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Vane Pursuit
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The latest Peter Shandy adventure is the ultimate in escapism: an utterly hilarious albeit totally unbelievable caper that MacLeod ( The Corpse in Oozak's Pond ) fans will savor. Helen Shandy, a librarian in Balaclava County, Mass., and wife of Peter, a professor of agriculture at the local college, is busy roaming the countryside photographing antique weather vanes created by Praxiteles Lumpkin for a pamphlet to be issued by the area's historical society. She discovers, however, that many of the treasures are being stolen by a gang of thieves. After the culprits burn down the local soap factory, which was once topped by a Lumpkin vane, Helen decides to travel to Sasquamahoc, Maine, the site of another priceless Praxiteles, before a calamity befalls it. While in Maine, Helen and two women friends decide to go whale-watching, but the excursion becomes a nightmare when the vane snatchers take over the ship. Eventually, Helen and Peter piece together enough clues to uncover the thieves' ringleader and save the Lumpkins. Another solid performance from MacLeod and the Shandys. (Apr.)

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