Read The Clockwork Teddy Online

Authors: John J. Lamb

Tags: #Mystery

The Clockwork Teddy

Table of Contents

Title Page

Copyright Page

































Praise for the Bear Collector’s Mysteries

“Has the potential to quickly turn into a favorite series of many.”
—The Mystery Reader

The Crafty Teddy

“Don’t be fooled by the teddy bear theme. Lamb’s mysteries are full-bodied police procedurals, and the identity of the primary villain will come as a real surprise.”

—Richmond Times-Dispatch

“A page-turner . . . [with] plenty of action. This is an original, refreshing change in the overcrowded amateur-sleuth genre.”
—Romantic Times

“Be warned that if you pick this book up, you won’t put it down until you’ve finished reading it . . . You’ll want to read every one of the books in the series—and jump into the world of teddy bear collecting, murder, and intriguing mystery.”
—Armchair Interviews

“The story skips along with plenty of humor, interesting and unusual characters, recognizable scenery, and quick-paced action.”
—The Fredericksburg (VA) Free Lance-Star

“Full of interesting information on teddy bear lore (including a profile of a genuine teddy bear artisan at the end of each novel), a complex and interesting mystery, and a macabre and twisted sense of humor.”
—Gumshoe Review

The False-Hearted Teddy

“With a quick-moving plot that’s neither too cozy nor too hard-boiled, a likable sleuth, and an original premise, Lamb has another honey of a mystery.”

—Richmond Times-Dispatch

“A quirky but surprising read, and one that readers who prefer a little plush to gore should relish.”

—The Carlisle (PA) Sentinel

“A fast-paced trip . . . Mystery fans will follow the twists and turns of this tightly woven tale with pleasure.”

—Teddy Bear and Friends

“A fast and fun romp into murder and mayhem . . . An enjoyable read.”
—Armchair Interviews

“Both story and dialogue are fast paced . . . I finished
The False-Hearted Teddy
in one lazy afternoon because I couldn’t put it down.”
—Cozy Library

“John J. Lamb will drive you absolutely ursine with his series of Bear Collector’s Mysteries.”

—Raleigh News & Observer


The False-Hearted Teddy
can’t help but make you smile and want to read more of this series.”

—Reviewing the Evidence

The Mournful Teddy

“Once you start, you can’t bear to miss a teddy mystery.”

—Rita Mae Brown,
New York Times
bestselling author of the Mrs. Murphy Mysteries

“A smart debut.”
—Mystery Scene

“[Lamb] provides readers with a delightful whodunit that more than just bear collectors will enjoy.”

—Midwest Book Review

“Skillfully blends elements of the traditional cozy with the gritty instincts of a tough but tender ex-homicide detective . . .
The Mournful Teddy
is one teddy bear you won’t take for granted.”

—Ellen Byerrum, author of the Crime of Fashion Mysteries


The Mournful Teddy
is a cozy police procedural, an unusual but not unheard-of combination. The author has pulled it off so well . . . I look forward to many more in the series.”
—Mystery News

“Entertaining . . . A fun romp . . . [Lamb] evokes the beauty of the valley while creating characters and a puzzle worthy of the setting. Fans will need to bear patiently the wait for the Lyons’ next outing.”
—Richmond Times-Dispatch


The Mournful Teddy
is a fur ball of fun. There’ll be no hibernating once you start reading it. Best of all, it’s the first in Lamb’s Bear Collector’s series.”

—Harrisburg (PA) Patriot-News

“This is the start of a series and already I want to know more about these people and their lives; so I look forward to the next adventure and to learning more about bears.”

—Gumshoe Review

“The unique mystery surrounding collectible teddy bears provides this cozy an element of fun that is hard to find. The author’s personal experience as a police officer shines through the tale and lends an air of unmistakable authority.”
—The Romance Readers Connection


The Mournful Teddy
is a cozy police procedural . . . The author has pulled it off so well—and with subtle humor—that I predict readers of both subgenres will find it more than satisfying.”
—Cozy Library

Berkley Prime Crime titles by John J. Lamb


Published by the Penguin Group
Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA
Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada
(a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.)
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South Africa

Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.


A Berkley Prime Crime Book / published by arrangement with the author

Berkley Prime Crime mass-market edition / October 2008

Copyright © 2008 by John J. Lamb.

All rights reserved.

No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Purchase only authorized editions.

For information, address: The Berkley Publishing Group,
a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.

eISBN : 978-1-436-29048-7

Berkley Prime Crime Books are published by The Berkley Publishing Group,
a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.
are trademarks belonging to Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

For Daniel Ahrens,
my best friend, my wife’s cherished brother,
and the finest backup a cop could ever have


I couldn’t help but notice that the guy dressed in the furry brown bear costume didn’t quite grasp the concept of being a teddy bear show mascot. Instead of playfully interacting with the early-bird attendees and their children, the ersatz Ursa was about as cheerful and communicative as the backside of a gravestone. He plodded down the aisle with his woolly head downcast and swiveling back and forth, peering glumly at the exhibitor’s tables.

It was a sunny morning on the first Saturday of September and my wife, Ashleigh, and I were in Sonoma, California, getting ready to present our stuffed animals at the Teddy Bear Flag Republic, one of the most popular bear shows in the country. The annual event attracts participants from all over the world and we had spotted well-known artists from across the U.S., Australia, Japan, and even the Netherlands. The show’s venue is unique for being held outside, under the enormous eucalyptus trees of the lovely downtown Plaza. Primarily known now as the capital of California wine country, back in 1846 Sonoma was also the site of some momentous history. That’s when American settlers gathered in the square to declare their independence from Mexico and proclaim the establishment of a republic. It was a mostly peaceful revolt and the rebels soon raised over the Plaza their flag, which featured a crude brown silhouette of a grizzly bear—a creature once very common throughout the region—and before long, the new country had a nickname: the Bear Flag Republic. Hence the unusual name for the teddy bear convention.

Using the handle of my blackthorn cane to gesture at the morose bear mascot as he shuffled past, I asked Ash, “What do you suppose his major malfunction is?”

She looked up from the soft-sculpture cougar she was carefully positioning on our table amidst our other more traditional teddy bears. “How can you be sure that’s a he?”

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