Melanie West is getting her life back on track after a messy divorce when her grandmother, Liza Harris, asks her to open a B&B with her. Together, Liza and Melanie purchase a purportedly haunted mansion on the Oregon coast and jump right into clearing out the cobwebs. But while attempting to remove wallpaper in an upstairs bedroom, the new B&B owners stumble upon a very real skeleton in their closet.
The police suspect the skeleton is that of the wife of the previous owner of the B&B, but no one in town seems to want to say much about her. As the inn owners try to juggle renovations with their own amateur investigations, their grand opening looms closer and closer–and a friendly ghost in their walls starts playing tricks. But it all comes crashing to a halt when a new body is found stabbed to death on the beach below the inn–the victim chillingly close in resemblance to Melanie herself.
It seems someone doesn’t appreciate newcomers prying into the small town’s past, and now it’s up to Melanie and Liza to get to the bottom of these murders to save their business…and their lives.
Dead and Breakfast by Kate Kingsbury. Book # 1 in the Merry Ghost Inn mystery series. Audiobook is narrated by Tavia Gilbert. Published by Blackstone Audio, January 2017. Run time is 7 hours and 29 minutes.
Now this was a very fun cozy mystery! The author started this series off with a bang. We just jump straight in to the mystery, setting up the town / characters as we go. I was so extremely happy about this. It always slows down a mystery when there is so much set up before you even get to the mystery. In Dead and Breakfast we get the mystery in the very first chapter. Yay! And what a surprising hook! I couldn’t wait to find out what was going on.
This story has great pacing. I love how we actually see the main characters doing normal every day stuff for their business. Some cozy mysteries kind of gloss over the jobs and it just seems like all the character does is snoop. I loved how we actually saw part of the adoption process of the dog, Max. Normally the animals in the story are just kind of there or picked up off the street, but here we had an actual adoption from the pound. That was pretty cool. It didn’t slow down the pacing at all. None of the daily work did. The 7 hours flew by so fast, the book was over before I knew it.
There are a lot of red herrings in this novel! Every time I thought I had the killer in mind, it turned out I was wrong. I never even thought of the person who actually turned out to be the killer. I was very surprised. 😮
The only thing that really bugged me a bit was that our main character, Mel, was so oblivious to being suspicious about her near death accidents! She had close calls a couple of times, and each time she thought it was just a random thing. I kept slapping my forehead and yelling at her that she’s snooping around and that, GEE, maybe someone is trying to kill you!! BUT… to be fair to Mel, she was not the mystery lover and it was never her idea to start snooping. The mystery fan was her granny, Liza, and she pushed Mel into snooping. So I GUESS I can look the other way with Mel not being a very suspicious person nor very good at realizing her life was in danger from snooping. I was still very entertained by Dead and Breakfast, so it’s fine. I just hope in future books, she starts to realize how dangerous it is to go snooping like that.
Narrator did a fantastic performance. I loved Mel’s cheerful yet nervous voice. It was perfect. Narrator also did a great job with different genders, ages, and accents. Everyone sounded very different from one another. That is always a pleasure when listening to the audio.
I enjoyed this book. It was a very fun story and I will definitely pick up the next book in the series. I recommend it to fans of a good, quick mystery.