Charles Valley’s legendary dowagers, the three Miss Margarets, have lost one of their own: Peggy Garrison, who married into a huge fortune but was constantly overshadowed by the legacy her husband’s first wife, the great Myrtis Garrison. When Peggy’s will is read, the news of who will take over the Garrison fortune shakes the town to its core. To everyone’s shock, Peggy has left all of the Garrison holdings–the world-famous botanical gardens, the massive resort, and the lovely Garrison “Cottage,” where FDR once visited–to the town’s down-and-out wild child, Laurel Selene McCready.
Laurel was like a daughter to Miss Peggy, but the last thing she wants to do is step into Miss Peggy’s shoes as the wealthiest, most powerful person in town, especially since the Garrison fortune never bought Peggy any happiness. On top of that, when Laurel reluctantly explores her hew home, the storied Garrison Cottage, she discovers that mysteries abound when it comes to the great Miss Myrtis. What clues are hidden in an old suitcase containing a child’s dress and sheet music dating back to the Southern Vaudeville circuit? Who is the elderly woman outside Atlanta who has been keeping track of the Garrison estate’s every development via the Charles Valley Gazette? And how will Laurel avoid the fate of her two predecessors whose secrets have far greater implications than Laurel could ever have imagined? Culminating in an unforgettable sleight of hand, proving that behind every great fortune there is a great crime, The Ladies of Garrison Gardens is as page-turning and irresistible as its predecessor.
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|Title of Science Fiction eBook: The Ladies of Garrison Gardens||Series: Miss Margarets, , #2|
|Release Date: 05-31-2005|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
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The Ladies of Garrison Gardens
OLD MISSUS 2004
Something was up. From the hallway outside her bedroom she heard the words Old Missus murmured-or possibly they were shouted; her ears were sharp for a ninety-year-old, but even she couldn't hear through thick pine doors the way she used to. For a moment she contemplated protesting. Essie, who had been her housekeeper, cook, and general factotum-for, was it twelve years now?-knew that using the hated Old Missus title was a call to arms, even if the sweet young thing Essie had just hired did not. Sharp words were called for. But it would take energy to deliver them. And one had to be careful how one spent that precious commodity at her age. Besides, she wasn't sure she wanted her faithful retainers to know exactly how much of the conversations that swirled around her she managed to pick up. Eavesdropping was one of her main pleasures-there were so few left.
She hoisted herself out of bed as quickly as ninety-year-old joints would allow, so she could begin assembling the various parts-dental bridges, eyeglasses, and medications-that now made up the whole of "Old Missus."
Twenty minutes later, she climbed back into bed. There were additional rustlings and murmurings in the hall, and the sweet young thing entered with a breakfast tray. She had initially balked at hiring the child, whose name was Cherry and whose job description was companion/helper. But Essie had put it in terms she couldn't fight. "I can't keep up with this big old barn of a house on my own, and you can't go on living in it all by yourself," she'd said. "I ain't coming in some morning to find you dead in your bed or lying on the bathroom flo