On Flashback Fridays I will share with you the books I missed when they were first
released that have been screaming at me from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.
A Fright to the Death:
A Family Fortune Mystery
3rd in the Series
Setting – Michigan
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (April 7, 2015)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Daniel Craig
Cover Design by Judith Lagerman
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
E-Book ASIN: B00LMGK3WG
After their flight to Mexico is cancelled, Clyde and her detective boyfriend, Mac, end up snowed in with their families at a supposedly haunted hotel. Clyde’s tarot card reading mother, Rose, is making dire predictions for the weekend, and self-proclaimed pet psychic Aunt Vi is enchanted by the legend of the hotel’s ghost—until the power goes out and a body turns up.
With a hotel full of stranded suspects, Clyde will have to draw on all her skills—both the police ones she’d rather forget and the psychic ones she’d rather ignore—to solve the bone-chilling mystery before someone else gets iced…
All Clyde and Mac wanted was to get away from the Michigan cold and their overwhelming families. Time alone catching rays on a beach in Mexico is delightful, it was for me and Mr. Dollycas but Clyde and Mac don’t even make it to the airport before it starts snowing and I mean really snowing. Mac tries to save the day by taking Clyde to a wonderful castle/hotel to wait out the storm but as soon as the arrive who do they find? Their mothers and Aunt Vi and a bunch of knitters on a weekend retreat. To make matter worse there are no vacancies and Clyde ends up sharing a room with her aunt and her mother and Mac joins his mother in her room. I definitely would have set things up a little differently, sent Mac’s mom to bunk with Rose and Vi and let Mac and Clyde have a room to themselves, but with this family that was not happening. The blizzard seems to camp right over the hotel so everyone is stuck there and the power and phones go out. Oh and one of the owners is murdered shortly thereafter. Now Clyde and Mac have a hotel full of suspects and Aunt Vi wanting to help them investigate. Can their relationship endure this much family togetherness?
Eastman has given us quite a closed room (building) mystery. One of the guests or the staff is a murderer and surprisingly almost anyone could have done it. Vi is even accused at one point. I liked the way Mac and Clyde took charge and interviewed almost everyone. Someone called them on their authority but it didn’t stop them.
Sitting here in the Wisconsin cold with the snow blowing outside I snuggled under a blanket with a cup of hot chocolate and escaped right into this book. As you can see from the cover the dogs even show up at the hotel (their arrival is pretty funny) and I had my Nerabelle curled right up at my feet too.
These characters are a lot of fun. The Fortunes are a unique bunch with their tarot cards and such, but lovable in their own overbearing way. Clyde is getting close to the one-year mark when she needs to decide whether or not she is going to stay in Crystal Haven and her family can’t help but share their opinions. The men in this family are truly outnumbered and outmatched. Eastman has poured her all into these characters.
Carlisle Castle is a wonderful place. The home has been turned into a hotel and the place is full of antiques. Their are rooms in the turrets and hidden stairways and big fireplaces. It is rumored to have a resident ghost too! I wonder if this is based on a real place in Michigan. I would love to visit.
The paranormal aspect in this story was pretty light. Vi and Rose’s attempts to use their “powers” to help wasn’t too successful and Clyde is still learning her capabilities. Seth has some keen insights.
The knitter’s retreat really added some entertaining moments. I learned about yarn bombing and was in awe at some of the items. It would have been a perfect event without the dead body. Snowed in with all the yarn you could imagine with plenty of time to just knit and purl and create.
This is just the 3rd book in this series so I do recommend you start at the beginning so you meet this Fortune – ate family from the start. They have been called “kooky” by several reviewers but I don’t think they are on the same plane as the kooky Adam’s Family, but they are special. You deserve to enjoy them from the beginning. If you are already a fan you know just what I mean.
About This Author
Dawn Eastman is the national bestselling author of Pall in the Family, the first book in the Family Fortune Mystery Series. She lived in Michigan for many years in a house full of animals, unusual people, and laughter. She now lives in Iowa with her husband, son, daughter, and one extremely bossy small dog.
Twitter – @DawnAEastman
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”