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Professor Peter Shandy Books In Order

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Publication Order of Professor Peter Shandy Books

Rest You Merry (1978)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Luck Runs Out (1979)Description / Buy at Amazon
Wrack and Rune (1982)Description / Buy at Amazon
Something The Cat Dragged In (1983)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Curse of the Giant Hogweed (1985)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Corpse in Oozak's Pond (1987)Description / Buy at Amazon
Vane Pursuit (1989)Description / Buy at Amazon
An Owl Too Many (1991)Description / Buy at Amazon
Something in the Water (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
Exit the Milkman (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon

A highly popular and extremely successful Canadian author during her lifetime, the novelist Charlotte MacLeod has a long and illustrious career. Creating a number of books over the course of her influential writing career, she largely focused on thriller and mystery novels. Known for her ability in combining well drawn characters alongside intricate stories, she was able to build in-depth and immersive worlds. One character and series for which she is particularly well known is that of her ongoing ‘Professor Peter Shandy’ series of books that ran for many years. Working within the cozy mysteries genre they would tell the story of one professor Peter Shandy and his tenure at the University in Balaclava. Solving crimes such as murder, he’d use all his academic prowess to get to the bottom of the case and ensure that justice prevailed.

Running for approximately ten novels in total it was an extensive series during its run, as provided a complete look at this distinctive character. Each one being a stand-alone adventure and case to solve, they were all highly accessible, allowing the reader to dive in at any point. The legacy of Charlotte MacLeod doesn’t look like it’s going away anytime soon either, as more and more readers discover it year after year.

Rest You Merry

Originally brought out in 1978 on the 1st of November, this was to be the first in the ongoing and much ‘Professor Peter Shandy’ series of novels. Creating the style and the tone of the series it really manages to establish the forthcoming action, setting up the characters and the premise in the process. Not only that, but it also works very well as a stand-alone murder mystery novel for those looking for a light-hearted casual read.

Laying out the groundwork for the franchise well, this title works at paving the way for many of the books to follow. Providing many of MacLeod’s over-arcing themes and ideas, it manages to set-up not only the character, but the world he inhabits too. Whilst it may be a ‘cozy mystery’ as well, that’s not to say that there isn’t plenty of deeper ideas hidden in there too waiting to be found. Set in Balaclava County in Massachusetts, this is a very American take on the detective genre, as it knows its arena well. With a clear eye for the environment it is obvious that MacLeod has a strong affinity for the area as well, as she brings it to life. The university almost becomes a character in of itself over the course of the novel, ensuring that it’s instrumental to the central narrative. Working alongside Helen Marsh Shandy the librarian as well, it sets up a partnership between the two as they solve cases together. This creates a more intimate relationship, something which the readers have also taken to over the years as well. Professor Peter Shandy himself is a highly distinctive characterization too, as he leads the action in a calm and sturdy manner.

Finally giving in to Jemima Ames, the professor Peter Shandy takes a long cruise as she, the Chairperson for Balaclava Agricultural College’s fundraiser, stays behind and organizes the Grand Illumination. Returning to find her dead on his living-room floor, though, he realizes that he may just have a murder mystery on his hands to solve. Whilst the police believe it was simply an accident, Shandy and Ame’s husband Tim don’t, as they set about finding the real culprit. Will they catch the real killer? Can they put the case to rest? What happens in the season of goodwill when a killer requests to rest you merry?

The Luck Runs Out

First published in 1979, this came out just one year after the first, as it was released through the ‘Avon Books’ publishing house. Following on directly from the first novel this continued with another mystery to solve for the eponymous professor come amateur sleuth. Developing his character and the world he inhabits, it worked at bringing him forwards along with that of his genre.

Following on from where the last left off, this book steps confidently back into the world that MacLeod created in the first place. Understanding her creation now it’s clear she knew full well what she was doing by this point and where she was heading. Giving many signs in the narrative itself, she manages to create a fully three-dimensional personality, something which helped refine the overall narrative itself. Further exploring the world that it’s set within too, it manages to take the story even further, creating a more in-depth narrative in the process. Making it more rich and vibrant, with it having already previously been established, MacLeod really brings the county of Balaclava alive for the reader here. Not only that, but it takes the narrative to a wider arena too, giving a sense of scope and perspective in the process. Coming into the foreground himself professor Peter Shandy leads the action once again with confidence and wit. The other characters are further developed too, building upon what came before in the previous Peter Shandy novel. With their arcs and their narratives, it really manages to keep the reader engrossed through an affinity that they feel with everyone.

Looking to settle down with his wife on the Crescent in Balaclava, professor Peter Shandy once again has his world turned upside down. The Balaclava County Draft Horse Association is hosting its Annual Competition, but all the stable horseshoes have been reversed by a saboteur. Predicting ominous warnings on the horizon, it appears that this isn’t the only bad sign to go down for the good professor. Will he find out what’s really going on? Can he stop anything else bad from happening? What happens when the luck runs out?

The Professor Peter Shandy Series

As a highly popular series of mystery cozy novels that run in much the same vein as Agatha Christie, it’s easy to see why they’re so successful. Creating a unique and engaging character it works at drawing the reader in, as it builds upon the premise over series of fun and entertaining adventures. As the legacy of Charlotte MacLeod looks set to continue with more and more discovering her work every year, it appears this popularity won’t be stopping anytime soon either.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Professor Peter Shandy

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