Title: Murder En Suite (Joyce and Ginger Mystery #1)
Author: Kate P. Adams
Published on: 25 May 2022
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Murder En Suite is the first book in Kate P. Adams’ Joyce and Ginger Mystery series.
The story begins with Joyce (not) looking forward to her weekend trip with Ginger. A weekend break at a hotel in Buxton, a local spa town, that Joyce often visits does not count as ‘vacation,’ does it?
Ginger’s friend and hotel owner Dennis has given her the newly renovated Mary, Queen of Scots room on top floor while Joyce gets the room next to it. But neither of them expected to find the body of Mary herself, lying dead on the bed, with strangulation marks around her neck.
Well, ‘Mary, Queen of Scots’ is actually Caroline Clatworthy, a part-time hotel employee and tour guide. She often disguised herself as Mary, Queen of Scots on tours. Dennis’ hotel is due for a grand opening in six days and he offers to pay Joyce and Ginger’s bar bill if they solve the crime by them.
Murder En Suite is one of the books under my ‘keeping up with latest book releases spree. Once again, it ended up as a disappointing selection. I really have no idea how to break the jinx of picking not-so-good-reads from the KU catalog. Can someone help me?
I saw a lot of 5 star ratings on Goodreads and decided to give this book a try. I loved the mystery, all right. But the characters were not up to my liking. Two ladies in their sixties, both single, looking forward to spending a quiet time at a hotel end up solving a murder mystery. Sounds like a good plot, doesn’t it?
Joyce runs a gift shop for the Duke and the Duchess while Ginger is a seamstress. Joyce seems to be quite rich and bossy. Throughout the story, there are moments where Joyce ‘orders’ Ginger to bring her morning coffee, pass her bag and whatnot. Ginger even jokes asking what happened to her last slave to which Joyce replies ‘Did not die of natural causes.’ I know, this was supposed to be a silly banter but I found it a tad attitude-ish.
Joyce is looking for husband no. 5. She flirts with the carpenter at the hotel – he is a suspect in the murder case but he’s quite handsome, you see. Then, there is a scene where the two ladies visit an old man (older than them, that is) as a part of their investigation and Joyce realizes the old man is looking at her from head to toe. He even flirts with her (a tad lecherous) and Joyce ignores him as she does not date older men.
Another rant on Joyce and I am done talking about her. From the time Joyce learns of Ginger and Dennis’ friendship, she wants Dennis to tell her some juicy gossip on Ginger. Ginger’s past relationships and all that. There are times when she forces him to divulge some information so that she can use it on Ginger if required. Ugh! Someone is being annoyingly nosy!
The mystery behind the murder kept me guessing till the end. Joyce and Ginger discover something that might be related to Caroline’s murder – something to do with the town’s history. The two go ‘undercover’ – spending a day at the local spa to question a possible suspect, flirt with the carpenter as he’s also a possible suspect, question an old man who flirts shamelessly with Joyce… Hmm.
I have read a lot of mysteries involving amateur sleuths but I have never come across someone who forcefully involves themselves into a murder investigation because they have a challenge to win (no need to pay bar bill if successful). Also, it seemed like the two were making the most of it – spa time and drinks – solving the case might happen along the way. Or not!
Murder En Suite by Kate P. Adams was an okay read. Not my kinda cozy mystery though.