From the book: It's a five-alarm frenzy as Magdalena Yoder and the rest of the congregation of the Beechy Grove Mennonite Church get ready for the annual chili supper cook-off. But just when the devout diners sit down to eat, beloved Reverend Schrock falls facedown into a pot of the savory stew. It seems someone slipped some peanut butter into the chili, knowing full well that the good reverend was deathly allergic to peanuts. At the request of the weeping widow, Magdalena agrees to investigate. But once she begins to look into the victim's death- and life-she discovers that Schrock wasn't as well liked as she'd thought. There's more than one person who had reason to want him dead, including the serial monogamist with a grudge and the man who spent seven years in jail after the reverend testified against him in court. As more foibles and squabbles amass, Magdalena struggles to find the truth amid evidence that is becoming a full-out assault on her senses.... "With her sassy wit and odd habits...Magdalena is a delightful main character.
In a Treasure-Laden Mansion Unflappable and resourceful, Abigail Timberlake, antique dealer and owner of Charlotte, North Carolina's Den of Antiquity, relies on her knowledge and savvy to authenitcate the facts from the fakes when it comes to either curios or people. Her expertise makes Abby invaluable to exceptionally handsome Tradd Maxwell Burton, wealthy scion of the renowned Latham family. He needs her to determine the most priceless item in the Latham mansion and then split the proceeds of it with her. A treasure hunt in an antique-filled manor? All Abby can say is "let the games begin." It's Tough to Keep Help Accompanied by her best girlfriend, C.J., Abby arrives at the estate and is met with cool reserve, if no downright rudeness, from the members of the Latham clan. Trying to carry out Tradd's request, Abby finds that she could cut the household tension with a knife. But someone has beaten her to it by stabbing a maid to death with an ancient kris. Suddenly all eyes are on C.J., whose fingerprints happen to be all over the murder weapon. it's up to Abby to use her knack for detecting forgeries to expose the fake alibi of the genuine killer.
A decades-old murder, a strange superstition, an enormous snake, and one giant secret are about to rock the beautiful Belle Vue to its core. It is a time of great upheaval for the Belgian Congo and Belle Vue is not safe from the changes. But there are more pressing problems as an unsolved disappearance brings up issues for some of the denizens of the village. Add to that a sudden influx of strangers and a horrible storm that literally divides the village in half, and suddenly danger seems to be everywhere. The lovely young American missionary Amanda, the police chief Captain Pierre Jardin, and the local witch doctor and his wise-woman wife, Cripple, all become embroiled in the mystery as evil omens and strange happenings at every turn suggest that more lives will be lost before the true killer is unmasked.
Raising Cane Abigail Timberlake Washburn understands the antiques game is a gamble -- so she doesn't know what to expect when she wins the bidding for the contents of an old locker that has been sealed up for years. It's a delightful surprise when she discovers inside a collection of exquisite old walking sticks -- and a not-so-delightful one when she pulls out a decrepit gym bag containing . . . a human skull! The last thing the diminutive South Carolina antiques dealer needs is to be suspected of foul play. So she grabs her chatty assistant (and future sister-in-law), C.J., and heads out to search for a killer they can stick it to. But this cane case will be no walk in the park -- with its arcane clues hinting at poaching, counterfeiting, smuggling . . . and homicide, of course. And when a fresh corpse turns up, things are about to get really sticky for Abby and her staff of one.
Business isn't booming for antiques dealer Abigail Timberlake Washburn. A local rug store is luring away her customers with its rock-bottom prices. Eager to check out the competition, Abby is delighted to find a priceless Persian amid the cut-rate carpets--and shocked when Gwendolyn Spears, the store's beleaguered owner, begs her to take it home! Abby feels more than a little guilty about getting such a great deal . . . especially when Gwendolyn is found dead the next morning. Investigating the brutal murder, Abby soon discovers that the prized Orientals of Charleston's society dames are nothing more than cheap fakes . . . and that a dangerous thief will do anything to pull the rug out from under her.
A Faux Van Gogh When North Carolina antique dealer Abigail Timberlake makes a bid of $150.99 on a truly awful copy of Van Gogh's The Starry Night, she's just trying to win Mama's approval by supporting the church auction. Hopefully, she'll make her money back on the beautiful gold antique frame. Little does she expect she's bought herself a fortune...and a lot of trouble. A masterpiece to kill for When her ex-boyfriend shows up and offers ten bucks for the ugly Starry Night, Abby pops the frame and is stunned to discover hidden behind the faux Van Gogh canvas a multi-million dollar lost art treasure. Suddenly she's a popular lady in her old hometown, and her first visit is from Gilbert Sweeney, her schoolyard sweetheart (according to him), who claims the family's painting was donated by mistake. But social calls quickly turn from nice to nasty as it's revealed that the mysterious masterpiece conceals a dark and deadly past and some modern-day misconduct that threatens to rock the Rock Hill social structure to its core. Someone apparently thinks the art is worth killing for, and Abby knows she better get to the bottom of the secret scandal and multiple murders before she ends up buried six feet under a starry night.
Petite, indomitable North Carolinian Abigail Timberlake rose gloriously up from the ashes of divorce--parlaying her savvy about exquisite old things into a thriving antiques enterprise: the Den of Antiquity. Now she's a force to be reckoned with in Charlotte's close-knit world of mavens, eccentrics and cuttthroat dealers. But a superb, gilt-edged 18th-century French armoire she purchased for a song at estate auction has just arrived along with something she didn't pay for: a dead body.Suddenly her shop is a crime scene--and closed to the public during the busiest shopping season of the year--so Abigail is determined to speed the lumbering police investigation along. But amateur sleuthing is leading the feisty antiques expert into a murderous mess of dysfunctional family secrets. And the next cadaver found stuffed into fine old furniture could wind up being Abigail's own.
The final book Myers' Belgian Congo-set mystery series, this is the story of an all-girls boarding school for runaway child brides, and features events inspired by Myers' childhood in the Belgian Congo.
Memorials are murder! All antiques and no play make Abby a dull girl. So Abigail Timberlake Washburn takes a hiatus from her Charleston shop and accompanies best male friend, Rob, to the "wake" of his loco Aunt Jerry-who, as it happens, is nowhere near deceased, but will be soon according to her trusted psychic. Watching the crazy, caustic old gal gleefully disowning assembled relatives left and right is a hoot and a half . . . until Aunt Jerry turns up truly dead in the deep freeze with a priceless emerald ring missing from her lifeless finger. And wouldn't you know, Abby's the prime suspect! Spunky Ms. Timberlake's not about to let herself be railroaded into prison. And neither are her loyal family and friends, including dear, ditzy mother Mozella, ex-sister-in-law C.J., and best female friend, Wynnell. But they may be more hindrance than help in Abby's desperate hunt for a lost stone and a stone-cold killer among an increasingly vicious family circle.
Magdalena is a suspect in the murder of the new competition. Can she solve the mystery before it is official? A new Pennsylvania Dutch mystery
From Tamar Myers, author of The Witch Doctor's Wife, comes a spellbinding tale of equatorial Africa and a child torn dangerously between two worlds. In 1945, an infant left inadvertently to die in the jungles of the Belgian Congo is discovered by a young Bashilele tribesman on a mission to claim the head of an enemy. Recognized as human-despite her pale white skin and strange blue eyes-the baby is brought into the tribe and raised as its own. Thirteen years later, the girl-now called "Ugly Eyes"-will find herself at the center of a controversy that will rock two separate societies. Young missionary Amanda Brown hears the incredible stories of a white girl living among the Bashilele headhunters. In the company of the local police chief, Captain Pierre Jardin, and with the witch doctor's wife, the quick-witted Cripple, along as translator, Amanda heads into the wild hoping to bring the lost girl back to "civilization." But Ugly Eyes no longer belongs in their world-and the secrets surrounding her birth and disappearance are placing them all in far graver peril than anyone ever imagined.
Mennonite innkeeper Magdalena Yoder finds that a jam--or perhaps chutney--of small-town love and cheating can lead to one vindictive vindaloo.... Three days before he's due to tie the knot with Priscilla Livingood, eligible bachelor Cornelius Weaver suffers a massive heart attack--in another woman's bed. The scandal is about as good as television for the insular citizens of Hernia, Pennsylvania, and it gets even spicier when the coroner's report reveals possible foul play: Cornelius's curry was spiked with a stimulant. A thorough canvass of the local gossips reveals that philandering Cornelius had promised to wed no fewer than five women, and did the horizontal hoochie-koochie with all of them. As far as Magdalena is concerned, a woman who will dance the mattress mambo without benefit of marriage is capable of just about anything. And when the curry heats up, she discovers that the saying about women scorned may be truer than she thought....
It's another case of meals, mayhem and murder in Pennsylvania's Dutch country! Magdalena Yoder's finally getting married, but this special affair is quickly spoiling. The cook preparing the wedding feast has found a corpse in a barrel of sauerkraut--the cousin of Magdalena's bridegroom, a woman reported missing for two decades. And when Magdalena takes it upon herself to find the killer, she soon discovers that one of the key suspects is none other than her beloved!
For Whom The Bell Pulls Tolls As owner of the Den of Antiquity, recently divorced(but never bitter!) Abigail Timberlake is accustomed to delving into the past, searching for losttreasures, and navigating the cutthroat world of rival dealers at flea marketsand auctions. Still, she never thought she'd be putting her expertise in mayhemand detection to other use -- until crotchety "junque" dealer, Abby's aunt Eulonia Wiggins, was found murdered! Although Abigail is puzzled by the instrument of death -- an exquisite antiquebell pull that Aunt Eulonia never would have had the taste to aquire -- she's willing to let the authorities find the culprit. But now, Auntie's priceless lace is missing,and somebody's threatened Abby's most priceless possession: her son, Charlie.It's up to Abby to put the murderer "on the block."
Rattling Old Family Skeletons North Carolina native Abigail Timberlake, owner of the Den of Antiquity, is quick to dismiss the seller of a hideous old vase--until the poor lady comes hurtling back through the shop window minutes later, the victim f a fatal hit-and-run. Tall, dark, and handsome Homicide Investigator Greg Washburn--who just happens to be Abby's boyfriend--is frustrated by conflicting accounts from eyewitnesses. And he's just short of furious with his ever-loving, when he learns it was a valuable Ming vase, and Abby let it vanish from the crime scene. Abby decides she had better find out for herself what happened to the treasure--and to the lady who was dying to get rid of it. It turns out the victim had a lineage that would make a Daughter of the Confederacy green with envy, and her connection with the historic old Roselawn Plantation makes that a good place to start sleuthing. Thanks to her own mama's impeccable southern credentials, Abby is granted an appointment with the board members--but no one gives her permission to snoop. And digging into the long-festering secrets of a proud family of the Old South turns out to be a breach of good manners that could land Abby six feet under in the family plot.Rattling Old Family Skeletons North Carolina native Abigail Timberlake, owner of the Den of Antiquity, is quick to dismiss the seller of a hideous old vase--until the poor lady comes hurtling back through the shop window minutes later, the victim f a fatal hit-and-run. Tall, dark, and handsome Homicide Investigator Greg Washburn--who just happens to be Abby s boyfriend--is frustrated by conflicting accounts from eyewitnesses. And he s just short of furious with his ever-lovin , when he learns it was a valuable Ming vase, and Abby let it vanish from the crime scene. Abby decides she had better find out for herself what happened to the treasure--and to the lady who was dying to get rid of it. It turns out the victim had a lineage that would make a Daughter of the Confederacy green with envy, and her connection with the historic old Roselawn Plantation makes that a good place to start sleuthing. Thanks to her own mama s impeccable southern credentials, Abby is granted an appointment with the board members--but no one gives her permission to snoop. And digging into the long-festering secrets of a proud family of the Old South turns out to be a breach of good manners that could land Abby six feet under in the family plot.
Charleston antiques dealer Abigail Timberlake Washburn is thrilled by her recent estate auction purchase of a spectacular bejeweled birdcage from India, but not so much by its occupant, a mouthy mynah named Monet. Still, her customers at the Den of Antiquity seem charmed by the insufferable birdbrain, so Abby figures she's stuck with him. That is, until she finds a stuffed starling resting on his usual perch with a ransom note demanding a real Monet (the painted variety) in exchange for her purloined pet. Since she doesn't happen to have a priceless masterpiece on hand -- and since a mynahless existence isn't all that distasteful a prospect -- Abby figures she'll let the thief keep the annoying avian. But when her mama Mozella is abducted by the craven birdnapper, Abby must leap into the fray to rescue mater and mynah alike ... before the feathers really start to fly!
The Corpse Is In The Mail Den of Antiquity proprietress Abigail Timberlake's Halloween costume party is a roaring success-until an unexpected fire sends the panicked guests fleeing from Abby's emporium. One exiting reveler she is only too happy to see the back of is Tweetie "Little Bo Peep" Timberlake-unfaithful wife of Abby's faithless ex, Buford. But not long after the conflagration is brought under control, the former Mrs. T. discovers an unfamiliar suit of armor in her house. And stuffed inside is the heavily siliconed, no-longer-living body of the current Mrs. T. Certainly some enraged collector of medieval chain mail has sent Abby this deadly delivery. But diving into their eccentric ranks could prove a lethal proposition for the plucky antiques dealer/amateur sleuth. And even a metal suit may not be enough to protect Abby from the vicious and vindictive attentions of a crazed killer.
Pickled...Then Potted All that remains of Lula Mae Wiggins-who drowned in a bathtub of cheap champagne on New Year's Eve-now sits in an alleged Etruscan urn in Savannah, Georgia. Further north, at the Den of Antiquity antique shop in Charlotte, North Carolina, plucky proprietor Abigail Timberlake is astonished to learn that she is the sole inheitor of the Wiggins estate. Late Aunt Lula Mae was, after all, as distant a relative as kin can get. Arriving in picturesque Savannah, Abby makes a couple of startling discoveries. First, that Lula Mae's final resting pot is more American cheap than Italian antique. And second, that there was a very valuable 1793 one-cent piece taped to the inside lid. Perhaps a coin collection worth millions is hidden among the deceased's worldly possessions-making Lula's passoing more suspicious than orginally surmised. With the strange appearance of a voodoo preistess coupled with the disturbing disappearance of a loved one-and with nasty family skeletons tumbling from the trees like acorns-Abby needs to find her penny auntie's killer p.d.q...or she'll be up to her ashes in serious trouble!
"MAGDALENA, YOU MUST GO UP THERE." "That's what you think, dear." I turned and headed for the front door. At least that was my intention. And while I do not, for a moment, ascribe any special powers to the demented Diana, I found myself inexplicably turning again and heading for the stairs. "Why me?" I wailed as my feet carried me up two treacherous flights. The Miller stairs, while not as impossibly steep as mine, were an obstacle course of precariously stacked junk and slippery surfaces. "Don't worry, Magdalena," coaxed Diana. "Like I said, in my second dream you survive." "What if your dreams mean nothing?" "Don't be ridiculous. And besides I'm right behind you." Those were the last words I heard before the lights went out in my head.
All antiques dealer Abigail Timberlake Washburn wanted was to find a perfect gift for her darling (if not altogether together) mama Mozella's birthday. She never expected her online purchase of an exquisite, seventeenth-century rosewood linen chest to place her in federal custody, accused of trafficking in illegal ivory! Then insult is heaped on her injury when she's forced to turn to her lawyer-snake ex, Buford, to spring her-since ex-cop /current hubby Greg's "good ol' boy" contacts don't happen to include any feds. Abby may be small in stature, but she's a force to be reckoned with when riled-and she's determined to root out the real smugglers who she blames for her recent indignities. But in her zeal to stick it to the elephant eliminators who have invaded her beloved Charleston, Abby might just land herself and mama alike up to their pearly whites in lethally hot water!
EVERY SHROUD HAS A SILVER LINING Abigail Timberlake, owner of the Den of Antiquity, has never been happier. She is about to marry the man of her dreams AND has just outbid all other Charlotte, North Carolina, antique dealers for an exquisite English tea service. Then Mama (who is running off to be a nun) stops by to deliver an early wedding present, and it rains on Abby's parade. The one-of-a-kind tea service Abby paid big bucks for has a twin. A frazzled Abby finds more trouble on her doorstep -- literally -- when a local auctioneer mysteriously collapses outside her shop and a press clipping of her engagement announcement turns up in the wallet of a dead man. (Obviously she won't be getting a wedding present from him.) Tracing the deceased to a small town in the Pennsylvania Dutch country, Abby heads above the Mason-Dixon Line to search for clues to the origins of faux tea services. Accompanied by a trio of eccentric dealers and her beloved but stressed-out cat, she longs for her Southern homeland as she confronts a menagerie of dubious characters. Digging for answers, Abby realizes that she might just be digging her own grave in -- horrors! -- Yankeeland.
Antiques dealer Abby Timberlake Washburn is thrilled when the Mrs. Amelia Shadbark-doyenne of Charleston society-invites her to broker a pricey collection of Lalique glass sculpture. These treasures will certainly boost business at the Den of Antiquity, and maybe hoist Abby into the upper crust-which would please her class-conscious mom, Mozella, no end. Alas, Abby's fragile dream is soon shattered when Mrs. Shadbark meets a foul, untimely end. And as the last known visitor to the victim's palatial abode, Abby's being pegged by the local law as suspect Numero Uno. Of course there are other possible killers-including several dysfunctional offspring and a handyman who may have been doing more for the late Mrs. S than fixing her leaky faucets. But Abby's the one who'll have to piece the shards of this deadly puzzle together-or else face a fate far worse than a mere seven years of bad luck!
Abigail Timberlake Washburn, petite but feisty proprietor of Charleston's Den of Antiquity antiques shop, stopped speaking to best friend and temporary decorating partner Wynnell Crawford a month ago -- after questioning her choice of a cheap, three-foot-high replica of Michaelangelo's David to adorn the garden of a local bed-and-breakfast. But now Wynnell has broken the silence with one phone call ... from prison! It seems the b&b owner has been fatally beaned -- allegedly by the same tacky statue -- and Wynnell's been fingered by the cops for the bashing. But Abby suspects there's more to this well-sculpted slaying than initially meets the eye, and she wants to take a closer look at the not-so-bereaved widower and the two very odd couples presently guesting at the hostelry. Because if bad taste was a capital crime, Wynnell would be guilty as sin -- but she's certainly no killer!
Abigail Timberlake Washburn would rather be anywhere else on a muggy Charleston summer evening -- even putting in extra hours at her antiques shop -- than at a sÉance. But her best friend, "Calamity Jane," thinks a spirit -- or "Apparition American," as ectoplasmically-correct Abby puts it -- lurks in the eighteenth-century Georgian mansion, complete with priceless, seventeenth-century Portuguese kitchen tiles, that C.J. just bought as a fixer-upper. Luckily, Abby's mama located a psychic in the yellow pages -- a certain Madame Woo-Woo -- and, together with a motley group of feisty retirees known as the "Heavenly Hustlers," they all get down to give an unwanted spook the heave-ho. But, for all her extrasensory abilities, the Madame didn't foresee that she, herself, would be forced over to the other side prematurely. Suddenly Abby fears there's more than a specter haunting C.J. And they'd better exorcise a flesh-and-blood killer fast before the recently departed Woo-Woo gets company.
When a guest takes a fatal fall down the PennDutch Inn's quaintly steep stairs, Magdalena Yoder, the no-nonsense owner, is more worried about a lawsuit than foul play. But when a second guest is found dead on Magdalena's handsome quilt, she's sure there's a killer somewhere on the premises.
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