The Painted Lady Inn is open for business and limping along in the B and B world. A high school reunion package assembles Donna’s least desirable classmates, including the backstabbing cheerleader, her narcissistic high school crush, and Arnie, whose cheesy poem had everyone calling her, hot mama. It’s all something she liked to forget. These are the normal guests.
An octogenarian self-proclaimed sleuth, Father Christmas, a dognapping couple, and a pair who is copying everything in the Inn to set up their own competitive establishment rounds out the group. Maria, the sister-in-law, has a matchmaking agenda for Donna. Daniel, her brother, finds himself serving as a referee with one guest’s multiple wives.
High school reunions can be murder. Detective Mark Taber is on the trail of the murderer, when he isn’t interfering in a smitten Arnie’s determined bid to woo the no nonsense innkeeper.
By the time, she had the salts swept up and the broom stowed, Terri arrived. The woman swept in with the same arrogance Cleopatra must have shown entering Rome. A disdainful head tilt announced she’d been in grander accommodations. No mistaking the woman, she looked the same, only tighter as if her skin had shrunk, making her face all angles without any soft curves.
“Hello, Gentry, Terri, I have a reservation.”
Donna repressed an urge to remark that her presence made a reservation self-evident. “Yes, you do. Welcome to The Painted Lady Inn. Here’s your gift basket.” She pushed the remaining basket in Terri’s direction.
The woman pawed through the contents as her lips pulled down in a frown. “The bath salts that were advertised on the website ad are missing.”
Before she could answer, Terri continued.
“No way, I can carry it and my luggage upstairs. I guess it’s too much to expect a backwater establishment like this would have an elevator?” Her sneer announced she already knew the answer.
“Here at The Painted Lady Inn, we strive for authenticity.” It seemed a better answer than no, we don’t have an elevator.
Terri raised both eyebrows as she stared down at Donna, who had picked up both the woman’s suitcase and basket. Normally, the woman wouldn’t have anything on her height wise, but with her hunched over like Quasimodo, the hunchback of Notre Dame, she was at a disadvantage.
What did she have in the suitcase? Bricks? She stood, straightening her back and retaining as much dignity as possible. “You’re in B2.”
“Hmm. Should I assume there’s no running water?”
Count to ten. She inhaled deeply. While she didn’t think it was possible, the woman had grown even more malicious with age. “Excuse me?” Maybe she hadn’t heard right.
“If you’re trying to return to Victorian times, then they wouldn’t have running water.”
M. K. Scott is the husband and wife writing team behind The Painted Lady Inn Mysteries. Morgan K Wyatt is the general wordsmith, while her husband, Scott, is the grammar hammer and physics specialist. He uses his engineering skills to explain how fast a body falls when pushed over a cliff and various other felonious activities. The Internet and experts in the field provide forensic information, while the recipes and B and B details require a more hands on approach. Morgan’s daughter who manages a hotel provides guest horror stories to fuel the plot lines. The couple’s dog, Chance, is the inspiration behind Jasper, Donna’s dog. Murder Mansion is the first book in The Painted Lady Inn Mysteries. Overall, it is a fun series to create and read. Drop Dead Handsome is the second book in the series. Killer Review should be out in October 2016.
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