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The Palace Guard (Kelling & Bittersohn, #3)
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The Palace Guard (Kelling & Bittersohn #3)

3.9  ·  Rating details ·  629 Ratings  ·  36 Reviews
Sarah knows her Kellings family have never returned since an unfortunate incident when Madam Wilkins first opened her palatial Boston museum. But her Beacon Hill lodger Max Bittersohn has free passes to today's concert, and she cannot refuse him. Suddenly, something falls past them from the floor above, and the oldest guard sprawls dead among the hyacinths.
Paperback, 192 pages
Published June 1st 2003 by iBooks (first published 1981)
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A few hours of gentle and amusing sleuthing not unlike watching a late night movie with some stylishly dressed actors, a little witty dialogue and an actress with a flirty wink. Light but entertaining.
This one was particularly confusing and not particularly interesting. To the point where I tossed the book out after I finished it. Sarah and Max have an art mystery to deal with. They deal with it but the usual fun that the book have just wasn't there. It was more kind of sad and pathetic than anything else. Not recommended. I'm going to read more since I know I've enjoyed some of the series but as at least one other person mentioned, this title is likely the weakest of the whole series.
Oct 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
When a guard falls from an upper story of the Wilkins Museum right in front of Max and Sarah, Max of course begins detecting. The dead guard had claimed that something had changed in the painting of his 'girlfriend' - The Rape of Lucrece - and Max begins to think that many of the other paintings may be fakes. In the process of discovering who did it, another guard is killed, Sarah becomes a spy in an extremely tight Indian sari (she and Max are in disguise), and the relationship between Sarah an ...more
Kamas Kirian
A wonderful little cozy mystery. Of the first three in the series, I think this one is my favorite. While the copyist was pretty obvious, the ultimately responsible party I dithered about somewhat until towards the end. I liked most of the new characters that were introduced, the ones I didn't like were the ones we weren't meant to like. And I really liked that Mrs. Sorpende found a beau of her own. I also liked that Sarah and Max recognized that they were meant for each other, finally.

The story
Feb 14, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, mystery
Kindle Deal | This series is good for exactly what it is, but won't satisfy anyone looking for something even slightly different. | I still find myself frustrated by the amount of time spent musing over ridiculous theories that never go anywhere or lead to anything. It's weird that the Kellings apparently go straight from infatuation to marriage, generally right at the end of the book. But still this is a good fluff mystery, with interesting characters and nice roundabouts to get Sarah and Max t ...more
Peter Barr
This is another in one of several series written by Charlotte MacLeod. It's a pretty good mystery with a single woman getting along running a boarding house in Boston and an art investigator who solve murders. Unfortunately, of the four series that Charlotte MacLeod wrote, it is my least favorite. The others, a garden club in Quebec, an agricultural college in Massachusets and an RCMP in New Brunswick, were more entertaining to me. Still, it is readable and I'll probably read another.
Sep 27, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I enjoy this series - the books are short, they're light, the plots are convoluted just enough to be intriguing, and the manners are so old fashioned and sweet.
This time Max and Sarah are trying to figure out what's going on at the museum, where nearly all the paintings are fake.
Jul 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Some of the references are quite out of date, but it is still an enjoyable book!
Sep 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-mystery
So much fun. Twisty stories of rich people behaving badly plus lovely love stories. Sarah and Max tackle art thievery. DPL e book on the train to amherst MA
Feb 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Sarah Kelling has been invited to a free concert that her boarder, the handsome art detective Max Bittersohn, has "gotten free tickets to attend" at Madame Wilkins's Palazzo in Charlotte MacLeod's The Palace Guard, the third book in the Sarah Kelling/ Max Bittersohn series. As the concert concludes, a guard falls to his death from the third story, putting Sarah and Max right in the middle of a new mystery, especially when Max hears that the guard recently has been complaining that his "girlfrien ...more
Jan 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Palace Guard” entertains us, in Canadian Charlotte MacLeod’s much loved series about a young Boston widow and her relatives. It’s rewarding that we know them well. They make us laugh and are identifiable, thus we are mentally involved with the story. Personal thoughts and sidebar observations are peculiar because they are unabashedly astute. Reading Charlotte frequently generates a state of amusement, along with admiration of wordplay and empathy of her eyebrow-raising scenarios.

Sarah Kelli
Jun 17, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
#3 in the Sarah Kelling and Max Bittersohn mystery series.

It has only been a few months since Sarah Kelling's elderly husband passed away, and she is struggling to adapt to life as a penniless young widow. To make ends meet, she converts her stately Boston home into a boardinghouse, a decision that brings something even better than money: the company of art-fraud investigator Max Bittersohn. The budding couple is standing on a balcony, recovering from a second-rate concert at a third-rate museum
Feb 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, romance
The antics of the Kellings hit new highs in this third book of the Kelling/Bittersohn saga. The new characters are delightful or horrible, as the case may be, as Max and Sarah continue to investigate crime in Boston. This time I had figured out part of the mystery as far as the perpetrators were concerned, but missed about half the motive. The ending was more than satisfactory. I particularly like the way Sarah picks up deserving and wonderful characters who are down on their luck and makes thei ...more
Jan 17, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I love this series. I discovered it a long time ago and are just starting to re-read. However, I think this book is one of the weakest, if not the weakest, book in the series. I thought the story was not that interesting and I didn't care much about anything that was going on. The growing relationship between Max and Sara just did not seem real – it lacked either tension or passion between them. Fortunately as a re reader, I know this book is not the norm and better is to come.
This may be my least favorite of the series. I'm not sure why, except I don't think it's fun like the others are. Part of that may be because I find the female minor characters more amusing than the men, and this one focuses much more on Sarah's male relatives. I find a little of them goes a long way, as they're stuffy, self-centered and sometimes priggish. If you're just starting out with this series I wouldn't begin here. :)
Apr 04, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I seem to be reading a lot of books about art and this was a welcome addition. The underbelly of the art world is very seedy and I had no idea the amount of money and hayhem that is generated by this industry. Good reading and I had read the "The withdrawing room" first so this was the next in line.
Feb 12, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, read-in-2013
This third book in the series is another quick read, but is as charming as the rest. One of Sarah's innumerable relatives gets involved with murder and art forgery at a Boston museum. Sarah and Max come to the rescue.
Aug 12, 2013 rated it liked it
Zip-a-dee-doo-dah! Fun way to spend a Sunday with the 3rd installment of the Sarah Kelling/Max Bittersohn mystery series. Fun characters, a hint of romance, comedy of manners and a pleasant heroine. 12 books in the series - lucky me!
May 17, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery-series
Although this one had its moments, I didn't enjoy it as much as the first two. There was entirely too much I. the way of explanations and too little actually happening. I do like the addition of another eccentric relative.
Dec 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
I can’t express how much I enjoy Charlotte MacLeod’s stories. She creates characters that invite you into their quiet life while they hunt for who did it. Her style makes me think of Georgette Heyer’s mysteries and Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple mysteries.
Such a lovely series!

Nobody nice dies a horrible death, the Boston setting is spot-on, and the Macleod isn't afraid of using the right word, even if it's not a common one.
Susan in NC
3.5 stars - still a fun, clever, witty mystery; I've reread this author many times over the years and she never fails to charm and amuse me!
Marian H.
Aug 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
a fun book. my favorite line, "I shall wear my chute-shooting suit."
Denise Kearney
Jan 06, 2017 rated it liked it
I Book-$1.99- Early Bird Books. 31/2 stars
Apr 17, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The palace guard by Charlotte MacLeod (1981)
Linda Cole
Jan 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mayhem and art

Still caught up in the many adventures of Sarah and max. Will read more romance for all and great ending
Michele bookloverforever
another member of sarah's family becomes involved in murder.this time in a boston museum . max and sarah solve the mystery. Re-read in November, 2017...still delightful.
Tory Wagner
Sep 13, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
Way too campy for me. I assume it was supposed to be a satire on the British cozy mystery??
Sep 02, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Fun quick read. Enjoyable
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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

Kelling & Bittersohn (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • The Family Vault (Kelling & Bittersohn, #1)
  • The Withdrawing Room (Kelling & Bittersohn, #2)
  • The Bilbao Looking Glass (Kelling & Bittersohn, #4)
  • The Convivial Codfish (Kelling & Bittersohn, #5)
  • The Plain Old Man (Kelling & Bittersohn, #6)
  • The Recycled Citizen (Kelling & Bittersohn, #7)
  • The Silver Ghost (Kelling & Bittersohn, #8)
  • The Gladstone Bag (Kelling & Bittersohn, #9)
  • The Resurrection Man (Kelling & Bittersohn, #10)
  • The Odd Job (Kelling & Bittersohn, #11)