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There's no "fun" in "fund-raiser" for Judith McMonigle Flynn when she donates an overnight stay at Hillside Manor, dinner included, to the parish school's annual auction—especially when the winning bid goes to the persnickety Paine family. She'll have her hands full sorting through the painfully picky Paines' endless allergies and aversions. Then hubby Joe lands in jail after his latest surveillance job abruptly ends with an insurance fraud suspect being blown away by a .38 ...
There's no "fun" in "fund-raiser" for Judith McMonigle Flynn when she donates an overnight stay at Hillside Manor, dinner included, to the parish school's annual auction—especially when the winning bid goes to the persnickety Paine family. She'll have her hands full sorting through the painfully picky Paines' endless allergies and aversions. Then hubby Joe lands in jail after his latest surveillance job abruptly ends with an insurance fraud suspect being blown away by a .38 Smith & Wesson . . . that just happens to belong to Joe.
But finding the real killer and dealing with the Paines' pain are just the tip of the iceberg—what with Judith's cantankerous mother, Gertrude, agreeing to let a wealthy parishioner stable a horse in her toolshed apartment; cousin Renie trying to force-feed her loathsome Shrimp Dump recipe to the parish cookbook fund-raising committee; and a number of parish school kids falling sick after their weekly hamburger lunch.
grandchildren. I can't believe they have grandchildren old enough to
stay at a B&B."
"I could never believe they had children," Renie remarked.
"Nobody as homely as the Paines should've been allowed to
Judith pointed at the names with her cursor. "Andrew and
Paulina Paine, Walter and Sonya Paine, Sarah and Dennis Blair,
Hannah and Zachary Conrad, Chad and Chase Paine, Zoë Paine
and Octavia Blair. Does that sound right to you?"
Renie shrugged. "The Paines had kids in the school, but they
were older than ours. I vaguely recall that Hannah was a year
ahead of Tony—or was it Tom?"
"So Chad and Chase—I assume they're both boys—must
belong to either Andrew or Walter Paine," Judith said. "Oh—
Zoë, too. Octavia has to be Sarah's daughter."
"Was dinner included?"
"I'm afraid it was," Judith replied. "I must've had a weak
"Does it say where these Paines live? If I've seen them at Mass,
I haven't recognized them."
"No," Judith said, turning away from the monitor. "The only
contact information is for Norma and Wilbur. I don't recall
running into any of their offspring at church. Maybe they all moved
"Good thinking on their part," Renie remarked, once again
heading for the back door. "I'd move, too, if Norma was my
mother." She stopped suddenly, a stunned expression on her
round face. "My God—do you think that's why all three of our
kids live so far away?"
"Probably. If I were you, I'd blame it on the Shrimp Dump."
Renie glowered at Judith. "Right. I now formally withdraw my
offer to help you with the dinner Friday night."
"You didn't volunteer."
"I didn't?" Renie shrugged. "It crossed my mind. Say, maybe
the Paines would like Shrimp Dump for dinner."
"I'm not that desperate."
"Let me know if you change your mind." Renie made her exit.
"Not a chance," Judith murmured under her breath, keeping an
eye on Sweetums, the orange and white feline whose legal human
and kindred spirit was Judith's mother. The cat had entered the
house before Renie closed the door behind her.
Ten minutes later, Judith went out to the converted tool shed
that served as her mother's apartment. Gertrude Grover peered
suspiciously at the sandwich her daughter set on the cluttered card
table. "You call this ham?" the old lady rasped. "It looks like
linoleum to me."
"It's the ham we had for New Year's Day dinner," Judith
informed her mother.
"Which New Year's?" Gertrude snapped. "How about 1995?"
"The New Year's dinner we had Saturday," Judith said patiently.
"It's Tuesday. You're the one who kept ham until it turned blue."
Gertrude poked a gnarled finger at the newspaper in front of
her. "You see this? Elder abuse, that's what. This is part two of a
series on how children torture their aging parents. Spoiled pork
must be one of the ways they do it. It gives old folks like me
"You mean trichinosis," Judith said.
Gertrude glared at her daughter. "Isn't that what I just told
you? You must be going deaf, too. You're already daffy."
"Do you want me to take a bite first?"
Gertrude snatched up the plate. "Aha! Now you want to starve
me! By the time I get through to the last part of this series on
Friday, I may be dead. And where's the rest of that cheesecake you
bought at Begelman's Bakery for New Year's Eve?"
"We ate it," Judith replied. "Do you want some of Kristin's
"I don't like bagels," Gertrude declared. "Especially fat ones.
They're too hard to chew with my dentures."
"They're not bagels," Judith said. "They're Norwegian Christmas
. . . never mind." The old lady was chomping away at the
ham sandwich. Kristin's colossal output of holiday foodstuffs was
probably past its pull date. Judith never ceased to be awed by her
daughter-in-law's prodigious domestic enterprises. "If you want a
sweet, Mother, you must've gotten ten pounds of Granny Goodness
chocolates for Christmas. I assume you haven't eaten all of
them in ten days."
"Ten days of what?" Gertrude asked, stabbing a fork into one
of the gherkins on her plate. "I thought there were twelve days
of Christmas. Or have the lunkheads in the Vatican changed that
with everything else, too? And whatever happened to those two
old saps, the Ringos?"
"They died," Judith said. "They were almost as old as you are.
Your new Eucharistic minister is Kate Duffy, remember? She's
been coming by every week for the past two years."
"I wish I could forget Kate Duffy," Gertrude muttered. "She's
as bad as the Ringos. She always wants to pray with me. The last
time, I told her I'd been praying for her not to come. All that
phony baloney pious claptrap is as bad as your screwball cleaning
lady, but in the other direction. 'Born again,' huh? Once was
enough for Phyliss Rackley."
Judith sighed. "I know Phyliss can be a trial, but she's a good
cleaning woman. And Kate means well. She's sincere, if
misguided. Our family managed to keep our feet planted firmly on
"That's because us old folks went to the School of Hard
Knocks," Gertrude asserted. "Common sense, that's what it is,
not Satan hiding behind every bush like Phyliss says, or hearing
the Holy Ghost whisper in Kate's ear. When she came by after
Christmas, she told me the Holy Ghost wanted her to go to
Nordquist's designer clearance."
"Ah . . . well . . . I hope the Holy Ghost gave Kate an increase
in her credit limit," Judith said, edging toward the converted
tool shed's door. "If I have time tomorrow, I'll bake some
"Then snap to it," Gertrude said, spearing another gherkin.
Excerpted from All the Pretty Hearses by Mary Daheim Copyright © 2011 by Mary Daheim. Excerpted by permission of William Morrow. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Posted April 26, 2013
Harriet klaunsner strikes again. Between her and the other rude plot spoilers here, this book is ruined for readers who want to read and be surprised. Why dont you ppl learn to write a concise review. Quick and to the point. I liked it, or i didnt. There is no reason to dissect the entire book telling everything that happens. Take it to your blog and keep it there.
9 out of 18 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 2, 2013
I've read most books in both Bed & Breakfast and the Alpine series.....this was my least favorite. I actually found it an annoying read and had to force myself to finish. Plot was muddled and not interesting. If you're going to read this, pick up used copy or check it out of library.
5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 28, 2012
I have enjoyed many books authored by Mary Daheim, but this one was just 'ok'. The book started out well with many funny sayings from her mother and cousin. And, I did enjoy the bringing back of other characters, the reporter; however, too many new characters popped up in the end. I feel the book lost it's direction by leaving the reader to figure out who is who again.
I would have recommended Mary Daheim put a page in front of the book of the new characters the book revealed.
5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 18, 2011
The owner of Hillside Manor Judith McMonigle Flynn is upset and angry when her mother tells her that her husband Joe was arrested and taken away in handcuffs. Joe, a retired police detective turned private investigator was watching a man on a houseboat to see if the person was confined to a wheelchair or committing fraud. The insurance case closed when someone killed the target with a Smith and Wesson.
Joe's gun is the murder weapon, which obviously means he is the prime suspect. Judith knows something else is going on because Joe fails to ask for a lawyer and the police refuse to respond to her questions. To take her mind off Joe's problems, she works diligently to get her B&B ready for the Paine family gathering hosted by Judith who donated the weekend at the school auction bought by the matriarch of the clan. The various members don't get along and Zachery gets ill; his wife takes him home. In a strange twist, the body of the shooting victim turns out to be Zachery, which makes Judith wonder who the man at her house was. She starts sleuthing and learns secrets about Joe's predicament, the Paine activities and the ulterior motives of two families staying at the B&B. Teaming up with her cousin Rennie, Judith finds out why Joe is in police custody, which fails to explain why her B&B guests contain plenty of criminals who have tentacles into the state government.
As usual, Mary Daheim writes a great cozy filled with red herrings and false leads. A number of people at the B&B are using the place for reasons they keep secret, but Judith figures out who an innocent guest is and who has agendas. All The Pretty Hearses is a super amateur sleuth with great characterizations and a delightful mystery filled with red herrings and unexpected twists.
3 out of 15 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 28, 2013
This book was very choppy. If you read it, make a list of the characters, because some of them have aliases, nick names, married names and stolen names, as well as being refered to by maiden names and by first or last names. Extremely confusing. There was not a single mention of a hearse in this book, so the title is misleading. Some of the events have nothing to do with the plot, yet the author wrote on and on about them. This is the first book, I have read by this author. I will not read another. No sex, no cursing, no violence, no blood and gore, not much of a plot and a boring, confusing read. Readers, ages 16 and up could read this 270 page book. Getting hit on the head with a hammer would be more enjoyable, but each to their own. 2 stars because it has good grammer, punctuation, spelling and all the tenses were right.
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 26, 2013
STOP PUNISHING THE AUTHORS FOR THE PLOT SPOILING REVIEWS! YOU ARE JUST AS BAD, IF NOT WORSE! THERE IS A PLACE ON EACH REVIEW THAT YOU CAN "REPORT THE REVIEW"! I WILL BE DOING THAT WITH YOUR REVIEW! YOU GIVE ONE STAR TO THE AUTHOR ON A BOOK YOU DIDN'T READ! THAT IS CHILDISH! HOWEVER, I WILL REPORT IT AS "OFF TOPIC" INSTEAD OF "UNDERAGE..", I WOULD THINK, THAT AS AN ADULT! YOU WOULD KNOW BETTER! HOW DIFFICULT IS IT TO SCROLL PAST THE PLOT SPOILING REVIEWS? OR DO YOU JUST NEED SOMETHING TO COMPLAIN ABOUT! JUST REPORT THE REVIEW, DON'T READ IT!
2 out of 9 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 26, 2013
I do agree that anyone who re-writes the plot instead of giving just a review is a fool. They are lonely people who have no life outside of their nook and their books. Reading their long details and than commenting on them just gives them the attention they crave. Try doing what I do, ignore the long reviews, pass them over, because all they do is annoy
2 out of 7 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 29, 2011
Mary keep writing i like this stuff. Want another light mystery try too much at stake by lewis & ondarko set on south shore oflake superior. Happy reading
2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 23, 2013
I loved the Alpine mysteries but this book was a big disappointment. The substandard writing and the embarrassingly silly banter made it hard to finish the book. This is the last of Mary Daheim's books for me!
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 27, 2011
Judith McMonigle Flynn is having one heck of a time at Hillside Manor, her Bed & Breakfast inn. She has to contend with a guest who checks in and then disappears, a couple caught fleeing out a window, guests who fight (loudly) with one another, a horse that is left on her doorstep, and oh yes, we mustn't forget her husband Joe who has been implicated in a murder. As the story opens, Judith is prepping for incoming guests. She has a ridiculous number of special food requests from the Paine family, a family who won a stay at the inn through an auction donation that Judith made, and soon comes to regret. While getting ready, she's surprised to see her husband Joe walk through the door. He was supposed to be working on a case, following a possible insurance scam artist, but when the man is shot, well, there's no longer anyone to follow so Joe comes home. The trouble starts when the police discover that Joe's gun is the murder weapon. Joe is arrested and Judith tries to come to his rescue but with her grandmother screaming at her for all sorts of things, multiple guests arriving at the inn, and then yes, that horse again, who mysteriously drops dead, Judith has more than she can handle. All the Pretty Hearses is not an overly long book and I can usually get through a cozy mystery like this in one or two readings. But this book took me a full week to get through as I kept putting it down. Judith was a bit of a wet towel who kept getting dumped on by everybody around her. Her mother was incredibly mean to her (why is it funny to pretend the brakes on your wheelchair are broken?) and I really disliked her. In fact, there weren't many likable characters in this book. The murder mystery is at times overshadowed by the numerous hijinks going on at the inn which got silly and rather unbelievable. If you have guests climbing out of second story windows to avoid paying their bill, maybe it's time to close your inn! This is the first in the Bed-and-Breakfast mysteries that I have read and this is definitely one series that you can't jump into in the middle. There is very little background information on the main characters which made the storyline a little hard to follow at times. Add in the confusion of the various (too many) subplots with guests at the inn and trying to figure out who/how/if they were related to the murder, and this story became quite jumbled at times. Quill says: Fans of the B&B series may enjoy this book but others may want to try another cozy mystery series instead.
1 out of 8 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 28, 2013
Posted May 24, 2013
This continuation of Judith and Renie's adventures is just as good as all the previous books . You never know what's going to show up at the Bed and Breakfast(in this case, a horse, of course!). And the cast of characters are so colorful that you have to love them. I have read this whole series so far, and love every single book. Judith's sleuthing, along with Renie's wild antics will keep you laughing and reading. It's really fun to see if I can guess who the culprit is before Judith does. I highly recommend this book and the whole series - especially if you'd like a main character that ISN'T some young spry chickie. Judith is a woman's woman! You will love her and the rest of her extended family!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 24, 2013
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Posted May 3, 2013
Posted May 1, 2013
Your review was as jumbled and confusin as the actuql book... perhaps that was done for special effects. Bottom line everyone go ahead and skip this book. It will not take you much time to find a better read!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 27, 2013
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Posted July 23, 2012
Reviewed by Jean Brickell for Readers Favorite
The book "All the Pretty Hearses" is another one by author Mary Daheim starring the heroine, Judith, who runs a bed and breakfast and on the side solves murder crimes. She finds out that her husband, Joe, has been arrested for murder and she must find out why he has been charged.
At the same time she is occupied with duties and problems back at the bed and breakfast. Most every one checking in causes more problems and she has her hands full. Her mother doesn't make things easier for Judith with her comments and sarcastic humor. Luckily her friends are there to help.
Judith runs a bed and breakfast and she has got problems. Her husband has been arrested for murder. Two free guests think they have to pay and they try to climb out the window. There is a dead horse in the garage, but Judith doesn't have a horse. A large group that she is serving dinner for all fight with one another. And of course her mother as usual is grumpy and makes snide remarks about Judith's husband, Joe. "All the Pretty hearses" is a very funny book that you will enjoy very much. The pace is fast and things keep happening that drive poor Judith to distraction. The author, Mary Dahein, has done another good job on her bed and breakfast series as well as with Judith's amateur job of solving crime. This is a good book to settle in with, anytime.
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