Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Hospitality and Homicide (A Tourist Trap Mystery)

Author:  Lynn Cahoon
Genre:  Mystery

Paperback; Audio CD; Ebook,; Audible
ISBN #:  9781601836342; 9781515968245
Lyrical Underground
186 Pages
$15.00; $16.50; $5.99 Amazon
May 16, 2017


A visit to the serene coastal town of South Cove, California, could make anybody feel refreshed and inspired.  But as Jill Gardner - owner of Coffee, Books, and More - discovers, some folks won;t live to tell about it...

Mystery author Nathan Pike checked into South Cove Bed & Breakfast to compose a compelling novel, not commit murder.  But things get real when a rival B&B owner ends up exactly like the victim in his draft - undeniably dead.  As Nathan prepared to complete his magnum opus behind bars, Jill's the only one who can prove his innocence and deconstruct the plot of a twisted killer!


Jill Gardner owns Coffee, Books, and More, a go-to destination for those needing that first cup in the morning.  While life is never dull in the coastal town of South Cove, it's even less so right now for Jill, who's trying to juggle her store, obtain a business degree at a local college and the arrival in town of an author, Nathan Pike, who's come to write his next novel - a murder mystery - and tag along with the local cops.  What Jill doesn't count on is the fact that Nathan is annoying and the cops - including her boyfriend Police Chief Greg King - doesn't want anything to do with him.

While at a meet-and-greet for Pike at South Cove B&B, Jill notices Walter Knicely, a rival B&B owner but her attention is soon drawn away by the late arrival of Pike.  After the evening ends when Jill and Greg are walking home, they see that her neighbor Esmeralda's lights are still on and wind up discussing a case about a boy, Thad, who went missing, swept away by a wave and is presumed dead.  Esmeralda, a self-proclaimed psychic, is convinced he's still alive.  While Greg doesn't like the fact she's seeing the parents, there isn't much he can do about it.

On top of this, there's a new clock store in town, Killing Time, but the owner Ian doesn't seem to be very social; and her employee Sasha is leaving for a better job, which means Jill needs to hire another employee.  But the big surprise for Jill is that Greg tells her his apartment lease is soon ending, and he wants to move in with her.  For Jill, it's not that easy, considering she has a string of bad relationships behind her, so it gives her a lot to think about.

Not too long after the body of Walter is found, and even though Jill is trying to stay out of this one considering everything else she's up against, eventually her natural curiosity gets the better of her and she begins making discreet inquiries.  But will she be able to take what she's learned about Walter's past and keep it from getting herself killed in the future?

Once again, we have a delightful mystery set in the lovely coastal town of South Cove.  While we are discovering the truth of Walter's murder we're also discovering more bits and pieces about its residents.  The characters are vibrant and believable; they have flaws as real people do, and you can feel Jill's insecurity as she wrestles with the decision of whether to allow Greg to move in.  But even the side stories are intriguing; not only that of Esmeralda, but with her aunt, Toby, Sasha, and the others; it is a real pleasure to be allowed into these characters' lives and spend time with them.

As for the mystery itself, we actually have two:  that of the missing Thad and Walter.  While you're rooting for the safety of Thad, you're searching for a murderer, and that is where the tale becomes captivating.  There are more than one red herring; what seems to be the easy answer isn't; and things aren't always what they seem.  Ms. Cahoon has an ability to create new characters and tie them into the story seamlessly, and thereby creating a delectable storyline of merging the new with the old.  It is a book that kept me reading to the end late into the night (Thanks, Lynn).

When we finally come to the end and discover the murderer, it is a sad testament to the fragility of the human mind; both sad and twisted at the same time.  We have another winner from the author and I look forward to many more.  Highly recommended.

More on Lynn Cahoon's Books: 

1 comment:

  1. I'm not sure if I've read any in this series but it sounds familiar.


Revenge Is Sweet (Vintage Sweets Mysteries Book 1)

Author:  Kaye George Genre:   Mystery Trade Paperback; Digital Book ISBN #:  9781516105434 Lyrical Underground 193 Pages $14.36; $3.9...