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Slay Bells (Pennyfoot Hotel #14)
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Slay Bells (Pennyfoot Hotel #14)

3.7  ·  Rating Details ·  314 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
Cecily Sinclair Baxter hosts a holiday party at the Pennyfoot Hotel where the children of Badger's End can meet Father Christmas. Unfortunately, the jolly old man is found dead along with one of his helpers.

The role of St. Nicholas had previously been played by a notorious village drunkard, and the police believe the two men killed each other. But Cecily has her doubts, a
Paperback, 304 pages
Published November 7th 2006 by Berkley Trade (first published 2006)
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Community Reviews

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Kate Kingsbury, a descendent of Agatha Christie, writes wonderful cozy mysteries much in the vein of her ancestor. Cecily Sinclair Baxter, the manager of Pennyfoot Hotel, in England during the early 1900's, finds her footman dead from a supposed fall from the roof, but things get further complicated when Father Christmas (who didn't show up for the Christmas party at the hotel) is found dead in the chimney in the library of the hotel. Things go from bad to worse when a ghost suddenly appears to ...more
Susan Ginger
Mar 31, 2013 Susan Ginger rated it it was amazing
Kate Kingsbury is one of my favorite current mystery authors. I've enjoyed all the Pennyfoot Hotel Mysteries I've read, and I'm keeping an eye out for the books I'm missing in the series.
Angela Smith
Oct 19, 2016 Angela Smith rated it really liked it
Not as fun to read, but obviously well-written because it still did take me a while to remember who the killer was even though I had already read it before!
Apr 06, 2010 Drebbles rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2007
Cecily Sinclair Baxter is annoyed when Sid Porter fails to show up at the children's party where he was hired to play Father Christmas. Her annoyance soon turns to horror when it's discovered that one of her footmen fell to his death from the roof where he was apparently helping Sid. Even worse, Sid, dressed in his Father Christmas costume, is found stabbed to death in her chimney. With the Pennyfoot Hotel filled at Christmas, Cecily does her best to keep the deaths quiet but it's not easy to do ...more
Jan 04, 2011 Judy rated it it was ok
The last Christmas book of the season--I promise. Cecily Sinclair Baxter owns the Pennyfoot Hotel in Badger's End, England. It's Christmas and chaos is running rampant. A footman breaks his neck as he falls from the roof, the village drunk is found in a Santa suit stabbed and stuffed in the chimney, and a clown "ghost" is running amuck in the hotel. Other than the three dead bodies, I kept expecting Basil Fawlty to come running into the plot yelling at his wife and smacking Manuel. A very thin ...more
This is a quick read but it falls flat compared to the earlier books in the series. While Kingsbury makes Cecily far more mature and palatable than in earlier works, Baxter is now a cardboard cutout and a stereotype rather than the fully fleshed character he has previously been.

Stereotype or not, Baxter is definitely part of an important secondary and emotional situation. And Gertie gets plenty of emotional airtime also.

For a cozy, the murder and the secondary mystery are not quickly solvable.
Joy Gerbode
Jan 21, 2015 Joy Gerbode rated it liked it
This was a mildly amusing murder mystery, with enough twists and turns that it was not predictable. However, there were a number of things that were "off" ... moving the body before the inspector was there, keeping things from the local constabulary (though he was obviously kind of dim-witted) ... and a few other things that made this imaginary world not quite work properly. Some of the characters were fun to get to know, and there were enough enjoyable parts of this book.
Dec 12, 2015 Debra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was my first Pennyfoot book. And it was Christmas themed which blended perfectly with this month.

I found the plot well done and the story actually had me laughing at certain points. The witty dialogue was not lost on me. I was pleasantly surprised by the whole book.

Books about christmas rarely deliver but this book made me want to know more about each character. So I will be adding Pennyfoot to my cozy murder reading list.
Nov 04, 2010 Jackie rated it liked it
First time reading a Kate Kingsbury mystery, I enjoyed the light fun story taking place in England in 1914 at the Pennyfoot Hotel. The characters were charming which helped to add to the plot lines in the book. Definitely not an intense story, it was an easy and quick read (predictable butstill engaging). Another author to hunt for at yard sales!!

Jul 11, 2008 Upstatemamma rated it liked it
Recommends it for: someone who enjoys mystery novels.
Shelves: 2008-books
This book was really fun to read. It was a murder mystery and followed along the path of most murder mysteries. I haven't read a real murder mystery since I used to read Nancy Drew books as a kid. I loved those. So, I really enjoyed this book. It wasn't overly predictable, but it did not have a surprise ending either.
Dec 09, 2013 Christina rated it really liked it
This is the second of the Hotel Pennyfoot holiday mysteries. Kingsbury does a great job of creating a festive, yet mysterious, atmosphere. Who killed Santa before he could get down the chimney at the children's party? How did the library armchairs end up on the lawn in the snow? You can almost smell the goodies baking in the kitchen while Cecily tries to solve the mystery.
Jul 15, 2014 RebeccaS rated it it was amazing
Loved this book! Another cozy Christmas at the Pennyfoot...except for a couple murders. A very enjoyable read, I loved the characters and the way it is written. I wish the earlier books in this series were available as eBooks; even as paperbacks they are hard to find. I can't wait to read the next Christmas at the Pennyfoot!
Jan 06, 2008 Cyndee rated it liked it
This is one of an ongoing series, but the first one I'd read. Interesting setting, early 1900s in a country hotel in England. Not too hard to figure out who done it, though. But the characters were quite charming.
Dec 20, 2013 Elizabeth rated it it was ok
I might have enjoyed the book more if I had begun with the first of the series. The characters all had extensive back stories that I was missing out on, events and other history of earlier books were alluded to frequently and I felt I was in the dark about a great deal.
Jun 14, 2012 April rated it liked it
Likable characters. It was hard to keep them all straight when I first started the book. Creative story and good mystery.
Nov 28, 2014 Susan rated it liked it
I might have enjoyed the book more if I'd been familiar with the characters. Christmas sort of became the back story, but it was a great mystery.
Shelley HW
Mar 27, 2013 Shelley HW rated it it was ok
I didn't find this book very thrilling. I got through it though. Decided not to read any more. Perhaps if I started the series from the beginning things would be different.
Nov 12, 2016 Scott rated it it was amazing
Very entertaining with a surprise ending. Great Christmas read. Also better every Christmas time that I read it!
Cheryl rated it liked it
Oct 02, 2014
Judith rated it really liked it
Mar 20, 2014
Serafina rated it really liked it
Oct 28, 2015
Christie Zee
Christie Zee rated it really liked it
Jul 13, 2015
Anastacia rated it liked it
Jul 09, 2013
Alice Griffin
Alice Griffin rated it it was ok
Oct 28, 2015
Roxanne rated it it was amazing
Jan 01, 2015
Dec 18, 2014 Linda rated it liked it
Shelves: christmas, challenge
Another good Pennyfoot Christmas mystery!
Judy rated it really liked it
Nov 07, 2011
Mariah Lynch
Mariah Lynch rated it liked it
Aug 23, 2013
Sharon rated it really liked it
Feb 28, 2012
Yvonne Lejeune matthews
Yvonne Lejeune matthews rated it it was amazing
Mar 30, 2013
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Kate Kingsbury grew up in London, England, and at a very early age began telling stories to her school friends during the London Blitz of WW II while huddling in bomb shelters. Kate moved to the U.S. in the early sixties, and had passed her 50th birthday when she published her first book. Writing as Doreen Roberts, (her real name) she published 26 romance novels for Harlequin/Silhouette. In 1991 ...more
More about Kate Kingsbury...

Other Books in the Series

Pennyfoot Hotel (1 - 10 of 21 books)
  • Room with a Clue (Pennyfoot Hotel #1)
  • Do not Disturb (Pennyfoot Hotel #2)
  • Service for Two (Pennyfoot Hotel #3)
  • Eat, Drink, and Be Buried (Pennyfoot Hotel #4)
  • Check-Out Time (Pennyfoot Hotel #5)
  • Grounds for Murder (Pennyfoot Hotel #6)
  • Pay the Piper (Pennyfoot Hotel #7)
  • Chivalry is Dead (Pennyfoot Hotel #8)
  • Ring for Tomb Service (Pennyfoot Hotel #9)
  • Death with Reservations (Pennyfoot Hotel #10)

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