The Balloon Man

3.69 avg rating
( 418 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780446608350: The Balloon Man

With a serenely beautiful, picture-perfect day as a backdrop, what could possibly go wrong at the glorious seaside wedding on the Kelling estate? Plenty. First, Max is knocked unconscious by someone trying to steal the bride's gold and ruby necklace. Then a hot air balloon suddenly crashes into the tent leaving a mangled corpse beneath its wicker basket. Later, Uncle Jem's vintage Rolls Royce is stolen. It will now take all of Max's formidable skills as the world's greatest expert on art theft to pop this mystery wide open.

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Review:

If Noel Coward or P.G. Wodehouse wrote mysteries, they would probably be very much like the books that Charlotte MacLeod writes, featuring the charming art detective Max Bittersohn and his socially connected wife, Sarah Kelling. There would be lots of style and witty dialogue, people with names like Tweeters Arbuthnot and Calpurnia Zickery, but not much meaty content.

MacLeod's latest mystery meringue begins at a fancy Boston wedding staged by Sarah for Max's nephew, where missing rubies, long-lost neighbors, the crash of a hot air balloon, and the discovery of a dead body are last-minute additions to the festivities. Things go downhill from there, with smoke bombs going off, more corpses piling up, and both Max and his 3-year-old son, Davy, soon among the missing. This is the kind of book that requires a dozen pages in the last chapter to explain everything, and that should be read with little finger firmly extended. Fans of Poirot, and of Hammett's Nick and Nora Charles, will be delighted. --Dick Adler

About the Author:

Charlotte MacLeod has won numerous awards, including three American Mystery Awards for Best Traditional Mystery, the Nero Wolfe Award, and lifetime achievement awards from both the Anthony Bouchercon and Malice Domestic conventions. She has also been nominated for the Edgar Allan Poe Award. She lives in rural Maine.

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Charlotte MacLeod
Published by Grand Central Publishing (2000)
ISBN 10: 0446608351 ISBN 13: 9780446608350
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MacLeod, Charlotte
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