The Harlow Brothers Books

Civility Rules

Meet brothers Edward and Nicholas Harlow in this debut mystery.

Everybody loves Aunt Civility’s etiquette books, but no one has ever met the author. That’s because Aunt Civility is really the short-tempered Edward Harlow, a secret shared only by his publisher and his younger brother, Nicholas. As far as the public knows, Aunt Civility is a recluse, and so Edward makes select appearances as her official representative, with Nicholas along as his secretary. 

Edward’s latest appearance is at the Victorian Preservation Society’s annual convention, held at the isolated Inglenook Resort. The guests are snowed in before the society members arrive, and when dead body turns up in the room next door, Edward is in danger of losing his manners. Will an association with murder—the ultimate unpleasantness—sully Aunt Civility’s reputation? Like a good secretary, Nicholas will do whatever it takes to keep the boss happy, but as the body count rises, so does this secretary’s chances of becoming the next victim. 

Short Stories

The Case of the Cooked Goose - Second Edition

What led entrepreneur Nicholas Harlow to accept the position as secretary to the author of the Aunt Civility etiquette books, especially when that author is his overbearing brother, Edward?

It all began with The Case of the Cooked Goose. This newly revised short mystery reveals the details on how two brothers – their personalities poles apart – bonded over murder. A prequel to the novel Civility Rules.

The only reason Nicholas Harlow accompanies his brother, Edward, to the Deer Stalker Hotel is because he’s out of options. Having lost everything to his unscrupulous business partner, he’s broke, homeless, and spiraling into depression. Edward promises him a relaxing (and, more to point, free) weekend away from his troubles. Sammy Spade, the former hackneyed star of the erroneously named children’s show, the Grandpa Goose and Grandma Gander Hour, has the lead role in the hotel’s production of “Eddie and Mary”, a comedy based on Edward Hyde and Mary Reilly of Jekyll and Hyde fame. When Sammy drops dead from arsenic poisoning at the beginning of the first act, Nicholas becomes the main suspect. The brothers form an uncomfortable alliance to search for a killer among the large group of people who are happy Sammy is dead, including one ex-wife, an ambitious understudy, and a front desk receptionist who is either in mourning or suffering from a horrendous case of allergies.

Death of a Christmas Tradition

One of the few things that brothers Edward and Nicholas Harlow agree on is a traditional Christmas celebration. When Edward decides to scrap conventions in favor of current fashions–including a pre-decorated tree from Kaiser Tree Farms–his decision sets off a series of mishaps that lead to the theft of his tree and the death of a Kaiser employee. As Nicholas and Edward attempt to track down the thief, one of their top questions is Why would anyone steal a Christmas tree?

One Bad Egg

When author Edward Harlow offers to host an Easter egg hunt for St. Michael’s Group Home, his secretary and brother, Nicholas, bears the brunt of the workload, which includes placating an overbearing event organizer, wrangling orphans on a sugar high, and managing a gigantic Easter Bunny with a bad attitude. Then someone dumps a body in the laundry hamper, and both brothers scramble to discover the culprit before the killer can strike again.  A holiday novella.