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Publisher's Summary

A Crime Club selection, this intrguing tale has been reviewed as "...the very best whodunnit in many a day...Not to be missed." It starts with plans to bury deceased Great-uncle Frederick in the family vault on Beacon Hill. When the vault is opened, there's someone already there that no one could ever expect-the skeleton of a burlesque queen who disappeared thirty years ago! It's up to young Sarah Kelling to hold the shocked family together, and try to find out what happened. What she unravels is a complex murder plot that not only stretches into the past, but also has Sarah marked as a victim!

The third in a series of definitive edition of mysteries by America's Agatha Christie!
Second title in ibooks' Sarah Kelling and Max Bittersohn reissue program.
Over 1,000,000 Charlotte MacLeod novels have been sold worldwide.
Charlotte MacLeod is the American Mystery and Nero Wolfe Award-winning of the Sarah Kelling & Max Bittersohn and Professor Peter Shandy series of mysteries.

©1979 Charlotte McLeod (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Joy on 11-30-12

A delightful start to the series

Sarah's family is opening up their historical cemetary vault, where no one else was ever supposed to be buried. To the surprise of all present, much has changed since its official closing. The main change is the addition of an exotic skeleton with rubies set into her teeth. This is the start of a kaleidoscopic adjustment of Sarah's view of her compressed little world. Charlotte MacLeod's brilliant plot is sympathetically humanized. When I listened to my old favorite THE FAMILY VAULT, it started a whole reading and listening sequence of Charlotte MacLeod books.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Madge on 06-14-13

young wife, older husband, deadly family secrets

Sarah kelling has always adored her generation older Cousin Alexander Kelling, so when her father dies when she's 19 and leaves Alex as her guardian, she happily marries him. But they are living with his tragically blind and deaf mother, using Sarah's income from her trust that expires when she's 27, whose funds go to Alexander if she dies, and though the house is one of Boston's distinguished old homes, they are living in shabby genteel poverty, recycling old clothes and doing their own DIY - or are they merely being thrifty aristocratic Boston Brahmins?.

But when a cantankerous older family member insists on being buried in the original historic family vault (instead of the modern cemetery on the outskirts of Boston next to his pre-deceased and despised wife), they find an unexpected resident - a notorious stripper Ruby Red -- and the Kelling secrets are about to come out.

Sarah is a bright, well-mannered young woman, happy to serve, but growing tired of the social demands of her heritage, the autocratic demands of her mother-in-law, and the financial demands of poverty when she's supposed to be part of a rich family. And when this shock starts to crack the family solidarity, she begins to search for the truth of how Ruby intersects with the family, but also the pattern of premature death. And trying to make her marriage a more equal one.

Well - written, with multiple humorous eccentric characters in the in-bred Kelling clan, and a complicated plot with a totally unexpected solution.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Bastet Pybus on 12-23-12

Great fun

Fun, witty sleuthing. An entertaining listen - I enjoyed puzzling out the family relationships and the bizarre world of Charlotte McLeod. Read with gusto by Andi Arndt.

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