"A fun cozy"
Judith McMonigle Flynn and her beloved spouse Joe
temporarily move out of their Hillside Manor bed and
breakfast while the inn is renovated due to fire damage.
Taking their feuding moms with them, the couple joins
Judith's cousin and amateur sleuth partner Renie and her
husband at the Stillasnowamish Resort Casino where Renie
attends a conference.
However, where Judith goes homicide seems to also accompany
her. This time she discovers the multiple stabbed corpse
of magician assistant Salome. Casino manager Pancho Green
asks his friend former cop Joe to investigate the homicide,
but as usual Judith sticks her nose into the case.
Meanwhile Renie desperately tries to stay out of it this
time, but Judith knows whom to turn to when she needs help
in uncovering the identity of a murderer.
The latest Judith tale is a strong amateur sleuth novel
that has a shocker (for this series at least) ending. The
story line is often amusing as the support cast from the
recurring characters as well as the contractors working the
B&B and a second inn exasperate the heroine. The who-done-
it is cleverly designed so that readers along with Joe and
Judith struggle to uncover the identity of the killer.
HOCUS CROAKUS is an entertaining fun bed and breakfast
mystery that will please most of Mary Daheim's fans and
bring new readers to stay at the Hillside Manor.
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted August 28, 2003
A fire that gutted Hillside Manor has left Judith McMonigle
Flynn depressed, frustrated, and in need of a place to stay
while the workers complete their extensive renovation.
Luckily, cousin Renie has the solution: the Stillasnowamish
Casino on Native American land, where Judith can forget her
woes amidst the slots and dazzle, spend some quality
vacation time with ex-cop husband Joe -- as well as with
the battling moms, Gertrude and Aunt Deb -- and distract
Renie herself from the deathly dull conference she's
expected to attend. But all their gamboling and gambling
come to an abrupt halt when the Reaper gets into the act.
The magic dies abruptly for The Great Mandolini when one of
his attractive aides is discovered skewered on one of the
master illusionist's props. Judith's Joe, who is recruited
into the investigation by Tribal Police Detective Jack
Jackrabbit, wants his snooping spouse and her cantankerous
coz to steer clear for their own safety. But all bets are
off when corpse number two materializes from among
Mandolini's adoring entourage of oddball relatives,
relatives' relatives, friends, lovers, and business
Someone is causing murderous confusion that is no illusion,
and it's going to take some serious sleight of hand by
Judith and Renie to unravel this tangled rope trick -- or,
if the cousins aren't careful, they could end up being the