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Murder in the Hearse Degree: A Hitchcock Sewell Mystery Mass Market Paperback – 1 Jul 2004


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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion; New edition edition (July 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786889977
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786889976
  • Product Dimensions: 17.3 x 10.7 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,902,538 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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First Sentence
Ray Ghost sidled up to me in the middle of a funeral to tell me that an old flame of mine had left her husband down in Annapolis and was back in Baltimore. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Gail Cooke TOP 500 REVIEWER on 5 Feb 2003
Format: Hardcover
How refreshing it is when an imaginative author mixes mirth with mayhem and also creates a protagonist who draws readers like a magnet. Such is the case with Tim Cockey in The Hearse You Came In On, Hearse Of A Different Color, The Hearse Case Scenario, and now Murder In The Hearse Degree.
Fans will be heartened to find intrepid undertaker Hitchcock Sewell as charming and attractive as ever. He's still on the loose in Baltimore, and up to some new tricks. Sophie Potts, the young nanny employed by one of Hitch's former romantic interests, is found floating in a river. The police say suicide; Hitch says uh-uh.
But our merry mortician runs into more than a few road blocks as he tries to get to the soggy bottom of this death. There's the on-the-take former Kentucky governor, a more than questionable right-wing group of religious zealots (ARK, the acronym for the Alliance for Reason and Kindness) headed by a probably on the take and on the make director, a ham-on-wry actor (heavy on the ham), and a probing reporter who's more in pursuit of Hitch's ex wife, Julia, than the story.
It's a typical Hitch tale. In other words: terrific.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 20 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
TOPNOTCH COMBINATION OF MIRTH AND MAYHEM 5 Feb 2003
By Gail Cooke - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
How refreshing it is when an imaginative author mixes mirth with mayhem and also creates a protagonist who draws readers like a magnet. Such is the case with Tim Cockey in The Hearse You Came In On, Hearse Of A Different Color, The Hearse Case Scenario, and now Murder In The Hearse Degree.
Fans will be heartened to find intrepid undertaker Hitchcock Sewell as charming and attractive as ever. He's still on the loose in Baltimore, and up to some new tricks. Sophie Potts, the young nanny employed by one of Hitch's former romantic interests, is found floating in a river. The police say suicide; Hitch says uh-uh.
But our merry mortician runs into more than a few road blocks as he tries to get to the soggy bottom of this death. There's the on-the-take former Kentucky governor, a more than questionable right-wing group of religious zealots (ARK, the acronym for the Alliance for Reason and Kindness) headed by a probably on the take and on the make director, a ham-on-wry actor (heavy on the ham), and a probing reporter who's more in pursuit of Hitch's ex wife, Julia, than the story.
It's a typical Hitch tale. In other words: terrific.
- Gail Cooke
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Sewell Charms Again 25 Aug 2003
By YogaAnn - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is my very favorite of the Hitchcock Sewell series so far. Cockey kept me hanging, kept me interested in the characters, and kept me laughing. I'm not going to tell you the story, Cockey does a brilliant job of that. I can't wait for the next one!!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Hitch Puts Baltimore On The Map 28 Jan 2003
By Hilary E. House Jr. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I've haven't ever been very interested in Baltimore, especially since the Colts left for Indianapolis, or in undertakers. Tim Cockey's Hitchcock Sewell has changed all that.
As a life-long mystery fan I associate certain fictional characters with their city. If you say San Francisco I think of Sam Spade. Boston brings up Parker, New York will always be Nero Wolfe and Mike Hammer, and Miami is Mike Shane. Until recently, if you said Baltimore I could only reply, "The Star Spangled Banner." But now I have met Hitchcock Sewell and he has put Baltimore on the Mystery genre map.
Hitch is an undertaker. He carries on the family business with his Aunt Billie at the Sewell and Sons Family Funeral Home. He approaches life (including his own) and death (not including his own) with an insatiable curiosity, considerable wit and charm, and surprising insight.
In Murder In The Hearse Degree, the 4th Hearse mystery, Hitch is asked, by a former lover, to look into the recent disappearance of her family's nanny. The nanny's body soon turns up in the Severn River, an apparent suicide, and the autopsy reveals an unsuspected pregnancy. The police seem satisfied with suicide but Hitch smells something fishy (besides the nanny's body).
As the scene moves from Baltimore to Annapolis to Washington D.C. and back, Tim Cockey sprinkles the landscape with memorable and believable characters, many of whom are suspects in the increasingly suspicious death of the nanny.
The gripping conclusion brings Hitch close to being a customer of his own services and leaves the reader with a strong desire to read the next installment as soon as possible. If you don't give the Hearse series a try, then, as Hitch would say, "Its your funeral."
By Mystery.words.com
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Hearses! 21 Oct 2004
By Dianna - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I love this series! I took this one with me on a recent trip and enjoyed it so much that those sitting around me thought I was a loon because I was laughing so hard.

You have to love Hitchcock, his sense of humor keeps the plot moving right along and the reader almost winces at times waiting for him to get a smack on the head from his remarks.

Great fun and a highly recommended read!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
lighthearted dark comedic romp 5 April 2003
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
When a former lover Libby Gellman asks, Baltimore undertaker Hitchcock Sewell agrees to look for a missing nanny, the innocent and sweet Sophie Pitts. Hitch quickly learns that Sophie took a swan dive off the Naval Academy Bridge in Annapolis. The local police department declared that a pregnant Sophie committed suicide, but the victim's mother claims otherwise.
Hitch decides to investigate starting with Sophie's final employer, Libby and her estranged husband, he abusive Michael. Looking for clues leads Hitch to The Alliance for Reason and Kindness where other dead don't line up for final resting at Sewell and Sons Family Funeral Home, but Hitch interferes into their lives anyway.
With all the deaths in MURDER IN THE HEARSE DEGREE, one would think the funeral business would be too busy for Hitch to spend most of his time investigating. The story line is amusing at times as Hitch tosses puns throughout the novel. The support cast, especially the preadolescent who, when she grows up plans to be a mortician, are fun to observe. This is a humorous series and the fourth tale has many funny moments for readers who like a lighthearted dark comedic romp.
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