Fortunes, fineries, and foul play . . .
It’s whale-watching season in Redwood Cove, and B&B manager Kelly Jackson’s battening down the hatches for the tourist rush at Redwood Heights—a Victorian-style estate owned by her boss. And due to recent jewelry thefts, her duties include keeping track of the many dust-covered artifacts spread throughout the property. But when Kelly finds Sylvia Porter’s lifeless body, menial tasks don’t seem so terrible. Enlisting the help of a ragtag group of brainy retirees, aka the “Silver Sentinels,” Kelly’s on the hunt for clues hidden behind the mansion’s glamorous façade. . .and for a killer who may want to make history of her next!
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
Murder at the Mansion
By Janet Finsilver
KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP.Copyright © 2016 Janet Finsilver
All rights reserved.
As I straightened out the Jeep after rounding a long curve, Redwood Cove popped into view. White buildings, looking like small squares, dotted a grove of trees. An aquamarine Pacific Ocean crashed against rocky outcroppings on my left, spewing foam and creating swirling mists.
Redwood Cove. My new home.
Excitement pushed away the weariness of long driving hours from Wyoming. My heart beat faster and goose bumps rose on my arms.
My new home. I whispered it aloud.
My new job. I spoke it aloud.
Tiredness slipped away as my mind raced ahead. My foot remained steady on the gas pedal, remembering the horse trailer I pulled behind me, filled with my belongings. I turned off the song "Walking on Sunshine" playing on the radio, put the window down, and let the salty breath of the ocean pour in.
I visualized the business cards nestled in a leather case in my purse. Resorts International in raised letters at the top. Kelly Jackson, manager, Redwood Cove Bed-and-Breakfast artfully displayed in the middle. The cards would rest on the engraved brass holder my boss, Michael Corrigan, had sent as a welcoming gift.
I turned off the highway and the steeple of Redwood Cove Bed- and-Breakfast stood out against the sky. As I pulled into the driveway of the B & B, I inhaled deeply, struck by the sheer beauty of the place as well as the intense sweet fragrance permeating the air. The brilliant array of flowers on the trellised vines created a kaleidoscope of color next to the elegant white sculpted pillars. Gingerbread trim adorned the two-story inn.
I drove to the back and pulled off to the side of the parking area by the garage. The back door of the inn burst open, and a ten-year-old boy bounded down the stairs, followed by a short, heavyset basset hound.
"Miss Kelly! Miss Kelly! Hi!" Tommy Rogers slid to a stop in front of me. "Welcome back." His tricolored hound, Fred, jumped up and down next to him, or at least as best he could. His upper torso could only clear the ground by a couple of inches.
I smiled. "Glad to be here, Tommy."
He flew by me with Fred at his heels and clambered onto the fender of the trailer. "Did you bring a horse? Did you? Did you?"
"No, sorry, Tommy. It's filled with my things."
Helen, Tommy's mother, had followed him outside. She wiped her hands on her apron and gave me a hug. "It's so good to have you back, Kelly."
I returned the embrace. She looked much better than the last time I saw her, with more color in her face and no longer gaunt and haggard looking.
"And it's wonderful to see you, Helen. And Tommy and Fred again, of course." I smiled at her. "I'm excited to hear how things are going."
"Why the horse trailer?"
"I decided this trailer was the easiest way for me to haul my stuff. My parents are going to come for a visit in a couple of months when the Wyoming weather at the ranch makes California sound good. They'll take it back with them then."
Tommy climbed down and petted Fred, who'd been unsuccessful at jumping up on the fender of the trailer.
"I didn't bring a horse, Tommy, but I do have my saddle. Would you like to see it?" The last time I'd been here, Diane at Redwood Cove Stable had offered to let me ride an Appaloosa, Nezi, when the horse was available. I intended to take her up on it.
I went over to the trailer, unlatched the tailgate, and placed it on the ground, forming a ramp. The saddle was on a wooden stand I'd secured to the wall. Tommy rushed into the trailer and began to trace the intricate tooled leather pattern with his fingers.
"I'll be doing some riding at a local stable," I told him. "It's nice to have my own saddle because the stirrups are adjusted for me and the seat fits." And it's part of my family life I brought with me.
"Cool. Did you bring your bridle?"
"No, the bits used on the bridles are specific to each horse's need. There are lots of different types."
Tommy reached out and touched my leather belt, with the gold-and-silver championship barrel racing buckle. "Wow." His eyes were wide.
I had never heard a one-syllable word sound so long as when Tommy uttered that word. I had wrapped the belt around the saddle horn at the last minute. It wasn't everyday wear, but I'd ridden with it for years and decided to bring it along.
Before I could explain, my attention was drawn away to the rattling engine of an approaching vehicle. I looked down the driveway as a faded blue Volkswagen bus approached.
I knew it well.
The vehicle parked at the back of the inn, and tall, lanky Daniel Stevens emerged, the newly appointed manager of Ridley House, a sister property. His daughter, Allie, appeared from around the back of the bus. They were father-daughter look-alikes with their straight blue-black hair, high cheekbones, and copper-hued skin.
Daniel gave me a quick, friendly hug. "It's good to have you back."
"I'm glad to be here."
Allie smiled. "Hi, Kelly."
Tommy called out, "Allie, come look at this cool saddle and belt."
She left to join him.
"How are the renovations coming?" I asked.
"Fine. They're on schedule," Daniel replied. "Should be done by the beginning of next week, and Redwood Cove B and B will be ready to open."
"Michael asked me to do an inventory of some historic items at a place called Redwood Heights and help out with a festival this weekend."
"He told me," Daniel said. "After acquiring Ridley House a couple of months ago, Michael decided to put Redwood Heights up for sale. It's a little different from his other properties," Daniel said.
A glance passed between Helen and Daniel.
What was that about?
"I've been helping with some repairs to get the place ready to sell," Daniel continued. "Michael's got an interested buyer. It's worked out well, since I've been overseeing the construction on all three places."
Helen chimed in. "I've been preparing the afternoon appetizers. Since I was available, it made sense to give the cook at the Heights a chance to have a vacation."
"What's the event this weekend?" I asked. "Michael said you'd fill me in."
"The whales migrate this time of year," Helen explained. "And there are some great whale watching opportunities. Communities up and down the coast host various events."
"We call our festival Whale Frolic," Helen added. "There'll be a chowder contest and the inns around town will have wine and gourmet treats for people to enjoy. Redwood Heights will be one of the places participating. The money from ticket sales benefits the local hospital."
Daniel watched the kids happily chattering as they examined the saddle and the belt. "There's a social hour at five at Redwood Heights if you'd like to go tonight," he said. "That is, if you're not too tired."
"Sounds great. After all the sitting I've been doing, I'd enjoy some activity."
"We can introduce you to the manager, Margaret Hensley." He shot Helen another quick look.
What was going on between these two?
A creaking noise caused the three of us to look down the driveway. A large motor home was crawling toward us, rocking gently from side to side. It drove by and parked in front of my Jeep.
Pictures of two larger-than-life beagles covered the side of the RV. One of them wore a pink collar, the other one blue. The slogan emblazoned next to them read, "Bedbugs? Termites? If you've got 'em, they'll find 'em. Call on Jack and Jill. Get the four-legged pros on the job and have a restful sleep tonight." A phone number was underneath it.
"Daniel?" I turned and looked at him. "Is there something you haven't told me?"CHAPTER 2
Daniel laughed. "No. There's nothing to worry about."
"What a relief!"
"That's Stephen, Gertie's son. He and his dog team checked the inn and didn't find anything. Before he could check the other buildings, he got called away on a bedbug emergency, but now he's back."
It was my turn to laugh. "A bedbug emergency. That's a new one for me."
"Tomorrow he's going to start work at Redwood Heights. He —"
A honking car horn interrupted him. We looked around. A gold vintage Mercedes sedan sailed by and floated to a stop. Hands waved from the four open windows.
The driver's door opened and a diminutive man in a tweed jacket and tan cap got out. He opened the back door, took the cane that was handed to him, and offered his arm to the occupant. A tiny woman emerged, her silver hair glinting in the sunlight. While this was happening, the other three passengers disembarked.
The group rushed toward me, all talking at once.
"Welcome back, Miss Kelly," Ivan's booming voice rang out.
Mary Rutledge said in her usual soft voice, "So wonderful to have you here."
There they were, the Silver Sentinels, each of them dear to my heart. The dapper Professor, no-nonsense Gertie with her cane, Mary carrying the ever-present container of goodies, and the Doblinksy brothers, Ivan and Rudy. Their monochromatic hair color ranged from the Professor's white to Rudy's steel gray. I wondered what the crime-solving group of senior citizens had been up to since I left. I looked forward to finding out.
"So lovely to see you again, my dear," the Professor said. He clasped my hand and gave it a soft squeeze.
He had informed me when I first met him his name was Herbert Winthrop, but he went by Professor, part of his inheritance from the time he taught at the University of California in Berkeley.
"Nice to see you, Professor." I returned his gentle pressure.
Mary pushed the plastic box she held into my hands. "Honey, I'm sure you're hungry after all the driving you've been doing. I made you some special treats."
The same mothering Mary — round features, plump cheeks. Always sure to have something sweet to share with others.
I lifted the lid and found my favorite cookies: giant chocolate chip. My mouth watered at their freshly baked smell.
"Thanks. I'm sure they'll be delicious as always." I put my arm around her shoulders and gave her a hug.
Bear-sized Ivan and his slightly built brother jostled each other as they came to greet me.
Ivan turned his fisherman's cap around and around in his hands. "We so happy you back." His Russian accent was heavy, but his meaning came through clearly. "And now you stay."
"Yes, Ivan, now I stay." I smiled at him. "I'm happy to be back, too."
Rudy gently patted my arm. "Now we are all together again."
The Sentinels had made me an honorary member during my previous stay at Redwood Cove when we worked a case together. "Yes, and I look forward to hearing what you've been doing."
"A bit of this and bit of that," the Professor said.
Gertrude Plumber, who preferred to be called Gertie, approached. The cane all but disappeared when I experienced the strength of her personality. "Smart bringing your stuff in a horse trailer. From your parents' ranch, I presume. Didn't have to rent anything."
"Right." When I had been given the manager's job at Redwood Cove B & B, they had all turned out to wish me well and a speedy return as I left for my parents' place to pack my things.
"I'd like you to meet my son, Stevie," Gertie said.
While we'd been talking, the man driving the motor home had joined the group. He stepped forward and stood next to his mother, making me think of Paul Bunyan and Tinker Bell. Only this Paul Bunyan wore a tie-dyed, waffle-knit long-sleeved top, faded jeans, and Birkenstocks. His receding hairline flowed into a head of gray hair, then into a long ponytail. The wire-rimmed glasses he wore framed a pair of the gentlest eyes I'd ever seen.
He gave me a little wave. "Hi there."
"Glad to meet you."
Mary beamed at me. "Sweetie, you must be tired, so we'll go. As soon as we heard you were here, we wanted to come and say hi." She turned to Helen, and her dimples came into view. "Thanks for calling. I activated our phone tree, and here we are."
Ah, yes, the wildfire communication system of the small community. Obviously it was alive and well.
"Stevie's birthday is tomorrow, and I'm having a party. We'd like you to join us," Gertie said.
"I'd love to. Thank you for the invitation."
"You're welcome. Seven o'clock. And, please, no gifts. I'm keeping this simple."
They all piled back into the car and left amid a chorus of good-byes.
As things quieted, we became aware of howls from the motor home. Two dogs peered at us through a window.
"I'll let Jack and Jill out now and start checking the garage and work shed," Stevie said.
He walked over to his RV, opened the driver's side door, and out bounded two beagles. They were almost identical in markings, except that one had a pink collar and the other one blue.
"The pink collared one is Jill, the other one's Jack. Big surprise, I bet." He chuckled. "It's an easy way for people to tell them apart."
Allie and Tommy had gotten out of the horse trailer along with the basset hound. Jill ran over to Fred and immediately began making friends. Jack, ahead of her, stopped and turned around with a puzzled look on his face. Where was his partner?
Jack turned and hurried back. Suddenly Jill went into play pose. The dogs didn't move for a couple of seconds, and then they were off. Brown, white, and black spotted canines ran happily around in circles.
Doggie playtime always brought a grin to my face. Their wild abandon expressed sheer joy. It would be wonderful if humans could do it so easily.
"Jack and Jill, come." Stephen leashed his team as they skidded to a stop at his side. "Time for you to earn your kibble."
Tommy came over. "They're trained sniffers, right?"
Stevie laughed. "Yes. You could say that."
"Fred is, too. He was trained to detect cancer."
"Wow! I've heard about that," Stevie said. "They have a lot in common. Maybe that's why they're getting along so well."
Tommy looked at his mother. "Allie and I are going to start our homework now."
"Good idea. There's fresh lemonade in our refrigerator."
Tommy and Helen lived in a small cottage behind the B & B. He and Allie raced each other, with Fred close behind. It wasn't much of a match with Allie's long legs.
"Is it okay to pet your dogs?" I asked Stevie.
"Sure. They love all the attention they can get."
I knelt down next to them and rubbed their ears, one hand for Jack, the other for Jill.
Stevie turned to Daniel. "I'll check Helen's cottage tomorrow. I should be done by late morning, and then I can start on Redwood Heights."
"Great. I'll meet you here, and we can go over together."
"Sounds like a plan, man."
I stood. "Your dogs are sure cuties."
"Thanks. They're my kids. I love them. And they're good at what they do." Stevie led the beagles off to the garage.
Daniel moved toward the trailer. "Kelly, do you want help unpacking?"
"No, thanks. I'm just going to take in the basics I used at the hotels on the drive here for now."
Helen started back to the inn. "I need to finish the appetizers for tonight."
"Why don't I pick you both up in an hour?" Daniel asked.
Helen and I agreed that worked for us.
Looking around, I decided the best place to leave the trailer was next to the garage. I closed the horse trailer, drove it closer to the building, and parked. I unhitched it and took the Jeep back to the parking lot. I grabbed my backpack and black duffel bag from the backseat and went into the inn through the back door. I entered the large multipurpose room.
The kitchen area lined one wall, with a counter separating it from the main room. It worked as both a place to eat and a food preparation area. A granite island with stools to accommodate six people stood next to the counter. A large oak table supplied a place to sort papers, lay out numerous contracts, and provided an alternate eating site. A television, overstuffed chairs, and beanbags that could be pulled out for additional seating were off in one corner for leisure moments.
It was the main room for the inn's staff activities. The person who designed it had functionality and quality in mind. It was a room you walked into and felt surrounded by comfort. I loved it.
"Your place is open," Helen called out as she grabbed trays of stuffed mushrooms from the refrigerator.
"Thanks." My place. My wonderful, incredible place.
Once again my heart raced faster. This time my feet picked up their pace as well.
The Oriental runner covering the dark wood floor muffled my steps as I walked down the hallway. Ahead, I saw the door to my rooms. I paused a moment, then opened it.
As I stepped in, I thanked the architect who created the work of art that brought light and nature together in such a spectacular way. Walls of glass framed the rugged coastline. Churning waves, craggy rocks, and a jagged beach stretched out ahead of me. The inn's lush gardens enclosed the room on one side. The flowers created a riot of color and looked like a painting. Little brown birds — LBBs, as my birder friend called them — landed on a feeder in the yard, so close I could see the distinctive differences in their feather patterns.
I put my bags on the bench seat next to the wall and went into the miniature kitchen. It was as I remembered. Everything sized for a small unit, except for the large, professional coffeemaker, an important piece of equipment in my boss's life. I put the makings together for an espresso and started it up. I peeked in the bedroom and was surprised to see a new comforter set. Swirls of green and blue made it one with the view from the front room.
Excerpted from Murder at the Mansion by Janet Finsilver. Copyright © 2016 Janet Finsilver. Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Very good all around read! Enjoyed the plot and no foul words to ruin my enjoyment! Thanks to the author who proves a fine read can be done with clean language!!
This is the second book in the Kelly Jackson Mystery series. You can read this as a stand alone story, but I would suggest you read the first book to get to know the characters. Kelly has completed her move to Redwood Cove Bed & Breakfast where she's the new manager. At this time they are having renovations completed so are not open to the public at the time of this book. Kelly has been asked to help out at a sister resort, Redwood Heights doing an inventory. Kelly's boss, Michael Corrigan, is selling the resort and wants to be sure of its contents. Margaret Hensley, the acting manager of Redwood Heights is a friend of Michaels and a bit difficult to work with. The resort has a couple of issues during the book, one is that jewellery is being stolen, the second is a murder of a Resorts International "secret shopper", Sylvia Porter, staying at the resort to assess service. Because a couple of people that Kelly knows and likes are suspects, she once again begins to investigate while doing her inventory. With some of the papers Kelly is cataloguing getting stolen and one of the Silver Sentinels being attacked, the danger rachets up as the story develops. I like the people she works with at the Inn. They are friendly, and there are some dogs and a couple of kids to keep life fun and interesting. And then there are the Silver Sentinels, a group of elderly sleuths who help out with whatever they think needs to be done in the investigation. Kelly is caring, smart, helpful, thoughtful, and loyal. She takes a few risks but she's not usually careless. She's not afraid to ask for help or accept it, which is a nice change from many sleuths who plunge headlong into scary situations alone. All of the characters, whether minor or major, were real, interesting, and believably quirky. This makes the story interesting and more real to me. I would like to meet the characters in Redwood Cove. "Murder at the Mansion" was enjoyable and the identity of the culprit kept me guessing right to the end. The clues were there but they were carefully sprinkled throughout the book and mixed in with enough red herrings to keep me guessing. "Murder at the Mansion" is a well-written mystery that wasn't too easy to solve with just enough quirkiness to make it an enjoyable cozy mystery.
Dollycas’s Thoughts Kelly Jackson is the new manager at the Redwood Cove B&B and while some renovations are being made she is helping out another Resorts International estate, Redwood Heights. The manager there is a little prickly about Kelly taking an inventory of the place but Kelly is making the best of the situation. When she finds one of the guests Sylvia Porter, dead the inventory goes on hold. She knows she will need the Silver Sentinels help to find the killer. I reviewed the first book in the series, Murder at Redwood Cove, last Friday. It was such a joy to read these stories back to back. The staff at the Redwood Cove B&B were all helping out at Redwood Heights for the Whale Frolic event. The Silver Sentinels, Ivan, Rudy, Gertie, Mary, and the Professor used the conference room at Redwood Cove as their meeting place. Scott Thompson, another employee of Resort International also makes a return. So all the characters I liked in the first book were back. New characters were introduced and unfortunately most of them became suspects. I was happy to see Scott return and enjoyed the romantic tingles between him and Kelly. I almost forgot the mention 2 more dogs, beagles, Jack and Jill, join the cast. They have a very interesting talent. There are 2 mysteries in the story. Along with the murder guests at Redwood Heights have reported pieces of jewelry missing. Both take several twists. One is filled with a little espionage, a bit of intriguing history, family secrets and a deep hatred is revealed. The senior citizens are like dogs with bones trying to figure who would want Sylvia Porter dead and why. Kelly makes some interesting discoveries that again put her in harm’s way. It was a lot of fun following right along with all the clues. The other mystery has a very clever conclusion. Again, these characters just shined. The author has really fleshed them out and made them real and vital. I am really excited about this series. I will be anxiously awaiting the next installment!
Title: Murder at the Mansion - Kelly Jackson Mystery Book 2 Author: Janet Finsilver Published: 6-7-2016 Publisher: Kensington Books/Lyrical Underground Pages: 190 Genre: Mystery, Thrillers & Suspense Sub Genre: Women's Fiction; Cozy Mystery; Private Investigators: Animals ISBN: 13: 9781616509316 ASIN: B015MA6EDO Reviewer: DelAnne Reviewed For: NetGalley Rating: 4.5 Stars I received a copy of "Murder at the Mansion" from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest review. Publisher's Description: Fortunes, fineries, and foul play . . . It's whale-watching season in Redwood Cove, and B&B manager Kelly Jackson's battening down the hatches for the tourist rush at Redwood Heights—a Victorian-style estate owned by her boss. And due to recent jewelry thefts, her duties include keeping track of the many dust-covered artifacts spread throughout the property. But when Kelly finds Sylvia Porter's lifeless body, menial tasks don't seem so terrible. Enlisting the help of a ragtag group of brainy retirees, aka the “Silver Sentinels,” Kelly's on the hunt for clues hidden behind the mansion's glamorous façade. . .and for a killer who may want to make history of her next! My Review: Kelly Jackson, manager of the Redwood Cove B & B. While investigating the rash of recent thefts at the B & B she finds a guest murdered in her room. At the request of her boss and the police she helps look for the killer. Kelly is an intelligent, savvy woman who uses her connections and sleuthing abilities to sole the multiple mysteries taking place in "Murder at the Mansion". I adore reading about her and the Silver Sentinals, a quirky group of silver haired regulars that often assist Kelly in her detecting efforts. Janet Finsilver has a way of describing the scenery and events that makes you feel as though you are on the bluff with the salt spray blowing in your face. You can imagine the pod of whale swimming in the ocean. No longer to travel myself I can travel around the world through books that authors share with their readers. Ms. Finsilver is a talented author look forward to seeing more of in the future. My rating of "Murder at the Mansion" is 4.5 out of 5 stars.
I received a copy in exchange for an honest review To summarize: I enjoyed returning to this town and the tight group of friends. It was a fun read, but I felt it wasn't as good as the first book. The setting changes slightly and now takes place at a mansion and while I understood why, I would've liked to see more of the B&B. The mystery had some nice ties with some historical events and it was interesting enough. Who the murderer was didn't surprise me, but at the same time there weren't as many good clues in this person's direction. I don't really care for the romance. I do like most of the characters and I like seeing them interact. There are some great side characters and I enjoyed reading about them and this small cozy town.
Like Kelly, I always imagine all of California as being warm and sunny. The northern California setting was a new one for me, and I loved the idea of the cozy B&B and Inn along the coast. There is a great supporting cast to help Kelly solve the crimes at Redwood Heights. I think I’d like to spend an evening hanging out with the Silver Sentinels, as they call themselves. With plenty of misdirection to keep me guessing, I found this to be an entertaining read. There are lots of returning characters in this story. I admit, it took me a little while to get them all straight in my head! While the mystery was enjoyable on its own, since this is only the second book in the series, I’d suggest starting back at the beginning if you’re going to give this one a try. NOTE: I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and comments are my own.
The first book in this series, Murder at Redwood Cove, was a fabulous four star read from a debut author. The combination of a scenic setting, colorful characters, and a unique plot-line served to capture my attention and brought me back for more. At the end of book one, Kelly Jackson, temporary manager of Redwood Cove Bed and Breakfast became the permanent manager with her decision to settle down in the area. She has just barely returned from her parents home in Wyoming, loaded down with a horse trailer full of her things when she heads over to Resort Internationals other local property, Redwood Heights to assist with doing an inventory in preparation of it's sale. While she is there, a guest falls down some stairs and swears that she was pushed. When the same guest ends up murdered the very next day, suspicion falls on everyone who was in the mansion at the time. And with a recent spate of jewelry thefts at the mansion, everyone is suspect and on edge wondering if the two crimes are connected. Kelly has to call on the Silver Sentinels to help her sort through historical paperwork, find missing suspects and work to find the guilty party or parties. I really don't want to spoiler anything too badly, but I just have to say that I was completely fooled by the thief. There were plenty of hints dropped, but I didn't put it together until after Kelly explained. The murderer was a bit of a surprise; I was almost all the way there when they exposed themselves as the killer. Wooboy, what a moment that was! The reveal was so clever and unexpected that I had to go back and reread it a couple times to make sure that I had it all correct. Though this book gives us a bit more background on Kelly, as well as the Silver Sentinel individuals, it still defers much of their history to be discovered in coming books. I had a marvelous time in the town of Redwood Cover and can't wait to see what happens next. A great read, I gave it 4 stars. Netgalley and Kensington Books provided me with this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
The Redwood Cove mysteries continue to delight - offering readers a thrilling mystery set against the beautiful backdrop of Mendocino. Not only that, the residents are charming, particularly the Silver Sentinels - Redwood Cove's senior sleuths. It is easy to fall in love with the residents of Redwood Cove, both human and animal and Janet Finsliver's writing makes the town appealing despite the number of crimes that occur. Kelly Jackson has returned to Redwood Cove to manage the Redwood Cove B&B. While renovations are being completed, Kelly is helping with inventory for Redwood Heights, a property being managed by the prickly Margaret Hensley. When a guest, Sylvia Porter, says that someone pushed her down the stairs, Kelly doesn't find anything amiss. The next day, Kelly finds Sylvia's body. With a murder and a slate of thefts in the offing, Kelly enlists the help of the Silver Sentinels. Dog lovers will enjoy Jack and Jill, the working beagles whose noses are built for detection, and Fred, the basset hound. Murder at the Mansion is a great follow up to Murder at Redwood Cove, Janet Finsilver's first Kelly Jackson mystery. 5/5 I received a copy of Murder at the Mansion from the publisher and netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review. --Crittermom
Murder at the Mansion by Janet Finsilver is the second book in A Kelly Jackson Mystery series. Kelly Jackson has just arrived in Red Cove, California at the Redwood Cove Bed-and-Breakfast where she is the new manager. The B and B has been undergoing renovations and is not quite ready to open yet. Kelly’s boss, Michael Carrigan, has tasked her with doing an inventory of Redwood Heights (a property that he is selling and has been experiencing thefts). Kelly is at Redwood Heights when a scream is heard. Kelly rushes into the lobby to find guest, Sylvia Porter at the bottom of the stairs. Sylvia is upset and states someone pushes her. Margaret Hensley, temporary manager of Redwood Heights, is courteous, but it is obvious she believes the guest fell (and was not pushed). Evidently, Sylvia has been a demanding guest since her arrival. The Whale Frolic Festival is happening that weekend in Redwood Cove. Margaret asks for Kelly’s help on an outing for the guests. Sylvia asks to return to the inn early to rest but wants to be awakened in time for the tour (they offer tours of the historic Redwood Heights with a costumed docent). Kelly goes to awaken Sylvia and receives no answer. Kelly gets the master key and enters the room to find Sylvia dead at the dressing table. Kelly immediately locks the room (after taking in some key details) and contacts the police. Is Sylvia’s death related to the thefts? Something odd is going on at Redwood Heights, and Kelly sets out to investigate. She enlists the help of her friends, the Silver Sentinels (Ivan, Rudy, Gertie, Mary, and the Professor). Will they be able to solve the riddles before there is another victim? Murder at the Mansion was a cute cozy mystery novel. It has engaging characters, it is easy to read, has a beautiful setting, and an interesting mystery. It is the second book in the series, but can easily be read alone. I give Murder at the Mansion 4.25 out of 5 stars (I liked it). I just wish the mystery had been more difficult to solve (though the author did a good job as misdirection). I was able to pick out the guilty party early in the book (thanks to one clue). I liked the authors handling of the thefts. It was very unique and clever. I will definitely read the next novel in A Kelly Jackson Mystery series. I received a complimentary copy of Murder at the Mansion from NetGalley (and the publisher) in exchange for an honest evaluation of the novel.
This is a great book; this is the second book in the A Kelly Jackson Mystery series written by Janet Finsilver. This book can be read as a standalone, but once you read this one you will want to go back and read the other books in this series. Kelly Jackson is a B&B manager at Redwood Heights a Victorian-style estate owned by her boss. Due to recent jewelry thefts, her duties include keeping track of the many dust-covered artifacts spread throughout the property. But when Kelly finds Sylvia Porter’s lifeless body, menial tasks don’t seem so terrible. She is determined to find the killer she enlists the help of a ragtag group of brainy retirees, aka the “Silver Sentinels”. This is a great book with a wonderful story and well developed characters. This book will keep you reading long into the night. If you are looking for a great book, then you need to read this book. I am looking forward to reading the next book by this great author. A Review copy was provided to me in exchange for a fair and honest review. The free book held no determination on my personal review.
Murder at the Mansion by Janet Finsilver is the second in her Kelly Jackson cozy mystery series. I loved the first book and I think this one was even better than the first. Ms. Finsilver's writing is smooth and fast paced. Her descriptions of the characters and the scenes is clear; and she doesn't dwell on the outdoors or the rooms but sets the scenes and lets the characters take you on the next step of the mystery. I do love Kelly. She is strong and determined but soft hearted and open to her new friends and new job in Redwood Cove. The secondary characters are all well drawn and likable. The Silver Sentinels are a wonderful group of seniors that I would love to get to know personally. Several unpredictable plot twists kept me turning the pages until I finished the book. Now I am sad because I will have to wait until her next book is available. I was given an ARC from Lyrical Underground via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts expressed in this review are my own.
This is the second in this series featuring B & B manager Kelly Jackson. In this fun addition to the cozy family, Kelly is returning to her new position as B & B manager in Redwood Cove. As renovations are still under way at Kelly's B & B, she is working for her boss at Redwood Heights, a high end resort which has had some recent thefts. When Kelly finds the body of Sylvia Porter, an investigation soon follows and Kelly not only finds herself investigating the murder, but finds herself a target as well. I really like this series, the characters are very believable and I love the group that calls themselves "The Silver Sentinels." I received an ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my fair and honest review.
She crawled in
He smiles knowing this was his chance. He grabbed his belt.
"Help. I'm stuck."