This book is number 16 in the Bed-and-Breakfast Mystery series written by Mary Daheim. It is the first book of this series that I happened to get my hands on. I have to admit that I found the book very slow in the beginning. In fact, it took me almost half of the book to feel like I was enjoying the mystery. But as I got farther into the story, I began to warm up to it more.
Judith Flynn is a middle-aged woman who runs a bed-and-breakfast. Her husband, Joe, is a retired cop and is now working as a private investigator. In this story, Judith is talked into going on a bus tour by her cousin, Renie, and during the tour Judith finds a dead body at the Alhambra Arms, which is being renovated. It turns out that another four-decades-old body was found buried in a wall of the Alhambra Arms by workmen. Judith wonders if these two deaths could be in some way connected, even though they happened so far apart. She puts on her detective cap and, along with assistance from her husband and her cousin, does some investigating to clear up the mystery.
The plot of this story was interesting, but it did take me a while to warm up to the characters. That could have to do with the fact that this is the first book I have read in this series and by this particular author. I absolutely despised the character of Judith's mother, Gertrude, in the novel. Gertrude is a crotchety old lady who doesn't have a nice thing to say about anyone or anything. She hates Judith's husband and calls him names, and even has condescending things to say about her own daughter. In a way, some of the things that Gertrude comes out with are funny, but she is just plain mean.
I am going to be reading other books in this series, but I have to say that this book was a little bit of a disappointment to me. It just didn't hold my interest as much as other mysteries have. But the plot was good, and I was kept guessing as to the identity of the killer, so I will be reading more.