Blackberry Hill Inn is not the restful retreat its human or animal denizens want it to be.
Fraternal human twins Harmony and Bro live with their mother in the Green Mountains in a (usually) peaceful if not terribly financially successful inn. Their pets, Queenie, a cat who knows her own mind and adores herself almost as much as being adored, and Arthur, a mutt who is loyal but not very bright, both love their human family. When Mr. LeMaire comes to stay at the inn and asks about the old Sokoki Trail, the twins take him to the trailhead, cheerfully accompanied by Arthur. Their guest sends them away…and turns up murdered a short time later. The bumbling sheriff immediately focuses his entire attention on Matty, the best guide in the area—and Mom’s cousin. The family is sure he’s innocent, and they set out to prove it with a little help (and some hindrance) from the furred members of the family. Queenie and Arthur share narration duties; like Bowser from Quinn’s earlier Bowser and Birdie series for children and Chet, star of his mysteries for adults, Arthur and Queenie act like real animals. However, it makes for a slow unfolding of the mystery and much obvious authorial manipulation to get the animals where they need to be to overhear vital facts; compounding this problem, although they both speak perfect English to readers, they can’t even communicate with each other. The cast is default white.
Fans of Quinn’s previous work may enjoy the new character set, but there are too many fine furry detectives out there to spend time with these two. (Mystery. 8-11)