Wednesday, October 6, 2021

ARC Review: In Hot Water by Kate Kingsbury

In Hot Water

Kate Kingsbury
Series: A Misty Bay Tea Room Mystery
Publication: Crooked Lane Books (October 12, 2021)

Description: In bestselling author Kate Kingsbury's Misty Bay Tea Room series debut, the proprietress of a British-style tea shop must draw on her love for mystery novels to sleuth a murder.

Vivian Wainwright is living her dream. The middle-aged widow owns the Misty Bay Tearoom, a quaint, English-accented shop on the Oregon coast. But on the eve of the tearoom's second anniversary, the dream turns nightmarish when a man falls to his death from a hotel balcony.

The body belongs to Dean Ramsey, ex-husband of Vivian's assistant, Jenna. Detective Tony Messina quickly zeroes in on Jenna as prime suspect, since she was seen leaving the hotel shortly before the body was found.

Vivian and her other assistant, Gracie, set out to help clear Jenna's name, using their wit and a bit of criminology know-how Vivian picked up from her late attorney husband. Detective Messina is on board, but he's starting to develop feelings for his number one suspect. Puzzling questions persist--chief among them, whose clothes was Dean wearing when he landed on the rocky shore?

To complicate matters, Vivian's friend, pet shop owner Hal Douglass, seems to know some secrets about the hotel that could add a long list of names to the suspect list...including Hal's own. Vivian must work quickly because if she can't, Jenna faces a murder rap...or worse.

My Thoughts: After being widowed, Vivian Wainwright has moved to a coastal Oregon town to fulfill her dream of opening a tea room. She has hired two younger assistants - Jenna and Gracie - and is happy in her new life. 

When Jenna's ex-husband is murdered by falling from the honeymoon suite of the new hotel in town, Jenna is the best suspect. She was supposed to meet him that morning to talk about the alimony that he owed her. The police think they have their suspect in her and don't seem to be looking for another.

Vivian, Jenna, and Gracie decide that have to do something if they want Jenna cleared and begin their own investigation. None of them are experienced investigators. In fact, Vivian's love of reading mysteries and the fact that her husband was a criminal prosecutor is the closest they come to knowing what they are doing. 

The trio does discover that the hotel and Jenna's ex were keeping secrets which puts them in line for threats and for danger. 

This was an entertaining cozy mystery even though I had a pretty good idea of who the villain was quite early on in the story. I liked the characters. Vivian's confusion about her friendship with another of the store owners widower Hal Douglass added a little romance to the book too.

Favorite Quote:
"I know what I heard, and I know what I felt." Vivian sat back, beginning to wonder if Jenna was right. Getting mixed up in a murder case could make someone oversensitive to the most innocuous situations.
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

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