Morrow, Aug 2003, 23.95, 320 pp.
Judith McMonigle Flynn and her beloved spouse Joe temporarily move out of their Hillside Manor bed and breakfast while the inn is renovated due to fire damage. Taking their feuding moms with them, the couple joins Judith's cousin and amateur sleuth partner Renie and her husband at the Stillasnowamish Resort Casino where Renie attends a conference.
However where Judith goes homicide seems to also accompany her. This time she discovers the multiple stabbed corpse of magician assistant Salome. Casino manager Pancho Green asks his friend former cop Joe to investigate the homicide, but as usual Judith sticks her nose into the case. Meanwhile Renie desperately tries to stay out of it this time, but Judith knows whom to turn to when she needs help in uncovering the identity of a murderer.
The latest Judith tale is a strong amateur sleuth novel that has a shocker (for this series at least) ending. The story line is often amusing as the support cast from the recurring characters as well as the contractors working the B&B and a second inn exasperate the heroine. The who-done-it is cleverly designed so that readers along with Joe and Judith struggle to uncover the identity of the killer. HOCUS CROAKUS is an entertaining fun bed and breakfast mystery that will please most of Mary Daheim's fans and bring new readers to stay at the Hillside Manor.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner