The fifth annual Pennyfoot Hotel holiday mystery has arrived! Cecily Sinclair Baxter, manager of the exclusive country club resting on the quiet southeast coast of England has her staff busy cooking and decorating in anticipation of a successful, and body-free, Christmas season. While the kitchen staff is baking up a storm, Cecilyís best friend Madeline is adding festive displays in the halls and common rooms of the hotel.
Unfortunately, a missing silver-plated candlestick throws a wrench into the cheerful activities as Cecily wonders if they have a thief among them. When a former employee lands facedown in the duck pond, the murder becomes a higher priority. Ian Rossiter left the hotel years ago, but due to animosity between Ian and ex-wife Gertie, the hotelís head maid and the mother of his twin sons, the suspect list is unduly short.
Although Gertie has a hot temper and a less than desirable willingness to cooperate with the investigation, Cecily believes she is innocent and feels compelled to start an investigation on her own. Complicating her investigation is P.C. Sam Northcott, the local constable who tends to see things differently than Cecily in most cases. He is sure Gertie is guilty, but decides to remand her into Cecilyís custody rather than have her sitting in jail.
Then Madeline has a vision that there is more misfortune in their future, which does not bode well for a merry holiday season.
The latest edition to the long-running Holiday Pennyfoot Hotel series, Decked with Folly was written by Kate Kingsbury. Previous books in the series include No Clue at the Inn; Slay Bells, Shrouds of Holly, and Ringing in Murder. Other series by Kingsbury include the Pennyfoot Hotel Mysteries and the Manor House Mysteries. She also writes as Rebecca Kent.
Decked with Folly has an early 20th century setting, prior to World War I. The vibe is similar to the popular British show Upstairs, Downstairs as it shows the difference between the two classes working and residing at the Hotel. Readers are allowed to listen in on conversations in both locations.
The interactions between Cecily and her husband Baxter, and Gertie and her friend Dan provide a healthy look at the inside workings of relationships and how love can overcome whatever stress a couple may experience.
Longtime fans of the Pennyfoot series will gladly welcome this holiday edition, and new readers will desire to check out previous books for the history that comes with any series.