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Shrouds of Holly [Paperback]

Kate Kingsbury

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Book Description

Nov. 6 2007 A Special Pennyfoot Hotel Myst (Book 3)
While decorating the Pennyfoot's ballroom for a Christmas reception, Cecily sends her husband Baxter and stable manager Samuel into the woods to cut some fresh boughs of holly for the ballroom. An hour later their one-horse open carriage returns with the horse, the holly...and the unwelcome gift of a dead body. Baxter and Samuel are nowhere to be found. In what should be a season of celebration with friends and family, Cecily means to reunite hers and solve the mystery-even if a killer leads her in a merry measure.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Trade (Nov. 6 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 042521849X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425218495
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 2.1 x 20.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #172,197 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

In Kingsbury's charming third holiday-themed Pennyfoot Hotel mystery (after 2006's Slay Bells), hotel proprietor Cecily Sinclair Baxter is supervising the final details of the decorations in the ballroom while her husband and the stable master head into the woods to gather holly. All too quickly, the horse-and-carriage return driverless, bearing only the corpse of a stranger. Frantic and dissatisfied with the Badger's End constabulary, Cecily takes it upon herself to find the missing men and identify a murderer. The Edwardian England setting is emphasized by the romances and adventures of numerous stereotypical characters, from Colonel Fortescue with his brandy-soaked tales of exploits in the Boer War to the downstairs crew of stout housekeeper, high-strung French cook and several gossipy maids. Bright, engaging Cecily doggedly seeks the truth in this fast-paced cozy that will provide warm holiday entertainment for Kingsbury's many fans. (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Kate Kingsbury is a full-time writer and the author of the Pennyfoot Hotel mystery series.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
"Madeline, you've achieved wonders with the ballroom this year! Read the first page
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  19 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another winner from Kate Kingsbury Dec 26 2007
By Armchair Interviews - Published on
Cecily Sinclair Baxter returns in Shrouds of Holly to solve another murder. Her previous Pennyfoot Hotel Mysteries are No Clue at the Inn and Slay Bells.

It's Christmas and Cecily and her employees are decorating the Pennyfoot ballroom for a festive Christmas reception. With a staff shortage (primarily due to illness) Baxter, Cecily's husband, has reluctantly accompanied Samuel, the stable manager, to collect fresh boughs of holly to complete the decorations.

While Mrs. Chubb, the Pennyfoot housekeeper, was out collecting eggs, the sleigh returned with a dead body (Gavin Hargrove) but minus Baxter and Samuel.

Samuel turns up with a head injury and his only memory is of bending over Baxter's body. Is Baxter badly injured or is he dead? The only thing known for sure is that he has disappeared.

With Baxter missing, the stable manager injured and a dead body outside her establishment, Cecily is determined to investigate. It's important to find the murderer but it's more important to find her husband.

The deceased Gavin Hargrove seems to have had some enemies. He owed money to a London syndicate for gambling debts. His fiancée doesn't seem very upset over his death. What's that about? And his brother is dependent on Gavin's goodwill. With Gavin dead, he inherits his father's wealth.

It's going to be a difficult task to find the murderer since the police think they know who killed Gavin but Cecily is not giving up. Her husband's life may depend on it.

Kingsbury's historical Christmas novels are set in England and are delightful cozy mysteries. I love the laid back feel of the books. They are satisfying plots that keep you turning the page.

FYI: Kate Kingsbury is Doreen Robert's pen name.

Armchair Interviews says: For a good Christmas murder, Shrouds of Holly is a winner.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Christmas Cozy at the Pennyfoot Hotel or it is Country Club? Dec 25 2007
By Donna G. Davis - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Kate Kingsbury is one of my very favorite cozy mystery authors. Shrouds of Holly finds Baxter and Samuel out in the woods looking for holly to help finish the decorating for the Christmas parties to take place at the Pennyfoot. They fail to return, but the horse and cart return with a dead body in it. Samuel finally shows up but the search for poor Baxter leads to alot of sinister activity with the family of the deceased.

I always get caught up in her writing and the characters are so familiar and entertaining. If you love the English countryside with some mystery thrown in and entertaining and lovable characters - you'll love this charming Christmas read.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Pleasant Read Dec 28 2007
By M. J. Palik - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Nice series to read during the holidays. No deep thinking necessary. A bit repetitive, but likeable central charactors. Perhaps sometime the author will change the familiar setting and see how the heroine solves a mystery away from her home.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars delightful Edwardian whodunit Oct. 29 2007
By Harriet Klausner - Published on
In Badgers End, England Pennyfoot Hotel proprietor Cecily Sinclair Baxter praises Madeline Pengrath for decorating the ballroom for the upcoming Christmas holiday. To complete the décor, Cecily's husband and stable master Samuel went to the nearby woods to gather holly.

However one of the horses returns too quickly without either man. Instead inside the trap to contain the holly is a dead stranger; Mr. Baxter and Samuel failed to come home. Cecily sends for Constable Northcott. However, when he makes no progress on the case, a frustrated, worried and determined Cecily begins her own inquiry into what happened to her spouse and stable master, and who killed the man in the trap.

SHROUDS OF HOLLY is a delightful Edwardian whodunit starring an intrepid heroine who turns investigator out of fear for her husband as she believes the constable fails to understand time is running out. Fans of the series will enjoy this fun to read historical holiday cozy as the latest Pennyfoot Hotel mystery (see SLAY BELLS and NO CLUE AT THE INN) cleverly uses stereotypes of Pre WWI English to round out the entertaining amateur sleuth mystery.

Harriet Klausner
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pennyfoot Hotel series (Shrouds of Holly) Dec 11 2007
By Michelle Wilson - Published on
Have read and loved EVERY ONE of the hoping there will be more. I felt like I lived there and knew each character personally and became attached to them. The stories moved fasr with no lulls and never any repeat situations from story to story.

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