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Herald of Death (Special Pennyfoot Hotel Mysteries (Paperback)) Paperback – 1 Nov 2011

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 287 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group; 1 edition (Nov. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425243354
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425243350
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.3 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,955,765 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"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)

Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars 31 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars English Seaside Murders with an Upstairs,Downstairs family flair 6 Nov. 2011
By Harold Wolf - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is not my 1st Pennyfoot mystery read. It's like a family reunion. Old acquaintances with the hotel owners and staff. Period elegance, southeast coastal English delightful setting, and of course multiple murders similar to Midsomer County. Only instead of mega-cop Barnaby, the local bobbies at Badgers End seem to need the sleuthing prowess of Cecily Sinclair Baxter, who usually intervenes, but in this story, is asked to help. And after promising her husband she was ending her investigative days. He relents, to again save the hotel, or Pennyfoot Country Club, as it's now called.

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.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars superb homicidal historical holiday cozy 1 Nov. 2011
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
As snow is on the ground in Badger's End, someone kills delivery boy Jimmy Taylor and shoemaker Thomas Willow. In each case, the culprit cut off a lock of hair and left behind a gold angel on their forehead. Constable Sam Northcutt surprises Cecily Sinclair Baxter of the Pennyfoot Hotel, when he asks for her help as normally he is annoyed with her sleuthing though he admits she has a successful solve rate (see Mistletoe And Mayhem). Her husband Baxter reminds Cecily of her promise to do no detecting this year.

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.

Harriet Klausner
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another nice holiday gift for Kate Kingsbury fans 23 Nov. 2011
By drebbles - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It is Christmas time again at the Pennyfoot Country Club and Cecily Sinclair Baxter is determined to enjoy it - she's even promised her husband that she would stop trying to solve murders. But she soon has to break that promise - someone is killing people in Badgers End, cutting a lock from their hair, and sticking a gold angel on their foreheads. As the victims pile up, people start canceling their reservations at the Pennyfoot. Cecily is determined to stop the killer before Christmas is ruined.

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.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read.. 8 Jun. 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
We both enjoyed this book. We read all her books as we are mystery buffs- especially English and Victorian mysteries. We are happy when we find one with decent language and interesting characters and you really feel like they are people you know. Hope she keeps writing. Nancy and Leland Owen
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Boring and read like it was phoned in 24 Aug. 2012
By Purvixen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having been a fan of Kate Kingsbury I always look forward eagerly to her next Pennyfoot book but this one was a 'swing and a miss'. It seemed like Ms. Kingsbury had a deadline and ran out of ideas so she forced characters to fit in where she wanted them. The village constable asked Cecily to help with a murder? What? Then the references to a serial killer at a time before such a term was known was too ridiculous. What happened to Baxter's character? He's been relegated to a cameo-type appearance. As for the Gertie character, she's become an annoying character that no employer, regardless of personal affection, would tolerate. This series has become lifeless, dull and what I detest most in a favorite author: cookie cutter and formulaic. Come on, Ms. Kingsbury - the Pennyfoot fans don't ask for much from a cozy but don't insult our intelligence or take our love of a decent cozy mystery for granted.
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