A divorcée and her grandmother are trying to open a B&B on the Oregon coast, but their plan is derailed by a shocking discovery.
Melanie West and her grandmother Liza Harris have been working to get the large, possibly haunted house they’ve purchased ready for a grand opening. While scraping old wallpaper off a bedroom wall, they uncover a hidden room complete with a long-dead tenant. Officer Ben Carter is sympathetic to their plight, but they must discontinue their work until the low-priority case can be investigated. Desperate to keep things on track, the women decide to do some sleuthing on their own. The corpse, it seems, is that of Angela Morelli, the house's previous owner, who vanished, possibly with a lover, leaving her disabled husband, Vincent, to ponder her fate. After Vincent’s recent death, his son was only too happy to sell the place quickly. While they work on the areas of the Merry Ghost Inn the police allow them into, Melanie and Liza plot to meet the wealthy Sullivan family, who lived there before the Morellis. Several other men, one of whom may have been Angela's mysterious lover, are also on their list to investigate. Melanie, meanwhile, has her hands full trying to trace her mother, who vanished many years ago in England, and fending off the advances of her ex-husband, who wants her back. Could it be her ex who almost ran her over in a parking lot and then tried to force her off the road? When a woman who strongly resembles Melanie is murdered, she and Liza are forced to reckon with what looks like a determined killer’s unwelcome attention.
The prolific Kingsbury (Mulled Murder, 2013, etc.) launches a new series with likable characters and a beautiful setting but very little to set this cozy apart from many others.