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Rest You Merry (Peter Shandy, #1)
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Rest You Merry

(Peter Shandy #1)

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  2,836 ratings  ·  292 reviews
Professor Peter Shandy finally succumbs to Jemima Ames, Chairperson for Balaclava Agricultural College's major fundraiser, the Grand Illumination. He buries his small brick house under an avalanche of tawdry plastic and escapes on a sea cruise. But he returns to find Jemima dead on his living room floor and a murder to solve. ...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published November 1st 2001 by iBooks (first published January 1st 1978)
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Average rating 3.96  · 
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 ·  2,836 ratings  ·  292 reviews

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Christmas great escape group read..with my Great Escape gals!! :D

Dec 20, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Over the next few days I will be trying to catch up on my unwritten reviews!

I read this book near the end of December, and it was both an excellent Christmas themed book and an engaging start to series that I look forward to continuing. I was impressed with the way Charlotte MacLeod managed to write a genuinely funny book (I had not expected to laugh so much) without feeling disrespectful toward the fictional victims. I welcomed a refreshing murder mystery with a wonderfully likeable amateur sl
C.  (Never msg.  Just comment!  Email if private.)
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’ came across as a doddering, unmarried professor who appeared out of synch with his peers. He overdi ...more
Ivonne Rovira
Dec 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I adored the late Charlotte MacLeod’s Kelling series so, so much that I devoured all 12 books and only wish she’d lived to write a dozen more. So when my book club, the Great Escape, suggested Rest You Merry, the first novel in MacLeod’s Peter Shandy series, as our December read, no one was more enthusiastic than I.

Curmudgeonly bachelor Peter Shandy’s a tenured professor of agrology at Balaclava Agricultural College in Balaclava Junction, Massachusetts. While he’s gone, the wife of his best fri
Gary Sundell
Apr 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 rounded up. Wonderful first entry in the Peter Shandy series.
Susan in NC
Never fails to lift my spirits and make me laugh out loud! One of my favorite Christmas rereads, this is the first in the author's witty, charming, clever Professor Peter Shandy series set at a small agricultural college in rural Massachusetts. Quirky characters, literate and funny dialogue and a delightfully twisted murder mystery - what's not to love?

2020 - listened to the audiobook this time, not thrilled with this narrator, some odd accent and pronunciation choices. But I still enjoy the mys
Charles  van Buren
Rutabagas, Christmas and murder

By Charles van Buren on April 18, 2018

Format: Kindle Edition

Charlotte MacLeod writes humor. She has almost as much in common with P.G. Wodehouse as she does with Agatha Christie. There is a mystery here, a quite interesting mystery but the real appeal to me is the quirky characters who inhabit Balaclava Agricultural College and the small communities of Balaclava Junction, Lumpkin Corners and environs. A case in point: Peter Shandy, professor of agrology, in partner
I downloaded this book a few days ago because I was looking for a quick read to fit in before Christmas, and this one had good ratings. For me it was pretty mediocre. The characters felt pretty interchangeable and the mystery wasn't especially clever. Overall it was just okay and I don't plan to read more in the series. And I didn't even finish it by Christmas! ...more
Dec 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the first Peter Shandy book I've read. WHAT A HOOT! I loved this book and so did my dh. I bought it because it said that it was a combination of Agatha Christie and P G Wodehouse--two of my favorite authors. And it was. A great mystery ala Christie tradition. And both erudite and slapstick humor ala Wodehouse (remember Bertie Wooster and Jeeves?--Well if you don't, get to the library and check one out.)

The setting is New England, a small agricultural college. Since my dh pointed out tha
Mike Finn
It's the night before Christmas as I write this review.The season is merry and I should be too.

Yet despite best intentions and goodwill to all men, I couldn't bring myself to listen to this book again.

The story is slow and the characters are bland. I don't care whodunnit or how they are found.

Two hours of listening to lengthy discourse on marbles and murder and wrongly locked doors, with no tension and no action are more than enough. I'm setting it aside to read other stuff.
Dec 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Professor Peter Shandy doesn't buy that the death of the wife of his best friend was accidental.

A good, witty story. Protagonist was well conceived and likable. The quirky secondary characters are intriguing. There are suspects galore in this clever cozy mystery.

A charming holiday read.
Dec 14, 2016 rated it liked it
A fun "who-dunnit" with a Christmas theme.

Peter Shandy is a professor at the esteemed Balaclava College. During the Illumination, the yearly Christmas celebration on campus, Shandy stumbles onto not just one, but two dead bodies. When the authorities don't seem to share his sense of urgency, Shandy - along with help from the ever resourceful Helen Marsh - does some detective work of his own.

While I felt this dragged a tad in some parts, I enjoyed the story as a whole and would like to read the
Sep 03, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 27, 2015 rated it liked it
3.5? The characters were kind of caricatures and the setting was kind of hard to identify (they kept talking about doing or eating things I identify as British but they seemed to be based outside of Boston). The local police didn't even qualify as a joke and I don't know if that's a product of the 1970s, small towns, or just bad research. I mean if someone is dead in someone else's house wouldn't an autopsy be kind of mandatory? The mystery wasn't an easy solve, I had suspicions about certain pe ...more
Jamie Collins
2.5 stars. A cozy murder mystery set at a fictional agricultural college in New England in the 1970’s, during the Christmas season. It’s not a bad read, just a little bland. It’s a contemporary novel, and there are only a few bits which let you recognize the time period, such as people literally dialing telephones, the mention of the library’s card catalog, and the assumption of which gender does the cooking and housework.

There’s a nice collection of quirky characters living in a quirky college
3.5 stars

Peter Shandy is a professor at a small college. Many of the faculty live close to each other, and at Christmas they go all out in their neighbourhood to decorate. It’s called the Illumination Festival and it attracts people out to see the lights. While Peter is away, there is a Christmas party. When Peter returns, he finds the assistant librarian dead in his house. It appears she was trying to fix some decorations and she fell. But, on looking closer, Peter doesn’t think it was an accid
Lori Henrich
Aug 26, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really liked this story. This series looks like it will be a fun one to read.

Peter Shandy is a professor at an agricultural college. They area he lives in on the college grounds really goes all out for Christmas. Peter doesn't care to put up decorations. The ladies of the decorating committee are pressuring him so he comes up with a plan to put up hideous decorations and then leave town for the holidays. His trip doesn't go off as planned and he is forced to return home. Upon his arrival back ho
Denise Spicer
Jan 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This zany 1978 murder mystery is the first of the Professor Peter Shandy series. Set at Balaclava Agricultural College during the Christmas season, Peter tries to play a joke on his neighbors with his over-the-top holiday decorations. The murder of a neighbor lady leads to a silly series of events with many eccentric characters to keep us amused but ends happily with Peter meeting his soulmate Helen who likes counting things as much as he does.
Dec 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
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. ...more
Dec 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a fun, lighthearted read! I really like how the author created this quaint, quirky college town and filled it with oddball characters and a snarky main character. Some of the writing was a touch repetitive, but it didn't require a lot of effort on my part which was a perfect companion for some of my other reading. Worth reading! 4 stars ...more
Jan 05, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: mysteries, 19tbr
Professor Peter Shandy can’t help getting involved when he finds a neighbor dead in his house from an apparent accident. Collegiate setting, lots of humor, and an old fashioned murder with many suspects, alibis, and motives made for an entertaining mystery read.
Sheila Beaumont
This one's an old favorite, the funniest Christmas mystery I've ever read. ...more
This endearing "cozy" mystery was my final book read in 2019... and I enjoyed it! I look forward to reading more of this author's books in the years to come.

Happy New Year!
Nancy Butts
Dec 16, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery, christmas
This is the first Peter Shandy mystery, and the first novel I’ve ever read by the author Charlotte MacLeod. I only bought it because it was a Kindle $1.99 sale book and because I am always looking for new Christmas mysteries to read. This was mildly entertaining, but I cannot believe it was written in 1978: the way the characters speak and act, it feels like something from the 40s or 50s. The book is supposed to be a farce, and a send-up of American academia, and it does both these things in a v ...more
Jan C
Dec 22, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, 2016
Enjoyable read. Christmas themed. I will be interested to see where this series leads.

Professor at college appears to have Penchant for finding dead bodies. Unfortunately, the first one was in his own house. Some comedic elements
Shalini Nemo
Much fun. Insta-love, ugh, but whatever. Balaclava Agricultural College is definitely a very interesting place. This series ought to be read in order. I'd read the second before I picked this up and it spoiled this one. ...more
May 03, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finished-myst
Enjoyed it, just as much as the first time I read it.
Maureen DeLuca
Nov 21, 2016 rated it it was ok
2.5- to 3.0 - Cozy mystery- ok read- slowly starting to get ready for Christmas! xx
Megan Hex
Dec 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Cute, whimsical mystery that honestly put me more in mind of Dorothy Sayers than Agatha Christie. I wanted to read a holiday book and it was a pretty good choice.
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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

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)

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