Something in the Water (Peter Shandy, Book 9)

By Charlotte MacLeod

Unique booklet: 1994

While traveling in Maine, Professor Peter Shandy confronts a toxic potpieMassachusetts horticulturalist Peter Shandy is known for his rutabagas, yet he involves Maine with a loftier plant in brain. particularly, he desires to measurement up the world-renowned lupines of Frances Rondel, a nonagenarian whose mythical plant life are much more attractive in existence than they're in fable. Shandy is bitterly jealous, yet unearths a massive distraction within the eating room of the rustic lodge the place he’s staying. He may well develop wretched lupines, yet no gardener can resolve a homicide like Peter Shandy. The corpse belongs to the past due Jasper Flodge, a neighborhood loudmouth with a toupee and a massive intestine. Shoveling down the final bites of a poultry potpie, Flodge clutches his chest and falls useless. unexpectedly with extra to do than preventing to sniff the lupines, Shandy needs to ask himself: Which Maine prepare dinner has the undesirable style to style poultry with cyanide?

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Peter slung his collecting bag over his shoulder, took out some of his spillproof plastic envelopes, and buckled all the way down to company. the diversity of colour used to be more than any he’d encountered sooner than however the diversifications have been usually sophisticated; he needed to invent a colour code as he went from one very good stalk to a different that was once similar to it yet now not fairly. He simply was hoping he’d have the ability to take into account what his complicated improvisations stood for while he acquired again to his greenhouses. a number of the stalks had long gone thoroughly to seed, he classified them with query marks and went on filling his little packets. He was once in no nice hurry, he paused at times to settle a territorial dispute with a bee or a butterfly or to cross the time of day with pass over Rondel’s obese cat, who’d strolled out to work out what used to be happening. A blue jay gave him hell for trespassing on its turf whereas retaining a cautious distance, as a blue jay certainly may. A wren below a 3rd of the blue jay’s dimension was once a ways bolder, bouncing at the tip of a brier and sporting on a working observation now not six toes from the fats cat’s nostril. She positioned Peter in brain of his next-door neighbor again domestic. He misplaced song of the hours and didn’t care. someplace alongside the road he ate the sandwiches that Mrs. vibrant had submit for him and washed them down with an important tumblerful of spring water that pass over Rondel introduced out to him. It used to be actually water, he was once to notice, and ideal water at that. Peter had inebriated from many a spring, he used to be by way of now anything of a gourmand; he rated the Rondel’s Head product grade A-plus and gave it 5 stars for solid degree. someway, the water had a dating to his portray, the one who will be his forevermore no matter if, God forbid, he by no means bought to put eyes on it back. It carried that very same trace of whatever a ways more than excellence, whatever illusive yet crucial that he couldn’t flavor yet was once completely good capable of realize. He wanted he’d introduced a jug of his personal to be crammed, he had an instinctive feeling that Mrs. brilliant used to be unlikely to allow him have any of hers and he didn’t blame her a whit. His whistle hence transcendentally wetted and his energy renewed, Peter went on amassing lupine seeds. He had obvious Childe Hassam’s idyllic portray of Celia Thaxter in her seashore backyard, he’d concept this might be a pleasant, lazy technique to cross a leisurely afternoon. shedding down over a twenty-foot granite ledge with jagged rocks on the foot to arrive a tiny pocket of soil that had controlled to resort in a crevice, striking on roughly by means of the toenails whereas he broke off a number of browned flower heads and tied them up in his shirttail for safekeeping in order that his arms may hunt down handholds to climb again up by way of should have been an image that Hassam shouldn't have cared to color. The tide used to be rolling in by way of now, sending up nice lovers of spray because it hit the rocks. Peter’s pant legs have been half-soaked by the point he’d clambered alongside the cliff to the place the going was once much less precipitous. He didn’t care. He’d have long gone backpedal for extra seeds if there’d been to any extent further to get.

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