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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Book Review: Dead and Breakfast: A Merry Ghost Inn Mystery by Kate Kingsbury

As I hoped, this is a light, enjoyable cozy mystery.
Dead and Breakfast: A Merry Ghost Inn Mystery
by Kate Kingsbury

File Size: 2222 KB
Print Length: 288 pages
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (January 10, 2017)
Genre: Cozy Mystery
My Rating: 4.25 of 5.0

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

Melanie has moved away from the city and a stressful divorce. She has joined her grandmother, Liza, to open a B&B in a purportedly haunted mansion in a small town on the Oregon coast. Rumor is the ghost is a laughing ghost, causing Liza to pick the name: The Merry Ghost Inn. There is plenty of remodeling to complete but as they begin to remove wallpaper they discover a hidden closet with a skeleton.

The police think the victim might be the wife of the previous owner, a woman who has been missing for many years. Before the lead detective can get very far into the investigation he is called away to a current day murder. Melanie and Liza are juggling the renovations hoping they can complete them within their tight budget and in time to open for the upcoming season. The closed off room is off limits and might impede their efforts to have the Inn ready on time.

Liza and Melanie decide to do some sleuthing on their own. They discover that the town folk are rather tight lipped about the missing woman. Still, when they discover one lead, it leads into more and before long they have several suspects. The situation becomes more difficult as Melanie spies her ex-husband driving in town and runs into him at a party where he makes it clear he wants her back. Melanie begins to have some near miss accidents from a car that is suspiciously like her ex’s. Then a woman who looks a lot like Melanie from the back is killed on the beach near the Inn.

Melanie adopts the murdered woman’s dog, Max, who was with his mistress on the beach and now has his own traumas to recover from. It appears that someone may be trying to scare the ladies off the investigation, and if that doesn’t work maybe fire will. Meanwhile someone -- or maybe the merry ghost -- is laughing and playing tricks by moving objects in the house.

Liza, in her mid-fifties, and Melanie, in her early thirties, make a good pair and likeable characters. Max is a nice addition and there may be some romance in the future as Liza is playing at a little match making.

The story moves along at a quick pace, with light humor and hints of the ghost mystery. The killer was not my first (or second) guess, which I thought was well done by the author. This is a fine example of “cozy mystery” and I recommend it to those who enjoy the genre. I would like to read more in the series and learn more about the Merry Ghost.

I received this title in December from the publisher through NetGalley. It qualifies for my 2017 NetGalley Challenge, 2017 TBR and “D” in my 2017 Alphabet Challenge.


  1. Sounds like a fun read - especially the haunted B&B aspect :)

  2. I love a cute cozy mystery---thanks for bringing this book to my attention.

  3. This sounds adorable and this is now the second time I've seen it today so that may be a sign I need to add it to the TBR!


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