Book a room at the Pennyfoot Hotel this holiday season for a charming mystery that “combines the feel of an Agatha Christie whodunit with a taste of Upstairs Downstairs”(Cozy Library).
A merry hustle and bustle heralds the holidays at the Pennyfoot—and this year is doubly busy. Even as Cecily Sinclair Baxter prepares for the holidays, she’s also helping her friend Madeline plan her impending wedding. This year, Cecily has a cracking holiday surprise for her guests—gorgeous Christmas crackers handmade for the Pennyfoot. And once the crackers pop, one lucky guest will discover a beautiful pearl brooch.
But things soon turn less than jolly. A mysterious fire breaks out in an upstairs room, killing the mood—and two guests. And at the bottom of it all: a missing Christmas cracker. Who would deliver such a murderous gift? Cecily’s dead-set on solving this mystery before another deadly present turns up, and Madeline’s nuptials come unwound...
At the start of Kingsbury's engaging fourth holiday Pennyfoot Hotel mystery set during the Edwardian era (after 2007's Shrouds of Holly), amateur sleuth Cecily Sinclair Baxter is hoping for a festive winter season at her hotel on England's windy southeast coast, but the Christmas curse strikes again. The speaker of the House of Lords, Sir Walter Hetherton, and his wife, Lady Clara, are killed by an explosive Yuletide cracker at the Pennyfoot Country Club, which Cecily now manages. Constable Sam Northcutt believes the explosion was caused by a malfunctioning gas lamp, but after Sam leaves for vacation, one of Cecily's employees alerts her to some disturbing evidence. Could Pennyfoot be harboring a murderer? Suspects include Hetherton's political rival, Roland Crossley. A scary, vanishing snowman heightens the suspense. While the murderer's motive might strike some as a bit unconvincing, cozy fans will be pleased to ring in the new year with this cheerful Kingsbury trifle.