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Murder in the Mystery Suite
Book Retreat Mystery #1
Ellery Adams

Berkley Prime Crime
August 2014/ ISBN 0425265595
Mystery – cozy

Reviewed by Cheryl Green


Jane Steward is the resort director of Storyton Hall, a resort that caters to readers and lovers of books. Her Aunt Octavia and Uncle Aloysius are the owners. The entire property needs fixing and sprucing up. Jane gets her inspiration from the books in the private library. She decides to hold a Mystery and Mayhem week at Storyton Hall to raise money for repairs. The guests would dress as their favorite detectives and participate in themed events. Jane's aunt and uncle are just as enthusiastic. They could have theme weeks throughout the year.

The hotel is fully booked for Mystery and Mayhem week. The guests start arriving – one is in character – dressed as Umberto Ferrari, beloved character of author Adela Dundee. After the guests have settled in their suites and had a delicious repast, they are ready for the first event, a Scavenger Hunt. The guests are all given clues and then they are off. There are helpers around to make sure you find the correct answer to your clues. Included are Jane's young twin sons, Fitz and Hem. There are several guests that want to win at any cost. The prize is a first edition book of the letters written by Adele Dundee to her husband. Felix Hampden (he is dressed as Umberto Ferrari) wins the contest. Several guests approach him with offers to buy the book on his way to the Mystery Suite. The next morning, one of the housekeepers alerts Jane that they have a Rip Van Winkle in the Mystery Suite. This means a guest has passed away. It does not look like a peaceful death. Jane needs to summon her inner Agatha Christie in order to solve this death. She had better be careful or she could end up roomless.

Things to ponder: Who is the lady on the runaway horse? Why do so many guests want the prize for winning the scavenger hunt? Why does Aunt Octavia want her book back? Was Felix murdered for the book --- or had he already sold it to the highest bidder?

I love finding a new cozy mystery series. It means new characters to get to know and love including Muffet Cat. When the new series is written by a favorite author, then I say Christmas came early for me with a special treat. This delightfully charming mystery is a well-written page turner that will be enjoyed by cozy mystery fans. The clever plotting will hold them until they find out whodunit. I loved the names the author has thoughtfully assigned the characters and shops as well as the suites in the Storyton Hall. I can't wait to read the next in this captivating series. So, if you like a mystery that revolves around books, then you should be reading Murder in the Mystery Suite.

Reviewed 2014