Hospitality and Homicide (Lynn Cahoon)

May 23, 2017 Book Reviews 4 ★★★

Hospitality and Homicide (Lynn Cahoon)Hospitality and Homicide Series: Tourist Trap Mysteries #8
on May 16, 2017
Pages: 217
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Also in this series: Guidebook to Murder, Mission to Murder, If the Shoe Kills, Dressed To Kill, Killer Run, Murder on Wheels, Tea Cups and Carnage, Killer Party, Rockets' Dead Glare, Santa Puppy, Memories and Murder

A visit to the serene coastal town of South Cove, California, could make anybody feel refreshed and inspired. But as Jill Gardner—owner of Coffee, Books, and More—discovers, some folks won’t live to tell about it . . .

Mystery author Nathan Pike checked into South Cove Bed & Breakfast to compose a compelling novel, not commit murder. But things get real when a rival B&B owner ends up exactly like the victim in his draft—undeniably dead. As Nathan prepares to complete his magnum opus behind bars, Jill’s the only one who can prove his innocence and deconstruct the plot of a twisted killer!

I received a review copy of this book from the publisher.


It’s always fun spending time in South Cove, and I enjoyed my eighth visit there. By this time, most of the residents are old acquaintances. I was happy to see that Jill and Greg are finally discussing the next stage in their relationship. (It’s about time!) Aunt Jackie is softening her edges a little; Harrold is good for her. But I’m worried about her health. Things are changing on other fronts, too, with a new clock shop in town, and changes ahead for Sasha and Toby.

That said, the mysteries—a missing boy and a murdered B&B owner—didn’t feel like the focus of the book. Although the boy is missing from the start, and the murder occurs fairly early on, Jill doesn’t really get started on investigating until quite late in the story. The beginning and some of the middle are taken up with the concerns of her everyday life: her shop, Coffee, Books & More; studying for her business classes at a nearby university; and the fraught question of whether she and Greg should move in together. When there are developments in one or the other of the mysteries, they occur and Jill is involved or hears about it, rather than Jill actively investigating. On the one hand, that is more realistic and makes sense, given Jill’s personality and situation: she’s on the town’s business council; she’s the girlfriend of the town’s police detective; she lives across the street from the police secretary/dispatcher; and she’s best friends with someone who works in the mayor’s office. Naturally, in such a small town, she’s bound to hear about or be connected in some way to almost everything that takes place. And while she’s innately curious and a natural detective, she knows Greg doesn’t want her involving herself in his investigations, so she tries to hold back. Given the distractions of her daily life, I suppose she was more successful than usual this time. But it made for a somewhat lopsided mystery, with most of the clues and revelations coming toward the end.

Book 9 in the series, Killer Party, is due out in July. I hope Jill is a little more engaged in the mystery this time around, but I’ll be looking forward to it regardless. The Tourist Trap mysteries are light, cozy, and fun, a good choice for a hot summer afternoon.


About Lynn Cahoon

Lynn Cahoon is the author of the NYT and USA Today bestselling Tourist Trap cozy mystery series. Guidebook to Murder, book 1 of the series, won the Reader’s Crown for Mystery Fiction in 2015. She’s also the author of the Cat Latimer series; the first book, A Story to Kill, was released in mass market paperback in September 2016. Lynn lives in a small town like the ones she loves to write about with her husband and two fur babies. Sign up for her newsletter at

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • Clean Sweep ARC Challenge 2017

4 Responses to “Hospitality and Homicide (Lynn Cahoon)”

  1. Katherine @ I Wish I Lived in a Library

    That’s too bad that Jill isn’t an active participant in the investigating for awhile though it would make sense. I’m so glad that she and Greg are finally discussing the next step. Like you said – about time! I hoped to get to this one this month but it didn’t work out so I’m really looking forward to reading it and Killer Party soon.
    Katherine @ I Wish I Lived in a Library recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday – My Summer Reading ListMy Profile

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      Cozy mysteries have a very tough balancing act between believability (how many murders can an amateur really get involved in? Without getting in trouble with the police?) and keeping the plot both interesting and moving. This one errs a little on the side of believability, but given the series, it works.

      Actually, that’s one of the things I like about the Aunt Dimity books by Nancy Atherton; the mysteries are small and rarely involve death, so it’s more likely that Lori would get involved. (Though the first five or so are the best.)

  2. Rita @ Paging Through Books

    I’ve read the first two in the series but for some reason lost track. I can understand that a story can be confusing if the MC who is involved in a mystery doesn’t pay attention to the actual mystery. Some stories can be enjoyable just learning about the setting and character development though. This one seems like a nice way to pass the time on a stressed afternoon. Thanks!
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