SENIOR SLEUTHS, BLOODY MARYS, AND BOTH KINDS OF FAT CATS…Not since Dorothy L. Sayers’ Murder Must Advertise has there been a more perfect cozy office murder--and not since Agatha Christie’s immortal Miss Marple has a more loveable geriatric sleuth been spawned. Gallagher Gray’s first Hubbert and Lil mystery’s got it all—a stuffy old firm with stuffy old routines disturbed by a few unaccustomed murders, a hilariously apoplectic boss, the indispensable brace of cats, and a clever amateur sleuths of a certain age.
Break out the tea and cookies to welcome T.S. Hubbert and his unforgettable Auntie Lil! T.S. tells the story (and very wittily too), but it's Lil who steals the show—she’s eighty-four years young, with a taste for bloody Marys at any time of day, a fine-tuned appreciation of life’s other pleasures, and a remarkable talent for detecting.
It begins, as so many things do, with a phone call: T.S. (Theodore to Auntie Lil) has been retired about eight hours when he’s summoned back to Sterling & Sterling, the bank where he served as personnel manager for most of his adult life. One of the bigwigs is lying stabbed to death in the Partner’s Room and his demanding former boss, forgetting he’s no longer boss, is demanding a favor—damage control.
Well, that’s certainly more interesting, thinks Theodore, than “interviewing the slack-jawed sons of clients.” And besides, now he can talk back to the brass. He can even dress like it’s casual Friday and no one can say a word. Although they do. A big part of the fun’s watching him shock his former colleagues with his sudden assertiveness.Because who can boss around a person who’s doing a favor?
What starts out as damage control quickly evolves into full-scale detecting as more and more partners bite the big one in unexpected ways. Aunt Lil’s all over it from the first, demonstrating not only the necessary smarts, street savvy, and moxie, but also a feminine way of looking at things that leads to a surprisingly contemporary conclusion.
Fans of Golden Age mysteries will eat this irrepressible amateur detective team with a spoon, along with readers who just get a kick out of watching senior sleuths kick butt. If you like Miss Marple, Miss Silver, Miss Seeton, Mrs. Pollifax, Jessica Fletcher, Agatha Raisin, Henrie O, Hercule Poirot, and their many distinguished silver-haired colleagues, you’ll want to grab this one now. Aficionados of cozy authors like Dorothy Cannell, Carolyn Hart, M.C. Beaton, Joanne Fluke, Jana DeLeon, and Alexander McCall Smith will be equally captivated!
A MYSTERIOUS GROUP OF ELDERLY ACTRESSES—WITH SECRETS TO KILL FOR… In Gallagher Gray’s SECOND cozy Hubbert and Lil mystery, stalwart amateur sleuth Theodore Hubbert and his trusty sidekick Aunt Lil take on a scrappy should-be-retired troupe of ex-actresses, who—surprise, surprise—aren’t at all what they seem….
“With a fond eye for the eccentric, Gray gives the streets of Hell's Kitchen the air of a gritty English village.”
Quirky investigator Theodore Hubbert—T.S. for short—is awakened out of his regular afternoon revelry (watching his favorite soap opera) by a phone call from none other than his Aunt Lil, whose penchant for interrupting… well, really anything T.S. is interested in, is uncanny. As per usual, Aunt Lil is calling to ask for a tiny little favor—a helping hand at a Manhattan soup kitchen. Naturally, T.S. wasn’t listening to her beggar’s soliloquy and unwittingly agrees to work that afternoon’s shift. But T.S.’s afternoon turns out to have more in store than ladling soup. Because no good deed goes unpunished—especially when Aunt Lil is involved.
In the middle of lunch—an inventive chili recipe Lil proudly boosted from a real life cowboy in Santa Fe—a little old lady suddenly jumps up, clutching at her throat… and drops dead. New York’s Finest couldn’t care less about the demise of an elderly woman who presumably had a heart attack. But a group of soup kitchen regulars—a crew of snooty failed actresses from the Eisenhower era—appear shaken. Turns out they knew the deceased. And their woeful reactions are dramatic, to say the least. But are they just acting?
Ever unable to keep her mouth shut, Aunt Lil offers up the shocked and (seemingly) grief-stricken actresses her nephew’s private investigator services to investigate the woman’s real identity. Reluctantly, T.S. agrees to help. After all, he dryly muses, it’s not like she was murdered. Famous last words.
Throughout this irresistibly cozy mystery, Aunt Lil’s tall tales sprinkle about as comic relief to a thoroughly engaging murder mystery. And true to form, she remains a nosey pest—who happens to be utterly adorable. And T.S.’s antics, reminiscent of Columbo or Agatha Christie’s finicky Hercule Poirot, will delight the fervent mystery fans.
THE SECRET LOVES OF SENIOR SLEUTHS--AND A MOST UNTIMELY MURDER! Skeletons clatter merrily out of closets,in the third witty murder mystery of the delightfully cozy Hubbert and Lil mystery series—not the least of which is the disclosure of 84-year-old Lil’s twenty-year secret love affair.
“Gray has the rare talent of being able to combine humor with sensitivity, and high comedy with realistic
portrayals of genuine people.”
In this one, everybody’s favorite elderly amateur sleuth and her doting nephew—an unlikely but veritable dynamic duo—take on New York City’s fashionistas and, quite unfortunately, the mob.
At the tender age of 84, Aunt Lil has no shortage of gentlemen callers. So it’s not exactly a surprise when she interrupts her favorite nephew and sleuthing partner-in-crime T.S. (at yet another failed attempt at making Crème Brulee) to beg for help. This time she needs a hand tidying up her Flushing apartment—which was once likened to Times Square just moments after midnight on New Year’s Eve—in anticipation of a male visitor.
What is surprising is the fact that T.S. has never heard of the guy—a man named Max Rosenbloom, fabled multimillionaire owner of Max Rose Fashions. And it’s a downright shock that Max and Lil been secretly seeing each other—for over twenty years.
But when Max is an hour late, Aunt Lil falls into an uncharacteristic daze. And after she asks T.S. to “leave her alone”—a phrase thus far absent from her vocabulary, a radio bulletin breaks the news of the quarter-century: Max has been killed in a car bomb explosion in Manhattan.
Lil is overtaken with a private grief—which worries T.S., because, quite frankly, she’s never been private about much of anything—until she snaps out of it with the realization that her planned meeting with Max and his untimely death must be connected.Convinced the love of her life has been murdered in cold blood, she resolves to solve the puzzling crime—with trusty T.S. by her side.
Together, Aunt Lil and T.S. investigate the sophisticated trappings of the world of Manhattan fashion—including the lethal underbelly of the mob-controlled rag trade, white collar corporate embezzlement, and family secrets so chilling they leave even Aunt Lil speechless.
Because Max was filthy rich and in proverbial bed with the mob, there's no end to the list of suspects. But the list becomes one less when Max's own favorite nephew turns up dead. Could it be murder has become fashionable in the garment district?
A delectable treat for cozy fans, especially if you love Miss Marple, Miss Silver, Miss Seeton, Mrs. Pollifax, Jessica Fletcher, Agatha Raisin, Henrie O, and Hercule Poirot.
MURDER AT THE BALLET: DANCE OF THE DANGLING CORPSEThey all seem murderous, but maybe they’re just hungry. Half the company chain-smokes to keep their weight down, and as tempers flare, you’d better watch who you say, “Break a leg!” to.
Recently retired Wall Street exec T.S. Hubbert and the flamboyant fashionista amateur sleuth who’s his Auntie Lil have solved three murders when Auntie Lil becomes the newest member of the Metropolitan Ballet’s board of directors. For weeks Auntie Lil has dragged T.S. to every dance performance in the city, and the season is about to peak with The Nutcracker when the promising ballerina whose scholarship Lil’s been sponsoring has her plum role snatched away.
The board is swayed by the box office appeal of a sixteen-year-old Hollywood heart-throb who wants to dance the role of the Nutcracker, and the boy’s manager father demands Lil’s protégé be replaced lest all the publicity go to her instead of his son. Although Auntie Lil’s is the only dissenting vote, apparently, she’s not the only one displeased with the board’s decision – the father’s body is discovered swinging from the rope of the First Act curtain at The Nutcracker’s Gala Opening.
Auntie Lil’s recent detective successes make her a natural to run damage control for the board by investigating the murder. In order to check out a couple of suspects, Lil takes her first ballet class in all her sprightly eighty-four years, along with her gentleman friend, Herbert Wong. Less suited to flying leaps than to flying leaps of imagination, it’s unlikely she’ll keep up the lessons, but Herbert is totally hooked.
Meanwhile, T.S. is making good use of his retirement by studying ballroom dancing to impress his lovely lady friend Lilah Cheswick, leaving Auntie Lil to do the heavy lifting on this one, while Theodore and Herbert keep sneaking off for dance lessons...and martinis. The entire crew of geriatric super sleuths has dance fever!
This witty and urbane amateur detective team recalls the cozy charm of Golden Age mysteries like those showcasing Miss Marple and her distinguished silver-haired colleagues--Miss Silver, Miss Seeton, Mrs. Pollifax, and Jessica Fletcher. Fans of these memorable women sleuths, as well as of modern-day cozy writers like Dorothy Cannell, Carolyn Hart, M.C. Beaton, Joanne Fluke, Jana DeLeon, and Alexander McCall Smith will be captivated!