Huzzah! I’m on the Bookouture blog tour for Emma Jameson’s fifth Jemima Jago mystery, A Death at Bay View Hotel.
Book: A Death at Bay View Hotel
Author: Emma Jameson
Pub Day: August 24, 2023
Join Jemima Jago—librarian, cake lover and fearless super-sleuth—on her next puzzling case, when an entry at a baking competition proves delicious… but deadly!
It’s time for the Bay View Hotel’s annual bake-off and Jem is looking forward to sampling all the cake she can. But when head judge and successful local critic Lemmy Beaglehole drops dead in the middle of tasting a chocolate gateau, Jem can’t resist throwing herself into the investigation.
Jem interviews everyone present and discovers that Lemmy had plenty of enemies at the bake-off and was famous for his venomous reviews. But who could have hated him enough to actually poison him? Was it the long-suffering hotel manager? The local busybody who hated Lemmy enough to stage a protest over his inclusion as head judge? Or the aspiring baker, whose dreams of running his own pastry shop were dashed by a terrible review?
Finding a crumpled rose-patterned envelope that may have contained the poison, Jem feels certain she’s close to the truth. But when a huge storm blows in over the Isles of Scilly, trapping everyone—bake-off contestants, staff and guests—in the hotel overnight, Jem must work fast to untangle the clues and catch the killer before their next toxic treat ends up on her plate!
A fun and page-turning cozy mystery set in the beautiful Isles of Scilly, from the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Emma Jameson. Fans of Agatha Christie, Faith Martin and Betty Rowlands will be utterly hooked!
The book opens with a flaming row between Jem and Rhys. Words are said, and Jem leaves to stay with her best friend Pauley. Pauley is off to another of the Scilly Isles to emcee the annual bake-off at the luxurious Bay View Hotel, and she persuades Jem to tag along.
One Lemmy Beaglehole (what a name!) is this year’s judge, and he is a piece of work. He’s pretty well universally disliked, and when he drops dead after tasting the first contest entry, it’s a shock. You kind of get the feeling no one really mourned his passing, though.
Problem is, no one – contestants and vacationers alike – is getting out of the Bay View with a hurricane blowing in. Sergeant Hackman is on the scene, but an unfortunate allergic reaction has taken him out of commission, so it falls to Jem to sort things out. The more she digs, the more people she finds who have reason to dislike Lemmy. But which of them disliked him enough to kill him?
This is an engaging treatment of the classic locked-room mystery. Jameson gives us a varied cast of characters with a lot of different bones to pick with Lemmy Beaglehole. Lemmy’s vicious words have been directed against Jem’s friend Micki, local baker Trevor, and a host of other people. Jem must consider that perhaps someone she knows and is fond of could be the killer.
Jameson draws vivid pictures with her words. This character description was one of my favorites: “Posh was Madonna if she’d held on to her eighties Material Girl persona right through to midlife.” That immediately brings to mind an image for an ’80s kid like me!
The mystery was twisty enough to keep me guessing. The setting made me want to visit (except sometime when there’s not a hurricane). There were some tense moments when Jem put herself in harm’s way in the course of the story. The banter was charming as always. My only disappointment was that there were no cake recipes included. Alas. Ah well, we can’t have everything, can we? Another win for Emma Jameson and Jemima Jago!
About the author:
Emma Jameson writes mysteries that readers call witty, romantic, and full of surprises. An aspiring novelist since age seven, she took a long, twisty route to the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists. After years of working at a major medical center, her first novel, cobbled together on nights and weekends, became a runaway e-book bestseller. Now she writes full-time and has sold over half a million books. A compulsive reader and information hoarder, Emma is always searching for that fascinating nugget or startling fact that will spark another novel. A lifelong Anglophile, she resides in the United States, where she enjoys swimming, yoga, and serving the needs of not one, not two, not three, but four cats.