I participated in the Mystery Read-a-Thon which took place August 8th and 9th. I successfully this book and Finished Off by Rebecca Kent which is the pseudonym for Kate Kingsbury.
Cecily Sinclair owns and runs the Pennyfoot Hotel in Badger's End -- ah, the Inn in Badger's End, I smell a limerick. Things have calmed down since the first murder Cecily investigated (Room with a Clue) and life seems to have returned to normal, until Mr. Bickley is found outside his house, blue and dead. Cecily would have stayed out of the investigation, but some reason the local constable believes one of Cecily's friends, Madeline, the village's local witch, had something to do with the fellow's death because he had had dinner with her the that evening. Then there's a second murder and the fellow was also had dined at Madeline. Yet, both these men also worked for the lighthouse project and there's been some fights over it then the construction on lighthouse gets destroyed. Ian, one of the workers at Pennyfoot Hotel, had left to work on the lighthouse project and had a fight with one of the victims and knew the other. The constable takes Madeline and Ian into custody when a third murder is committed, thus clearing Madeline and Ian. While talking to Colonel Fortes cue (a permanent guest almost), Cecily discovers the origin of the poison. Originally, the doctor thought it was another poison, a plant which conveniently grows in Madeline's gardens, but she swears she wouldn't cook with it. Through speaking with the colonel, Cecily puts the clues together and sets off to get the killer before another victim is claimed.
It's been so long since I read Room with a Clue so I had forgotten who the characters were though I did remember many of them. These books are so hard to find and get a hold of. Now I've read the second book and the third book is in my Wish List, so I'm waiting to continue with the others. This seems to be Kingsbury's favorite series, though I enjoy her Manor House series more and her Bellehaven House (written under Rebecca Kent) one is growing on me, too. While the mystery was good and kept my interest, there was a side adventure of Gertie and others, which I kind of glossed over. Kingsbury handles the romance of the heroine eloquently, but flubs it when it comes to the minor characters.