TITLE: DECKED WITH FOLLY
Author: KATE KINGSBURY
PUBLISHER: BERKLEY PRIME CRIME
PUB DATE; NOVEMBER 2009
The Pennyfoot Hotel is in high spirits as the holiday season begins it's most joyous season of the year. It's also Cecily Sinclair Baxter's favorite time of the year. The Pennyfoot Hotel is Cecily's pride and joy and the staff are her children. Then murder happens at the Pennyfoot and what is worse is that the victim is Ian Rossiter who used to work at the Pennyfoot Hotel and was once engaged to Cecily's head housemaid Gertie McBride, but Ian had forgotten to tell Gertie he was already married. Long ago he lost his job at the Pennyfoot but not before Gertie had two children by him. The thing is Ian thought he was entitled to see the children and one night he shows up to see them. Gertie and Ian get into a terrible row and the next morning Ian is found dead in the duck pond.
The Constable wants Gertie arrest but with the holiday season upon them Cecily talks him into waiting to arrest Gertie until after the New Year. It seems Ian was hit on the head with one of the Pennyfoot Hotel's candsticks and then his head was in the duck pond. To make matters worse Ian's wife showsup pregnant with no place to live. Adding salt to an already open wound someone stole the head cook's ring and a couple of guest are acting quite nosey. Then a guest had jewerly stolen and the tree topper is that a new employee can't keep his hands off of Gertie and the rest of the female staff.
Slowly and methodically Cecily tries to ferret out the murderer but will her goose be cooked if he catches on that she is on to him? Cecily doesn't want murder to become a tradition at the Pennyfoot and she certainly can't lose her best help but there are more than a few surprises for Cecily this holiday season.
DECKED WITH MURDER by Kate Kingsbury is a traditional historical mystery with all the trimmings. Murder has never been so charming and has never been such a pleasure to read.
********* I give this one nine out of ten stars.
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