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on 25 May 1999
Let me say this first: Kate Kingsbury is one of my favorite authors, and the Pennyfoot books are some of my favorite mysteries. Kingsbury outdoes herself with sympathetic characters, intriguing puzzles, and interesting period details...
...most of the time.
This book isn't *bad,* but it's not up to the standards of the rest of this excellent series. My main quibble is with the two main characters who seem to be doing everything in their power not to act like themselves. Cecily Sinclair, owner of the Pennyfoot and amateur sleuth, seems to have a positive death-wish at times as she consistently breaks this promise to her manager and sweetheart, Baxter: that if she undertakes a murder investigation, she will inform him of her doings. Does she? Of course not. And Baxter wants to share his life with this woman who, in this book at least, seems incapable of keeping such a simple promise? Well, it would seem to cast an aspersion on the wedding vows, for one thing. This is not the Cecily Sinclair I have come to know and love.
Baxter himself is another bone of contention--you'd think he'd be very upset about the breaking of said promise, but he hardly seems to care. Indeed, he hardly seems to have anything to say throughout the whole book. Baxter's character, throughout all the books, has consistently intrigued and challenged me, but here he's dull as dishwater. He livens up a bit at the end, but only when Cecily comes closer to death than ever before.
Which brings me to the good part. Like I said, the book isn't bad, I was just disappointed by the strange behavior of the protagonists. The mystery is intriguing, and packed with the kind of action that I've missed in some of the other Pennyfoot books. Also, we get more character perspectives than ever before: this time around, we hear much more frequently from side characters such as Gertie, Doris, Phoebe and Colonel Fortescue. (By the by, I can't *wait* to see what transpires between the latter two in the next--and final--book in the series.)
So yes, I would recommend you buy the boook, if only to keep abreast of the happenings of Badgers End (the sleepy Edwardian village that, relatively speaking, has a higher murder rate than Harlem). Don't expect the sparkle you can find in the other books--but it's still an entertaining ride.
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on 21 August 1998
In 1910 England, there is plenty of excitement in the air as the Pennyfoot Hotel hosts the annual Spring Ball. This year, the ball's visiting celebrity and entertainer is the Great Denmarric who is going to perform his renowned magic show.
The Great Denmarric's performance is top rate, but when he performs "a death defying feat" and opens the magic box that is supposed to contain his stage assistant, Desiree, the woman is gone. Denmarric is stunned that his performance failed to go smoothly like it always does. Not too long after that debacle, Desiree, who is actually former waitress Ivy Glumm, is found murdered. Cecily Sinclair, the manager of the hotel, begins to investigate before the murderer kills again and does irreversible damage to the reputation of her establishment.
Though DYING ROOM ONLY is the eleventh Pennyfoot Hotel mystery, the story remains a refreshing historical who-done-it. Kate Kingsbury, who demonstrates she is one of the sub-genre's most talented authors(and one of my favorites), brilliantly brings the English seaside during the reign of Edward to life. The story line is crisp, and the detail to characters and setting add an authentic touch that will leave readers wanting to check into the Pennyfoot Hotel for this novel and the previous ten.

Harriet Klausner
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on 12 December 2013
I love these books, they are a very easy read at any time. I have bad insomnia and usually end up reading these in one night. ( I have to say though if anyone's looking for a name for a hotel or any kind of lodging home I wouldn't use this!) while there is a murder there's no blood, guts, gore or swearing which makes a nice change. A very cosy mystery and I would recommend this to anyone looking for a new author.
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on 5 July 2016
I really like these books, they are light and easy to read. I only have one issue, and that is for a woman who professes to have such love and devotion for the man in her life she seems to treat his feelings as something she can ignore when she feels it convenient. Those times being when she is about to do something he has expressly asked her not to. That aside I would recommend these books.
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on 28 February 2015
Another winner for Kate Kingsbury. Most enjoyable and relaxing. I quite like the character Fortescue, although being a little mad he's a lovable gent. Star rating, it's got to be another five and recommended to all Kindle readers.
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on 11 October 2016
good book
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