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Let Slip the Dogs of War: A Bard's Bed &…

Let Slip the Dogs of War: A Bard's Bed & Breakfast Mystery #1

by Sara M. Barton

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1511647,891 (3.63)4
Title:Let Slip the Dogs of War: A Bard's Bed & Breakfast Mystery #1
Authors:Sara M. Barton
Collections:Your library
Tags:fiction, espionage

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Let Slip the Dogs of War (A Bard's Bed & Breakfast Mystery) by Sara M. Barton



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A very entertaining book that keeps the reader turning pages to see what is going to happen next. A retired CIA agent and his wife, Bea, operate a bed and breakfast that is not for ordinary tourist. It is a getaway for agents who need a break from their jobs. It appears to work well until Bea is getting a room ready for a guest when she finds a body under the bed. Now begins the hunt for the killer and the reason why the body was left where it was.

Bea becomes an ex officio agent as she is drawn deeper in to the activities of her husband and other agents. It all boils down trying to protect two young Syrian girls from the bad guys who are hunting for them.

A very interesting and fun read and I recommend the following up book for those who want to see a continuation of this book. Hopefully we will see more adventures out of the Bard’s Bed and Breakfast. ( )
  qstewart | Jun 10, 2013 |
This book was so much fun to read, I immediately picked up the second book in the series. These stories take place at a Bed & Breakfast that is not what it seems. It is a holding place/R&R site/recuperation location for CIA agents. Therefore, nothing is as it seems. In Let Slip, the body of a woman is found in one of the rooms and Bea and Ben, the proprietors are being framed for her death. An exciting hunt begins to track down the real killers, identify the woman, and clear their name.
This was an all-around fun read! ( )
  Lschwarzman | Feb 27, 2013 |
The Bards Bed and Breakfast is not quite what it seems. The mystery starts with the corpse of a young woman that has not registered as a guest. The fast paced action finds the proprietors caught up in a multinational group of spies and one man out for revenge. The B & B is in Vermont but the expressions of Bea and Ben are decidedly British - something that didn't quite work for me. Still it was a good quick read on a winter's day. ( )
  riversong | Feb 17, 2013 |
Let Slip the Dogs of War by Sara M. Barton is the first book in the Bard's Bed and Breakfast Mystery series.

Starring Bea (Beatrice) and her retired husband Ben (Benedick), we follow their adventures in running a B&B in Vermont. But not just any B&B. No this is an establishment that specifically caters to the CIA and a few others to keep the ruse up. A little history of the place then. The B&B was founded by Uncle Edward ( who used to work in the OSS as an intelligence officer). Now retired, he created the Bard's B&B (so named for his love of all things Shakespeare- in fact he used to work at the Bard's theatre as a dresser). You may have already noticed the Shakespeare references in the book titles, but we also see them in the form of quotes and as aliases for people in the book, as well as room names.

So, how did Bea and Ben come to take over? Well Uncle Edward needs a hip replacement and just couldn't take care of his guests anymore, while at the same time Bea and her bookshop, Marbury Books, were going through a whole heap of CIA mess. The CIA naturally thought of the perfect way to kill two birds with one stone.

The plot of this first instalment is terrorism. In fact, the second book's plot is terrorism too, so it may be a recurring theme. The first couple chapters are about the CIA, terrorism and explain how Bea got to where she is. Then one day, she finds a body under the bed (not her first apparently). The body is that of a young woman, who had her clothes removed and has two tattoos- one made with edible ink that is the image of a bee and one that is scented and shows the image of a rose.

Ben and Bea figure it's a CIA code for something and the plot thickens as terrorists begin to show up, along with CIA spies. And who is the mysterious Yuri?

This series reads like a cozy mystery, but this time with the added twist that the protagonists (and most everyone else) aren't exactly new to the game. The basic story is a little darker than your average cozy because of all of the terrorism involved.

The plot itself is very fast-paced, A lot happens in this short book and I found it almost too fast-paced. There was never really any down time, you were constantly going from action scene to action scene, revelation to revelation. I don't often say this about a book, but it could have used a little extra padding. While too much can have a negative effect, a little goes a long way to helping the reader absorb all the information you give them, especially when throwing such fast-balls as this book does.

I would've also liked a little more closure at the end. I don't know if the author plans to revisit that particular character, but the ending is pretty ambiguous and abrupt. But then I suppose it's a good thing that I want to know more. It's a mark of good writing if the reader wants more.

The relationship between Bea and Ben I can see some people loving and some people hating. They are constantly bickering and Bea seems forever annoyed with her husband. Their form of bickering is quoting Shakespeare at each other, which is at least nice to listen to (or read in this case), but it's so frequent that it can get a little grating sometimes.

While I am not a great fan of unresolved endings, I did enjoy this short book. I found the characters of Yuri and Wardah to be my favourites and wanting to know what happens to each of them is enough to keep me reading.

Disclaimer: I was sent this book by the author. This is not a sponsored review. All opinions are 100% my own. ( )
  needtoreadgottowatch | Jan 11, 2013 |
I enjoyed this novel. It was a very good story about a Bed and Breakfast ran by an ex-CIA agent that was used a rest spot for spies. The story revolves around a husband and wife who are assisting the original owner running the bed and breakfast. The story starts out with a dead body being found in one of the bedrooms and that was not one of the guests. The story has several subplots going on that are revealed as the story progresses.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys spy or mystery novels. This is not a thriller with lots of action, death and mayhem. That is probably what was so enjoyable about the story. The action and impossible acts of most thrillers that get in the way of most stories is missing from this book. There is still some action, but is fairly tame and believable. ( )
  rufusraider | Jan 3, 2013 |
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Book description
On the tranquil shores of Lake Champlain sits the Bard's Bed & Breakfast -- not your typical vacation spot. Run by a retired spy and Shakespearean scholar, "Uncle Edward", and a former bookstore owner, "Beatrice", whose spy husband, "Benedick", is forced out of the CIA, their guests are often unruly, secretive, and occasionally downright dangerous. When a Syrian rebel leader's daughters are sent for safe-keeping, it's a spy free-for-all Shakespeare would have envied, full of duplicitous deceivers, treacherous traitors, and star-crossed lovers. A dead young woman sporting tattoos is left naked in the Ephesus Suite, leaving Bea and Ben to smuggle the body out of the house without getting caught. A wily French spy, Philippe Grapon, may be working for the French DGSE, the Syrians, the Iranians, the Russians, or any and all of the above. All Bea knows for sure is that Philippe is bad news. Fed up with out-of-control spy operations, Bea has no patience with the calamity that rolls through the peaceful country side like an upside down maelstrom of catastrophic proportions. A long-hidden family secret turns out to be the key to a deadly mystery, but along the way to solving it, Bea finds herself chasing after a stolen corpse, pursued through the forest by a motley gang of spies, and even carjacked by a man who clearly should not be trusted. Even the Bard's cats, Titania and Oberon, and dogs, Puck and Mr. Darcy, are troublemakers who insure there is never a dull moment in Arden Woods
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