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Ringing in Murder by Kate Kingsbury
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Christmas at the Pennyfoot Hotel means one thing -- murder. As Cecily and Baxter are preparing for Madeline's New Year's Eve wedding, a member of Parliament and his wife are killed in an explosion in the hotel. Was it a gas leak or murder? The local constable rules it accidental before heading off on his vacation. Cecily, however, uncovers other evidence which seems to point in another direction and takes up the investigation. Meanwhile, Gertie and another maid Pansy keep spotting a walking and moving snowman. Gertie is convinced that the snowman is after her children. While this will never be my favorite series, I do think this one was a bit better than some of the others I have read. I am, however, at the end of my stash of these from a used booksale and probably will not go looking for others in the series. ( )
  thornton37814 | Dec 18, 2013 |
Christmas is always a special time at the Pennyfoot Hotel, but this Christmas promises to be extra special as Cecily Sinclair Baxter is busily preparing for the wedding of her friend Madeline Pengrath to Doctor Kevin Prestwick. Cecily has her fingers crossed that all will go well since Madeline can be very unpredictable. When Christmas crackers go missing, Cecily is mildly annoyed, but her annoyance turns to horror when two guests are killed in an explosion and fire in one of the rooms at the Pennyfoot. Cecily suspects murder and wants the case solved before someone else is killed and before Madeline and Kevin's wedding is ruined.

"Ringing in Murder" is Kate Kingsbury's latest Pennyfoot Hotel mystery set at Christmastime (the others are No Clue at the Inn (Pennyfoot Hotel Mysteries), Slay Bells (A Special Pennyfoot Hotel Myst), and Shrouds of Holly (A Special Pennyfoot Hotel Myst)). Like the other books in the series this cozy mystery is delightful. All of the familiar characters are here: Cecily and her beloved husband Baxter, Madeline and Kevin, Phoebe Carter-Holmes Fortescue and her eccentric husband Colonel Fortescue, and of course Cecily's household staff - Mrs. Chubb, Gertie, Pansy, and "French" cook Michel. The wedding plot line is a good one and adds some mild suspense to the novel as Madeline and Kevin are at odds with each other over certain beliefs and readers will wonder if the two can make their differences work. The main mystery is well written and plotted, with lots of red herrings, and while Kingsbury leaves subtle clues as to who the killer is, readers will still have a hard time figuring out whodunit. There is a secondary plot involving a snowman which is a bit silly but is also intriguing since it seems to be setting up events in future books.

"Ringing in Murder" is Kate Kingsbury's nicely done holiday gift for her fans. ( )
  drebbles | Mar 21, 2013 |
Cecily Sinclair Baxter and her staff at the Pennyfoot Hotel have their hands full this holiday season. Every room is occupied and they have a New Years’ Eve wedding feast to prepare. The accidental death of two guests causes barely a ripple in the seasonal festivities.

Bit by bit, Cecily gathers information that leads her to believe the deaths were no accident – and that the Pennyfoot may be extending its hospitality to a murderer. The local constable is going away for the holidays and Cecily has no intention of calling in the loathsome police inspector. So it’s up to her – and her husband Hugh Baxter if she can coerce him to help – to get the goods on the killer.

Set in the early days of the 20th Century in England, Ringing in Murder combines the feel of an Agatha Christie whodunit with a taste of Upstairs Downstairs. The behind-the-scenes look at the goings-on of the employees adds a light touch, especially their sightings of what appears to be a very mobile snowman. Chief housemaid Gertie McBride and her acid tongue add spice to the proceedings.

The Pennyfoot Hotel series is a cozy delight. I read the author’s Slay Bells – my first in this series – a year ago and became an immediate fan. Readers who’ve not read these wonderful mysteries are in for a sweet treat.

By Diana. First published in the Cozy Library October 30, 2008.
  NewsieQ | Mar 27, 2009 |
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To Bill, for all that you give and all that you are.
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"I still find it hard to believe that your wedding is only a few days away."
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 042522399X, Paperback)

An all-new Yuletide mystery featuring the incomparable staff of the Pennyfoot Hotel? from ?a descendant of Agatha Christie.?(The Statesman Journal) (OR)

A merry hustle-and-bustle always heralds the holidays at the Pennyfoot. Even as she prepares for the holiday meal, Cecily Sinclair Baxter is also helping her friend Madeline plan her wedding. And this year, Cecily has a cracking surprise for her guests?Christmas crackers. Once the crackers pop, one lucky guest will discover a beautiful pearl brooch?

But when two crackers go astray, things turn less than jolly. A mysterious fire has broken out in an upstairs room, killing the mood?and two guests. And at the bottom of it all: one of the missing Christmas crackers. Cecily?s dead-set on solving this mystery before another deadly present turns up?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:49 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

In the midst of her preparations for a festive holiday celebration at the Pennyfoot Hotel and her friend Madeline's upcoming wedding, Cecily Sinclair Baxter must turn sleuth when a mysterious fire breaks out in a upstairs room, killing two guests, and Cecily's only clue is a pair of missing Christmas crackers.… (more)

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