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Friday, September 22, 2017

Review - Doom with a View

Way, way back I reviewed on of Kate Kingsbury's Pennyfoot Hotel Holiday novels, Mistletoe and Mayhem (click here).  This is a new series and set in modern time in Oregon.  Join me for this mystery series from Crooked Lane Books.

Author: Kate Kingsbury

Copyright: Sept 2017 (Crooked Lane Books) 288 pgs

Series: 2nd in Merry Ghost Inn Mystery series

Sensuality: Mild

Mystery Sub-genre: Cozy with paranormal touches

Main Character: Melanie West, co-owner of Merry Ghost Inn B&B

Setting: Modern day, Sully’s Landing, Oregon

Obtained Through: Publisher for honest review

From the book cover: "With the arrival of six senior reading group members at the Merry Ghost Inn, the long-awaited Grand Opening week has finally begun for Melanie West and her grandmother, Liza. All is well with the Oregon coast-side B&B until Melanie’s dog, Max, finds the dead body of one of their guests.

Everyone at the inn immediately falls under suspicion, including the innkeepers themselves. Melanie and Liza are not sure who they can trust, and the idea of cohabitating with a murderer is enough to send chills down anyone’s spine. To make matters worse, the curmudgeonly town detective wants them to steer clear of the investigation, but doesn’t seem too inspired to solve the case in a timely fashion himself. To clear their own names and to avoid the blight on the inn’s reputation that yet another dead body will bring, Melanie and Liza dive headlong into the murder investigation.

With a little help from their chuckling ghost, Melanie and Liza dodge the detective, tip-toe around their suspicious guests, and still serve up delicious Bed & Breakfast meals on time in Kate Kingsbury’s delightful second Merry Ghost Inn mystery, Doom with a View."

Melanie, is an okay lead character.  I didn't feel part of her experience and that impacted the rest of the story for me.  Liza is her rebellious and outspoken grandmother that Melanie co-owns the B&B alongside.  Cindi is their tattooed part time help who I wish had been developed a bit more, she has tremendous potential.  Officer Ben Carter fills the CRI (cop-romantic-interest) role and seems to have a sense of humor.  Detective Tom Dutton (Grandma Liza calls Grumpy) is more realistic for a police detective.  Max is Melanie's dog and almost constant companion.  Orville is the resident laughing ghost who is heard but not seen.

The setting with the B&B could have been utilized a bit better, rather than Melanie and Liza seemingly hiding out in a little nook in the kitchen away from their guests.  But, then I love when the setting is another character so I may be biased.  I did appreciate the ocean side being ever present.

The plot is a mild Christie setup with sabotage to the balcony railing and a clandestine shove.  Figuring out who among the guests, all of which had motive, had the compunction to actually commit murder is the gist of the story.  The pacing suffered occasionally to a bit of meandering, which some may enjoy, but for me began to lose my interest.   

The killer reveal was quick and all the motive and details were discussed with the killer in a terribly civilized manor.  Now I truly love a good nail-biting killer confrontation, so this was too gentle and cozy for me.  But, I know some will enjoy how Ms. Kingsbury reveals the killer in a gentler fashion.

I liked the idea of the B&B setting, but wish it would have been used to its potential.  I didn't care for Melanie's ongoing search for her long lost mother.  It seemed like an afterthought written in and not that important at all.

Rating:  Good - A fun read with minor flaws. This will appeal to some, but not others.

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