Creeps Suzette by Mary Daheim

By Mary Daheim

THE REAPER'S AT CREEPERS

The low season blahs, a pyromaniacal mother, and a lately retired husband who's consistently underfoot have bad Judith McMonigle Flynn going stir loopy at Hillside Manor. So the harried R&B hostess leaps at cousin Renie's advice that Judith accompany her to Creepers--the stately property of kindly previous Leota Burgess. the rich senior is bound that somebody is set to do her in for money--most most probably considered one of her disreputable relatives--and Judith and Renie have agreed to appear into her allegations. And once they bump into Leota's bruised yet nonetheless respiring physique on the foot of the grand staircase, they become aware of the previous lady's fears can be well-founded. however the decidedly useless corpse mendacity on most sensible of Leota--his head bashed flatter than the proverbial French pancake--suggests that there is extra to those homicidal doings than meets the attention. And now it is as much as the cousins to stick to the clues to the creep who is creeping round Creepers with homicide at the mind.

 

THE REAPER'S AT CREEPERS

The low season blahs, a pyromaniacal mother, and a lately retired husband who's continuously underfoot have negative Judith McMonigle Flynn going stir loopy at Hillside Manor. So the harried R&B hostess leaps at cousin Renie's advice that Judith accompany her to Creepers--the stately property of kindly previous Leota Burgess. the rich senior is bound that somebody is set to do her in for money--most most probably certainly one of her disreputable relatives--and Judith and Renie have agreed to seem into her allegations. And once they bump into Leota's bruised yet nonetheless respiring physique on the foot of the grand staircase, they detect the outdated lady's fears can be well-founded. however the decidedly lifeless corpse mendacity on best of Leota--his head bashed flatter than the proverbial French pancake--suggests that there is extra to those homicidal doings than meets the attention. And now it is as much as the cousins to stick with the clues to the creep who is creeping round Creepers with homicide at the brain.

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Burgess lowered her eyes. “No. There’s Kenneth. He’s Caroline’s brother, Peggy’s son by her first husband, Charles. Kenneth has an apartment in town, but he’s been living here off and on. He’d come to stay at Creepers through the holidays. ” Judith asked, finishing a second roll. CREEPS SUZETTE / 47 “Peggy divorced him years ago,” Leota Burgess replied, tight-lipped. “Naturally, Walter and I disapproved of divorce in general, but Charles Ward really wasn’t a suitable husband for Peggy. ” Judith was trying not to drown in a complicated sea of relationships.

Maybe he still lives with Wayne and Dorothy. ” Renie paused, then went on. “I seem to recall that the last time I saw Bev, she and Tom had come home to attend their niece’s wedding. ” Returning to the sitting room, Judith studied the collection of silver dishes, cloissonné vases, and what looked like a mustache cup made of real gold. “I wonder why Mrs. Burgess is putting off talking to us? ” “That’d be my guess,” Renie said, fingering one of the ceramic cats that she’d mistaken for a gopher. “I suppose the motive is money.

Mrs. Burgess echoed with a sad shake of her head. “No, so few are left in my circle. Those who remain head for the sun or a cruise ship as soon as the temperature drops below fifty degrees. ” Renie prodded. “Family members are always in and out,” Mrs. Burgess replied, toying with a diamond-studded watch on her left wrist. “As I recall, several of them had stopped by—my stepson, Wayne and his wife, Dorothy, who live just down the road. Their son, Bayless—they call him Bop because his full name is Bayless Oliver Prescott Burgess—stops by all the time, too, which is fine, except that he drives that ridiculous pizza truck.

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