Author: Claire Douglas
Publication: Harper Collins, hardcover, 2020
Setting: Present-day WalesDescription: Kirsty Woodhouse and her husband Adrian had always talked about returning to her native Wales to open a guesthouse in the Brecon Beacons, but she accelerated the plan after what happened to Adrian in London. To make it work financially, Kirsty had to ask her critical mother to join them as a partner, which is stressful, and her daughters, Amelia (11) and Evie (6) are upset at leaving their friends. The old rectory near Hywelphilly seems like a bargain but, of course, costs more to renovate than the Woodhouses expect. Kirsty is somewhat hurt that the locals treat her like an English interloper, when she grew up in Cardiff and retains much of her accent, and seem to be rooting for her to fail. And she can't stop worrying about Adrian. But the situation gets much worse when Kirsty’s estranged cousin comes to stay and Evie finds an old doll and starts complaining that her room is haunted. Some of the guests also unnerve Kirsty:
Janice strides to the window and pulls back the curtains to get a better view. It’s started to rain. Over her shoulder I can see the church’s spire and the weather-beaten, ornate tombs jutting out of the ground, many cracked and leaning at odd angles.My Impression: I used to have a coworker whose dream was to have a B&B in Cape May, NJ, a seaside town full of ornate Victorian homes, and while she made me curious to see the town, I never understood the desire to cook and clean for a bunch of strangers who seem all too likely to bring distress and danger in their wake! After reading Do Not Disturb, my opinion is unchanged as, apart from murder, one of the worst moments for the heroine is when her new guests start posting negative reviews about the new B&B. Imagine going to all the trouble of renovating a building, investing all your savings and your mother’s, getting up early to make breakfast for these strangers, only for them to trash you online!
“I know it overlooks the graveyard . . . “ I wonder if I should offer her a different room.
She swivels round to face me, her expression serious. “Oh, my dear. I’m not worried about that.” She narrows her eyes. “Believe me, the dead can’t hurt you. It’s only the living who can.”
|I like the UK cover better|