Murder at the Mansion by Janet Finsilver

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Murder at the Mansion by Janet Finsilver

An Excerpt:

Looking at my watch, I saw it was time to move. I unpacked the heavy company fleece and the lightweight nylon jacket Corrigan had sent with the cardholder. They had Redwood Cove Bed-and-Breakfast embossed underneath Resorts International. A glance outside showed fog beginning to swirl in. I chose the fleece.

I joined Helen in the main room.

“Ready to go?” Helen asked.

“Sure. What can I help you with?” Two boxes were on the counter, containing stacks of plastic-wrapped trays full of appetizers.

Through the back door window, I saw Daniel’s bus roll into the backyard.

Helen pointed to a box. “Grab that one.”

I could almost hear my red hair beginning to curl in the foggy air as I walked outside. I got in the middle bench seat and placed the hors d’oeuvres on my lap.

Redwood Heights was only a short distance from the Redwood Cove Bed-and-Breakfast. A block from the inn, we took a left turn down a hill and went around a corner, and there it was.

I gasped. The building sat nestled among giant redwoods. It was two stories with row after row of windows interspersed with French doors leading to balconies protected by black wrought-iron railings. A master craftsman had twisted them into intricate twirls and patterns, same as the ones encircling the top of the building. The mansion reminded me of a majestic English queen, the towering trees her staff-in-waiting, her billowing skirts the outcropping of buildings spreading to either side, her crown the widow’s walk on top.
This answered one question—what Daniel and Helen had meant when they said this property was different. It definitely wasn’t like any other Resorts International properties I knew. The ones I’d experienced and the ones I’d read about had a more casual air to them.

We pulled into the back and unloaded. Helen busied herself in the kitchen, heating the appetizers.

“I get them ready, then the staff minds them and adds as necessary to the hot trays in the parlor,” she explained.

“The guest area is this way.” Daniel pointed to a hallway.

We walked into a room filled with guests and over to the sideboard holding the evening’s offerings.

Large crystal chandeliers lit the room. Tables were covered with white brocade tablecloths. A stack of fine china plates sat next to an array of artisan cheeses and several wine choices.

I looked around the room. Lustrous pearls rested on cashmere sweaters. The diamond on one woman’s hand competed in size with the crystal finial hanging from the center of the chandelier. The gentle orchestral strains of “Moon River” accompanied the conversation in the room.

These weren’t the fleece-and-denim Redwood Cove visitors I had gotten to know. I straightened my jacket and ran my hand through my fog-frizzed hair.

A young woman offered some of Helen’s appetizers to a guest. As she reached for one, a shrill scream ripped through the room, shattering the tranquil moment.

 Blurb: “Murder at the Mansion” Kelly 

     Fortunes, fineries, and foul play . . .

It’s whale-watching season in Redwood Cove, and B&B manager Kelly Jackson’s battening down the hatches for the tourist rush at Redwood Heights—a Victorian-style estate owned by her boss. And due to recent jewelry thefts, her duties include keeping track of the many dust-covered artifacts spread throughout the property. But when Kelly finds Sylvia Porter’s lifeless body, menial tasks don’t seem so terrible. Enlisting the help of a ragtag group of brainy retirees, aka the “Silver Sentinels,” Kelly’s on the hunt for clues hidden behind the mansion’s glamorous façade. . .and for a killer who may want to make history of her next!

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