To give you a bit of background, these books are set in southeastern England in 1906, Cecily Sinclair is the owner of a seaside hotel called the Pennyfoot Hotel. She is the sole owner of the hotel after becoming a widow about a year ago. She has a manager, Baxter, who promised her late husband to watch over both the hotel and her. He plays a heavy role in running the hotel but his idea of what a proper lady should do is different from Cecily's. She is very progressive in her ideas about women's equality and that doesn't necessarily set well with the more conservative manager's ideas. There is a fair about of interaction between these two characters which causes me to laugh a bit and is humorous.
This time out, the social Season is just about to begin and a prominent London family is returning to the hotel to rest prior to the whirlwind to come. When one of the wives turns up dead, wrapped in the May Pole, everyone assumes the gypsies of the area are at fault and the culprit will be apprehended quickly. A few of the pieces of the puzzle don't quite fit together in Cecily's mind and she isn't content with the speed of the investigation so she starts asking some questions of her own. There are also two subplots in the book, one involving a guest at the hotel and another involving one of the staff. The sprinkling in of these two smaller mysteries adds a lot to the novel and was a nice touch by the author.
A charming cast of characters (the staff is full of amusing folks), a quaint sea-side setting, and bit of a mystery add up to quite an enjoyable read. Definitely for those who enjoy a meander through a slower-paced, more gentle story versus fast-paced and intense - this is a true "cozy
Bottom line: Better than the last book which I gave 4 stars to. This one rates a full 5 stars and I would highly recommend this series to fans of the genre.