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Sarah Kelling & Max Bittersohn Books In Order

Publication Order of Sarah Kelling & Max Bittersohn Books

The Family Vault (1979) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Withdrawing Room (1980) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Palace Guard (1981) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Bilbao Looking Glass (1983) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Convival Codfish (1984) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Plain Old Man (1985) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Recycled Citizen (1987) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Silver Ghost (1987) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Gladstone Bag (1989) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Resurrection Man (1992) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Odd Job (1995) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Balloon Man (1998) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Sarah Kelling & Max Bittersohn is a set of cozy mystery novels written by Canadian-American bestselling author Charlotte MacLeod. Max works as an art security expert/detective while his wife Sarah Kelling who is a boarding house owner/socialite. Sarah Kelling & Max Bittersohn is set in Boston, Massachusetts.

Charlotte MacLeod began the publication of Sarah Kelling & Max Bittersohn series in 1979 when the first book in the series The Family Vault was published. The Withdrawing Room, the second novel in the series, was published in 1980. The series concluded after twelve novels with The Balloon Man ending the series in 1998.

The Family Vault

Mrs. Sarah Kelling has lived a wealthy in the highest social circles in Boston, living on Beacon Hill and having a locally famous family. Even though she has not been pampered so much, she has been sheltered from the most of the stuff that the daily grind folks must know and lived in a sort of bubble for nearly all her entire life. Now Sarah is married to a man who is almost twice her age and whom she loved since childhood, she shares a luxurious home with the man peculiar and arduous mother known as the matriarch of the large Yankee clan.

Sarah soon discovers that there are many dark happenings in her family when an elderly relative dies and before his death; he had made plans to be buried in the family vault that no one has used for very many years. Unfortunately, a body is found in the fault leading to the dark family secrets coming to light and some significant changes in the lives of the family members. The resulting mayhem only makes Sarah have an endless list of questions about many of her respectable friends, relatives, and these questions also help her finally grow up.

The first novel in Sarah Kelling & Max Bittersohn is one interesting read. Sarah is an heiress and Alex is her trustee. However, Alex and his mom are supposed to be wealthy themselves, but only three of them are living off the interest of Sarah inheritance.

The discovery of Ruby only makes Sarah mature. She has for years been treated like a child, but now has discovered that she should be treated as an adult and also as a wife, so one evening she decides to investigate what has been going on that has distraught Alex since the discovery of Ruby’s body. She unravels that his mother has lost all their money and he cannot figure out how this came to happen. Moreover, that she insisted he get married to Sarah whom he loved but thought that she would suggest someone near his age. However, Sarah has always adored him, so she lets him to know that there will be changes. As a wife, she deserves his attention more than his mother deserves and so they start a new way of living.

Unfortunately, Alexander and his mother die and all of a sudden Sarah is dismissed over, but she begins to demand respect from the people around her who have always ignored her as unimportant. She is also suspicious that Alex death was not an accident but a foul play. Then she also discovers that the author she was supposed to make drawings for a book is indeed an insurance investigator tracking art and jewelry theft.

The first novel in Sarah Kelling & Max Bittersohn series is an interesting read, it takes us between absolute personal dilemmas and wondering whom to trust pertaining the dancer and a recent victim. The main character, Sarah is interesting: even though she is confined to family, she is unafraid to speak and also investigate further.

The Withdrawing Room

In the third installment of Sarah Kelling & Max Bittersohn series, we meet Sarah Kelling, now a poor aristocratic widow trying to convert her house into a boarding house to make ends meet. However, this leads to several murders in a row of her tenants. She manages to get Max as a tenant as well; Max helped her a lot in the first book of the series. Sarah is a fantastic lead character; she is a daring and entirely believable, her family with its feuds and support is amusing as well.

The Palace Guard

In The Palace Guard Sarah has been invited to attend a concert that her border, detective Max Bittersohn has obtained free tickets to attend at Madame Wilkin’s Palazzo located in Charlotte MacLeod’s. While the “free” concert comes to an end a guard collapses and dies from the third story thus putting Max and Sarah right in the middle of a new mystery that requires their investigation. Max learns that the guard had recently been complaining that his “girlfriend” the favorite Titian painting of “The Rappe of Lucrece” is no longer the same person that he fell in love with. Upon further thorough investigation, Max discovers that almost every painting in the museum is a fake.

The third book in Sarah Kelling & Max Bittersohn series sheds more light on the light-hearted side of MacLeod’s writing with plenty of fantastic characters. Max takes his sleuth partner on a classified reconnaissance mission dressed in Indian garb including a sari that Sarah continuously keeps attached. The Palace Guard gives you a glimpse into the lives of many characters in the book and also showcases the development of the growing relationship between Max and Sarah despite Sarah questioning into entering a new relationship soon after the death of her first husband.

The Bilbao Looking Glass

In the fourth book in Sarah Kelling & Max Bittersohn series, Max and Sarah arrive for the summer vacation at Sarah’s home to discover a beautiful and most valuable mirror from the sea port of Bilbao Spain that does not belong to Sarah. Max soon finds out that something illegal is going on, especially after learning of the recent series of robberies of art in the area.

Expecting to have some several days to themselves, Max and Sarah whose romantic relationship has developed since we first met them in the debut novel, The Family Fault. Suddenly, Apple Kelling brings her son Lionel as well as her four grandsons as well, known as the chaos creators but also not killers. Max and Sarah must, therefore, battle social prejudice and contradict clues again to clear up a murder.

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