Klarinda Snow is the innkeeper of a beautiful, historic bed and breakfast in Windy Pines, Idaho. Guests come to Mistletoe Manor to escape from their troubles while enjoying the scenic mountain town. When all seven rooms of the inn get booked on a Tuesday night in December, Klarinda is excited about having so much business, but a little confused as well. After all, her inn normally isn’t exactly a destination hotspot. The guests have barely settled in before strange things begin happening. Is this the most accident prone group of travelers ever, or is someone out for revenge? (synopsis courtesy of Amazon)
“Accident-prone” is putting it lightly. It seems nothing can go right at Mistletoe Manor, not for any of the surprise guests or for Klarinda and her crew. She tries so hard to keep it all together, doing her best to put on a brave face, yet she can’t control the constant turmoil surrounding her idyllic bed and breakfast.
It starts with a large stash of cash, and several secret invitations Klarinda has never seen before. Each guest has an invitation in their possession, no clue as to who sent them or why they’ve been invited to some remote B&B in the middle of nowhere. Even Klarinda is kept in the dark, with no proper reservations and no notice given. All she can do is get her guests set up in their rooms and make them as comfortable as possible.
From there, all hell breaks loose. And you never really know the next calamity. Just when you think things will settle down for the inhabitants of Mistletoe Manor, is when the next tragedy strikes. Klarinda runs around to tidy up the messes, but things get too out of hand, even for her, to the point where she has to seek outside help from local authorities. And even the authorities are scratching their heads in confusion. What is happening in their small town?
I really enjoyed the characters who inhabit Mistletoe Manor. There were some who are proven aggravators, the kind who add just the right amount of drama and chaos to the mix. It really helped to create a “who done it” atmosphere, because there were moments where I was trying to determine the culprit of all the trouble, and just when you want to pin it on one guest, you discover there’s no way it could have been that person. Because, they’re dead.
This was the perfect mystery novella, sprinkled with a holiday vibe. A great read for this time of year, and one that will keep you guessing, nearly every step of the way.
Originally reviewed for Chick Lit Central