- Hardcover: 224 pages
- Publisher: William Morrow & Co; 1st edition (May 1, 1993)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0688086446
- ISBN-13: 978-0688086442
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 21 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,638,387 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Grub-And-Stakers House a Haunt Hardcover – May 1, 1993
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From Publishers Weekly
Silly from beginning to end, this latest in the series, following The Grub-and-Stakers Spin a Yarn, will strain the patience of readers whose sensibility doesn't match that of the pseudonymous author, who is really the prolific Mystery Writers of America Grand Master Charlotte McLeod. A lighthearted mood is created with a heavy hand as widow and heroine Mrs. Zilla Trott joins up with other members of the Grub-and-Stakers Gardening and Roving Club of Lobelia Falls, Ont., to hunt for the bones and buried gold of murdered muleskinner Hiram Jellyby. Also involved are Arethusa Monk, the author of roguish Regency romances, and Pollicott James, a specialist in dowsing. Arch and lacking in wit throughout, this tale is unlikely to engage the interest of fans of McLeod's other series starring Madoc Rhys, Peter Shandy and Sarah Kelling.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Charlotte MacLeod must have been a hoot to know.
Widowed health-nut Zilla Trott is surprised to find the ghost of a murdered muleteer haunting her kitchen, getting into her dandelion wine and asking her help in locating the trunk full of gold coins he buried just before his untimely demise.
She calls upon her neighbors and friends in the Grub and Stakers Gardening and Archery Club, and soon all sorts of long-buried things are being dug up--a trunk full of stolen cash, a missing set of bridal china, and the mule-skinner's long-lost bones. Along the way, other mysteries pop up and are serendipitously solved: A bank heist, an abduction, and the case of the killer cow.
The goofy goings-on also dredge up references to the town's past exploits in this, the final novel in the series. All's well that ends well, of course, and this story ends with the town's elderly residents getting a new senior center, and Zilla getting another visit from Hiram the ghost. She's grown accustomed to his ectoplasm, and the ending of the book promises the beginning of a beautiful (if unusual) friendship.
To accept the story as written, you have to be able to understand two things. One ---the politics and the intertwined familial relationships that abound in very small towns. Two --- have a working knowledge of the local speech and word usage that exist in the town. I grew up in such a town so I could relate to the politics and cross-related families. It was the dialog that gave me fits.
As with any book set in a country other than one's own, you have to accept that the dialog will probably be different and interspersed with local speech patterns that can be difficult to follow. I was extremely glad a dictionary is attached to the Kindle app. I used it repeatedly (more than 3 times a page) to look up words that were supposedly English, but I had no idea what they meant. The dialog was rife with not only everyday cant terms, but also the Sheriff's heavy Irish brogue, and a writer's preference to speak only in the language of England's Regency era romances. Oh and the ghost sprinkled his speech with pure early 1800's mule driver. You can imagine how confusing it became to understand what everyone was saying.
I found this so irritating, that I could not honestly give the book more than 3 stars. At this point I'm not sure I will try another in this series.