Uncatalogued by Julie KaewertUncatalogued by Julie Kaewert

Uncatalogued

byJulie Kaewert

Mass Market Paperback | January 2, 2002

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A diary someone would kill to keep secret...

It promises to be the find of the century: documents by famed diarist Samuel Pepys rumored to be in the U.S. — which is where publisher Alex Plumtree and his fiancée, Sarah, are headed for his college reunion.

Then bizarre things start happening ... a Royal accident imperils the succession and fiery violence rocks London, mimicking Pepys’s chronicles of seventeenth-century England.

Things get even more curious when the archivist who stumbled on the uncatalogued papers vanishes. Then a centuries-old scandal surfaces that could bring down the modern monarchy.

Soon Alex begins to suspect that the diaries may not have been penned by Pepys after all — but by someone whose shocking actions may have altered the course of history....
Julie Kaewert first indulged her fascination with book publishing by taking the Radcliffe Publishing Procedures Course in 1981. She then worked for book publishers in Boston and London before starting her writing career with a London magazine. Her series of mysteries for booklovers has topped mystery bestseller lists around the country...
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Title:UncataloguedFormat:Mass Market PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 7 × 4.25 × 0.75 inPublished:January 2, 2002Publisher:Random House Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0553582208

ISBN - 13:9780553582208

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Chapter 1 . . . it ravished me . . . that neither then, nor all the evening . . . and at home, I was able to think of any thing, but remained all night transported . . .Samuel PepysSarah! Darling. Say it again--all of it. Please."Disbelief warred with joy as I struggled to grasp my fiancee's words, the very words I'd wanted to hear.Rich and exuberant, her laugh reverberated down the line. "I said, my work here is over, Alex. I'm coming home!"A grin spread across my face. I'd read news reports of the power shift in Iraq, where my American fiancee was involved in something frightfully secret for an international task force. But I hadn't dreamed . . . "And the next bit?""I asked you what you would think of a very small, private wedding in Nantucket.""When exactly, did you say?""I didn't." A pause. I could see her smile in my mind's eye. "But how soon could you get there?"It was Sunday noon now. . . . With an incredulous laugh, I said, "How soon?! Are you joking?"I stopped pacing and stared through the French doors into the rose garden. The garden was in all its early glory, the first blooms blazing in every possible shade of pink, red, and yellow. As a shaft of light broke through the blanket of cloud and spotlighted the roses, I decided she was absolutely right. We should do it quickly, make certain nothing got in our way."I'll try for the next flight to Boston, my love. I think it's around half-ten in the morning--""Hang on, Alex--I can't get to Nantucket until late Tuesday. But could you make it by then? Wedding in the back garden on Wednesday?"I could hardly believe my ears. "Nothing could stop me getting there on Tuesday. I speak for Ian, too, of course. This is marvelous! Sarah, this is the best news possible . . . it's . . .""Yes?""It's perfect." Thoughtlessly I added, "I'll ring the College and cancel my reservations for the reunion.""The reunion! I'd forgotten all about it--but wait . . . don't cancel. We could always--""No. Absolutely not. We are not delaying this wedding one instant beyond the very first moment it can take place . . . and certainly not for a college reunion.""Hey, wait! I'm not suggesting we delay the wedding--only that we both go to the reunion. Together, Alex. I've never had the chance to go--it could be part of our honeymoon! We could spend a couple of days somewhere on Nantucket before we drive up to Dartmouth for the weekend. Afterwards, we could go back for some sailing.""Sounds stellar, but darling--are you sure that's all right with you?" Sarah and I hailed from the same infamous class of '86 at Dartmouth, and we'd known a lot of the same people. In fact, she'd married my close friend and roommate from Richardson Hall, only to watch him die five years later. She knew that my crew buddies were all coming to relive past glory in the Reunion Row on Saturday, but I didn't want her to feel obliged to go."Yes, I'm sure! It'll be great fun--I haven't seen everyone in ages. And Alex, I want you to know . . ." Her tone changed; she grew serious. "Everything's going to be all right. It really is, this time. I know it."I grinned at the conviction behind her words. What both of us felt was hope--hope that on our third attempt at being joined in matrimony, we would not be interrupted by ruthless gunmen, international terrorists, or other shocking crises.Sarah's intuition was right: no crisis struck until after we'd been safely pronounced man and wife. For that I was deeply grateful. But not long afterward, I found myself risking life and limb for nothing more than a handful of loose pages casually scrawled in the seventeenth century. Plumtree Press, my family's small publishing firm, would again publish a volume--obscurely related to those pages--with unforeseen consequences. The combined forces of history and literature would rage against the injustices of mankind until the truth was revealed.In other words, business as usual.Chapter 2This put us at the Board into a tosse. . . . he giving me caution as to myself, that there are those that are my enemies as well as his . . . So that he advises me to stand on my guard; which I shall do . . ." . . . wherein I shall come to be questioned in that business myself; which do trouble me.Samuel PepysThe phone was still warm from my talk with Sarah--I'd tossed it onto the sofa to dance a spirited jig round the library--when it rang again."Alex Plumtree," I answered, still grinning."Alex! My, don't you sound full of beans. Percival Urchfont here."Ah. Chairman of our board of overseers at the Pepys Library at Magdalene College, Cambridge. My father had once held Urchfont's lofty position; several months ago I'd accepted the post of treasurer."Hullo, Percy. How are you?""I'm afraid I've been better, Alex. We've a serious problem at the Library. I'm calling an extraordinary meeting of the board for this afternoon . . . and I'm afraid we really need you there. I'd tell you over the phone, but given the nature of the difficulty . . . could you possibly make it by three?"Inwardly I groaned. I'm off to America to be married, for heaven's sake! I have a tuxedo to pack, a honeymoon to plan . . ."If you really need me, I'll be there, Percy. But . . . can't you give us a hint?""Sorry, I'll tell all when you get here. Thanks, Plumtree. I know this is inconvenient, but I promise you it's absolutely vital."We signed off with all the gravity that might be accorded a national emergency. But after an instant of reflection, and five minutes on the computer to book Ian's and my flight to Boston, I continued my dance--this time in the direction of the garage.As I drove north under increasingly gray skies, the Pepys Library was not uppermost in my mind. Visions of Sarah--her radiant face at our wedding, in my arms alone after the wedding, sunbathing on the Carpe Diem, the family yacht where we'd spend part of our honeymoon--dominated. More than once I found myself humming like a fool as I sped along. It was happening. At last!But as I turned east off the M1 towards Cambridge a couple of hours later, I saw the road signposted for Huntingdon. Samuel Pepys, the famous diarist whose priceless collection of books was housed in the Pepys Library, had grown up just outside Huntingdon in the village of Brampton. (Coincidentally, part of the Plumtree clan hailed from that same burg.) Pepys had made pilgrimages there all his life to see his father.What on earth was going on at the Pepys Library that required such an urgent meeting? The most exciting event in recent memory had been a visit by Prince Charles, four years ago.And then I realised . . . this might be the request for The Donation. I'd never been under any illusion about the reason for my presence on the board of overseers--or my father's. We had an excellent private collection of books, and the Plumtree Collection happened to include several fine items related to Pepys. Although Pepys had been quite specific about his library not containing anything but his books, from time to time people became ambitious for the library and wanted to expand the collection. Rousing speeches along the lines of, "we owe it to the memory of Pepys to acquire so-and-so," and "we are obliged to serve as the finest repository of Pepys-related literature on the face of the earth," were not rare. The Board was led at the moment by two such nobly acquisitive men, Percival Urchfont and Charles Mattingley. I knew that one day they would ask me to relinquish our family's private treasures, and I didn't doubt that I would do so. They belonged in the world's greatest Pepys repository. It was just that they held particular sentimental value. . . .And then I was in Cambridge, piloting the Passat through the narrow streets. The nightmare of finding a parking space was cut short by virtue of the hour and day, and it was just ten past three as I strolled through the gate off Magdalene Street into my old postgraduate college.The porter nodded at me as I passed through the lodge; I smiled back. Even through a veil of misting rain, the manicured courtyard of emerald grass, lined with bright blooms and studded with ornamental fruit trees, was breathtaking after the grey of Magdalene Street. While it is true that Magdalene is far from the most prestigious of Cambridge's colleges--its buildings fewer and less imposing than some of the grander institutions--it is the proud proprietor of the Pepys Library.The Library had been the draw for me as a postgraduate, as it had for generations of Plumtrees before. Samuel Pepys had written his famous six-volume, nine-year diary in the late seventeenth century and recorded everything from the plague to the Fire of London to the decadent court of King Charles II. As Pepys had once studied within Magdalene's hallowed halls, the College had been fortunate enough to inherit his magnificent collection of books.I passed from the front courtyard into the rear quadrant and saw the pale stone structure, glowing like a beacon through the damp and drizzle. The Library was positioned as the ultimate destination within the College, tucked protectively within Magdalene's brick walls and lesser buildings. Striding along the gravel footpath, I noted with fondness the slight asymmetry of the building's Georgian facade. The architect, or perhaps the builders (no one quite knew which), may have had one pint too many during the final measurements.I smiled at the irony: The charming irregularity of the building only served to give it more character . . . to make it more like Pepys himself, not to mention his prose. Part of the wonder of all things Pepysian was their uniform asymmetry. The famous diarist's sinful yet moral life, the prose which should be so stultifying but is unexpectedly vivid and pertinent to life in any era, this Library building in his name, even the "presses" that held his books--all were delightfully, lopsidedly, unconventional.At last I reached the Library steps and started to climb, my mood darkened by the unavoidable memory that only months ago--in the very same overly eventful week that a murderer had lurked in my back seat not so far from here--one of Plumtree Press's scholarly authors had climbed this staircase for the last time. His demise would forever change this place.Perhaps that was why I had been summoned to Cambridge, and it had nothing to do with The Donation. Perhaps my author's death in the Library had resulted in an increased premium with the insurance company, or caused some similar ripple in the institution's customary calm."Plumtree!" I might have been the prodigal son, so heartily did Urchfont greet me as I entered the main room of the Library. Urchfont resembled nothing so much as a bulldog in country squire's clothing. He was gruff, sturdy and compact, and his close-cropped hair stuck out stiffly from his scalp. When he shook his head in disapproval of some idea, his jowls rippled from side to side with an astounding range of motion.Now, as he rose from the long table and barrelled towards me with his hand outstretched, I was surprised to notice that there were only three of us in the room. That was odd; I'd expected the entire board. Charles Mattingley, secretary of the board, remained seated, looking very serious indeed."Hello, Percival"--Urchfont shook my hand with the relentless grip of a stevedore--"Charles." I nodded and briefly shook hands with Mattingley. Mattingley's hand, as usual, was cold and slack, but his eyes shone with sharp intelligence.Mattingley was as reserved, elegant, and dignified as Urchfont was not. He was older than Urchfont, nearing eighty, and much taller--though slightly stooped. His voice came out in a raspy whisper, which was no doubt caused by a physical disorder but never failed to give the impression that he simply couldn't be bothered to speak up. Impeccably attired as always, he wore a lightweight suit with a pale blue tie that brought out the blue in his eyes--which were magnified to almost frightening proportions by a pair of old-fashioned, wire-rimmed spectacles. Wisps of white hair provided fragile cover for his shiny pink pate.As usual, we met in the heart of the Library itself--in the very shadow of the famous "presses" (as Pepys had called his custom-made bookcases) brimming with priceless contents. As I sat, I was aware of them behind me."Thanks for making the drive up, Alex," Mattingley said in a hoarse whisper."Not at all. I'm desperately curious to hear what's happened."Urchfont glanced at his watch and said, "I've arranged for some tea, but let's get started. To bring you up to date, Plumtree, we are faced with two rather unusual circumstances." He pursed his ample lips. "The first is a financial issue."Here we go, I thought. Now, for The Donation speech . . ."A shocking sum has gone missing from the Library's Perpetuity Fund. As you know, the Fund was to provide for the future of the Library--the physical building itself, any repairs that might be required over time to the structure, and of course any acquisitions that might come our way."I frowned. This was a bizarre turn for the staid old institution, and extremely serious indeed. It was a little-known secret that despite its renown, the Pepys Library was far from well-endowed. Perilously close to the edge was a more accurate description. Moreover, since I was treasurer, any financial problems were entirely my responsibility."How much is missing?""A quarter of a million pounds."I blinked. "Good heavens. That's--"Urchfont nodded. "Yes. That's nearly the lot. And as if that isn't bad enough, we've heard a most extraordinary rumour, which we felt you should be informed of privately. The fund manager claims that you extracted the money to an account in your name. Naturally, we told him he must be mistaken . . . but he was adamant. We need you to clear this up as soon as possible."I bristled at the false accusation, then told myself to calm down. "Some mix-up at the bank must be to blame . . . the manager, Ryan, knows that all three of us would have to sign to authorise a withdrawal of that amount. How odd that he didn't ring me immediately! Of course I'll clear it up right away."

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“As always, absorbing and enlightening.”
Rendezvous


Praise for the Booklover’s Series:

“Kaewert writes in the style of Dick Francis — part mystery, part thriller, good plotting with characters we come to care for.”
Deadly Pleasures

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