A haunted inn finally opens, with decidedly mixed results.
Now that they’ve solved a murder and recovered from a fire (Dead and Breakfast, 2017, etc.), Melanie West and her English-born grandmother, Liza, are hosting the grand opening of the Merry Ghost Inn, a lovely house on the Oregon coast that’s fully booked for the week. Although Melanie doesn’t believe in ghosts, there’s clearly something in the house making noises that sound like laughter. With the help of their new hire, Cindi, Melanie and Liza are seeking to cater to the needs of six people who live in a Portland retirement community and belong to the same book club. The guests enjoy the wonderful food the hostesses serve, but a magic show staged by Cindi’s boyfriend, Nick, draws nasty comments from Walter Dexter, one of two men in the group. When Melanie finds Walter dead in the driveway the next morning, she assumes he’s suffered a heart attack until the police discover that the railing on the balcony he fell from had been sawed partway through. Melanie’s friendship with Officer Ben Carter hasn’t extended to Detective Dutton, who’s still angry with the ladies for meddling in the inn’s first murder. Since the police have forbidden their guests from leaving town even though the inn is also booked for next week, Melanie and Liza have exactly one week to solve the crime. A friendly bar owner feeds Liza leaks he gets from the police, so they have some idea what Ben and Dutton are thinking. But talking with their closemouthed guests may be the best way to discover who had it in for Walter.
A distinct improvement over the series debut that provides lots of suspects, family problems, and a hint of romance to come.