Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Herald of Death-Kate Kingsbury

Herald of Death

Kate Kingsbury

Berkley, Nov 1 2011, $15.00

ISBN: 9780425243350

As snow is on the ground in Badger's End, someone kills delivery boy Jimmy Taylor and shoemaker Thomas Willow. In each case, the culprit cut off a lock of hair and left behind a gold angel on their forehead. Constable Sam Northcutt surprises Cecily Sinclair Baxter of the Pennyfoot Hotel, when he asks for her help as normally he is annoyed with her sleuthing though he admits she has a successful solve rate (see Mistletoe And Mayhem). Her husband Baxter reminds Cecily of her promise to do no detecting this year.

She tries to nudge her spouse to free her from her promise, as the first telegram arrives, canceling reservations at the Pennyfoot. He reluctantly agrees to let her sleuth while lecturing stable hand Samuel to stay at her side at all times. As Cecily seeks links between the victims, more murders with gold angels as a signature and cancelations make this the deadly season of the Herald of Death.

The latest early twentieth century Special Pennyfoot Hotel Mystery (see Decked With Folly) is another superb homicidal historical holiday cozy. The "Upstairs, Downstairs” class difference just before WWI comes alive, as it always does in the Pennyfoot saga, in this exciting amateur sleuth. Although the story line starts a bit slower than normal as the feisty heroine must extract her self from her promise to her spouse, series fans will enjoy realizing she has come a long way with the inept Northcutt and her concerned spouse recognizing her sleuthing skills.

Harriet Klausner

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