Cold Poison (#13)

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When a Hollywood cartoonist is poisoned, sharp-witted sleuth Miss Withers must draw her own conclusions

At Hollywood’s most renowned cartoon studio, there are a few things you simply do not draw: snakes, cows with udders, violence, and death. So when Janet Poole finds a doodle of the studio’s famous cartoon penguin with a noose around its neck, she takes the drawing as a threat. Someone at the studio has murder on the mind. 

The top brass reach out to Hildegarde Withers, a retired amateur sleuth who has come to Los Angeles to relieve her asthma. The obvious suspect is Larry Reed, a disturbed cartoonist with a dark sense of mischief, but on Miss Withers’s first day working the case, something happens that suggests Larry is likely innocent: He’s murdered. This studio may work in animation, but Miss Withers will find the violence on the lot anything but cartoonish.

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