Tag Archives: Kate Kingsbury

A day in the life of Melanie West by Kate Kingsbury

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.

I think.

Wishing all of you comfort and joy in the upcoming months!

Kate Kingsbury


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.

A day in the life of Liza Harris by Kate Kingsbury

dead-and-breakfastI suppose I should start by introducing myself. My name is Liza Harris, and I’m on the wrong side of seventy. When my husband died, I decided to invest his insurance money in a bed and breakfast inn. I found this hundred years old house for sale in one of the most beautiful spots on Oregon’s rocky coast. I fell in love with it and in a mad moment bought the thing. Okay, so I’m impulsive. What can I say?

It wasn’t until after the sale had gone through that I realized I had serious renovations to do before people would actually pay to sleep there. My granddaughter had recently gone through a messy divorce, and I knew she was miserable, so I suggested she quit her job in Portland and come into partnership with me. She had a sizeable settlement to invest, so that worked out well. Melanie is still in her thirties, which is a good thing, considering the tasks we have taken on.

We decided to save money by doing the work ourselves. At least, I was the one who made the decision. It took some persuading before Melanie agreed. Then again, I’m British, and we Brits don’t give up on anything. Melanie says I could sell an electric blanket to a snowman. It’s a strange partnership, when you think about it. There’s the difference in our ages, for one thing, though most of the time I forget I’m more than forty years older than my granddaughter, until I get too ambitious and my bones complain. In my mind I’m still Melanie’s age, and it annoys me no end when my body won’t act accordingly. But I digress.

We started by taking down the ugly wallpaper in one of the bedrooms. We didn’t get very far. I found a door hidden in the wall and when I opened it, I got the shock of my life. There was a skeleton lying on the floor! No, I’m not kidding. A real live skeleton. No, wait. Of course it wasn’t live. You know what I mean.

Anyway, we called the police, and a very charming young man showed up. I do love a man in uniform. My husband was in a military uniform when I met him. He was an American, stationed in England, which is how I ended up in Oregon. I’ve lived here more than twice as long as I lived in the U.K. and I’m proud to say I am now an American citizen. People still comment on my accent, though I don’t realize I have one until someone mentions it. Okay, I digress again – a bad habit of mine.

Where was I? Oh, yes, the handsome cop. Well, what with Melanie being divorced, and Ben Carter, the cop, also divorced, you can see where this is going, can’t you? Only Mel is dead set against getting involved with another man. Her ex is a jerk (I love these American words) or, as we say in England, a rotten bugger. Plus he caused an accident that destroyed Melanie’s most precious dream, and she’s not about to trust another man. Not that I blame her, but I want her to have the same kind of happiness I had with her grandfather. I miss my Frank more than I can say, but I don’t regret one moment of our life together. Anyway, one of my goals in life is to see Mel happily married.

“What? The skeleton? Oh, yes. About that. Well, we found out the body was the wife of the late owner of the house. The police put the second floor off limits and since it was a cold case, put the whole thing on hold while they took care of a major murder case. Naturally, I wasn’t about to take that lying down. Especially since it meant we had to postpone our opening. So Mel and I did some investigating of our own. Meanwhile, we discovered that the house is haunted – by a ghost that moves stuff around and laughs a lot. What happened after all that will freeze your toenails.

Things have calmed down a bit since then. We are enjoying cooking breakfast for our guests, and even share a recipe now and then. Stop by and see us sometime. You’ll enjoy your visit. You might even get to hear Orville, our laughing ghost. Other than that, things are peaceful at the Merry Ghost Inn. For now.

Wishing all of you the happiest of new years,
Kate Kingsbury


DEAD AND BREAKFAST is the first book in the NEW Merry Ghost Inn mystery series published by Crooked Lane Books, January 2017.

Melanie 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.

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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 Dead and Breakfast, the first book in Kate’s brand new series, The Merry Ghost Inn Mysteries, debuting in January 2017, where murders abound at the bed and breakfast inn on the Oregon coast. You can find Kate’s website at www.doreenrobertshight.com.

All comments are welcomed.

My Musing ~ Dead and Breakfast by Kate Kingsbury

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.