Hello, all. I know it’s been awhile since I’ve reviewed, but I’m not reading nearly as much as I used to. But I have to say, The Inn and Holiday Bay series is slowly changing that.
The series follows Abby Sullivan, who suffers a heartbreaking loss and buys an old mansion in Holiday Bay, Maine to renovate and turn into a bed and breakfast. After moving from San Francisco and setting up home in a small cottage on the property, she quickly gains a new friend in a contractor she hires to do the work. As she settles in, she adopts a big Maine Coon cat named Rufus and meets a woman and a woman named Georgia recovering from her own heartbreak. As Abby and Georgia form a friendship, the mansion slowly takes shape and many secrets are uncovered.
I picked up the first book, The Bodies in the Basement, at the library and was hooked in only a few pages. A young woman is found murdered and Abby discovers boxes in the basement with items belonging to the dead woman and several others. Together with police chief Colt Wilder, she helps to put the pieces together to catch a killer. I loved everything about it; the plot was compelling and engrossing, a definite page turner. I also love the atmosphere of the books, the small town feel, the festive themes of the town, and the warm (and often offbeat!) townspeople create a welcoming and inviting setting. I also love that a rich history of the mansion’s life is woven into the series (I love old houses. Ever watched Restored on DIY Channel? If not, you should, it’s a wonderful show. I love seeing old houses restored!) and the books always has several mini-mysteries along with the central plot. I love when a book has more than one mystery and is handled so well, it’s not hard to follow and adds to the intrigue and this series handles it so well.
Each book covers a mystery in each room of the mansion and the progression from a moldy shell into a beautiful and functioning bed and breakfast. From Letters in the Library to Answers in the Attic (absolutely loved that one!) to a Haunting in the Hallway (currently halfway through this one) this series is a delight! Entertaining, exciting and inviting, it’s the perfect read cozied up in a blanket this winter.