It’s always fun for me to delve into a mystery after reading so many romance novels. I love challenging myself to figure out who the villain is, collecting the clues the author leaves for her readers, and putting the puzzle together. Death on West End Road has all the pieces and parts that I enjoy, plus the added bonus of the Hamptons as its setting and the owner of a bed and breakfast as its detective.
This is book three in Carrie Doyle’s Hamptons Murder Mysteries series which features B&B owner Antonia Bingham as the amateur sleuth who just can’t stay away from trouble. Antonia is a bit quirky, but she’s also sweet and compassionate and in DoWER her overwhelming desire to help a young girl rest in peace has her nosing around in a decades old murder case, well after she’s worn out her welcome.
The characters are what truly drive DoWER. Antonia makes the reader feel as welcoming as she does her guests at the inn and I enjoyed the time I spent with her. She’s surrounded by an eclectic cast of characters:
- Antonia’s two investigative partners, widower Joseph, who lives at the B&B and the annoying Larry Lipper, a local reporter with a penchant for saying inappropriate things.
- Pauline, an old moneyed resident of Easthampton who hires Antonia to solve the murder of her best friend. Pauline is snobbish, abrasive, and manipulative—a great character that keeps you guessing until the end.
- Giorgio, an Italian visitor to the inn that has traveled across the ocean to find the woman he met once and fell head over heels in love with.
- Antonia’s kitchen crew, including the sous chef who is spending more time taking pictures of food for Instagram than preparing it.
- And, of course, the suspects including a beautiful model, a tennis pro, Pauline’s odd brother, the scorned would-be lover of the deceased, and Pauline’s one-time boyfriend. Each of these characters are somewhat cliché, but interesting nonetheless.
While I love a gritty mystery, DoWER doesn’t fall into that category. Just like a relaxing summer at the beach, the book ebbs and flows with little intrigue yet you’re happy just to be reading it. Antonia spends a lot of time interviewing suspects without making much progress, but the process is fun. Even when the murderer is revealed it feels more like an “Oh, sure” rather than an “Aha!” moment. Despite this, Death on West End Road is time well spent.
I received a copy of Death on West End Road from the publisher in exchange for honest feedback.
Death on West End Road was published by Dunemere Books in June 2017 and can be read as a standalone.