Murders for Sale

(aka) Sneeze on Sunday

~ A Novel by Andre Norton (Writing as Allen Weston)

~ Written with Grace Allen Hogarth


Synopsis ~

Write-up from the front flap of the dustjacket ~

When Fredericka Wing, librarian and writer, arrived at the peaceful village of South Sutton to take over the local bookshop for the summer, she was delighted. Everything was exactly as she had imagined it, and she anticipated a quiet restful time with plenty of leisure to catch up on her writing. But a sudden series of events determined that Fredericka’s summer should not go according to plan.
One of the daughters of the Sutton family was murdered, and it was Fredericka who found the body, slouched in the hammock at the back of the bookshop. Colonel Peter Mohun, retired Army Intelligence Officer, at the time teaching at Sutton College, acted as sleuth, assisting the local police. The Colonel had already met Fredericka at the bookshop, and before she knew it, Fredericka found herself in the role of Watson to the Colonel’s Sherlock Holmes.
Absorbed as they were in tracking down the murderer, Fredericka and the Colonel yet had time to realize their growing love for each other, but their romance was checked by a second crime - the murder of Margie, unattractive adolescent help at the bookshop. It was an ingenious murder of intense cruelty and long drawn-out pain.
Fredericka herself nearly became the third victim, but Peter saved her and pinned down the murderer, though even at the last he and the police very nearly lost the game, and for a tense moment were almost outwitted by the murderer.


Write-up from the back of the TOR paperback edition of "Sneeze on Sunday" ~

Welcome to South Sutton
Fredericka Wing sought a quiet, peaceful summer in the tiny New England town. But almost from the moment of her arrival she found hostility, suspicion… and murder on her doorstep.
Aside from Colonel Peter Mohun, a professor at the local college, nobody in the tight-knit community would help her try to stop the mysterious killer who slew first the town matriarch and then the unassuming teenager who help Fredericka in Miss Hartwell’s bookstore.
Finally Fredericka thought she knew who was committing the terrible crimes. Now if she could only avoid being the next victim…


Write-up from and old posting ~

An old-fashioned and charming mystery set in New England during the early 1950s is the joint production of science fiction/fantasy veteran Norton (the Witch World series) and mystery editor Hogarth. Librarian Fredericka Wing takes a summer job minding a bookstore in South Sutton, Mass., a college town founded by a family whose reduced financial circumstances are now being ameliorated by the nationally known herb farm run by matriarch Margaret Sutton and her niece, Philippine, a chemist rescued from a German concentration camp. Returning from a church bazaar, Fredericka finds the body of Catherine Clay, nee Sutton, in the bookstore's hammock. James Brewster, the family lawyer and Catherine's potential finance, tries to hush up the police investigation, claiming accidental death, but an autopsy finds poison. As mystery buff Fredericka investigates with the fascinating Peter Mohun, teacher at the college and former military intelligence agent, she must overcome the hostility of the townspeople and the machinations of a teenager who may know more than is good for her.


Write-up from a fan ~

"Sneeze on Monday, sneeze for danger;
Sneeze on a Tuesday, kiss a stranger;
Sneeze on Wednesday, sneeze for a letter
Sneeze on a Thursday, something better;
Sneeze on a Friday, sneeze for sorrow;
Sneeze on a Saturday, see your sweet-heart tomorrow.
Sneeze on Sunday, Safety seeker the Devil will have you all the week "

Federicka Wing, librarian leaves New York and travels to South Sutton, Massachusetts. a small New England college town to run a bookstore/Lending library for the owner who has to go to California on family business. She sees the post as an opportunity to work on a book on Victorian Women writers that she was writing. She meets several people, a few she likes immediately and some she can’t stand. Her first Sunday there, she sneezes and vaguely remembers part of a rhyme, “Sneeze on Sunday---“ Now what was that?” A week later, coming back from a town bazaar, she discovers a dead woman in the hammock behind the bookstore. It happened to be one of the people she couldn’t stand and a descendant of the town’s founder. Professor Peter Mohun, a government operative, teams with Federicka to try to solve the mystery of the murder of a woman that nearly everyone hated. Then one of the prime suspects, a disturbed teenage girl, is also murdered, things get complicated. Who can they trust and is Fredericka in any danger? Lots of plot twists. Several interesting characters are possible suspects. How to choose among the many motives? ~ PG


KIRKUS REVIEW ~ Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 1991
It's 1948, and Fredericka Wing, a librarian from New York, takes a summer job in South Sutton, Mass., running a bookstore and lending library for vacationing Lucy Hartwell. Fredericka's neighbors are the aristocratic Sutton family, who run an herb farm and laboratory overseen by widowed Margaret Sutton's niece Philippine, a French survivor of the Nazi camps. Margaret's high- strung daughter Catherine has returned to the farm after a failed marriage; Roger, a war-damaged son, and Lucy Hartwell's niece Margie help out with farm and lab. Fredericka has scarcely settled in when she discovers Catherine's poisoned corpse in her backyard. With new friend Colonel Peter Mohun and police chief Thane Carey, Fredericka strives heavily to solve Catherine's murder and another in its wake, her own life even at risk in a series of artificial dangers. A lifeless story weighted down with cardboard characters, stiff dialogue, a contrived plot, and a heroine given to the vapors. No fun at all.


Bibliography of English Editions  ~

  • (1954) Published by Hammond, HC, LCCN 54036395, £ 9s6p (114p), 240pg ~ UK printing ~ cover by Rudolf Michael Sachs {Red Paper Boards, # EB454 on Rear Flap}
  • (1954) Published by Boots Booklovers Library ~ Same as Hammonds edition with the following exceptions. Embossing on spine is different, there is a Boots logo on the front cover and a red “M” printed on the title page. The publisher’s summary is printed on the usually blank page adjacent to the title page instead of the dustjacket. There is a grommet at the top of the spine – this is to facilitate the attachment of your library card which can then double as a bookmark. The Boots edition is also trimmed slightly smaller than the Hammond edition. No dustjacket supplied.

NOTE: Throughout 2011 & 2012 there have been several editions of this title released by Wildside Press , a Print-On-Demand publisher. As of June 09, 2012 these are NOT Estate Authorized Editions.


Russian Omnibus Editions ~

See: Sneeze on Sunday


View the Original contract