By Susan Conant
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Damned. Yankee Press. They did travel guides. New England guides. Books on the Alcotts, Lexington and Concord, Paul Revere. ” Claudia looked not at me but at her keyboard. She cleared her throat. ” She transferred her gaze to me. “But what Shaun McGrath was, was a mindless technocrat! A complete philistine. He’d gone to some little business college, and . . Jack himself was an acquisitions editor, really. His grasp of the business side of things wasn’t what it could have been. So he ended up taking in this sleazy little person!
Claudia ignored our efforts. “That’s what this partner of his used—rat poison slipped in Jack’s coffee. ” “Jack was a very fine man,” Professor Foley informed all of us. “Student of mine. We always stayed in touch. ” “Fine man,” agreed a deeply tanned, bald, muscular fellow about Claudia’s age whose style was so entirely different from hers that I’d been surprised to hear him introduced as her husband, Oscar Fisch. He wore a conventional dark suit, a white shirt, a paisley tie, and no jewelry and nothing even vaguely reminiscent of Chinese rice growers, American factory workers, medieval serfs, or any other Cantabrigian icons.
In Owls Head, Maine, target-shooting rats was a socially acceptable, if gruesome, local sport. As a new Cambridge pastime, however, it had all the promise of pre-Columbian proto-soccer played with a human head. We’d been warned not to poison the rats, either. Cambridge being Cambridge, we were probably supposed to conduct an ethological study of rodent behavior in a natural urban environment. “Rats,” I echoed. Claudia nodded. “Jack foolishly decided to deal with the problem himself. He got hold of this horrible, very powerful poison.