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Just Desserts (Bed-and-Breakfast Mysteries, #1)
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Just Desserts

(Bed-and-Breakfast Mysteries #1)

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  2,687 ratings  ·  135 reviews
When the garishly grotesque clan of wealthy carpet-sweeper magnate Otto Broadie sweeps down upon Judith McMonigle's Hillside Manor Inn, it looks like there'll be a wild night of drinking, dining, and fortune-telling in the offing. But when their soothsayer-for-hire Madame Gushenka drops dead after someone douses her tea leaves with bug killer, harried hostess Judith and he ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published July 1st 1999 by Avon (first published 1991)
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Oct 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First in the famous Mary Daheim Bed & Breakfast Inn series, this is a must read for cozy mystery lovers because it's a truly delightful experience! There's the perfect atmosphere and ambiance, Inn full of crazy family members with hidden agendas, secrets, affairs - you name it, and all that topped with healthy servings of delicious food, mouth wateringly described through out the book, it was enough to keep me glued to the book but the mystery itself was so entertaining and had so many clues ...more
Oct 02, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: x2012
This book took at least a month to read and I found myself very bored at times. Since it was on my tablet kindle app, I felt the need to finish it. Although the heroine is written to appear a normal woman, she baffled me and in the end, I did not like her too much.

Calling another human stupid, to their face or even under your breath..., her past with her husband, her relationship with her mother and how she talks and thinks of her, and then there is the foreshadowing at the end. And the book dra
Jan 29, 2016 rated it liked it
Just Desserts by Mary Daheim is a 1991 publication.

This is the first book is the long running Bed & Breakfast cozy mystery series by Mary Daheim. With the thirtieth installment set to release soon, I thought it would be fun to go back to the very beginning to see how far the series has progressed.

I will confess that I have been much more diligent in following Mary’s “Emma Lord- Alpine” series, than this one, and I have not read every book in the series, but have skipped around here and ther
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 10, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2012
I couldn't get into the groove of reading this. There were too many characters to keep up with. Maybe I just didn't care enough about them to want to keep up.
And what was up with Judith solving the case and Joe being okay with it?
Nov 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: cozy-mysteries
The main character calling her cousin Renie (who is also her best friend) "stupid" kind of put me off. The behavior of her cranky, walker/wheelchair-bound mother was also more annoying than hilarious. And what is up with the love/hate relationship with the cat? The mystery was okay, enough that I would try a few other books in the series to see if the characters improve.
MaryAnn (EmilyD1037)
This is my first read by this author.
It is also the first book in her bed and
breakfast mystery series. I give it a 3.5.

I liked it enough to continue the series.
Barbara ★
I had major issues with this book. Starting with the main character - what a bitch. She berates and disparages her mother (granted she's a cranky old lady, but she's her mother); she abuses her cat whom she appears to hate; she is rude to her guests.

The police work was beyond lame. The ambulance drivers diagnose poison with zero evidence and then the cops proceed to lock the guest in the B&B and proceed to eat and drink the food. The cop keeps all the guest sequestered together before he que
Dec 15, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery, series
This started off with a style similar to a culinary mystery series, such as those by Isis Crawford or Joanna Fluke. At first I thought it was better-written than those, but it went downhill quickly. The characters are flat and too unremarkable to easily remember who is who among the secondaries, the plot quickly spiraled into the bizarre, the little love story somehow managed to be both overly sappy and underdeveloped at the same time, and it utterly failed to be gripping. This is probably the f ...more
Jul 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
What an interesting start to a series! I have been looking for a new mystery series for a while, and this is the most appealing by far. The dialogue was witty and enjoyable, although at times it sounded as if Judith and the detective were from another era... It was not a perfect plot, but it had curious twists and turns that were fun to follow, and the cast was certainly a crew of characters and caricatures. Ms. Daheim takes the time at the end of the book to tie up the loose ends and fill in an ...more
A great example of how some really solid series have a less-than-stellar debut. There was some seriously wtf-y policework going down along with Herculean leaps of logic and cat abuse, but I did like that Joe Flynn appears to be the only cop in recent crime fiction memory who doesn't get obsessed with a case but is all OH HEY FIVE O'CLOCK DONE NOW. Then lets Judith solve everything for him.

Speaking of which, I was not at all happy to see Judith letting everyone browbeat her into a tiny pulp. Sev
Sep 20, 2013 rated it did not like it
This is my first book my Mary Daheim and I had a really hard time getting into it. Too many secondary characters are introduced quickly with little to separate them, so throughout the book I was struggling to keep people straight. It was so convoluted when they finally revealed the murderer I had to stop and think about who that person was in the story.

The main character, Judith, was so unlikable. She was nasty to her mother and her cousin who was helping her out. I don't really care what happen
Dec 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cozy-mysteries
Again, this is a series where I read books out of order. I think this author gets better with time, but this was a passable first in a series novel. Each book stands alone, but the characters develop throughout the series.

I found this book mildly amusing without going overboard or falling into using contrived coincidences to further the plot. The author so eloquently captured the arrogance of the wealthy residents in a small town setting and threw in just enough local color and plot twists to m
Linda Smatzny
Feb 08, 2014 rated it liked it
This is the first book in the Bed - And - Breakfast Mystery series. The main character is Judith McMonigle who runs a Bed & Breadfast out of her family home. She is just starting her business so when a murder occurs she wants answers fast. The police detective investigating the murder is a former boyfriend which brings up feelings she would rather forget. I really enjoyed the characters and can't wait to read more adventures featuring them. It was a fast easy read.
Feb 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cozy-mystery
I found the characters kind of hard to keep straight, they were all introduced rather quickly, but the story was quirky and enjoyable to read. A fortune teller, hired by the wife/mother of the family ends up dead at a night being spent in a B&B as the family mansion is being fumigated. There are no shortages of candidates for who done it. An easy read.
Apr 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing
A fun, little mystery. I enjoyed it even more so because my supervisor is dating a man named Joe Flynn. The primary police officer in the book is named Joe Flynn.
Started reading didn't like the main character.
May 16, 2014 rated it it was ok
Not enough depth into main characters-could not bond with them or even get to know them.
Apr 22, 2018 rated it it was ok
Another attempt to expand my reading beyond sci-fi. This was not a great success.

I've heard pretty good things about this book as far as the "cozy mystery" genre goes. So it's very possible this genre just is not my cup of tea. Throughout the mystery, I found all the possible suspects/motives equally uninteresting. I didn't really care who did it because I knew no reveal was going to be satisfying enough to make up for the slog leading up to it.

My gut says this is probably a pretty formulaic, st
Melinda Readman
Apr 12, 2018 rated it liked it
The story was really good. The writing was good. Loved the setting and characters. But there were a couple big problems for me in this book. There was a lot of name calling which I disliked. The words stupid and idiot were used too often. Another was the abuse of the cat throughout the book. Threatening it, calling it names, kicking it aside. Animal abuse is so not necessary for the story. I will read the next one in the series and hope these issues are resolved as I do like it otherwise. The au ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cozies, mystery
Judith McGonigle is the owner and operator of Hillside Manor, a bed and breakfast, in Seattle, Washington. When there are two cancellations Judith had two choices. One was to put up wallpaper that she had been promising herself she would do and the other was to take in the Brody family who were having their house fumigated. She decided she needed the money the Brody's would pay more than the walls needed to be papered. She would soon come to regret that decision when a mysterious guest ended up ...more
Jan 02, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun book, nice cozy mystery, interesting characters. This is supposed to be the 1st book in the series, but I feel as if I missed a set up story. There's lots of reference to a back story, but I don't know what that is... maybe it's in the other books but it mostly just feels as if the author has it all in her head and expects you to know it.
I don't know. I'm going to give the next book in the series a chance and we'll see.
barry d giroux
Jan 14, 2019 rated it it was ok
Dissappointed. Enjoy author Daheims Alpine series but this one didn't click with me-didn't even seem like the same author. This was way too frantic. It didn't hold my interest and there was no attempt to connect with the characters-couldn't finish.
Briana Alzola
Jun 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
I feel like it's hard to rate something when it's sort of exactly what you expected but you didn't go in expecting much. This is a fun story, full of quirky characters, but it's not one I will recommend to other people nor did it inspire me to read more in this series.
Elizabeth Oster
Jun 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great read!!

I love this book!! This is second time reading it and it was just like first time. The plot has a lot of twists and turns!! If you love mysteries you have to give this one a try!!
Linda Karn
Dec 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Cozy and a little crazy

First in this series. Was quite surprised. A lot of twists and turns in this story. I was very pleased. On to the next.
Nov 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cozies
Fun and light read. Starts off fast and keeps you interested. If you love cozies this one is for you. Had me laughing a couple times.
Ann Fleming
Nov 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Funny and engaging.
It would make a good Hallmark mystery series.
Robbie Jones
Mar 15, 2018 rated it liked it
I needed a chart to keep up with the characters.
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Seattle native Mary Richardson Daheim has been fascinated by story-telling since early childhood. She first listened, then read, and finally began to write her own fiction when she was ten. A journalism major at the University of Washington, she was the first female editor of The Daily where she attracted national attention with her editorial stance against bigotry.

After getting her B.A., she wor

Other books in the series

Bed-and-Breakfast Mysteries (1 - 10 of 31 books)
  • Fowl Prey (Bed-and-Breakfast, #2)
  • Holy Terrors (Bed-and-Breakfast Mysteries, #3)
  • Dune to Death (Bed-and-Breakfast, #4)
  • Bantam of the Opera (Bed-and-Breakfast Mysteries, #5)
  • A Fit of Tempera (Bed-and-Breakfast Mysteries, #6)
  • Major Vices (Bed-and-Breakfast Mysteries, #7)
  • Murder, My Suite (Bed-and-Breakfast Mysteries, #8)
  • Auntie Mayhem (Bed-and-Breakfast Mysteries, #9)
  • Nutty as a Fruitcake (Bed-and-Breakfast Mysteries, #10)
  • September Mourn (Bed-and-Breakfast, #11)
“Renie was always engaged," said Judith dryly. "At one point, she was engaged to three guys at once, all with the same first name."

Joe shrugged one broad shoulder. "Kept her from making tactless mistakes, anyway. Which one did she marry?"

"None of them," answered Judith.”
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