Title: Murder, Bed & Breakfast (A Honey Driver Murder Mystery #1)
Author: Jean G. Goodhind
Published on: 23 March 2022
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Hannah ‘Honey’ Driver isn’t very keen on becoming a Crime Liaison Officer for the Bath Hotels Associations. As a single (and widowed) mother of an eighteen year old, and single-handedly running a B&B is not a cake walk. So, when Casper St John Gervais tells Honey she’s the only suitable candidate for the job (she worked as a senior clerical officer for the Probation Service but Casper thinks it is the same as dabbling with solving crimes…) and promises to send tourists her B&B’s way, Honey cannot say no.
The police officer in charge of the Crime Liaison Officer is the dashing, flirting and a ladies man, Detective Sergeant Steve Doherty. When Honey takes up the ‘case’ of a missing tourist, little did she know it would turn out to be a murder and one heck of a cat-and-mouse chase!
Murder, Bed & Breakfast is the first book in Jean Goodhind’s Honey Driver Murder Mystery series. Originally published as Something in the Blood and recently republished by Joffe Books as Murder, Bed & Breakfast, this book is a quirky, hilarious and fantastic series debut!
The story begins with Casper coercing Honey to take up the role of Crime Liaison Officer for the Bath Hotels Association. Honey did the mistake of arriving at the AGM early and this is what she gets – an amateur sleuthing job! As if, managing a B&B, being a single mother, handling a (mad) mother who tries to set up her daughter (meaning Honey) with (any) man, and a quirky selection of hotel staff wasn’t enough!
Honey is at the auction bidding for Queen Victoria’s bloomers when she receives a call from Casper. Now, if you think Casper is one of the ‘normal’ guys, think again. The man has an obsession for clocks. He has plenty of them in his office, each one of them synced so that they chime together every hour! Then there is Honey and her ‘obsession’ to buying Victorian underwear at auctions. Not to wear, but to put a frame around and hang it in the living room for visitors to see. If that isn’t enough, there’s Honey’s mother. Thrice divorced and probably looking for a fourth husband…
Wait, I am not done yet. There’s Mary Jane. An American in her seventies and guest at the Green River Hotel (Honey’s B&B) who talks to ghosts… She believes Sir Cedric lives in the closet in room 12 and often converses with him. Good Lord!
Then comes the missing American tourist. When Honey arrives at the hotel he stayed in to investigate, she comes across the owner – a creepy guy named Mervyn Herbert. His wife Cora is no different. When Honey asks her if she can check the missing man’s room, she says she’s cleaned up his room and his suitcases are in the store. The ‘store’ being a closet below the staircase… Honey goes through the missing man’s documents – his passports and tickets are still at the hotel. The missing man registered at the hotel under the name Bernstock… but his real name is Elmer John Maxted and he’s a private detective.
Honey meets the officer in charge of collaborating with the Crime Liaison Officer – DS Steve Doherty. Doherty asks Honey if is she’s Bath’s answer to Miss Marple. Honey corrects him saying she doesn’t know to knit nor does she attend tea parties at the vicarage. Ooh, cheeky!
Initially, Doherty and Honey are in a competition of sorts. They are attracted to each other too. But they need to ‘prove’ they are better at solving crime. As the story proceeds, it is Honey who finds more clues about the case. Doherty goes by ‘circumstantial’ evidence and it leads him in the wrong direction. Ouch, what a blow to his ego!
Why did Maxted arrive at Bath? It seems he was looking for his long-lost family. His deceased wife’s sister’s family to be exact. All clues lead to a particular rich and famous name… Then, a body is washed up on the riverside. It is Maxted. His head covered in a spice sack. A suspect in Maxted’s murder goes missing… Their body is found a few days later… in their own garden.
This was a quirky, hilarious, engrossing and entertaining cozy mystery. The quirky humor might be a tad dirty-ish at times but this brought about a dash of naughtiness to the mystery. *wink wink* The characters are super quirky. We also have a love triangle – don’t we love them triangles! Our protagonist made to choose between a handsome ‘good boy’ and a flirty ‘bad boy.’ Hot damn!
Absolutely fantastic storytelling. The mystery behind the murders kept me guessing till the end. I could not guess the identity of the murderer. We readers are given a clue somewhere in the beginning – you know, one of those dialogs you tend to overlook but later turns out to be a vital piece of the puzzle. Yeah, I know right…
Murder, Bed & Breakfast by Jean G. Goodhind is an entertaining, unique and completely engrossing cozy mystery. If you are looking for a quirky murder mystery, you might want to give this book a try.