Review: Doom with a View by Kate Kingsbury

With the arrival of six senior reading group members at the Merry Ghost Inn, the long-awaited Grand Opening week has finally begun for Melanie West and her grandmother, Liza. All is well with the Oregon coast-side B&B until Melanie’s dog, Max, finds the dead body of one of their guests. Everyone at the inn immediately falls under suspicion, including the innkeepers themselves. Melanie and Liza are not sure who they can trust, and the idea of cohabitating with a murderer is enough to send chills down anyone’s spine. To make matters worse, the curmudgeonly town detective wants them to steer clear of the investigation, but doesn’t seem too inspired to solve the case in a timely fashion himself. To clear their own names and to avoid the blight on the inn’s reputation that yet another dead body will bring, Melanie and Liza dive headlong into the murder investigation. With a little help from their chuckling ghost, Melanie and Liza dodge the detective, tip-toe around their suspicious guests, and still serve up delicious Bed & Breakfast meals on time in Kate Kingsbury’s delightful second Merry Ghost Inn mystery, Doom with a View.

Doom With a View by Kate Kingsbury. Book # 2 in A Merry Ghost Inn Mystery series. Narrated by Tavia Gilbert. Published by Blackstone Audio, September 2017. Run time is 7 hours and 23 minutes.

This was another quick, solid entry in this delightful cozy mystery series. There is just enough set up to remind you who everyone is, plus introducing new characters, without ever dragging the first part of the book out too much. Doom With a View also did a great job highlighting key moments from the first book without ruining that books plot. It was just a nice, brief reminder without taking up too much space. It was perfect. If you read the series out of order, the first book will not be spoiled for you.

Doom With a View felt a little lighter on action when compared to book # 1. BUT, to make up for that, we had way higher number of suspects and plenty of red herrings to go around. You were constantly rethinking who the killer might be, even if you were sure you knew! There are tons of clues as to who the killer is, but like I said, you kept thinking “Well, maybe not….?” due to all the other sketchy people. Also light on action was the ending confrontation with the killer. It felt a little bit anti-climatic. Not in a bad way, though. Not all killers are going to have a knock down drag out fight when the cops come calling…

The narrator is a lot of fun. She really nails the defensive teen angst voice perfectly. In fact, she does a great job with all ages. That is not something everyone call pull off as convincingly. All the characters sound different. That kind of performance can really make an audio book 20% cooler.

Now, I really enjoyed this book and I’m enjoying the series a lot so far… but I do have a little bit to complain about.

Too much is going on in the side stories! We have the story about who the ghost really is and what really happened to him. Then we have the story about the missing mom. Those two side stories are fine. Nice hooks to look forward to. But then we have the ex husband story that comes up a lot. And that ties into the current love interest and how he wants kids but she can’t have kids. The main character goes on and on about this fact. I get wanting romantic conflict and drama, but the main character just focuses way too much on not having a baby. I understand that this can be a really big deal to a lot of people, and I’m not trying to downplay the problem or say it’s not a big deal…but this isn’t the genre for dwelling on babies. It starts to become a distraction to the main plot and that’s not so cool. I mean, someone was just murdered in your inn, and the killer may still be staying at your inn, so I think you have bigger things to focus on now then if a guy you aren’t even dating yet can have children with you or not. Maybe that’s just me? There is already a lot going on in the story. It feels like something either needs to be resolved or maybe just focus on one side story at a time and switch it up every other book? Dial it back a little.

Aside from a lot going on in the side stories, I do really enjoy these characters and this series. It is a quick, fun read. The plots are always interesting and have a great hook for you to get stuck on.


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