Herald of Death (Special Pennyfoot Hotel Mysteries (Paperback)) Paperback – 1 Nov 2011
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"Upstairs, Downstairs..".comes alive."--"Midwest Book Review
"Exciting...another superb homicidal historical holiday cozy."--"The Best Reviews"
""Kingsbury continues to delight fans with well thought out mysteries that will challenge and entertain for hours."--"Debbie's Book Bag"
Upstairs, Downstairs comes alive. --"Midwest Book Review
Exciting another superb homicidal historical holiday cozy. --"The Best Reviews"
" Kingsbury continues to delight fans with well thought out mysteries that will challenge and entertain for hours. --"Debbie s Book Bag"
About the Author
Kate Kingsbury is a pseudonym for a full-time writer who has authored nineteen books in the Pennyfoot Hotel series. She lives near Portland, Oregon.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Murders from the "Christmas Angel" (victims left with markings) pile up faster than kisses under the mistletoe. While Cecily investigates, the inn's staff have their own activity going such as Gertie's beau, Pansy's desires, staff guessing the secret guests, disaster prone Phoebe's Peter Pan pantomime, a past lover/maid's return, Madeline's trances & powers, addle-head Col Frederick, and Mr. Baxter's reconsideration of an offer he once refused. The pace of sub-plots and murders take off immediately and never slow down for readers. It was beyond 250 pages till I thought I MIGHT have an idea of who-dun-it (probably the exact paragraph the author wanted a reader to begin to unravel the crimes.) Kate Kingsbury is noted for a style that does lead the reader up and down many false trails, this time snowy paths. That's a sign of a good mystery yarn-teller.
A fun murder sleuthing read in an era of trains, horse & carriage, with an occasional motorcar. A serene setting with Cecily, the intrepid and clever sleuth. If you've not experienced the Pennyfoot community within the Motel, this is as good a start as any of the series.
She tries to nudge her spouse to free her from her promise, as the first telegram arrives, canceling reservations at the Pennyfoot. He reluctantly agrees to let her sleuth while lecturing stable hand Samuel to stay at her side at all times. As Cecily seeks links between the victims, more murders with gold angels as a signature and cancelations make this the deadly season of the Herald of Death.
The latest early twentieth century Special Pennyfoot Hotel Mystery (see Decked With Folly) is another superb homicidal historical holiday cozy. The "Upstairs, Downstairs" class difference just before WWI comes alive, as it always does in the Pennyfoot saga, in this exciting amateur sleuth. Although the story line starts a bit slower than normal as the feisty heroine must extract her self from her promise to her spouse, series fans will enjoy realizing she has come a long way with the inept Northcutt and her concerned spouse recognizing her sleuthing skills.
For several years now, Kate Kingsbury fans have been lucky enough to have a Pennyfoot Hotel mystery to read for the holidays and "Herald of Death" carries on that tradition. The first page sets the tone for the rest of the book - it gets off to a nice cozy start until the shock of the third paragraph - it is a wonderful way to start the book.
What I love about the Pennyfoot Hotel series is the characters, starting with Cecily who just can't help getting involved with mysteries (why she gets involved in this one is a nice touch by Kingsbury). Truthfully, Baxter is starting to annoy me a bit, I wish Kingsbury would tone him down a notch. Madeline is more mysterious than ever (or is she - she pulls off an amazing stunt towards the end), while Phoebe is even more obnoxious than usual (long-time fans of the series may be surprised at what happens with her pageant in this book and delighted at who stars in it). When the book isn't focused on the mystery it is mostly focused on the love lives of the household staff mainly Gertie/Clive and Pansy/Samuel (I like the Gertie/Clive storyline; I'm not quite sure how I feel about Samuel in this book). As for the mystery - it is certainly one of the bloodier cozy mysteries I've read. It is not graphic by any means but the bodies do pile up - quickly. The plot could have been tighter - I did figure out very early on who the killer was - but Kingsbury does plant some nice clues and throws in a red herring or two in an attempt to throw off the reader. There are some tense moments towards the end of the book as they work to trap the killer.
"Herald of Death" is another nice holiday gift for Kate Kingsbury fans.