Sunday, September 5, 2010

Mistletoe and Mayhem-Kate Kingsbury

Mistletoe and Mayhem
Kate Kingsbury
Berkley, Nov 2 2010, $14.00
ISBN: 9780425236901

It is the holiday season at the Pennyfoot Hotel in Badgern’s End, England and this year the manager hopes to finally break the Christmas curse. Every year during the holiday season, proprietor Cecily Sinclair Baxter is involved in a murder case usually at the hotel. Cecily's husband Baxter prays for a quieter time because he worries about his wife investigating a homicide and has something on his mind that he needs to tell his spouse.

Alas, their hopes are dashed when the body of Charlie the footman is found in what looked initially as if an accident occurred when a gargoyle fell from the roof bashing in his head. However, they quickly realize a murder was committed. When Ellie the maid goes missing, another maid Pansy and stable hand Samuel find her body. Soon afterward, more homicides occur. Cecily investigates with the intention of uncovering the deadly culprit but she is ignorant to the fact the killer is observing her movements very closely.

The latest annual Special Pennyfoot Hotel Myst Series amateur sleuth (see Decked with Folly and Ringing in Murder) is a terrific holiday cozy that contains more than one mystery. Besides the murders, readers will want to know what is disturbing Baxter that he needs to inform Cecily of. The characters who many appeared in previous tales bring continuity to the Pennyfoot saga. Village life in Edwardian England provides a sense of time and place as Kate Kingsbury writes another entertaining yuletide whodunit.

Harriet Klausner

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