Books: The Telltale Hearth

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In the house on Grindstone Hill, outside Weston, Conn., deep in suburbia, the phone rings. It could scarcely have chosen a less convenient moment. The call catches Charles Hayden in the tub, where he has just supplanted his wife; they are getting ready, on this late spring afternoon, for a drive to New York City. His wife, still not quite dry, hastily flinging a wrap around her, pads barefoot to the phone.

"Hello," says Phyllis McGinley Hayden. A pause. "Yes, this is she." Another pause. "Well, I just got out of the bathtub and I haven't any...

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