Published: June 7, 2016
Number of pages: 190
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Series; Lyrical Underground
Synopsis: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!
About the author:Janet Finsilver is the USA TODAY best-selling author of the Kelly Jackson mystery series. She worked in education for many years as a teacher, a program administrator, and a workshop presenter. Janet majored in English and earned a Master’s Degree in Education. She loves animals and has two dogs–Kylie and Ellie. Janet has ridden western style since she was a child and was a member of the National Ski Patrol. One of the highlights of her life was touching whales in the San Ignacio Lagoon. MURDER AT REDWOOD COVE, her debut mystery, was released on October 13, 2015. Her second book, MURDER AT THE MANSION, was released on June 7, 2016.
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A Kelly Jackson Mystery
Hi! I’d like to give you an overview of Murder at the Mansion as well as some background about parts of the book.
Kelly Jackson returns to California to begin managing Redwood Cove Bed and Breakfast. The inn is being renovated, and while that is happening she is instructed to inventory a collection of objects from the 1800s housed at Redwood Heights, a nearby guest mansion owned by Kelly’s employer, Resorts International. Some jewelry has disappeared from the rooms of guests staying at the mansion, and Kelly is asked to see if she can learn anything. She’ll also be helping with the Whale Frolic, a food and wine event Redwood Heights supports.
Shortly after she arrives, Kelly goes to a guest’s room and finds the woman stabbed, the door and windows locked from the inside. The murdered woman, Sylvia Porter, had caused difficulties for staff members. The police question them as well as Kelly as they search for the killer. A son of one of the Silver Sentinels, a crime-solving group of senior citizens that has helped Kelly in the past, is questioned about the jewelry thefts.
Kelly and the Silver Sentinels must work together to find the murderer and the thief before another life is lost or someone is wrongly accused of a crime they didn’t commit.
Redwood Heights is the name of the mansion in this book. One description from my story reads, “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.”
It’s a fictional building, but it was inspired by Cleveholm Manor in Redstone, Colorado, which was often referred to as Redstone Castle. John Cleveland Osgood, who made a fortune in the coal industry, built the residence. The stunning mansion was operating as a hotel when my husband and I were vacationing in the area. We stayed there a couple of nights.
Crystal chandeliers hung in abundance in many of the rooms, and a ceiling of gold leaf adorned the dining room. The library held a green marble fireplace and had green hand-tooled leather walls. Every one of the forty-two rooms had something special to amaze visitors.
I got up at dawn the first morning and walked around the house. Other than some pans banging in the kitchen, there was nothing to make me aware of anyone else being there. I went to the basement where there was a game area and a room where one of the staff members had said decisions of national impact had been made. John D. Rockefeller, J. P. Morgan, Teddy Roosevelt, and Senator Edward O. Wolcott had been guests at the mansion.
I soaked in the history and essence of the place. It stayed with me, and when I started Murder at the Mansion, those memories helped me to create Redwood Heights.
My books have dogs with special abilities. In Murder at the Mansion I introduce Jack and Jill, two beagles trained to sniff out bedbugs and termites. They arrive in an RV with a slogan emblazoned on the side that reads, “Bedbugs? Termites? If you’ve got ’em, they’ll find ’em. Call on Jack and Jill. Get the four-legged pros on the job and have a restful sleep tonight.” As they search for insects, they lead their owner to one piece of the puzzle as to how the guest was murdered.
Redwood Cove is based on Mendocino, California, where Murder, She Wrote was filmed. It’s located on headlands high above the Pacific Ocean in northern California. Mendocino is a popular vacation destination and home to numerous art shops and many fine restaurants. A wide variety of festivals help to attract people to the area. Each book in the series has an event based on ones I’ve attended. Murder at the Mansion has Whale Frolic that is similar to the Mendocino Whale Festival.
I hope you enjoyed the post and learning more about the Kelly Jackson mystery series!
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