Mrs. Morris and the Vampire
Salem B&B Mystery, Book #5
By Traci Wilton
Author Website: traciwilton.com
Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Daniele
It’s B&B owner Charlene Morris’s second Halloween in Salem, Massachusetts, and one she won’t soon forget when a self-proclaimed vampire is murdered…
Charlene’s bed and breakfast is fully booked with guests wanting to experience Salem’s wildest holiday-especially the annual Witch Ball, held at the historic Hawthorne Hotel. At the dance, actual witch and winery owner Brandy Flint has her back up over her daughter Serenity’s new beau-it’s bad enough he’s a decade older, he also claims to be a vampire from Romania.
As for Charlene, with handsome ghost Dr. Jack Strathmore haunting her B&B, she has developed an open mind regarding the supernatural. But her mind is blown when the clock strikes midnight, the lights flare and dim, and the vampire vanishes-leaving behind only his cape and a wooden stake with a thick red substance on the sharp tip. The next morning, a naked man washes up on the shore with a hole punched through his chest, and Detective Sam Holden has a homicide on his hands. Now Charlene and Jack must put their heads together to find out who staged the trick to stake a vampire. (Goodreads)
There are no tricks here. Mrs. Morris and the Vampire is a pure treat. With witches, ghosts, vampires, and murder, it is a delightful read for the Halloween season and beyond.
After her husband died, young widow Charlene Morris moved to Salem, Massachusetts, to open a bed and breakfast. This is her second Halloween in her adopted city, and she is settling in nicely with her resident ghost Dr. Jack Strathmore. The town and her guests are excited about the annual Witches Ball, and things go well until Alaric, who professes to be a vampire, causes a scene at midnight and disappears. When his body washes up on shore the next morning and his girlfriend Serenity comes under suspicion, Charlene and her friend Brandy, who is Serenity’s mother, set out to clear her name. As the body count rises and wanna-be vampires come out of the woodwork, Charlene and Jack do all they can to solve the crimes.
Mrs. Morris and the Vampire is the fifth book in the Salem B&B mystery series but the first I have read, and, boy, have I been missing out. I had no trouble following the characters and story so I feel it can easily be read as a standalone or as part of its series (I definitely plan on reading the previous books post haste). This book oozes charm and atmosphere. Charlene is in her forties with plenty of life ahead of her. She is intelligent, inquisitive without taking stupid chances, and quirky yet relatable. The supporting cast adds color, and all of the characters are interesting. I particularly enjoy Jack. Charlene’s and his chemistry, camaraderie, and investigating are my favorite aspects of the story. Not having the full back story, I am not sure how I feel about Detective Sam Holden. Time will tell. Brandy is annoying at times, but I chock that up to the stress of having her daughter a prime suspect.
The mystery is well thought out and executed. There are plenty of suspects to look into, and with each clue revealed I questioned whodunit. I learned so much about the underground tunnels and history of Salem. The pace is steady leading up to a climactic finish, and I am gobsmacked by the identity and motive of the killer. I did not see it coming…at all.
Mrs. Morris and the Vampire is great fun and sure to please any paranormal cozy reader. Highly recommended.