Book Review: Murder at the Willcotts Hotel by Sasscer Hill
A very fine cozy mystery!
Maryland author Sasscer Hill, an amateur jockey and horse breeder, writes mysteries in series – The Nikki Latrelle Horse Racing Mysteries (five volumes), The Fia McFee Mysteries (two volumes to date), TRAVELS OF QUINN, GRIPPING TALES OF FACT AND FICTION, and now a new series The Janet Simpson Cozy Mysteries, of which MURDER AT THE WILLCOTTS HOTEL is the third volume. This novella is short, but Hill’s ability to create memorable characters involved in a tight cozy mystery heightened with humor makes this book asset sail! The main character Janet’s observations are present in the opening lines: “I remember the afternoon Kate arrived at the Willcotts hotel. It wasn’t that she blew in like a pink breeze, her hat piled with coral flowers and feathers. It wasn’t her small, prancing poodle, its collar encrusted with coral-colored rhinestones, and it wasn’t the bellboy staggering beneath her three pin suitcases. No, the memory is sharp because it was the day I met Paul Delaveev…’ The theatrical flare established, the cleverly design mystery unfolds.
Hill succinctly condenses the action: ‘Clever senior, Janet suddenly becomes a very rich widow. But her newfound riches and freedom sometimes bring the kind of trouble from which only her wits can save her. Wintering at an elegant southern hotel, with her new racehorse at a nearby training track, she meets an attractive man. A budding romance begins. But, when he’s a no-show for dinner, her search finds him dead from a brutal attack. Now, she’s a prime suspect for his murder. Her fear doubles when she realizes the niece who has come to stay with her has been followed by a stalker. Can she finger the real killer before death strikes again?’ Short in length, but long in impact, Sasscer Hill continues to impress as a writer of distinction. Recommended for a bedtime read!