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The Clue is in the Pudding
Special Pennyfoot Hotel Mystery, No 8
Kate Kingsbury

Berkley Trade
November 6, 2012 / ISBN: 0425253279
Historical Mystery / British / Holiday: Christmas

Reviewed by Brenda Weeaks

It’s Christmas at the Pennyfoot Hotel! Singing, eating, drinking, and Plum Pudding.

Every Christmas the drama behind Pennyfoot’s kitchen door reaches a height of madness. This year the staff is cursed with a temporary cook named Beatrice Tucker who bellows orders, makes threats, and drinks Michel’s brandy. When a guest is rude to Beatrice she promises to get back at him. Later he’s found dead and Gertie thinks Tucker the Terrible is to blame. Cecily works hard to hide the death from other guests, and uses this time to hunt a killer. Her husband, Baxter, doesn’t like it and feels left out. He knows Cecily has the best intentions and tries to take it in stride – after he loses his temper…

Everyone is back and ready to do their part. Healer Madeline has a vision and warns Cecily. Madeline’s husband, Dr. Kevin, gives Cecily some answers and keeps a murder under wraps. Phoebe helps with the celebration while her husband, Colonel Fortescue (What? What?), attempts to share his stories and make this reader laugh. Pennyfoot employees Pansy and Samuel and Gertie and Clive take center stage. They help Cecily with the case as well as deal with their own personal issues. And let’s not forget Chef Michal who loves to bang pots and keep the brandy to himself.

The Special Pennyfoot series is a holiday staple worthy of the title ‘Special.” Kingsbury brings back the main characters and throws in some secondary characters for them to play off. There are plenty of suspects and clues in the mystery, and plenty of entertainment in the storyline. I love how the kitchen staff pulls together – for once –to fight Tucker the Terrible. Spoilers from previous mysteries are mentioned but don’t give away which mystery they occurred in. What I enjoyed most was Kingsbury reliving the hotel’s history in the storyline. It brought back memories of reading the series.

Special Pennyfoot Hotel Christmas titles

No Clue At The Inn    [review]
Slay Bells  


Shrouds of Holly    [review]
Ringing In Murder   [review]
Decked with Folly    [review]
Mistletoe and Mayhem  [amazon]
Herald of Death [review]
The Clue is in the Pudding [review]





Reviewed 2012