I will start by saying one thing – my days are never boring. What with running a bed and breakfast inn, trying to keep up with my peppy grandmother and solving a murder now and then, things can get complicated real fast. Throw in a very large, excitable dog and a ghost who laughs at the most inopportune moments, and you begin to get the picture.
My name is Melanie West, though my grandmother, Liza, calls me Mel, and together we own the Merry Ghost Inn on the Oregon coast. Yes, the inn is named for the aforementioned ghost.
You would never know Liza is in her seventies. She looks and acts at least twenty years younger than that, and has the capacity for getting us into more trouble than an igloo in a heatwave.
Take last month, for instance. It was bad enough when our dog, Max, found one of our guests lying dead in the driveway, but when the rest of our guests were suspected of murdering him, Liza was off and running on an investigation. Of course, Detective Tom Dutton wasn’t too thrilled about that. He’d already given us a lecture about interfering in police business when we found that gruesome skeleton behind a wall of the inn – but that’s another story. Liza calls the detective Grumpy Dutton. She doesn’t like him much.
Anyway, our day always starts with a mad dash to get breakfast cooked and on the tables by nine a.m. We both like cooking, and serve an assortment of quiches, frittatas, stratas, fruits, pastries and muffins, and sometimes a concoction that Liza throws together and can never repeat.
Cindi, our assistant, waits on tables, and Liza and I work in the kitchen. Cindi is very young, and very mod. She sometimes raises eyebrows with her wild outfits, but works really hard and the guests seem to like her. Max adores her, and follows her around, hoping for a treat or a pat on the head. After breakfast Cindi cleans the rooms while Liza and I tidy up the kitchen. After that, Cindi leaves for the day and we are free to indulge in our favorite pastime – solving murders.
One of the best things about our hobby, if you can call it that, besides the satisfaction of seeing justice served, is that it usually involves a very good-looking and charming police officer. Ben is divorced, like me, and we have been on a few dates.
No, we’re not serious. Much as I enjoy Ben’s company, I’m not planning on a wedding. There’s a reason for that, but you’d have to be a visitor to the inn to know what that is. Liza’s husband, my grandfather, died a few years ago. She really likes the owner of the local hardware store.
Doug, the owner, also has a small pub in the store, and we often have lunch there. Liza pretends she goes there for the wine, but I know she goes there to see Doug. They’re still at the flirting stage, but I’m expecting them to date any time now.
Anyway, let’s get back to our hobby and the dead guy in the driveway. Things got really tense when all our guests were suspects in the murder. They were all members of a reading group, and had booked for the entire week. Which was fortunate, as the investigation was taking far too long.
We were running out of time, with new guests booked and our current guests ordered not to leave. So we had to step in and solve the darn thing, right? We chased after clues with the help of Max and Orville, our laughing ghost. Oh, didn’t I tell you Orville leaves clues for us? I don’t know how he finds out these things, but since he’s invisible, I guess he can go where we can’t.
Anyway, after a series of incidents, including an “accident” on the cellar stairs and a creepy séance we held for all the guests, we eventually figured it out. We were both shocked when the killer was revealed, but I’m really glad we solved the case in time to welcome our new guests.
So, if you happen to visit the Oregon coast, stop by Sully’s Landing. You will love the little town, and the views of the rocky shore, forested mountains and miles of sandy beaches. If you call in at the Merry Ghost Inn, we’ll share a recipe or two. You might even get to hear Orville chuckling.
Don’t worry, he’s harmless.
Wishing all of you comfort and joy in the upcoming months!
You can read more about Melanie in Doom with a View, the second book in the “Merry Ghost Inn” mystery series.
With the arrival of six senior reading group members at the Merry Ghost Inn, the long-awaited Grand Opening week has finally begun for Melanie West and her grandmother, Liza. All is well with the Oregon coast-side B&B until Melanie’s dog, Max, finds the dead body of one of their guests.
Everyone at the inn immediately falls under suspicion, including the innkeepers themselves. Melanie and Liza are not sure who they can trust, and the idea of cohabitating with a murderer is enough to send chills down anyone’s spine. To make matters worse, the curmudgeonly town detective wants them to steer clear of the investigation, but doesn’t seem too inspired to solve the case in a timely fashion himself. To clear their own names and to avoid the blight on the inn’s reputation that yet another dead body will bring, Melanie and Liza dive headlong into the murder investigation.
With a little help from their chuckling ghost, Melanie and Liza dodge the detective, tip-toe around their suspicious guests, and still serve up delicious Bed & Breakfast meals on time in Kate Kingsbury’s delightful second Merry Ghost Inn mystery, Doom with a View.
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About the author
Kate grew up in London, England, and at a very early age began telling stories to her school friends while huddling in bomb shelters during the Blitz of WW II. Since then she’s written over sixty romance and mystery novels. She now lives in Oregon with her husband, Bill. Watch for Doom with a View, the second book in Kate’s popular new series, The Merry Ghost Inn Mysteries, releasing in September 2017. You can find Kate’s website at www.doreenrobertshight.com
All comments are welcomed.