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A plague o' both your houses: a Bard's bed &…

A plague o' both your houses: a Bard's bed & breakfast mystery #2

by Sara M. Barton

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169615,960 (4.18)3
Title:A plague o' both your houses: a Bard's bed & breakfast mystery #2
Authors:Sara M. Barton
Collections:Your library
Tags:2012, Member Giveaway, fiction, mystery, New England

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A Plague O' Both Your Houses: A Bard's Bed & Breakfast Mystery #2 by Sara M. Barton



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The Bard’s Bed and Breakfast is a quaint place in Vermont that is operated by a retired CIA agent and his wife. The place is actually sort of a rest home for CIA agents who are dying or who just need to get out of the spy business for a while and relax in a comforting environment.

One guest in this the second in the series, is a chemist who has come to the Bard’s to die, but she is involved in some double agent work and the owners and other guests at the B&B become involved with trying to stop her and the folks she is working for. Of course they are able to call in active agents into the fray and their struggle for right.

I found the book to be interesting and easy to get into and try to figure out what was actually going on. Bea, the big hearted owner, is willing to take in all who have problems and shows a willingness to help them if they are willing to help themselves. She pulls the strings to get everyone on the same page and aimed at the right target. I look forward to reading the first book in the series and also any follow up ones. A very good read. ( )
  qstewart | Jun 1, 2013 |
A Plague is set at the B&B where book 1 in the series is also set. In this story, Linda, a former CIA specialist in chemical and biological warfare, has moved into the B&B to spend her last days in hospice care. AS it turns out, she has a plan, and everything is not as it seems. I enjoyed this book even more than Let Slip the Dogs of War (the first book in the series). ( )
  Lschwarzman | Feb 27, 2013 |
A Plague O' Both Your Houses by Sara Barton is book 2 in the Bard's Bed and Breakfast Mystery Series.

A quick warning, this review will contain spoilers from the first book (as is the nature of a series). If you're interested you can check out my review of Let Slip the Dogs of War here: http://www.librarything.com/work/13226895/book/93063106 or on my blog at: http://needtoreadgottowatch.blogspot.com/2013/01/shakespeare-meets-spies-and-ter....

Anyway, spoilers beyond here, so continue at your own peril.

Returning to the Bard's the story this time centres around Linda Romano- a retired CIA agent, who specialised in chemical and biological warfare. To be accurate, her job was to find antidotes, but to know how to cure it, she needed to know how it was created. Linda is a crotchety, old woman dying of lupus and plagued with the inability to treat anyone with a shred of decency. She has a nurse (the lovely Manie from Jamaica) to care for her round the clock and cater to her every need.

Linda is at the Bard's to live out her final days in peace and comfort. Being an ex-CIA agent, they set her up at a CIA specialising B&B, much to Bea's chagrin.

Bea and Ben are their usual selves and are still bickering constantly. In this book, we are joined by the Turkmani sisters, Fatima and Wardah- going by the aliases of Emma and Rosalind (Rosie for short) respectively. It's been a few months since the events of the first book and the girls have started at school, while their mother recuperates in Boston and their father fights his brother in Syria.

Again, terrorism is the plot here. When a letter that Linda sends off get intercepted by the CIA, claiming she's poisoned someone, the Bard's is soon filled with CIA agents from around the globe (all undercover of course) to find out the truth, most of which we are kept in the dark about. But then they are spies. Is the devious plot Linda's devised as simple as it appears, or is there a more sinister plan at hand?

In my review of the first book I said it was almost too fast-paced. In this book, that problem's gone. We have some nice down-time in between all the action (which definitely build this time), though a lot of it is information about the first book. There's a lot of deja vu as we re-read the first story in small chunks. I know it's a recap, but it's almost as if we're expected to have forgotten everything about the first book. We do get some nice extras though, giving us a little more information we didn't know about the characters or events from the first book. I was a little sad that there was virtually no mention of Yuri, but maybe he'll be in a another book, provided the series continues. And we do get a few tidbits about the mysterious Afari.

We also have a more complete ending and I can feel the books getting better as the series progresses. Again, I did enjoy this book, perhaps even more than the first. I preferred the plot of the first, but I prefer pretty much everything else about the second.

If you liked the first, you'll like this second book. If you didn't like the first, maybe give this one a try- why not? The series certainly has a charm about it that keeps me following its progress. I can't help but wonder- what dastardly plan will be the plot of the third book I wonder?

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the author. This is not a sponsored review. All opinions are 100% my own. ( )
  needtoreadgottowatch | Jan 11, 2013 |
What a joy it was to get to review these two novels! My only hope is that this isn’t the end of Bea and Ben, the proprietors of the said B&B. Although the Bard’s isn’t your usual B&B – nope, it’s main purpose is to create R&R for the CIA friends of Ben who are in dire needs of it usually. When things get boring (and they rarely do!) Uncle Edward and Lorna can getting a card game going or find a body someplace.
A Plague o’ Both Your Houses brings us the consummate witch with a capital B as a houseguest. Linda Romano hated everyone equally and did a good job of it. Supposedly dying and tended to by her nephew the Dr., Linda made everyone’s life miserable. No one more than her caregiver Manie, the Jamacian woman hired to take care of her. Linda had things on Manie and wasn’t above using them to gain cooperation; until they backfired. No one likes a witch.
The wordplay between Bea and Ben is worth the price of the book in itself but the plots are good but Ben’s colleagues are all interesting and humorous and the presence of Uncle Edward does nothing but add to the plan. Go download these immediately. You’ll love them! ( )
  macygma | Dec 29, 2012 |
This is the second book in the series. It involves more intrigue among the operators and residents of a B&B which is a retreat for spies between assignments or in retirement. Linda, a former spy now on hospice care, is being cared for at the inn. She has plans for revenge and tries to orchestrate her plans from her sickbed. Bea and Ben, along with some CIA help, must thwart these plans and keep Rose and her sister safe. Another enjoyable story which I received as an Early Reviewer. ( )
  graffitimom | Dec 28, 2012 |
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The gang at the Bard’s Bed & Breakfast on Vermont’s Lake Champlain is back in another tale of twisted intelligence plots and deceptions that would have left Shakespeare shaking his head in dismay. Uncle Edward, Lorna, Bea, and Ben take on the task of providing hospice care for a former CIA chemist, skilled in creating and defusing chemical and biological weapons.

Cantankerous and conniving to the end, Linda Romano proves a true challenge to the former CIA officers and their wives. Even as she is bedridden, the patient coerces her nurse, Manie, into assisting her in a game of blackmail and murder with a threat of killing husband Darwin, serving time in a Jamaican prison for a crime he claims he didn’t do. But Linda doesn’t stop there.

When the ruthless chemist contacts “Horrible Harry” to inform him she has poisoned him and he must come to her if he wants the antidote, things get really ugly. The solution? A hospice team that consists of a number of experienced CIA personnel -- from the diminutive, but deceptive Filipino-American terrorism expert Angie Singson, who poses as a vulnerable patient assistant, to the head-shrinking psychologist, Dr. John “Cannibal” Brody, who came by his nickname honestly. Determined to prevent a deadly attack on WMD expert David Helpern, the team gets busy convincing Linda she has the upper hand, all while yanking the rug out from under her.

What does all this have to do with the two young Syrian wards staying at the Bard’s Bed & Breakfast, Iranian spy Afarin Hesami, and an intelligence operation designed to turn a CIA asset in Damascus into a double agent? It’s going to take a Shakespearean effort to get past all the smoke bombs and broken mirrors tossed into their path, but it’s imperative they get to the bottom of this spy game.

Ever passionate and protective, Bea works overtime to keep the guests of the Bard’s Bed & Breakfast alive, the bad guys at bay, her cunning husband on his toes, and the wily CIA officers on their best behavior. It’s a wild romp across the Vermont countryside as they work together to outwit a sinister master of death and destruction.
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