Tuesday, May 26, 2015
Murder in the Mystery Suite
Murder in the Mystery Suite is a fun cozy about a resort in Virginia that caters to book lovers. Jane Steward is a widowed mother of two who runs the place- and to drum up business she decides to have a Murder and Mayhem Week, complete with a costume ball. Guests are encouraged to come in character, as their favorite detective or sleuth from mystery literature. The event starts off well, with lots of guests, but things take a grim turn after the scavenger hunt- the winner of a rare book gets murdered, and the book is missing. Several guests have acted suspiciously, but a she tries to come to terms with this, Jane gets another surprise. Turns out she is descended from a long line of guardians- her birthright is handed down to her by her uncle after he aunt falls into ill health. This added another layer t the story- with all the libraries in the hotel, there is another one, where rare and unknown books are kept and where the Steward clan has guarded them.
I loved the literary references, anyone who's well read in mystery novels will find this delightful. The resort itself is awesome, with rooms named after famous mystery writers- the Ian Fleming Lounge, Jane Austen PArlor, etc. And libraries everywhere- when can I go to this resort?There are a few minor quibbles- the resort and Storyton Village are a little too perfect. Took me out of the story just a bit, but the idealized setting was appealing at the same time. The book started a little slow, but once I got 40 or 50 pages in it took right off. And this is a fun read, with great characters, an interesting premise and lots of literary references, old and new. I will absolutely buy the enxt book and look forward to reading more of Ellery Adams in the future. I'm definitely a fan after this one.
"Don't be silly," Jane said, giving the butler an affectionate pat on the arm. "These people are mystery fans. Readers. Bibliophiles. They're far too refined to resort to violence."