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Rest You Merry (Peter Shandy #1)

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  1,003 ratings  ·  85 reviews
On Christmas Day, a University scrooge finds a murdered librarian
Each December, the faculty of Balaclava Agricultural College goes wild with Christmas lights. The entire campus glitters with holiday decorations, save for one dark spot: the home of professor Peter Shandy. But after years of resisting the Illumination festival, Shandy snaps, installing a million-watt display
ebook, 216 pages
Published November 6th 2012 by Road (first published January 1st 1978)
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Sep 15, 2007 Cindy rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of comic mystery
Shelves: mysteries, christmas, cozy
First in the Peter Shandy series. Very funny. Set at the fictional Balaclava Agricultural College. Out of print, something different. Worth looking for.
1977, #1 Professor Peter Shandy, Balaclava Agricultural College, New England; murder of an obnoxious woman at Christmastime involves a quiet academic in sleuthing and affection; her first adult novel, it's filled with all the right stuff for a lovely cosy village-type comedy/mystery, plus a bit more. Three-and-one-half stars.

Peter Shandy has had enough. QUITE enough, thank you, of being badgered and harrassed by the university's faculty wives, about participating in the college's annual “Illumi
Charlotte MacLeod's books are in the Kindle unlimited program, so I thought I would try them. The are light and humorous murder mysteries, great for when I need a change of pace.
Perfectly pleasant cozy-type mystery, which takes place in the ’70s and stars an old-fashioned professor at a small American agricultural college. I liked Professor Shandy’s quiet wit and general oddness, and MacLeod manages to deliver at least one deliciously creepy image. This was a rec from Wychwood, and I can see why she enjoys the series; if I stumbled across any of MacLeod’s other books at a library sale, I’d probably snatch them up. However, this wasn’t memorable enough that I’ll be activ ...more
(full post at http://wellreadpiratequeen.blogspot.c... The Well-Read Pirate Queen)

I love Peter Shandy.

Like, big puffy heart love.

Like, more than I ever loved Gilbert Blythe love.

He's a 56 year old professor at an agricultural college in Massachussetts. He's intelligent. He's snarky. He's compulsive. He's impulsive. He's also been such a private type that his colleagues and neighbors on campus didn't seem to realize some of these things until one particular Christmas season.

Every year the campus
This is the first in Charlotte MacLeod's Professor Shandy mysteries. In it we are introduced to Professor Shandy and several of the recurring characters in this series. Although each mystery stands on its own, it does help to read this one first if you can so that you can get to know these characters. If you enjoy humor based on character portrayals, you will enjoy these mysteries.
This is an annual re-read for me, and it was fun, as usual. I love the description of Peter's outside decorations, and the escape he makes immediately afterwards. I also love that he meets Helen March, librarian, through circumstances difficult to explain without plot giveaways; happily for me, the two are meant for each other :).
Professor Peter Shandy is fed up. His best friend's wife has been bullying him for years to take part in the campus "Illumination." But he's resisted. Until this year. This is the year he hires a company to make the most obnoxious Christmas display, complete with music. Then he locks his electricity box and leaves on a cruise. When he gets back, he expects that Jemima (the friend's wife) will cuss him out but good. What he doesn't expect -- The electricity to his house has been turned off and Je ...more
One of my favorite Christmas rereads, I try and get to it every year - so much fun! This is the first case for Professor Peter Shandy of Balaclava College, a small agricultural school in rural Massachusetts. The back-stabbing, gossipy faculty, Christmas setting and sparkling, snappy dialogue are a real treat, and I wish I had Professor Shandy for a science class, he's adorably old-fashioned, funny and sharp as a tack - a great amateur sleuth! He gets a wonderful sidekick in this outing, as he wo ...more
Book Review: Rest You Merry by Charlotte MacLeod

This is the first book in the long running (10 books) Peter and Helen Shandy mystery series, by the late Charlotte MacLeod, veteran mystery writer. It came out in 1978 and feature Professor Shandy, an aging bachelor professor at a fictitious New England college. A book very much in the Agatha Christie school of mystery, it was a humorous "closed door" murder mystery that provided several memorable characters.

Professor Shandy, a bachelor in his earl
For years, Professor Peter Shandy has been badgered in vain by Jemima Ames, Assistant Librarian and Annual Chairperson, to decorate his campus home for the Grand Illumination which is Balaclava Agricultural College's main fund-raising event. Now he can hold out no longer. Goaded to madness, he buries his small brick house under an avalanche of plastic reindeer, flashing lights, and fake Santa Clauses, hooks up an amplifier blaring "All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth," locks the switc ...more
Reading this book right after reading Total Recall, I was struck by the fact that I had to comment in the review of that book on how capably Paretsky had kept her different characters straight--or, rather, so well defined that I as a reader had no difficulty in keeping them straight, even though there were considerably more than two dozen of them. In this book, however, I kept getting lost, absolutely confused as to who was who, when there were only a dozen of so characters. I am intrigued by th ...more
Kamas Kirian
A wonderful cozy mystery. Not very long by today's standards, but well written and well paced. The quirky characters felt very comfortable and relatable, which made keeping track of individuals within the story much easier. It seemed a little odd that Balaclava was considered so forward thinking in that they had the students run the faculty cafeteria to give them real world job experience. This seemed the norm when I started college in '90.

There were a few things that struck me while reading it.
Perhaps it is with the knowledge that Charlotte MacLeod first drafted this as a short story, that I find the introduction weaker, detached from the astonishingly well-developed setting that unfolds. There is a smorgasbord of characters to digest, which is fine if one is on board with the protagonist. I relate less well to the male perspective, if nowhere near my lifestyle. At first, ‘Peter Shandy’ come across as a doddering, unmarried professor who appears out of synch with his peers. He overdoe ...more
"Rest You Merry" is a litte, cute cozy mystery, perfect for this time of the year. MacLeod is not America's Agatha Christie, as the cover claims: the mystery is far from the masterpieces which are Christie's works, but the book is nonetheless very well-built and enjoyable to read.

The thing I appreciated most was the writing, which is always neat and elegant, and at the same time deliciously witty: I really laughed out loud at several lines. And the writing is what makes the main character, Profe
Professor Shandy has finally decided to fight back. His neighbors, all staff of Balaclava College, celebrate a lucrative Christmas each year by turning their neighborhood into a Grand Illumination, with lots of treats and keepsakes for tourists to buy. Peter Shandy, owner of the only undecorated house, at last gives in. But with a bite. His decorations are so garish as to be intolerable. Once they are set up, Shandy flees for a week-long sea voyage.

He regrets his joke when he comes home and find
Randee Baty
I don't have enough good words to say about this mystery! It's funny, it's witty, it's warm, it's cozy and the mystery is excellent! One of my all-time favorite cozies.

The setting is at Balaclava College, a small agricultural college with a cast of kooky characters that keep you amused from the start. Professor Peter Shandy, the fifty-some year old hero, and Helen, the 40 something year old heroine, are two of the most pleasant characters in the mystery world. You'll wish you lived next door to
Sandy H
Professor Shandy himself was a likable enough character and if I'd liked the writing style and the mystery itself any better I might be more inclined to read further in the series. Unfortunately, I couldn't get completely behind the writing style and found aspects of it off-putting. Additionally, it was a mystery in which there were several pages of exposition at the end to explain all the things that the reader was highly unlikely to have figured out for herself, which I've never liked. I like ...more
A nice little cozy mystery set on a agricultural campus with wacky characters and goings on. Professor Peter Shandy has been pressured year after year to decorate his house on Presidential Circle to add to the Christmas festivities. Finally in a fit of pique he has it professionally done with garish decorations, obnoxious lights, and repetitive, blaring music. He locks it in place and takes off for a cruise. When remorse sets in-- and the ship returns due to mechanical difficulties --Peter comes ...more
First read back in the early 80s but re-read for f2f Mystery group. On second reading I didn't find this as wildly funny as I recalled but attribute this to the cumulative effect of having read and loved all the Peter Shandy series which concentrates the memories of enjoyment. Absolutely love the crazy little world of Balaclava College & environs. So many quirky characters. Some aspects of the mystery this time around seemed to have been solved too easily (as if just pulled out of a hat). W ...more
Linda Cole
Very twisty

This was a good old-fashioned murder mystery. I liked the main character and how he took upon himself to solve the murder of course he found love and a new partnership
Brenda Whitner
Rest You Merry

This was a pretty good book. Peter Shandy is a professor at a college where two murders occur and it's up to him to solve them.
I picked this up purely for the rather cracktastic premise – mild-mannered professor goes slightly mad, outdoes himself on the uberannoying Christmas decorations, and then flees on a cruise, leaving his neighbors to deal with the aftereffects – a premise which, frankly, made my grinchy little heart shrink even further with pure joy. But utter disappointment set in when I discovered that this premise is established in the first two pages and resolved by the third (he felt guilty and came back).

Brenda Whitner
This was a pretty good book. Peter Shandy is a professor at a college where two murders occur and it's up to him to solve them.
Ken Bickley
This is a first-rate mystery, introducing Prof. Peter Shandy, a reluctant detective who must solve the murders of two of his colleagues at Balaclava Agricultural College. I look forward to reading the other 9 books in the series. Charlotte Macleod (1922-2005) was a very good writer.
The first Peter Shandy mystery. A little wordy but I may read some more of these.
I laughed out loud at the reaction of the professor (Peter Shandy, PHD) who bought the best, loudest and brightest Christmas decorations in a childish reaction to a neighbor's determination that he needed to decorate. It was a little clumsily written, but overall it is still my favorite among all the Shandy stories, and quite possibly among all of this author's books, both as Macleod and as Alisa Craig (where she did another series about a western writer and his wife).

I learned from this book no
Julie Duffy
Perfect little cozy mystery full of larger-than-life secondary characters and a sympathetic, flawed protagonist. Really fun. Sophisticated use of language in places that made ma laugh out loud, but not a difficult read at all. I can hardly believe the book was written in the 1970s as, for something that relies so heavily on social interactions, it doesn't seem at all dated. Brava, Ms McLeod. (I immediately downloaded the next one, and the next one after that!)
It was okay. A nice diversion. The villains and motives were obvious to me within the first few chapters, but Peter Shandy can be a fun character to follow, and the Christmas theme was timely for me,
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Goodreads Librari...: quotes around publisher name 3 17 Dec 24, 2013 08:26PM  
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Naturalized US Citizen

Also wrote as Alisa Craig

Charlotte MacLeod, born in New Brunswick, Canada, and a naturalized U.S. citizen, was the multi-award-winning author of over thirty acclaimed novels. Her series featuring detective Professor Peter Shandy, America's homegrown Hercule Poirot, delivers "generous dollops of...warmth, wit, and whimsy" (San Francisco Sunday Examiner and Chronicle). But full
More about Charlotte MacLeod...

Other Books in the Series

Peter Shandy (10 books)
  • The Luck Runs Out (Peter Shandy, #2)
  • Wrack and Rune (Peter Shandy, #3)
  • Something The Cat Dragged In (Peter Shandy, #4)
  • The Curse Of The Giant Hogweed (Peter Shandy, #5)
  • The Corpse In Oozak's Pond (Peter Shandy, #6)
  • Vane Pursuit (Peter Shandy, #7)
  • An Owl Too Many (Peter Shandy, #8)
  • Something in the Water (Peter Shandy, #9)
  • Exit the Milkman (Peter Shandy, #10)
The Family Vault (Kelling & Bittersohn, #1) The Silver Ghost (Kelling & Bittersohn, #8) The Withdrawing Room (Kelling & Bittersohn, #2) The Luck Runs Out (Peter Shandy, #2) The Bilbao Looking Glass (Kelling & Bittersohn, #4)

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