|Washington State B&B owner Judith McMonigle Flynn is suffering from late winter blues. Husband Joe, a former police detective, decides to surprise Judith with a trip to Grimlock Castle, a restored castle in Scotland, where Judith can be on the receiving end of some of the B&B hospitality she is well known for.
Not quite so, Judith quickly learns. With cousin Renie Jones and her husband Bill, the four head to the town where the castle is actually perched on a cliff on an island onthe North Sea and are not met with a warm reception. Mrs. Gibbs, the housekeeper, is not very welcoming, her grandson Harry most standoffish, and there is a little mischievous young man, Chuckie, playing tricks and pranks on the guests.
While Judith and Renie explore St. Fligma, the men go on a fishing trip with the local constabulary only to return home to find Judith and Renie with yet another dead body. An explosion kills Harry Gibbs, making his wife a widow for the second time and an obvious suspect. Given her past history, Judith cannot help herself and starts poking around quickly learning that the villagers are quite tight-lipped when it comes to local affairs. Still, life in the northern town is not as simple and bucolic as it appears and there is a murderer among the close knit villagers.
As always, Mary Daheim’s mysteries are filled with humor, plenty of good suspects and clues and delightful characters. Judith and Renie are a solid detecting team with over 20 capers to their credit. Chuckie adds to the atmosphere as does the reserved Mrs. Gibbs. A fun trip for Judith, Renie and all their fans who know that wherever the two cousins go, trouble and murder cannot be far behind.
--Jennifer Monahan Winberry