Book Reviews

Bed and Breakfast and Murder Fiona Fleming Cozy Mysteries #1

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Fiona Fleming hasn’t lived in Reading, Vermont in over a decade, her escape from small town living leading her to New York City and a life of adventure. An adventure that has left her with no career, an ex who cheated on her and zero plans for the future. Her grandmother’s death grants her a new chance–inheriting Petunia’s, Iris Fleming’s bed and breakfast, seems like the ideal fresh start. But when Fee finds out ownership of the property Iris willed her might be in question, she’s drawn into the seedy underbelly of the cutest town in America after being singled out as the main suspect in a murder.

Here’s a simple list of all the things I hated about this book, keeping in mind I only skimmed it.

The first chapter is gross. Who wants to read about unclogging the toilet and why does this woman have sex on the brain? She seems to think the motion of unclogging the toilet is phallic and then moves on to lusting after the angry, mean sheriff.

Fee is judgmental, childish, too stubborn and a really awful person. She’s even hateful towards the dog and the staff at first. She invades the sheriff’s investigation after he tells her not to- more than once, she gets involved with some pretty nasty stuff that’s bigger than the murder and withholds evidence from the police. Way to go Fee!

The men are sexist and testosterone filled. Her father and the new sheriff are two of a kind. It’s never explained why Fee’s father didn’t want her to go to the police academy. Is it because he
fears the job is unsafe for his only child or is he a sexist pig? He’s not sentimental and a truly awful husband. I don’t know why Fee’s mom, who is lovely, puts up with him. The sheriff, at least, seems to unbend a little and his temperamental outbursts are justified but he must be singularly stupid to NOT figure out who the murderer was right away. It was SOOO obvious! At least the motive was a surprise. The murder victim was a cartoonish bully who pretty much deserved what he got.

His beady blue eyes, so pale they were almost transparent, squinted out of folds, his faintly reddish hair, what was left of it, combed over the shining top of his head. And he had that bully stance, the kind that big men with little care for women seemed to think would make me back down if they just waited long enough.

There were many many grammatical errors and typos. Jones family, Jones’. Simple grammar. Look it up.

Dog fart jokes are present in abundance.

Petunia farted so loudly she woke herself, sitting abruptly upright while the stench of her pug bowels surpassed anything I’d just managed to banish. And that moment that should have been mine, glory gained and earned, turned into a sorry state of affairs when Mary—bless her heart—poked her gray and judging head into the room, nose wrinkled as she took a sniff.

The pug burped softly before farting with great enthusiasm. Almost enough to make me smile.

My memories of the other Petunias were vague and often gross—being licked in the face, snorted on, sat on, farted at—and hadn’t endeared me to the idea of taking on Madam Petunia Her Highness the Fourth.

The door swept open the exact moment the pug farted enthusiastically, the sound and stench about two seconds apart. Cheese farts. The worst.