Silver Scream
Mary Daheim
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Buy *Silver Scream: A Bed-and-Breakfast Mystery* online

Silver Scream: A Bed-and-Breakfast Mystery
Mary Daheim
William Morrow & Co.
320 pages
May 2002
rated 4 1/2 of 5 possible stars
Halloween costumes in Sioux Falls, SD - police, hollywood, ghost, gothic and more, plus dinner mystery skits. Masque & Mystery Co. in Sioux Falls, SD.

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Mary Daheim is back with Silver Scream, yet another Bed-and-Breakfast Mystery complete with murdered bodies, and to solve it all is the intrepid Judith McMonigle Flynn, the owner of 'Hillside Manor', the B&B that is such a hotbed of intrigue and menace. To help her solve the mystery is a plethora of assistants who include her husband Joe (an ex-policeman and currently a P.I.), her trash-talking, highly excitable cousin Renie and her husband Bill (a psychologist), and their nosy neighbor Arlene.

Curled Up With a Good BookOn Halloween weekend, Judith has to turn away ordinary customers to make space for a Hollywood group, which comes to their town for a premiere. Along with the glamour, the limos, the snooty behavior, the tantrums, the demanding and selfish guests also bring a wave of danger into their midst.

Bruno Zepf, director extraordinaire, has a long-held superstition of staying in a B&B prior to the premiere of a new movie of his. Eager to partake of his good luck, other members of his company also decide to camp out at Hillside Manor. After the premiere proves to be the biggest and costliest flop ever, Judith walks into her kitchen and gets the shock of her life when she discovers the famous director dead, his head buried in the standing water of her clogged-up sink! Afraid that she might be sued for millions over a case of negligence and thus lose her beloved B&B, Judith, with her family's help, frantically investigates the case in the hopes of proving it to be otherwise. Is it a murder or a suicide? Is the cause of Bruno's death a ghostly cupboard door or the director's horror of spiders?

Everyone associated with Bruno is a suspect and comes under the close scrutiny of Judith and her helpers. The petty movie people -- with their gigantic egos, little compassion and perennial bickering -- all have motives for killing the director. But then the body count starts increasing and Judith goes into a panic. Who is the culprit (or should that be culprits)? The fog-shrouded rainy atmosphere of the Pacific Northwest, combined with the unnatural and ghostly Halloween ambience, supply a sinister and haunted gothic setting for this murder mystery, as do the weirdly dressed up trick-or-treaters. In the midst of it all, logical Judith has to cope with an irascible handyman, fractious exes and relatives, meddlesome neighbors and an incorrigible and demanding mother.

Silver Scream is really interesting, funny and filled to the brim with murder and mayhem. Daheim keeps you guessing until the very end. The snappy dialogue between the two cousins, the logical workings of their brains, the tough mystery and the wonderfully descriptive atmosphere all go towards making this latest B&B mystery a stupendous success.

© 2002 by Rashmi Srinivas for Curled Up With a Good Book

buy *Silver Scream: A Bed-and-Breakfast Mystery* online
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