Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Ringing in Murder-Kate Kingsbury

Ringing in Murder
Kate Kingsbury
Berkley, Nov 2008, $14.00
ISBN: 9780425223994

It is the holiday season and Cecily and Baxter are involved in getting the Pennyfoot Club decorated before Christmas arrives. There are two VIP guests staying at the Pennyfoot the Speaker of the House of Lords Sir Walter Hetherton and MP Roland Crossley of the House of Commons. In addition to decorating for the holidays, Cecily is also involved in the wedding of her best friend Madeline. a psychic feared by villagers. to pragmatic Dr. Kevin Dr. Prestwick,who does not believe in her skills but loves her.

An explosion occurs in Sir Walter’s room killing him and his wife. At first everyone assumed a gaslight caused a tragic accident, but they soon revise that opinion. A party favor (cracker) was found in the room and anyone with scientific knowledge could turn it into a lethal weapon; someone obviously did. Two servants observe a snowman moving and talking to Gertie McBride’s twins. They are puzzled and spooked until they see the snowman inside the Pennyfoot; they become petrified. Cecily refuses to end the holiday season with an unsolved murder and a walking snowman at the Pennyfoot so she investigates.

This enticing cozy will get the audience into the holiday spirit with the decorations and the snowman tension relieving subplot. Even married Cecily remains an independent suffragette frustrating her spouse when she obstinately places herself in danger. RINGING IN MURDER is an enjoyable cerebral amateur sleuth that rings in the Yuletide season on an entertaining note.

Harriet Klausner