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Room with a Clue (Pennyfoot Hotel #1)
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Room with a Clue (Pennyfoot Hotel #1)

3.67  ·  Rating Details ·  1,066 Ratings  ·  82 Reviews
Beginning a new series set in a seaside hotel in Edwardian England, Room with a Clue shows that murder never needs a reservation at the Pennyfoot Hotel. Owner Cecily Sinclair runs a smooth hotel, but the death of an offensive snob could kill her business.
Paperback, 204 pages
Published October 1st 1993 by Berkley (first published 1993)
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3 stars.

It is a relief to read a cozy mystery that is a mystery and not a romance novel. The protangonist in this cozy is a recently widowed hotel owner who decides to investigate the death of a guest in order to protect the hotel and its staff. I like the Edwardian setting and the main character Cecily Sinclair but a few of her close friends from the nearby town were less convincing (Phoebe and Madeline). However, the mystery was well crafted so I will be reading at least one more in this serie
Although I finished this in less than 5 hours, I don't really know what I found engaging. I didn't really enjoy the characters, but I did like the mystery, I suppose? The politics are very hit you over the head, and while I suppose the suffrage movement did have women like that, and our main character even expresses she would like to be out there, I was not overly fond of the way we would be talking about the mystery and then suddenly derailed by 5 minutes of how uncomfortable corsets are.
Aug 05, 2013 C. rated it it was amazing
Everything about this book appeals to me. How’s that for high praise? It isn’t supernatural, it’s historical fiction, and I dislike multi-character viewpoints. But despite lying outside my preference, I couldn’t help loving the book from the first page. I’m a fan! Widowed hotel proprietor Cecily Sinclair shares a spotlight with her best friends but the shifts are brief and keep plots in motion. The images of these ladies are so hilarious, I don’t mind.

The protagonist is a thrilling presence in a
❂ Jennifer
This was not a bad story at all, but I gave it 2 stars/it was ok because it took me forever to get through it. I just could not get into the story at all, and found myself repeatedly reading a page or two, then putting it down and walking away.

The plot is clever, with the author doing a very good job leading the reader astray with clues, suspects and a runaway snake. I suppose I just didn't find I could relate to any of the characters, and for that reason, it just didn't hold my attention.
Mar 03, 2013 Tina rated it it was amazing
Read the book a few years back now doing a revisit for our group. I like her writing, love Cecily. Has a bit of Upstairs, Downstairs feel about the staff. Fun!
Apr 04, 2009 Joy rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Kate Kingsbury fans
Recommended to Joy by: don't remember
Pennyfoot Hotel is quite the rage in 1906, known as a place for the rich to retreat and have a good time discretely. Vindictive Lady Eleanor Danbury, planning to make trouble, takes a plunge to her death from the roof garden. Her husband, a poor man who married wealth, is the obvious suspect, but hotel owner Cecily doesn't believe it. Cecily is supported by her butler Baxter, her friend Madeline with the witchy reputation, and Phoebe whose love of extravagant shows gets out of hand when she rent ...more
Michell Karnes
Dec 03, 2016 Michell Karnes rated it it was amazing
This is a great little book. I love the Edwardian time period and the lead female character is endearing. Ceceily is a woman of her time without being delicate. She is a widow running a seaside hotel that her deceased husband bought for them to run in their retirement. Her hotel manager is the perfect partner in the running of the hotel as well as solving crime albeit reluctantly. The story also provides a hint of royalty with King Edward vii making a very brief appearance. I am eager to read th ...more
I really debated the rating on this one. It almost got a one-star. I gave it the second star only because I didn't really hate it. It's just kind of meh. None of the characters are really all that interesting, and I was left wondering why some of them had even been included. Same goes for the subplots. It all felt like padding to turn a semi-decent short story into a bloated, over-written novel. I felt no emotional attachment to anybody, so I just didn't care about the victim, the sleuth, or any ...more
Oct 12, 2013 E.L. rated it it was ok
A decent story with fairly interesting characters. The mystery was quite obvious, and the plot too confused in an attempt to distract from the obviousness of "whodunnit." All in all, a series I might not mind continuing when I've not much else to read, but it's not going to the top, or even middle, of my priority list.
Tyra Burton
Jan 03, 2013 Tyra Burton rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed the early 1900 setting and a new widow contemplating her new place in society. Women's rights, servant decorum and corsets are all topics covered while the mystery unfolds. The cast of characters is an interesting one that I can't wait to learn more about through our the series. Nice back-and-forth with the main character and Baxter the hotel manager.
Feb 19, 2013 Lisa rated it liked it
Quintessentially English and set in the 1900’s this is a sweet and intriguing murder mystery. Loved the main character Cecily who is a feisty widow running the Pennyfoot hotel and the hotel manager Baxter who is a traditionalist. Great easy read.
Feb 05, 2017 Bobbie rated it really liked it
Murder mystery meets Downton Abbey. I really liked the pace of the book as well as the author's writing style. I look forward to reading more in the series.
Elisha (lishie)
A new comfy cozy series for me to fall back on with dependable characters. I like Cecily, Baxter & the gang.
May 21, 2017 Caz rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read for the category : A book set in a hotel

A sweet little mystery :)
Christine Lewis
May 18, 2017 Christine Lewis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book.

I enjoyed the characters in the book and look forward to reading book 2 of the series. Great story, easy read.
Feb 18, 2017 Megan rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, ebook
2.5 stars. 3 stars. I can't decide.

There was a scene shortly into the book where the soon to be victim and soon to be murderer were in the same room talking and I thought to myself, "Well they are definitely going to kill her." And then really the rest of the book was like coasting downhill from there. Because that's exactly who had done it, not for the motive I would have thought but...

Over all I found the book a very light read that felt like it didn't really have any substance. I was surprise
Mar 17, 2014 Drebbles rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014
Still mourning the loss of her husband, Cecily Sinclair is doing her best to keep the Pennyfoot Hotel running - not only because her husband loved the hotel but because she needs the money. It has been hard but she is succeeding with the help of the ever loyal Baxter. The future of the Pennyfoot is threatened, however, when one of the guests falls to her death and it wasn't an accident. Plenty of people disliked Lady Eleanor Danbury - Cecily just needs to find out who hated Lady Eleanor enough t ...more
Room with a Clue by Kate Kingsbury is the first book of the Pennyfoot Hotel cozy mystery series set in the small English seaside village of Badgers End, early in the 20th century. Cecily Sinclair, recently widowed, vows to carry on running the hotel she and her late husband James purchased 5 years ago. She is ably assisted by her competent manager Baxter, who is a good friend, if perhaps a bit too solicitous at times. Cecily wants to assert her independence more than 'Bax' feels is proper. Eccen ...more
Linda Smatzny
Feb 13, 2017 Linda Smatzny rated it liked it
This is the first book in the Pennyfoot Hotel Mystery series set in Badgers End, England in the early 1900's. The main character is Cecily Sinclair who is the owner of the hotel after the death of her husband. One of the guests, Lady Eleanor Danbury, is found dead in the garden and it is assumed that she fell to her death. However, Cecily isn't sure that is what happened and starts asking questions. The book was an easy read.
Jun 26, 2013 Annette rated it really liked it
The Pennyfoot Hotel is a place where the posh people come to escape London in the early 1900's. It is run by Celia and her talented, competent staff. Celia is a widow who inherited the concept for this hotel from her late husband.

She still mourns for him, but she is so busy and involved with the day to day of the hotel, she is slowly moving on in her life.

There is a murder. The victim is the kind of person who needed to be killed. She was a Lady who ruled her world with an acid tongue and a cold
Linda C
Cecile and her husband opened the Pennyfoot Hotel 5 years ago and used his military retirement money and loans to renovate it. Then her husband passed away 6 months ago of a recurring bout of malaria and Cecily has sold her home and moved into the debt ridden hotel. Being the first of a series we spend a lot of time getting to know the people running the hotel and a few of her friends. The plot focuses on the demise of Lady Eleanor from an apparent fall from a rooftop garden. However, there are ...more
A rude, melodramatic women is found dead in the courtyard at the Pennyfoot Hotel. Was it an accident or murder? Cecily Sinclair cannot rest until she finds the truth and clears the name of her hotel. Though it may be dangerous she never gives us. In this first installment of the Pennyfoot Hotel series, we get to meet the great cast of characters that live and work in the seaside hotel. Gertie is one of my favorite characters with her loud mouth and strong personality. Baxter greatly annoyed me i ...more
Jan 20, 2014 Henriette rated it liked it
Reviewing the first of the Pennyfoot Series is kind of difficult. Although I liked it well enough, there was nothing to endear the series to me.

Amazon recommended the series to me because I enjoy Rhys Bowen's Royal Spyness Novel. That series has interesting storylines, great characters, a little humor and offers insights into the time period, especially the royal family.

The murder mystery was interesting enough, but it didn't feel like the main storyline. It felt as if there was more focus on
May 08, 2014 Nancy rated it it was ok
Well thank goodness that is over. I was looking for a lighter reader as a filler before I tackled my next book and since I had come across Room with a Clue as a free download, I figured why not. I should have kept looking.

Once the murder occurred, the who and why was obvious, but the how took a little more figuring and since I had long lost interest, it was nice of Kate Kingsbury to sum up the whole plot at the end.

Add in a missing python that was to be the center attraction of a tableau, an add
Jul 29, 2012 Linda rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery, british
This apparently is the first in Pennyfoot Mystery series and I love it. It tells us where the main characters came from and why they behave they way they do. Cecily the hotel owner has lost her beloved husband some 6 months before and is still grieving but managing to take care of her hotel and the friends/staff she is surrounded by. They all care for her a great deal. Especially Baxter her husband's former butler. When a very nasty, wealthy patron dies Cecily believes it is murder and goes abou ...more
Mar 10, 2014 Kimberly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
Worth the quick read This was the equivalent of a Saturday afternoon on the couch watching a 2 hour TV movie. Just enough to keep me interested, but not a lot of mental effort to keep up with what's going on. 
One of the advantages of seeing this rather than reading it would be to see the costumes and what the Pennyfoot Hotel looks like. I would also like to see Henry finally appear towards the end of the book. That would have been enough for a light chuckle. 
I'm looking forward to reading the re
Bettye McKee
Jun 18, 2016 Bettye McKee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A new series for me

Thanks to Kindle Unlimited, I have discovered a new author and her Pennyfoot Hotel series.

Cecily Sinclair, a recent widow, is attempting, with the help of a competent staff, to run the Pennyfoot Hotel on her own. The story includes many details about what is involved in the hotel business.

The problems presented in this story include a missing 18-foot python named Henry, a murdered guest, and the mystery of who is in Suite 3.

The book is very well-written with a total of three e
Fred Rauch
Jul 23, 2014 Fred Rauch rated it really liked it
What happens at the Pennyfoot, stays at the Pennyfoot. A dead aristocrat, a python on the loose and a mysterious stranger in suite 3. Who says life is boring? All of these make up life at the Pennyfoot Hotel. Did someone kill Lady Eleanor or did she fall or did she jump? Where is Henry the python? Who is the stranger in suite 3? All are answered by the end of the book. The characters are interesting and believable even Baxter the hotel manager. I would highly recommend this book and am looking f ...more
Jun 12, 2015 Debbie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not a bad book.
I guessed "whodunnit" about halfway through, and I wasn't terribly convinced of the Edwardian era it's supposedly set in. I can't see the language used by Gertie the maid being tolerated or even used by anyone working in a hotel of upstanding calibre of that time period. I was somewhat at a loss as to why the author would not use proper British spelling for a British mystery as well. (eg. She used words like rumor, not rumour, repeatedly)
The book and some of the characters were e
Jennifer Bagby
Nov 20, 2013 Jennifer Bagby marked it as to-read
Shelves: period-mystery, own, ebook
Pennyfoot Hotel
1. Room With a Clue (1993)
2. Do Not Disturb (1994)
3. Service For Two (1994)
4. Eat, Drink, and Be Buried (1994)
5. Check-Out Time (1995)
6. Grounds for Murder (1995)
7. Pay the Piper (1996)
8. Chivalry is Dead (1996)
9. Ring for Tomb Service (1997)
10. Death with Reservations (1998)
11. Dying Room Only (1998)
12. Maid to Murder (1999)
13. No Clue at the Inn (2003)
14. Slay Bells (2006)
15. Shrouds of Holly (2007)
16. Ringing in Murder (2008)
17. The Clue is in the Pudding (2012)
18. Mulled Murde
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Cozy Mysteries : Kate Kingsbury's novels 18 210 Dec 19, 2013 09:40AM  
  • Million Dollar Baby (A Marjorie McClelland Mystery, #1)
  • Murder on the Lusitania (George Porter Dillman & Genevieve Masefield, #1)
  • Sweet Revenge (A Lady Arianna Regency Mystery, #1)
  • The Inspector and Mrs. Jeffries (Mrs. Jeffries, #1)
  • Snobbery With Violence (Edwardian Murder Mysteries, #1)
  • The War Against Miss Winter (Rosie Winter, #1)
  • The Gilded Shroud (A Lady Fan Mystery #1)
  • Grace Under Pressure (Manor House Mystery, #1)
  • Death at Bishop's Keep (Kathryn Ardleigh, #1)
  • Dying In the Wool (Kate Shackleton, #1)
  • Death at Wentwater Court (Daisy Dalrymple, #1)
  • High Marks for Murder (Bellehaven House, #1)
  • Consequences of Sin
  • After the Armistice Ball (Dandy Gilver, #1)
  • Sink Trap (A Georgiana Neverall Mystery #1)
  • A Taste for Murder (Hemlock Falls Mysteries, #1)
  • The Strange Files of Fremont Jones (Fremont Jones, #1)
  • Anything Goes (Grace & Favor, #1)
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 h ...more
More about Kate Kingsbury...

Other Books in the Series

Pennyfoot Hotel (1 - 10 of 22 books)
  • A Perilous Promise (Pennyfoot Hotel Mystery Book 0)
  • 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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