Lemon in the Basket by Charlotte Armstrong
Edgar Award Finalist: The explosive politics of the Middle East shatter a California family in this “wonderful thriller” (The New York Times).
Among the Tylers of Santa Clara are a matriarch lauded as the first lady of American theater, a judicial appointee of the president, a noted fundraiser for international charities, a university vice-chancellor, and an esteemed and admired surgeon. The Tylers are, in their own words, “worthy of Paradise.”
Then, a violently anti-US Middle Eastern leader sends his son to California to be treated by the young Dr. Michael Tyler. The king’s deal: Save his “little prince,” and the lives of the twenty-eight American hostages languishing in his prison will be spared. And there’s another caveat: The agreement must be kept secret. But there’s one more Tyler to contend with.
Rufus Tyler is the family “lemon in the basket,” an underachiever who has finally found his moment in history. By exposing his family to the press as conspirators in a terrorist’s negotiation, Rufus will do more than breach the walls of privacy. He will plunge his family into the dangerous waters of international politics. As unfounded fears and dreadful rumors take hold, an inevitable and shocking act of violence will threaten not only the Tylers, but also the fate of the entire country.
Upon the original publication of Lemon in the Basket, an Edgar Award finalist for Best Novel, Dorothy B. Hughes wrote that Charlotte Armstrong should stand “with the immortal ladies of suspense—Rinehart and Sayers, Marsh and Tey” (Los Angeles Times).
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