Ringing in Murder
by Kate Kingsbury

The Berkley Publishing Group, 2008. ISBN 978-0-425-22399-4.
Reviewed by Rhonda Esakov
Posted on 11/03/2008

Fiction: Mystery

Just in time for the holiday season, Kate Kingsbury has released her latest in the Pennyfoot Hotel series, Ringing in Murder. It's the winter holiday season in the early 1900's and everyone at the Pennyfoot Hotel, on England's south coast, is full of cheer. The staff rush about to decorate and prepare the various feasts for the holidays. The owner and manager, Cecily Sinclair Baxter, also has the added pleasure, of preparing for her friend Madeline's wedding, "knowing quite well that her friend would much rather have been married privately in the woods with only the birds and woodland creatures in attendance."

Against all hopes to the contrary, the annual Christmas curse on the Pennyfoot Hotel has returned. First, two of the exclusively designed Christmas crackers disappear; then a pair of guests is killed in a seemingly accidental fire at the hotel. To add some fun to the story, a mysteriously mobile snowman seems to be playing tricks on some of the staff.

Cecily has to investigate all the unusual events if she is to prevent more disasters that would mar the holiday festivities and the all important wedding. Not trusting the local constabulary with the investigation, the unlikely sleuth soon uncovers clues that point to a possible murderer. Will she discover the truth in time to prevent more deaths and help her friend get through the pre-wedding jitters and celebrate her nuptials? And what in the world is the meaning of the silly snowman that seems to move around outdoors and spook the staff? The characters are fun with their spot on old English vocabulary and various superstitions and neuroses. You will enjoy this fun frolic in the snow in Merry Olde England.

Kate Kingsbury, aka Doreen Roberts Hight, aka Rebecca Kent, has written dozens of romance, cozies and novels under her various pen names. She was born in England and immigrated to America where she met the love of her life and married. With her second love, a cute little rat terrier that rules the household, they make their home in Oregon. Visit the author's web site.

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