When Maggie Detweiler and Hope Babbin arrive at the Oquossoc Mountain Inn set in Bergen, Maine, they are eager to begin the master cooking class offered.
Maggie had recently retired from her position as the head of a private school, and Hope was financially secure.
Almost immediately, we meet staff, guests, and assorted individuals that populate the town and work the inn, so it felt as though the reader has joined the melee surrounding a busy, yet charming retreat.
When a wealthy and imposing man, his wife, and his sister-in-law arrive, the setting turns chaotic. Alexander Antippas is one of those annoying people who expects to be waited upon and kowtowed to, as this has apparently been his experience for many years. Further, he is famous by virtue of his daughter Artemis, and basks in the glow of her celebrity. Right away, however, some staff react against his behavior, thus earning the label “rude,” and one of them, a young girl named Cherry, is fired shortly afterwards.
An inn swarming with guests, some of whom are unpleasant, and a few accompanied by yapping dogs, seems to be the perfect cauldron for brewing up disaster. A middle of the night fire turns deadly, and within hours, the state police, brushing aside the assistance of local law enforcement, including Buster Babbin, Hope’s son, rush in and hurry to judgment.
Why is Shep Gordon, the blustering state police officer in such a hurry to make his arrest, ignoring anything but the conclusions he has reached, partially due to his own feelings about the individual? What do Maggie and Hope do to bring some real evidence forward? How does Alexander Antippas’s past figure into what happened to him?
Death at Breakfast is the first in a series of new mysteries that will feature the two women stirring up the clues they find wherever they go. I always enjoy books by Gutcheon, and this one is a delightful new beginning. My only complaint: there were so many characters that I had a hard time sifting through them by the end. 4 stars.