!"
" Eucharistic ministers," Judith corrected, wondering why her throbbing head didn't just fall off and roll out the French doors.
But Gertrude, already in full spate, paid no heed. "And another thing, it used to be that nobody stirred a stamp from Holy Thursday until Easter morning. No cards, no radio, no moving pictures. Zip. Look at me, I'm giving up my afternoon of bridge for Good Friday!" She made it sound as if she'd cut off her ears and offered them up for the hearing impaired. "But with your so-called modem generation, it's business as usual, make a buck, bring on the paying guests! You didn't do that last year!"
Judith didn't bother to remind her mother that the previous Easter had fallen in late March and that her bed-and-breakfast hadn't yet been booked every weekend. It had been just two years since Judith had opened the doors of her old family home in its refurbished state as Hillside Manor. In a cul-de-sac halfway up the south slope of Heraldsgate Hill, the location was ideal, with its neighborhood atmosphere and proximity to the city's downtown area. But building up a clientele had taken time and energy. Rather than taint Gertrude's argument with facts that she'd dismiss out of hand, Judith opted to defend herself on different grounds.
"You know perfectly well the guests who are coming for the weekend aren't regular customers. We're helping the Rankers with the overflow from their family reunion."
Judith's rebuttal merely diverted her mother into other channels, this time a diatribe on having an Easter vigil Mass Saturday night instead of waiting until Sunday morning. "How do they figure?" she ranted. 'Christ rose from the dead so He could hide the Easter baskets? What a bunch of wackos!"
A persistent knock at the back door saved Judith from a fruitless attempt to explain Vatican II to her mother. Ice pack in place, she angled around Gertrude's walker and went out through the dining room and kitchen to the narrow rear entry hall. Arlene Rankers stood on the back porch, carrying a picnic hamper.
"I brought some snacks," she announced in her breezy, outgoing manner, then paused on the threshold, staring at Judith. "Goodness, why are you wearing a beret?"
"I've taken up painting," replied Judith, stepping aside to let Arlene get by. "Snacks for what?"
Arlene made room for the hamper on the cluttered dinette table. "For the relatives, should they get hungry. Tuna spread, crab balls, deviled...
Table of Contents
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This book kept me reading until the end! The author did great. I loved this book and how it contained it's own comical comments. The plotline of the book is also interesting as you may soon find out. I loved this book so much! It has become my new favorite book on the shelf. I would seriously recommend this book. I hope you like it as well!
This is a, being it the third, a very good novel: it was calm near the start, and the antogonist could have been a Duffy, or even, a Kramer, and Tim Mills had a heredity that would be hard to remember. Phyliss is great, and I never mentioned her, in my 13 or 15 novels I have read. There was Quinn McCaffrey, and Arlene, and a wheeelbarrow,...and Gertrude..."looking straight ahead like she was going to start a prison riot"
Description:Horny and male. That is all. -_-