Dead and Breakfast by Kate Kingsbury is the first book in the NEW “Merry Ghost Inn” mystery series. Publisher: Crooked Lane Books, January 10, 2017

dead-and-breakfastMelanie West is getting her life back on track after a messy divorce when her grandmother, Liza Harris, asks her to open a B&B with her. Together, Liza and Melanie purchase a purportedly haunted mansion on the Oregon coast and jump right into clearing out the cobwebs. But while attempting to remove wallpaper in an upstairs bedroom, the new B&B owners stumble upon a very real skeleton in their closet.

The police suspect the skeleton is that of the wife of the previous owner of the B&B, but no one in town seems to want to say much about her. As the inn owners try to juggle renovations with their own amateur investigations, their grand opening looms closer and closer–and a friendly ghost in their walls starts playing tricks. But it all comes crashing to a halt when a new body is found stabbed to death on the beach below the inn–the victim chillingly close in resemblance to Melanie herself.

It seems someone doesn’t appreciate newcomers prying into the small town’s past, and now it’s up to Melanie and Liza to get to the bottom of these murders to save their business. . .and their lives.

We are introduced to Melanie West and her grandmother Liza Harris who are the new owners of a B&B. The surprise that awaits them during their remodeling stage is what precipitates their role of amateur sleuth in this debut series, especially when the police puts this discovery on the back burner, hindering their upcoming opening.

Any book that captures my attention from beginning to the end is definitely a keeper and this fits the bill. This story was hard to put down, quickly became a page-turner, as I had to know what was going to happen as the story progressed towards its conclusion. The writing style and comfortable tone made the story flow with a nice pacing between the chapters. The author did a great job in presenting this mystery where the main characters all played pivotal roles in how this was staged. It was fun watching this dynamic duo seek information that would lead to the person responsible while tackling disappearing items, a laughing ghost, another murder that may or may not be connected and threats to their livelihood. The sub-plot with Melanie and her search is very intriguing and I hope there’s a resolution to it. Boasting a lovable cast of characters, engaging conversation and a small-town atmosphere, this was an enjoyable read and I look forward to more stories in this delightfully charming series.

FTC Full Disclosure – I received a digital ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley.

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