The Palace Guard Author:Charlotte MacLeod Sarah knows she shouldn't be here. The Kellings never did get invited back after that unfortunate incident when Madam Wilkins first opened her palatial museum to Boston's most critically outspoken Brahmins. But things have been quiet at Sarah's elegant Beacon Hill boardinghouse lately. Nobody's been murdered inmonths. Lodger Max Bittersohn h... more »as free passes to today's concert and he's one man she finds hard to turn down. So here stand Sarah and Max on the palace's second-floor balcony, admiring the flower-filled courtyard below and trying not to show their relief that impresario Nick Fieringer's latest musical fiasco is over. A peacock screams. A dark something falls past them from the floor above. Serenity turns to pandemonium as the oldest guard sprawls dead among the hyacinths.
Here's a case ready-made for Bittersohn, a professional tracker of art thieves and forgers. Here's Nick Fieringer desperately trying to convince Max that no case exists. Here's another guard found poisoned in the locker room, and here's Sarah's own Cousin Brooks offering himself as a substitute guard because of his warm personal friendship with curator Dolores Tawne. Here's Dolores's neighbor Countess Lydia Ouspenska, who paints genuine antique icons and forms warm personal friendships. Here's head trustee C. Eugene Palmerston hiring Bittersohn to investigate the dire happenings at the palace while he himself investigates Sarah's resident femme fatale Theonia Sorpende. And here's Max's friend Bill Jones. who enjoys knowing art thieves and lovely young landladies but catches up on his sleep at Lydia Ouspenska's.« less