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Just Desserts

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When the garishly grotesque clan of wealthy carpet-sweeper magnate Otto Broadie sweeps down upon Judith McMonigle's Hillside Manor Inn, it looks like there'll be a wild night of drinking, dining, and fortune-telling in the offing. But when their soothsayer-for-hire Madame Gushenka drops dead after someone douses her tea leaves with bug killer, harried hostess Judith and he When the garishly grotesque clan of wealthy carpet-sweeper magnate Otto Broadie sweeps down upon Judith McMonigle's Hillside Manor Inn, it looks like there'll be a wild night of drinking, dining, and fortune-telling in the offing. But when their soothsayer-for-hire Madame Gushenka drops dead after someone douses her tea leaves with bug killer, harried hostess Judith and her irrepressible cousin Renie are left to clean up the mess. One of the Brodie bunch would dearly love to sweep the Madame's murder under the rug, however, and that might mean eliminating the nosy Ms. McMonigle as well. But with the help of her one-time beau, policeman Joe Flynn, Judith is determined to rattle the dust off some closeted family skeletons, in order to coax a killer out of hiding before coffee is served.


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When the garishly grotesque clan of wealthy carpet-sweeper magnate Otto Broadie sweeps down upon Judith McMonigle's Hillside Manor Inn, it looks like there'll be a wild night of drinking, dining, and fortune-telling in the offing. But when their soothsayer-for-hire Madame Gushenka drops dead after someone douses her tea leaves with bug killer, harried hostess Judith and he When the garishly grotesque clan of wealthy carpet-sweeper magnate Otto Broadie sweeps down upon Judith McMonigle's Hillside Manor Inn, it looks like there'll be a wild night of drinking, dining, and fortune-telling in the offing. But when their soothsayer-for-hire Madame Gushenka drops dead after someone douses her tea leaves with bug killer, harried hostess Judith and her irrepressible cousin Renie are left to clean up the mess. One of the Brodie bunch would dearly love to sweep the Madame's murder under the rug, however, and that might mean eliminating the nosy Ms. McMonigle as well. But with the help of her one-time beau, policeman Joe Flynn, Judith is determined to rattle the dust off some closeted family skeletons, in order to coax a killer out of hiding before coffee is served.

30 review for Just Desserts

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kasia

    First in the famous Mary Daheim Bed & Breakfast Inn series, this is a must read for cozy mystery lovers because it's a truly delightful experience! There's the perfect atmosphere and ambiance, Inn full of crazy family members with hidden agendas, secrets, affairs - you name it, and all that topped with healthy servings of delicious food, mouth wateringly described through out the book, it was enough to keep me glued to the book but the mystery itself was so entertaining and had so many clues tha First in the famous Mary Daheim Bed & Breakfast Inn series, this is a must read for cozy mystery lovers because it's a truly delightful experience! There's the perfect atmosphere and ambiance, Inn full of crazy family members with hidden agendas, secrets, affairs - you name it, and all that topped with healthy servings of delicious food, mouth wateringly described through out the book, it was enough to keep me glued to the book but the mystery itself was so entertaining and had so many clues that it was the star of the book. The story reminded me of my favorite type of Agatha Christie mystery; house full of guests/family members who are somehow involved in a murder, but no one knows who did it. Close family ties through marriage and blood make it tougher of a crime to be solved since one of the dear members is the killer, but whom? Widowed Judith is running the Inn with the occasional help of her grumpy mother Gertrude and help from her good friend and cousin Renie and the last thing she needs is a murder on the grounds. When a celebrity couple Otto and Oriana drop in with their grown offspring and other family members, she is pestered for fancy liquors and creative cooking with requests for cream puffs for dessert. All goes well during the family dinner until Madame Gushenka, card reader and entertainer hired by Oriana drops dead mid sentence. Upon closer inspection some truth comes out that shines new light on the crime and people guilty of being related to it. This was such a creative and twisted plot, very original and a total blast to follow. I adore cozy mysteries, they are best savored in one or two sittings, short and sweet they make ma laugh and brainstorm and I rarely figure out the culprit but it's so much fun following the clues - and there are tons here - to see who the killer is. One of the best parts was how zany the Inn guests were! Each was memorable and interesting whether flawed or not and it made for a fun read. The only complaint I have is how the mystery was solved, I felt that the reader never got some of the info and it appeared magically at the end, making sense but something I couldn't catch on my own. I all ready started getting the other books in the series and will read them in order, mmm.. can't wait! - Kasia S.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Gizzard

    This book took at least a month to read and I found myself very bored at times. Since it was on my tablet kindle app, I felt the need to finish it. Although the heroine is written to appear a normal woman, she baffled me and in the end, I did not like her too much. Calling another human stupid, to their face or even under your breath..., her past with her husband, her relationship with her mother and how she talks and thinks of her, and then there is the foreshadowing at the end. And the book dra This book took at least a month to read and I found myself very bored at times. Since it was on my tablet kindle app, I felt the need to finish it. Although the heroine is written to appear a normal woman, she baffled me and in the end, I did not like her too much. Calling another human stupid, to their face or even under your breath..., her past with her husband, her relationship with her mother and how she talks and thinks of her, and then there is the foreshadowing at the end. And the book dragged on forever. The mystery and solution was ok, and of course in these books you must completely suspend reality, but even so, I really dislike books based on complete coincidences. Since first books like tv pilots can be very different than the rest of the series, I'll probably try another if it ends up in my hands (and is free).

  3. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    Just Desserts by Mary Daheim is a 1991 publication. This is the first book is the long running Bed & Breakfast cozy mystery series by Mary Daheim. With the thirtieth installment set to release soon, I thought it would be fun to go back to the very beginning to see how far the series has progressed. I will confess that I have been much more diligent in following Mary’s “Emma Lord- Alpine” series, than this one, and I have not read every book in the series, but have skipped around here and there wi Just Desserts by Mary Daheim is a 1991 publication. This is the first book is the long running Bed & Breakfast cozy mystery series by Mary Daheim. With the thirtieth installment set to release soon, I thought it would be fun to go back to the very beginning to see how far the series has progressed. I will confess that I have been much more diligent in following Mary’s “Emma Lord- Alpine” series, than this one, and I have not read every book in the series, but have skipped around here and there with it. However, I’m familiar with the characters and the set up and it’s always fun to drop in at Hillside Manor Inn from time to time. This first book introduces us to Judith and her cousin, Renie, who end up embroiled in the most unusual murder mystery at the Hillside Manor Inn. To make matters even more uncomfortable, Judith’s former fiancé, Joe, is the lead investigator on the case, which stirs up some painful feelings between them, but could also lead to Joe discovering a huge secret that Judith has been keeping for over twenty years. The mystery in this case is over the top and to say it is implausible in putting it mildly, but at the same time it was fun to see these characters before the series truly developed because it gives me a greater appreciation of the later installments. The author basically jumps right in without giving the reader a lot of background on Judith, Renie, or Joe. We learn a little more about how Joe and Judith’s wedding was thwarted, but not enough to give us an explanation of why the wrong was not righted a long time ago. So, I found this area rather puzzling. However, the trademark quirky characters that drive Judith and Renie crazy are all here, and gets the series launched, although, looking back on it, it was built on a rather shaky foundation. Still, that just goes to show you, it always pays to stick with a series for at least three installments before deciding to stick with it or to let it go. Since these books are quick and easy reads, I think I will read a few more of them in order to get a good solid opinion of the series as a whole before diving into the latest chapter, which releases in April, especially since I’ve only checked in with it sporadically. So stay tuned.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Barbara ★

    I had major issues with this book. Starting with the main character - what a bitch. She berates and disparages her mother (granted she's a cranky old lady, but she's her mother); she abuses her cat whom she appears to hate; she is rude to her guests. The police work was beyond lame. The ambulance drivers diagnose poison with zero evidence and then the cops proceed to lock the guest in the B&B and proceed to eat and drink the food. The cop keeps all the guest sequestered together before he questio I had major issues with this book. Starting with the main character - what a bitch. She berates and disparages her mother (granted she's a cranky old lady, but she's her mother); she abuses her cat whom she appears to hate; she is rude to her guests. The police work was beyond lame. The ambulance drivers diagnose poison with zero evidence and then the cops proceed to lock the guest in the B&B and proceed to eat and drink the food. The cop keeps all the guest sequestered together before he questions them. Yup that's definitely how it works in the real world. The cops even move into the inn as well. WTH? And solving the crime was just as ridiculous. Judith figures it all out but unfortunately it's all supposition with not a lick of evidence. If Judith hadn't been attacked in her car, they wouldn't have even been able to arrest the "murderer". And what kind of car actually has a stereo that can record? I've never heard of such a thing in my life. How convenient and not even remotely believable. Definitely not a series I will be continuing.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Tari

    I had heard of this series before and when one of the online book clubs I'm in decided on it for their book this month, I thought now was as good of a time as any to try it out. Oh my goodness, what a three-ring circus Judith had on her hands with this set of B&B guests. It was so funny sometimes. I loved the author's writing style and how she described people. Renie, Judith's cousin was a hoot! And the patriarch of the group of guests was a real character! There was a lot going on and quite a f I had heard of this series before and when one of the online book clubs I'm in decided on it for their book this month, I thought now was as good of a time as any to try it out. Oh my goodness, what a three-ring circus Judith had on her hands with this set of B&B guests. It was so funny sometimes. I loved the author's writing style and how she described people. Renie, Judith's cousin was a hoot! And the patriarch of the group of guests was a real character! There was a lot going on and quite a few characters, so a few times I was a little confused, but I still didn't guess the killer. The showdown was really good, and now I'm rooting for Joe and Judith to get together!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Erica Chaillot

    This book was okay. I have many books in this series, so I will continue to read. Judith, Renee, and Joe are likable characters. Judith runs an interesting bed and breakfast. I’m hoping the plots get more detailed and that the character development grows (as it often does in a series). A decent start to a long running series.

  7. 4 out of 5

    FicusFan

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. First book in a series. Set in the pacific northwest in a bed and breakfast. Extremely lame. The ambulance attendants determine a person has been poisoned rather than had a heart attack, though there are no symptoms, or anything lying around to deduce that from. The police sequester everyone in the B&B, because of the poisoning, but never check the food, or the liquor, or prevent the remaining guests and staff from eating and drinking. In fact the police join them in eating and drinking. The main c First book in a series. Set in the pacific northwest in a bed and breakfast. Extremely lame. The ambulance attendants determine a person has been poisoned rather than had a heart attack, though there are no symptoms, or anything lying around to deduce that from. The police sequester everyone in the B&B, because of the poisoning, but never check the food, or the liquor, or prevent the remaining guests and staff from eating and drinking. In fact the police join them in eating and drinking. The main character, the B&B owner, and her side kick cousin are busybodies. They are eavesdropping and sneaking around to listen in on their guests in person, and on the telephone, even before there is a murder. Ick. They have a cat that they hope gets killed, a smoking, cranky granny in a walker, and the guests are worse. This was a RL book group read and not a series I will be continuing with.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly

    I couldn't get into the groove of reading this. There were too many characters to keep up with. Maybe I just didn't care enough about them to want to keep up. And what was up with Judith solving the case and Joe being okay with it? I couldn't get into the groove of reading this. There were too many characters to keep up with. Maybe I just didn't care enough about them to want to keep up. And what was up with Judith solving the case and Joe being okay with it?

  9. 5 out of 5

    Debra

    Nice, but I prefer the Emma Lord series. This may grow on me as I keep reading.

  10. 4 out of 5

    ☺Trish

    The main character calling her cousin Renie (who is also her best friend) "stupid" kind of put me off. The behavior of her cranky, walker/wheelchair-bound mother was also more annoying than hilarious. And what is up with the love/hate relationship with the cat? The mystery was okay, enough that I would try a few other books in the series to see if the characters improve. The main character calling her cousin Renie (who is also her best friend) "stupid" kind of put me off. The behavior of her cranky, walker/wheelchair-bound mother was also more annoying than hilarious. And what is up with the love/hate relationship with the cat? The mystery was okay, enough that I would try a few other books in the series to see if the characters improve.

  11. 5 out of 5

    MaryAnn (EmilyD1037)

    This is my first read by this author. It is also the first book in her bed and breakfast mystery series. I give it a 3.5. I liked it enough to continue the series.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Audrey

    This started off with a style similar to a culinary mystery series, such as those by Isis Crawford or Joanna Fluke. At first I thought it was better-written than those, but it went downhill quickly. The characters are flat and too unremarkable to easily remember who is who among the secondaries, the plot quickly spiraled into the bizarre, the little love story somehow managed to be both overly sappy and underdeveloped at the same time, and it utterly failed to be gripping. This is probably the f This started off with a style similar to a culinary mystery series, such as those by Isis Crawford or Joanna Fluke. At first I thought it was better-written than those, but it went downhill quickly. The characters are flat and too unremarkable to easily remember who is who among the secondaries, the plot quickly spiraled into the bizarre, the little love story somehow managed to be both overly sappy and underdeveloped at the same time, and it utterly failed to be gripping. This is probably the first murder mystery I've ever read in which I really didn't care who did it. Two starts because the book does get off to a halfway decent start. But I won't be reading the rest - especially since, unlike bad culinary mysteries, they don't even have recipes to redeem them.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Abigail

    What an interesting start to a series! I have been looking for a new mystery series for a while, and this is the most appealing by far. The dialogue was witty and enjoyable, although at times it sounded as if Judith and the detective were from another era... It was not a perfect plot, but it had curious twists and turns that were fun to follow, and the cast was certainly a crew of characters and caricatures. Ms. Daheim takes the time at the end of the book to tie up the loose ends and fill in an What an interesting start to a series! I have been looking for a new mystery series for a while, and this is the most appealing by far. The dialogue was witty and enjoyable, although at times it sounded as if Judith and the detective were from another era... It was not a perfect plot, but it had curious twists and turns that were fun to follow, and the cast was certainly a crew of characters and caricatures. Ms. Daheim takes the time at the end of the book to tie up the loose ends and fill in any blanks left by incomplete leads, which is a rarity among cozy mysteries - either because unfulfilled leads are simply forgotten or the plot never reaches that level of complexity. I hope the rest of the series is as enjoyable!

  14. 5 out of 5

    VJ

    Again, this is a series where I read books out of order. I think this author gets better with time, but this was a passable first in a series novel. Each book stands alone, but the characters develop throughout the series. I found this book mildly amusing without going overboard or falling into using contrived coincidences to further the plot. The author so eloquently captured the arrogance of the wealthy residents in a small town setting and threw in just enough local color and plot twists to m Again, this is a series where I read books out of order. I think this author gets better with time, but this was a passable first in a series novel. Each book stands alone, but the characters develop throughout the series. I found this book mildly amusing without going overboard or falling into using contrived coincidences to further the plot. The author so eloquently captured the arrogance of the wealthy residents in a small town setting and threw in just enough local color and plot twists to make an interesting read. If you like cozy mysteries that aren't contrived or if you enjoy a bit of meddling coupled with some dumb luck...you will like this author.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    This is my first book my Mary Daheim and I had a really hard time getting into it. Too many secondary characters are introduced quickly with little to separate them, so throughout the book I was struggling to keep people straight. It was so convoluted when they finally revealed the murderer I had to stop and think about who that person was in the story. The main character, Judith, was so unlikable. She was nasty to her mother and her cousin who was helping her out. I don't really care what happen This is my first book my Mary Daheim and I had a really hard time getting into it. Too many secondary characters are introduced quickly with little to separate them, so throughout the book I was struggling to keep people straight. It was so convoluted when they finally revealed the murderer I had to stop and think about who that person was in the story. The main character, Judith, was so unlikable. She was nasty to her mother and her cousin who was helping her out. I don't really care what happens to Judith. Sadly, I do own some of the later books, but I'm not sure if I'll be reading them or just getting rid of them.

  16. 4 out of 5

    audrey

    A great example of how some really solid series have a less-than-stellar debut. There was some seriously wtf-y policework going down along with Herculean leaps of logic and cat abuse, but I did like that Joe Flynn appears to be the only cop in recent crime fiction memory who doesn't get obsessed with a case but is all OH HEY FIVE O'CLOCK DONE NOW. Then lets Judith solve everything for him. Speaking of which, I was not at all happy to see Judith letting everyone browbeat her into a tiny pulp. Sev A great example of how some really solid series have a less-than-stellar debut. There was some seriously wtf-y policework going down along with Herculean leaps of logic and cat abuse, but I did like that Joe Flynn appears to be the only cop in recent crime fiction memory who doesn't get obsessed with a case but is all OH HEY FIVE O'CLOCK DONE NOW. Then lets Judith solve everything for him. Speaking of which, I was not at all happy to see Judith letting everyone browbeat her into a tiny pulp. Several people in this book needed a sharp slap, or at least a word upside the ear. But Renie is in lovely fine form here too, so all was not lost.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Linda Smatzny

    This is the first book in the Bed - And - Breakfast Mystery series. The main character is Judith McMonigle who runs a Bed & Breadfast out of her family home. She is just starting her business so when a murder occurs she wants answers fast. The police detective investigating the murder is a former boyfriend which brings up feelings she would rather forget. I really enjoyed the characters and can't wait to read more adventures featuring them. It was a fast easy read. This is the first book in the Bed - And - Breakfast Mystery series. The main character is Judith McMonigle who runs a Bed & Breadfast out of her family home. She is just starting her business so when a murder occurs she wants answers fast. The police detective investigating the murder is a former boyfriend which brings up feelings she would rather forget. I really enjoyed the characters and can't wait to read more adventures featuring them. It was a fast easy read.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    I found the characters kind of hard to keep straight, they were all introduced rather quickly, but the story was quirky and enjoyable to read. A fortune teller, hired by the wife/mother of the family ends up dead at a night being spent in a B&B as the family mansion is being fumigated. There are no shortages of candidates for who done it. An easy read.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    A fun, little mystery. I enjoyed it even more so because my supervisor is dating a man named Joe Flynn. The primary police officer in the book is named Joe Flynn.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Monica

    Started reading didn't like the main character. Started reading didn't like the main character.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lana

    Not enough depth into main characters-could not bond with them or even get to know them.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Genevieve Bomes

    When the garishly grotesque clan of wealthy carpet-sweeper magnate Otto Broadie sweeps down upon Judith McMonigle's Hillside Manor Inn, it looks like there'll be a wild night of drinking, dining, and fortune-telling in the offing. But when their soothsayer-for-hire Madame Gushenka drops dead after someone douses her tea leaves with bug killer, harried hostess Judith and her irrepressible cousin Renie are left to clean up the mess. One of the Brodie bunch would dearly love to sweep the Madame's m When the garishly grotesque clan of wealthy carpet-sweeper magnate Otto Broadie sweeps down upon Judith McMonigle's Hillside Manor Inn, it looks like there'll be a wild night of drinking, dining, and fortune-telling in the offing. But when their soothsayer-for-hire Madame Gushenka drops dead after someone douses her tea leaves with bug killer, harried hostess Judith and her irrepressible cousin Renie are left to clean up the mess. One of the Brodie bunch would dearly love to sweep the Madame's murder under the rug, however, and that might mean eliminating the nosy Ms. McMonigle as well. But with the help of her one-time beau, policeman Joe Flynn, Judith is determined to rattle the dust off some closeted family skeletons, in order to coax a killer out of hiding before coffee is served. This is a great start to a new series. I love the characters of Judith and her cousin. Plus I am very much on board for Judith waiting for Joe no matter what he did in their past. The story line is great and her way of describing the little things adds flavor and interest to the book. Definetly going to read the next book.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Cooper

    I couldn't get into this whodunit. The author proceeds to vomit up every little detail and backstory in the first 20 pages. Then we're introduced to, I don't know how many characters, as I lost count at 8. They all sounded the same and couldn't differentiate one from another and I got tired of going back to figure out who was talking. Judith, the main character, is a bitch with a capital B! She hates her cat and treats him like a disposable toy. She treats her cousin, who is doing her a huge fav I couldn't get into this whodunit. The author proceeds to vomit up every little detail and backstory in the first 20 pages. Then we're introduced to, I don't know how many characters, as I lost count at 8. They all sounded the same and couldn't differentiate one from another and I got tired of going back to figure out who was talking. Judith, the main character, is a bitch with a capital B! She hates her cat and treats him like a disposable toy. She treats her cousin, who is doing her a huge favor, like a peasant and treats her guests even worse. Who the hell would want to go to a B&B and be treated like crap by the hostess?? The policing is a joke. Readers have become more sophisticated when it comes to police investigations and methods of killing and this "mystery" must think the readers are stupid or just willing to go along with absolute nonsense. I had another in this series but this one put me off reading any additional by this author. Obviously there is an audience for this series, but it's not my cup of tea at all.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Christina

    I picked up a couple of books in this series many years ago at a library sale when I was studying the cozy mystery genre, not realizing they were part of a series. I’ve never read Daheim, and thought better to start with book 1, so borrowed this from the library. I got about 1/4 through, but decided I wasn’t enjoying it enough to finish. In part, it’s a product of 1991 when it was written, which gives it a hint if a historical feel, which was fine. But the abusive attitude toward animals (the he I picked up a couple of books in this series many years ago at a library sale when I was studying the cozy mystery genre, not realizing they were part of a series. I’ve never read Daheim, and thought better to start with book 1, so borrowed this from the library. I got about 1/4 through, but decided I wasn’t enjoying it enough to finish. In part, it’s a product of 1991 when it was written, which gives it a hint if a historical feel, which was fine. But the abusive attitude toward animals (the heroine kicks her cat, and there’s a reference to dismembering a dog) and the casual sexual assaults (one of the men is constantly grabbing women in a sexual manner, and they just have to try to dodge him) were just too grating. Add to that a cast of characters I wouldn’t enjoy spending time with, and it’s just not a book for me. Even the heroine was off-putting, in part because she seems to dislike and disdain pretty much everyone. I kept pushing myself to keep reading, and it’s not that it was bad, but I wasn’t enjoying it. There are too many other books I’d rather read.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    I wa hoping for better I never want to leave negative reviews so, if I don’t like a book, I usually stop reading it once I make that decision. In this case, I continued to hope for better. With so many more books to her credit, I assume the author has a following. I have read that, as an author, you should never have more than 10 characters - now I know why. Not only was it difficult to follow who was who, I think the author lost her own plot. Somehow the book went from a family meeting with some I wa hoping for better I never want to leave negative reviews so, if I don’t like a book, I usually stop reading it once I make that decision. In this case, I continued to hope for better. With so many more books to her credit, I assume the author has a following. I have read that, as an author, you should never have more than 10 characters - now I know why. Not only was it difficult to follow who was who, I think the author lost her own plot. Somehow the book went from a family meeting with some entertainment where someone was killed to revenge for a botched surgery years before. In a good note, the actual writing was above average, which made me wade through until the end. This is the last of this author’s work I will use my precious free time reading. That said, may those who enjoy her writing continue to do so. As they say, “different strokes for different folks”.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Claudia Cheyne

    I read and enjoyed Mary Daheim's Alpine Series from A to Z so I decided to give this one a try. It was rather confusing trying to keep all the characters straight. The fact that everyone was stuck in the same dwelling as the mystery was being solved added an unusual twist to the plot line. Judith McMonigle is a widow who opened her home up as Hillside Bed & Breakfast. She is hosting a local wealthy family while their own home is being defumigated. They are having a seance as well as a planned rev I read and enjoyed Mary Daheim's Alpine Series from A to Z so I decided to give this one a try. It was rather confusing trying to keep all the characters straight. The fact that everyone was stuck in the same dwelling as the mystery was being solved added an unusual twist to the plot line. Judith McMonigle is a widow who opened her home up as Hillside Bed & Breakfast. She is hosting a local wealthy family while their own home is being defumigated. They are having a seance as well as a planned revelation of Dad's new will. It gets kind of chaotic with lots of relatives under the same roof when the medium's death is determined to be a homicide. Everyone has reasons to want her dead. Judith has to keep them all fed and reasonably happy while the police investigate, and then a snowstorm makes it impossible to travel to or from the B & B located up on the hill. It did not seem believable to me. I really didn't like the characters. I doubt that I will read any more of this series.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Melinda

    The story was really good. The writing was good. Loved the setting and characters. But there were a couple big problems for me in this book. There was a lot of name calling which I disliked. The words stupid and idiot were used too often. Another was the abuse of the cat throughout the book. Threatening it, calling it names, kicking it aside. Animal abuse is so not necessary for the story. I will read the next one in the series and hope these issues are resolved as I do like it otherwise. The au The story was really good. The writing was good. Loved the setting and characters. But there were a couple big problems for me in this book. There was a lot of name calling which I disliked. The words stupid and idiot were used too often. Another was the abuse of the cat throughout the book. Threatening it, calling it names, kicking it aside. Animal abuse is so not necessary for the story. I will read the next one in the series and hope these issues are resolved as I do like it otherwise. The author gets brownie points for mentioning my favourite childhood mystery series, "I should of just bribed her out in the kitchen but those two goofy dames were hanging around like the Bobbsey Twins."

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This was fast paced, but a little overwhelming for a first book in a series. There were too many characters that were all sleeping with each other. I had a hard time of keeping track of who went with who. Add in the fact that Dash had a bunch of different names, and it was a bit much. That aside, I enjoyed the story. I was unsure of who the murderer was as every person in the family was horrible. I am not sure how I feel about Joe; I would like to know WHY he ran off and married someone else 2 w This was fast paced, but a little overwhelming for a first book in a series. There were too many characters that were all sleeping with each other. I had a hard time of keeping track of who went with who. Add in the fact that Dash had a bunch of different names, and it was a bit much. That aside, I enjoyed the story. I was unsure of who the murderer was as every person in the family was horrible. I am not sure how I feel about Joe; I would like to know WHY he ran off and married someone else 2 weeks before her and Judith were supposed to go to Mexico and why is he leaving his wife now? I will be reading more of this series.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Teri-K

    I'll be generous and give this two stars because I didn't figure out who the culprit was. Though I don't believe it's actually possible to do what the bad guy supposedly did. And so convoluted, too! The characters were so rude to each other - including the MC - in a way that I suspect was supposed to be funny but wasn't. I think I enjoyed a few of the books later in the series, but I sure didn't care for this one. I kept wondering why our "heroine" was so mean to her cat. What did the poor anima I'll be generous and give this two stars because I didn't figure out who the culprit was. Though I don't believe it's actually possible to do what the bad guy supposedly did. And so convoluted, too! The characters were so rude to each other - including the MC - in a way that I suspect was supposed to be funny but wasn't. I think I enjoyed a few of the books later in the series, but I sure didn't care for this one. I kept wondering why our "heroine" was so mean to her cat. What did the poor animal ever do to her, anyway? I take it back, I'm rating this one star. I really didn't care for any of it.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Megan

    Ok, I'm going to be straight up here - there is no way I'm going to write a review of every book in this series. The first book sets the tone - this is a really straight up cozy mystery story. I picked it up because it was on a list of Seattle cozy stories. I am a little disappointed that the role played by the city is pretty gentle. Sure - there is some scenery - but this could be set in Colorado, or Maine, or... you know. In fact, the locations in the book are slightly disguised with different Ok, I'm going to be straight up here - there is no way I'm going to write a review of every book in this series. The first book sets the tone - this is a really straight up cozy mystery story. I picked it up because it was on a list of Seattle cozy stories. I am a little disappointed that the role played by the city is pretty gentle. Sure - there is some scenery - but this could be set in Colorado, or Maine, or... you know. In fact, the locations in the book are slightly disguised with different names, which I think is a bit weird. Anyway, you really want to know what I think of this? I'm on book 11 right now, so.... I guess it scratches the itch.

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