Tourist season’s in full swing in the small seaside town of Wildwood Cove, and Marley McKinney couldn’t be happier. Since taking over the Flip Side restaurant, she’s made a few close friends, adopted a cat named Flapjack, and started dating her childhood crush. The only cloud on the horizon is local nuisance Ida Winkler, who blames Marley for landing her nephew in prison. Trying to get a rise out of Marley, Ida’s been making crank calls and even vandalizing the pancake house.
The police can’t do much about the pranks, so Marley sets out to bury the hatchet once and for all. But someone’s beat her to it—in the most shocking way possible. After stumbling across Ida’s dead body, Marley’s suddenly the number-one suspect in her murder. Clearing her good name is going to be a tall order, but Marley’s not about to let Ida keep ruining her life—especially from beyond the grave.
In the weeks since her uncle passed away, Marley made the monumental decision to embrace life in Wildwood Cove. That means early, early mornings opening the Flip Side Pancake House, considering how to redecorate her Victorian, taking refreshing dips in the ocean, and canoodling with her boyfriend, Brett. Literally, the only thing plaguing Marley’s life is Ida Winkler.
Ida Winkler is no one’s favorite person; in fact, Ida is a certified menace. Of late, Ida has been vandalizing the Flip Side and making prank calls during the restaurant’s peak hours. That is, when she’s not stealing things from anyone and everyone. Yeah, Ida’s a certified menace and Marley is squarely in her crosshairs. With the police being utterly useless (lack of proof!), Marley determines her only course of action is to confront Ida and try and talk some sense into her. As they say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. When Marley gets to Ida’s house, she quite unpleasantly discovers, Ida’s cold, dead corpse and herself as a person of interest.
With her reputation and her livelihood at stake, Marley can’t afford to be a person of interest, and the only way to clear her name and save her business is to dig in, dig around, and figure out who killed Ida Winkler. As it turns out, Marley wasn’t the only person Ida rubbed the wrong way which means Marley’s list of potential suspects gets quite long, quickly. Narrowing the list down takes a lot of patience, even more persistence, and a willingness to put herself in danger. As Marley quickly finds out, poking around and asking questions about a murder makes people twitchy, especially the people involved in the murder 😊 It doesn’t take long for Marley to become the object of the culprit’s anger which means danger is fast on her heels.
The Bottom Line: The Pancake House Mystery series is really keeping me entertained! This is just the right amount of mystery and danger mixed with strange and somewhat endearing characters. Except Ida, Ida sucks! This book is all about Marley trying to become an accepted and respected member of the community through good deeds and hard work. Getting tangled up in a murder isn’t ideal, but through her determination and with the help of some loyal friends, Marley is able to not only disentangle herself, but solve the mystery of Ida Winkler’s murder. There’s lots of community and relationship building in this book which mixes nicely with the light mystery aspect. Overall, this series is helping me fall a little more in love with the cozy mystery genre 😊