Authors: Susan Wittig Albert
Table of Contents
A new, lighthearted series inspired by the charming
children’s author Beatrix Potter.”
The Tale of Holly How
“Vivid descriptions ... charming.”
“A most ingenious blend of fact and fiction.”
—Judy Taylor Hough, author of
Beatrix Potter: Artist, Storyteller and Countrywoman
“[An] adorable amateur sleuth tale.”
—The Best Reviews
“Hard to resist, especially on a sleepy, sunny afternoon.”
The Tale of Hill Top Farm
“A perfectly charming cozy, as full of English country loam, leaf, and lamb as could be desired . . . as full of pinched schoolmistresses, vicars’ widows, and good-hearted volunteers as any Barbara Pym novel.”
“There is an historical essence to the tale . . . fans feel they are in a quaint English village, circa 1905 . . . Fabulous.”
—Midwest Book Review
“Beatrix Potter fans will welcome the talented Susan Wittig Albert . . . similar to [the works] of Rita Mae Brown.”
“Endearing . . . The English country village resonates with charm and humor, and sleuth Beatrix positively shines.”
—School Library Journal
Don’t miss the new Cottage Tale of Beatrix Potter,
THE TALE OF CUCKOO BROW WOOD
Praise for Susan Wittig Albert’s
China Bayles Novels
“Albert’s characters are as real and as quirky as your next-door neighbor.”
—Raleigh News & Observer
“[Albert] improves with each successive book . . . artful”
“Albert’s dialogue and characterizations put her in a class with lady sleuths V. I. Warshawski and Stephanie Plum.”
“The denizens of Pecan Springs are sympathetic and insightful, grand livers with flinty wit—a combination of the residents of Lake Wobegon and the Texas villages in Larry McMurtry’s novels. Albert’s writing and outlook suggest Molly Ivins, while China’s independence and sunbelt sleuthing will appeal to readers of Earlene Fowler’s Benni Harper series and Allana Martin’s Texana Jones novels.”
“A marvelous addition to the ranks of amateur detectives.”
China Bayles Mysteries by Susan Wittig Albert
THYME OF DEATH
LOVE LIES BLEEDING
AN UNTHYMELY DEATH
A DILLY OF A DEATH
DEAD MAN’S BONES
With her husband, Bill Albert, writing as Robin Paige
DEATH AT BISHOP’S KEEP
DEATH AT GALLOWS GREEN
DEATH AT DAISY’S FOLLY
DEATH AT DEVIL’S BRIDGE
DEATH AT ROTTINGDEAN
DEATH AT WHITECHAPEL
DEATH AT EPSOM DOWNS
DEATH AT DARTMOOR
DEATH AT GLAMIS CASTLE
DEATH IN HYDE PARK
DEATH AT BLENHEIM PALACE
DEATH ON THE LIZARD
Beatrix Potter Mysteries by Susan Wittig Albert
THE TALE OF HILL TOP FARM THE TALE OF HOLLY HOW THE TALE OF CUCKOO BROW WOOD
Nonfiction books by Susan Wittig Albert
WRITING FROM LIFE
WORK OF HER OWN
THE BERKLEY PUBLISHING GROUP
Published by the Penguin Group
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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.
Frederick Warne & Co Ltd. is the sole and exclusive owner of the entire rights titles and interest in and to the copyrights and trademarks of the works of Beatrix Potter, including all names and characters featured therein. No reproduction of these copyrights and trademarks may be made without the prior written consent of Frederick Warne & Co Ltd.
THE TALE OF HOLLY HOW
A Berkley Prime Crime Book / published by arrangement with the author
Copyright © 2005 by Susan Wittig Albert.
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Purchase only authorized editions.
For information, address: The Berkley Publishing Group,
a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.
eISBN : 978-0-425-20613-3
BERKLEY® PRIME CRIME
Berkley Prime Crime Books are published by The Berkley Publishing Group,
a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.
The name BERKLEY PRIME CRIME and the BERKLEY PRIME CRIME design
are trademarks belonging to Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
I am especially grateful to Dr. Linda Lear, Senior Research Scholar in History at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and Research Professor of Environmental History at George Washington University, who has generously shared the results of her research into the life of Beatrix Potter. Her forthcoming biography (its working title is
Beatrix Potter: A Life in Nature
) is eagerly awaited.
I am also indebted to a great many people whose biographical research into the life of Beatrix Potter has made it possible for me to write a fiction that is true to the facts of her life. Their names and the titles of their studies are listed in the Resources section at the end of the book.
The Cottage Tales series explores the life of Beatrix Potter, beloved children’s illustrator, countrywoman, and conservationist. The books (
The Tale of Holly How
is the second in the series) cover the years between 1905, when Miss Potter purchased Hill Top Farm in the village of Sawrey, and 1913. If you know something about her life, you will no doubt recognize her, her family, and her friends (including her animal companions), for I have tried to represent them all as accurately as I can. And if you have visited the Lake District of England, you may recognize villages, houses, roads, lakes, and fells, for I have chosen many of these lovely and very real places as settings for The Cottage Tales. Other characters and settings are entirely imaginary, although I’ve bent every effort to make you believe that they’re real, too—yes, even the animals who share their thoughts with us. I believe that Miss Potter would have approved.
Susan Wittig Albert
Bertram, TX 2004