Judy's Reviews > Belle Ruin

Belle Ruin by Martha Grimes
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Jul 17, 11

Read in July, 2011

This story is told by 12 year old Emma Graham who lives in a decaying hotel--Hotel Paradise--where her mother is the owner and chef and Emma is a waitress in the dining room. She is also the bartender for 91 year old Aurora Paradise who lives on the fourth floor and her "cocktails" are made from whatever alcohol she can sneak and whatever juices are in the refrigerator. Emma discovers the remains of a former luxury hotel deep in the woods near Spirit Lake--the Belle Rouen--which burned over 20 years before. Learning that there had been a four month old baby kidnapped there 22 years ago, Emma travels through three small towns interviewing people to find out memories of the kidnapping in order to unravel the mystery. Oh, did I mention that the novel just stops? Did the author get tired? On the plus side, Emma's brother and his friend stage a wonderful production of "Medea, the Musical" in the big garage which receives rave reviews. Apparently, this is the third novel in the Emma Graham series. It might have helped to have read the other two first.
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