This is the first book in our A to Z Mystery Tour through the public library. I will be choosing one book from a mystery series from each shelf in my library’s mystery section, in alphabetical order by author, and reviewing it here. I have added the remaining titles in the Book Retreat Mysteries under Series in Order in the menu.
Ellery Adams 2014 – The Book Retreat Mysteries #1
Jane Steward is a widowed mother of twin boys and manager of Storyton Hall, a book-themed resort hotel. During Jane’s long-anticipated Murder and Mayhem Week there is a real murder (gasp!), which means Jane is forced to run interference with merchants, guests, staff, and the twins while doing some sleuthing of her own and keeping her eccentric Aunt Octavia and Uncle Aloysius Steward, who own the resort, calm and safe.
The story moves along cozily, as cozies will do – but soon enough there’s a completely unexpected twist that makes the prospect of reading all eight books in this series much more intriguing. Without the twist, Murder in the Mystery Suite would warrant 3, maybe 3.5 stars; the overriding theme definitely deserves a step up to 4 stars.
At 276 pages in the mass market edition, this is a book one can finish easily in a few days. One nice touch: the hotel staff and town merchants are listed at the front of the book for easy reference. There’s a well-placed little hook at the very end of the tale that sets the stage for an interesting Book Two. Would I read the next book in the series? Yes! You will too, and you might even start to think about opening your own book resort. I know I am!