Judith McMonigle Flynn has her hands full with unexpected family ties and a dead body in the backyard in this delightfully zany mystery in Mary Daheim’s popular Bed-and-Breakfast series.
Rodney Schmuck and his wife, Millie, Hillside Manor’s latest guests, seem normal, well, except for that last name. Innkeeper Judith McMonigle Flynn is touched to hear that the fortysomething couple is in town to visit family. Rodney is especially eager to see his long-lost mother—who he insists is Judith. Shocked to meet an alleged son she’s sure she never had, she can’t believe Rodney when he swears he has proof from a Norway General Hospital birth certificate listing Judith Anne Grover as his mother.
The father’s name is Unknown.
Judith has never heard of Rodney, let alone given him life. But she’s got a bigger problem when one of the B&B guests turns up dead in the backyard. To Judith’s surprise, Joe is willing to help investigate. He can’t ignore a potential homicide that hits so close to home.
But Rodney is seeking compensation for Judith’s so-called abandonment of him. Perhaps she’ll sign over Hillside Manor? Fat chance of that, Judith declares, and wonders what kind of scheme Rodney has on his devious mind. For that matter, she also wonders why the rest of the guests in his party are acting so strangely. With Joe hot on the killer’s trail, Cousin Renie is persuaded to help Judith discover the truth about the Schmucks and their mysterious hangers-on. If they don’t act fast, Hillside Manor could end up as Schmucks’ Gold Mine.
Mary Richardson Daheim is a Seattle native with a communications degree from the University of Washington. Realizing at an early age that getting published in books with real covers might elude her for years, she worked on daily newspapers and in public relations to help avoid her creditors. She lives in her hometown in a century-old house not unlike Hillside Manor, except for the body count. Daheim is also the author of the Alpine mystery series, the mother of three daughters, and has three grandchildren.