Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Murder Mansion M. K. Scott

The Painted Lady Inn Mysteries #1
M.K. Scott
Released November 9th, 2015
Sleeping Dragon Press

Donna’s dream of running a Victorian Bed and Breakfast is almost a reality. Her lack of inn keeping expertise, a shabby house in need of dire renovation and lack of money has slowed her down a bit. The murdered man in the upstairs parlor is her biggest obstacle. Less determined people might give it up, but not Donna.  No killer is going to stop her from serving apple crumb cake to high paying guests.

Her natural skill at the Clue board game, along with the grudging assistance of veteran detective, Mark Taber, an overweight Puggle, and a chatty octogenarian neighbor should help her sniff out the killer unless she’s snuffed out first.

My Review:

This is a fun way to start off a mystery series. Donna is a single woman trying to make her dream come true of owning and running a B & B in the Victorian mansion that she has just purchased. I know a lot of people who have a similar dream, myself included. A big obstacle is now in the way of timely renovations because she discovers a body of a man laying dead upstairs.
     This story is filled with funny banter, danger, and a cast of crazy characters. Donna is smart, bossy and a bit prickly. Called to the scene of the murder is Detective Mark Taber who is  a bit cynical and the perfect foil for Donna. Add to that her chubby little pug, a younger brother who makes women drool, and plenty of nozy neighbors. Since she wants to finish her renovations of her "painted lady" she takes it upon herself to help Mark with the investigation. Soon she finds herself in the sights of the killer
     I loved the breezy pace of the story, the twists and turns and the humor. And the end of the story makes me feel that we will be seeing more of Donna's sleuthing in the future. This story will give cozy mystery readers and enjoyable time!

Excerpt #4

The strident alarm announced five AM vibrating with vicious vigor on the bedside table. Its annoying shriek would pierce the heaviest stupor sleep could produce. Her eyes blinked slowly focusing on the red numerals. It continued its wail until she slapped it into silence. Daniel gifted her with the clock on her last birthday, joking it could wake the dead.

The murdered man took shape in the predawn darkness. He was standing beside her bed, looking just as lifeless, but standing. His bowed head straightened, and his eyes opened, and he stretched out his open hands toward her. His lips moved. A whispery voice choked out the words, “Find my killer.”

Fear strapped her to the bed, keeping her in place better than a dozen bungee cords. The specter’s pale blue eyes held hers, imploring her, although she felt there was some imperiousness about his attitude. Definitely had to be a doctor in his previous life or some other profession where he ordered people around, and they all scurried to his bidding.

An honest to goodness ghost, a real live spirit—she paused to consider if spirits merited the adjective live or whatever—stood by her bed issuing commands. Her fingers gripped the covers, slowly pulling them up her chest, then over her head, cutting off her view of the glowing ghost. He had to be glowing. How else would she see him in the dark or the color of his eyes? Of course, it could all be the tail end of a dream brought on by a very stressful day. There might have never been a murdered man in her inn either. Her lips pursed as she considered the possibilities. What if she never had purchased the old Victorian? Of course, there’d be no Detective Taber, and she’d still be welcome at The Good Egg restaurant.

The alarm grumbled again, starting weak and growing in irritating intensity. Work remained a constant. It also demanded she lower the covers. It had taken years to rate the primo first shift rotation. Unfortunately, it started early in the morning. Technically, it started at seven, but she had to be there at six-thirty to get the shift change information along with enough time for a cup of coffee.

Her mattress depressed somewhere near her leg freezing her heart in mid-beat. A gentle snuffling sound started it again. Jasper, her dog, often took it upon himself to be the second alarm system. With closed eyes, she dropped the covers afraid if she opened them, her unwelcome visitor would still be there. Jasper’s tongue bathed her face while encasing her in a cloud of smelly dog breath. Ack, he really needed breath mints. Her eyelids flickered open, taking in the shape of her dog illuminated only by the glowing clock and the power lights from various chargers. Her hand reached blindly behind her, finding the clock and turning it off.

 No ghost anywhere in the dark room, but just to be sure, she announced, “I’ll find your killer. Not for you, mind you, but for me. I don’t want that kind of thing attached to my inn.” No reason to have some dead man bossing her around. She had enough of that in real life.

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M.K. Scott is the pen name of husband and wife team, Scott & Morgan. This is their first cozy mystery together, although Scott has worked with several of the Morgan K Wyatt books.  The couple has several books planned for the series. In an effort to give the series an authentic touch, Scott and Morgan participated in cooking lessons, winery tours, and stayed at several Bed and Breakfasts. Research is a hard job, but someone has to do it.

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  1. Thank you so much for hosting MURDER MANSION! SO happy you enjoyed!