Stately, white-columned Shephard House has been the splendid Hudson River Valley seat of the aristocratic, old-money Shephard family for generations. Much to the outrage of Marian Shephard, chatelaine of Shephard House, it is to the proud old family mansion that Marian’s brother, scholarly gentleman bachelor Hamilton “Ham” Shephard brings his new bride, scandalous New York revue star Jocelyn “Joss” King. Once ensconced at Shephard House, Joss goes about drastically changing the old regime there, even to the extent of flagrantly redecorating the mansion’s renowned, perfectly paneled Georgian drawing room in art deco style. Clearly the brazenly modern Joss has got to go.
And go Joss does, at a weekend house party when the mansion is full of guests, all of whom promptly become suspects in Joss’s murder when the beautiful showgirl is discovered fatally bludgeoned in her elegant black Lelong dress. Lovely post-debutante narrator and Shephard family ward Nancy Sherwin is left to wonder whodunit—and who will be next to get done in! Perhaps Nancy’s handsome, insouciant neighbor, Osgood “Oz” Brown, or that earnest, bespectacled young policeman, Inspector Cooper, will discover the truth before the bodies really begin to pile up at Shephard House.
When forty-eight-year-old Yonkers elementary schoolteacher Laverne Rice published her sole detective novel in 1938, it received a rave review from the New York Times Book Review, which proclaimed Well Dressed for Murder “a mystery story that will make far more experienced craftsmen look to their laurels.”
This edition includes a bibliographic introduction by detective fiction historian Curtis Evans.
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