by Sandra Murphy
This week we have reviews of 2 mysteries from Crooked Lane authors perfect for your Halloween reading, as they involve haunting and ghosts-Death Overdue: A Haunted Library Mystery by Allison Brook, and Doom with a View: A Merry Ghost Inn Mystery by Kate Kingsbury. Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of both books, and links to purchase them from Amazon.
Death Overdue: A Haunted Library Mystery by Alison Brook
Review by Sandra Murphy
Carrie Singleton moved back to Clover Ridge, Connecticut, temporarily. She’s staying with Uncle Bosco and Aunt Harriet. Her mind’s just about made up to move on when she receives an offer of a full-time job at the library—in charge of programs and events. It promises to be a fun job so she decides to give it a try.
Carrie is surprised to see an elderly woman, Evelyn Havers, mainly because Evelyn died years ago. Only Carrie can see the ghost. While most people would scream and run, Carrie takes the news calmly and is able to consult with Evelyn, a former library employee, when her job is confusing.
Her first event is a talk by former police detective, Al Buckley. He investigated the death of Laura Foster but was unable to solve the case, partly due to personal problems of his own. Now he claims to have figured out who the killer is and is writing a book about it. His talk starts with the audience remembering Laura’s life, the good and the bad. One woman swears Laura was having an affair, not nice to reveal in front of family and friends.
As Al listens to their comments, he has coffee and cookies. Before he can start his part of the program, he collapses and is pronounced dead. Was it natural causes and bad timing or did he flush out the killer who took the opportunity to do him in before he could reveal who did it?
Carrie feels awful. Although she only knew Al for a few minutes, he died during her event. Carrie befriends Laura’s son, Jared, to see what they can discover. The oldest son, Ryan, the one with anger management issues, wants to forget about all of it. Bryce, the widower, seems to have moved on now that Helena is back in town. Helena and Lloyd were friends of the couple before Laura’s death. If Laura had an affair, why didn’t Helena know who the man was? Could he be a suspect too?
Jared isn’t much help in investigating. Carrie feels like she’s becoming too involved with the whole family. The more she learns about Laura’s life, the more she wants to know who killed the woman.
This is the first book in the series. Carrie is someone you’d like to have for a friend. The events she plans are a lot of fun (chefs are scheduled, so maybe recipes next time?) Her aunt and uncle are loving but try to give her space as she moves into her own cottage. Carrie’s landlord promises to add intrigue and possibly romance. The addition of the ghost lets Carrie bounce around ideas about the killer without putting herself in danger.
The mystery is a good one. Readers will look forward to what’s next for Carrie (and there’s a cat!)
Doom with a View: A Merry Ghost Inn Mystery by Kate Kingsbury
Review by Sandra Murphy
The Merry Ghost Inn, a B&B, is finally open for business. A fire and renovations caused a lot of worry but now the first guests have arrived. Four women, two men, comprise a reading group from a senior center in Portland.
Joe seems protective of Gloria. Walter is a pain in the patoot, griping about everything and heckling the entertainment, a self-taught magician named Nick. He’s Cindi’s boyfriend, she’s the morning help for breakfast and getting rooms fluffed and buffed. Beatrice is the oldest and most frail. Sisters Eileen and Amy make up the rest of the group.
Melanie and her grandmother Liza are the proprietors. There are rumors that the inn is haunted by a ghost, but no one is sure just who it is or if it’s real. Some of the guests hear laughter late at night; others hear nothing.
Max the dog has squirrel patrol duty. When his barking won’t stop, Melanie goes to quiet him and instead of spotting a taunting squirrel, she finds Walter’s body. He’s fallen from the upstairs balcony. She can’t help but panic at the thought of being liable for his death due to a problem with the railing.
Good for the inn, still bad for Walter and the other guests, the police find the railing had been sawed partly through. Was Walter the intended victim or was his death random?
Considering how calmly everyone takes the news, it’s apparent no one is mourning him. With a new batch of guests due to arrive on Sunday, Melanie and Liza must help the police however they can to find the murderer in time to clean the rooms, paste on happy smiles, and put out the welcome mat.
This is the second in the series. Melanie and Liza are people you’d want to meet. Liza’s from England and would provide you with breakfast dishes that are both new and delicious. Melanie shares her recipe for lemon poppy seed muffins at the back of the book. There’s also the mystery of Melanie’s mother. She disappeared without a trace years ago. A touch of romance between Melanie and Ben the policeman also adds to the story.
For more enjoyable mysteries, read Kingsbury’s other series—Pennyfoot Hotel mysteries and the Manor House series for a change of pace.
To enter to win a copy of both of these books, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “crooked lane,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen November 4, 2017. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.
Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section.
You can also use these links to purchase the book on Amazon. If you have ad blocker on you may not see the link:
Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases using those links. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.