This week on MapYourMystery.com was bookended by Ellie Alexander. Monday I reviewed Beyond a Reasonable Stout and today it's A Cup of Holiday Fear's turn. (A Cup of Holiday Fear was released by St. Martin's Press on September 24.) These books are part of two dynamic and different series written by Ellie Alexander and I have enjoyed both very much.
It's holiday time in Ashland, Oregon, and Torte is hopping. The renovations are complete and the kitchen is running smoothly. In a Cup of Christmas Fear, Jules is thrilled with the increase in business and the capable staff she has assembled. Holidays mean an increase in traffic and Jules is ready for it.
As a special treat for her staff, Jules plans to take them to the annual Dickens feast at the Winchester Hotel operated by the McBeth family. The dinner has been a holiday tradition in Ashland for decades and the Victorian house looks straight out of a fairy tale - decorated with flickering white lights and candles glowing in the windows.
During dinner a woman and two men are seated next to Jules'party. Emma McBeth seems to be taking extra care of her guest, but the woman proves not only to be opinionated, but rude as well. When a tray of Yorkshire pudding falls and spatters debris on her clothes, Cami erupts and says she is firing the waiter. Shocked by her outburst, everyone soon learns that the McBeth's have decided to retire and sell the Inn to Cami. Unbeknownst to them, Cami is planning to fire the entire staff and demolish the lovely Inn.
When Cami winds up dead, the entire McBeth family are considered suspects. Jules knows she needs to help find the murderer and sets off with her pal Lance to do just that.
I always crave pastries and great coffee when I read these books. Good thing there are no actual calories in reading.
Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley.