The Luck Runs Out - Charlotte MacLeod

It's really hard for me to describe how much I love Charlotte MacLeod. Her gentle manner of writing, her wonderful command of the most obscure use of the English language, her ability to plot a mystery, the way she draws characters, the way she uses humour. It's as good as it gets for me. She ranks with Agatha Christie and Elizabeth Peters on my list of mystery writers who's works would accompany me to a desert island.

If you've never been to Balaclava Agricultural College, you've missed a great treat. This is the second visit we can make there after the first in the series "Rest You Merry." Peter Shandy and his new wife Helen have settle down to a pleasant life in the brick house on the Crescent when a terrible omen appears. An upside-down horseshoe is found in the barns. Nothing good can come of this. And, of course, the terrible omen is followed by a series of tragic events, not the least of which is the kidnapping of the college's prize pig.

Peter and Helen become embroiled in the mysteries invading their comfy little world and great fun for the reader ensues. This is as far away from hard-boiled as a mystery can get. This is clever and witty. It's as cozy and comfortable as my warm fuzzy fleece socks. It's pure pleasure for those who like their mysteries without blood and gore. Pure pleasure, pure silliness and, in my opinion, pure genius.