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Monday, October 31, 2022

Review - Mrs Morris and the Vampire

I have hopped around with this series, reading ones that interest me in the moment.  I picked this as perfect for Halloween.

Traci Wilton

Copyright: August 2021 (Kensington Cozies) 338 pgs

Series: 5th in Salem B&B Mysteries

Sensuality: mild

Mystery Sub-genre: Paranormal Cozy, amateur sleuth

Main Characters: Charlene Morris, Salem B&B owner

Setting: Modern day, Salem Massachusets

Obtained Through: library 

Book Blurb: "It’s B&B owner Charlene Morris’s second Halloween in Salem, Massachusetts, and one she won’t soon forget when a self-proclaimed vampire is murdered . . .
Charlene’s bed and breakfast is fully booked with guests wanting to experience Salem’s wildest holiday—especially the annual Witch Ball, held at the historic Hawthorne Hotel. At the dance, actual witch and winery owner Brandy Flint has her back up over her daughter Serenity’s new beau—it’s bad enough he’s a decade older, he also claims to be a vampire from Romania.
As for Charlene, with handsome ghost Dr. Jack Strathmore haunting her B&B, she has developed an open mind regarding the supernatural. But her mind is blown when the clock strikes midnight, the lights flare and dim, and the vampire vanishes—leaving behind only his cape and a wooden stake with a thick red substance on the sharp tip. The next morning, a naked man washes up on the shore with a hole punched through his chest, and Detective Sam Holden has a homicide on his hands. Now Charlene and Jack must put their heads together to find out who staged the trick to stake a vampire . . ." 

My Thoughts:
Charlene is an enjoyable character. She is determined, thoughtful, and a good hostess.  I don't think I could having a parade of people through my house and enjoy them like she does.  This has all the atmosphere for a great Halloween read with vampires, witches, ghosts, and underground tunnels with Salem's tragic past. You might think it is more paranormal from the subject, but Jack's ghost is the only such element.  Everything else has a human explanation, so don't let that deter you.  I can't leave out Silva, her plush white cat who is always up to something is featured on the cover wearing a costume.

It is a shame that Jack is a ghost because he would be a perfect romantic partner with how he supports Charlene's sleuthing efforts.  Sigh. This is so reminiscent of The Ghost and Mrs. Muir. 

The plot is just tangled enough to keep you guessing and the killer reveal wasn't completely a surprise to me (I'd had a few suspicions), but it will startle many I think.  I breezed through this fun adventure in short time as the pacing kept my interest.  The killer reveal had some tense moments and I loved it.  The wrap-up answered any remaining questions and I miss the Charlene and Jack already.

My only hesitation and thing I would change is how the source of most conflict in the story is between Charlene and her potential romantic interest, police detective Sam Holden.  This is actually a pet peeve of mine and this series has Charlene sleuthing then trying to make up for it endlessly with Sam.  In a prior book he even arrested her for interferring. That is so wishy-washy of Charlene in my opinion and the two aren't compatible with that dynamic, at all.

Rating: Excellent - Loved it! Buy it now and put this author on your watch list.

Here is a short video of sites in Salem.

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