Hanging with Hugo

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Book 6 of A Crime with the Classics Mystery
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Pub Date Mar 05 2024 | Archive Date Feb 29 2024

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Writer's retreat Windy Corner becomes a sanctuary of a different kind when a man and his foster daughter are harassed by a social worker, with tragic consequences.

Emily and Luke have returned from their honeymoon and are caught in a whirlwind of activity. Emily's half-brother, Oscar, and his fiance want to be married at St Bede's Church in Stony Beach with a reception at Windy Corner. But they're not the only guests arriving at Emily's writers' retreat. Emily finds herself unexpectedly playing host to the family of the artist repairing the church's stained-glass window as well as Moses Valory and his foster daughter, Charlotte, who are seeking sanctuary after being harassed by social worker Janine Vertue.

When Janine appears and is then discovered hanged in her hotel room, Emily uncovers shocking links between Janine, the rest of her guests at Windy Corner. Which one of them despised Janine enough to kill her?

Writer's retreat Windy Corner becomes a sanctuary of a different kind when a man and his foster daughter are harassed by a social worker, with tragic consequences.

Emily and Luke have returned from...

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ISBN 9781448311866
PRICE $29.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 7 members

Featured Reviews

Nicely Woven..
The sixth instalment in the Crime with the Classics series of mysteries finds the writer’s retreat Windy Corner much in demand but also the scene of an unfolding tragedy - whilst Emily plays host to unexpected visitors. When someone is found hanging in a hotel room, secrets and scandal may out. Another beautifully written and engaging entry to this very enjoyable and atmospheric series with deftly drawn characters, a nicely woven plot laced with a clever dry wit and a solid mystery at its very heart.

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This charming series set on the Oregon coast features B & B owner Emily, a former professor, and her sheriff husband Luke. In this outing they’ve just returned from their honeymoon and are getting set to host the wedding of Emily’s half brother Oscar. Emily and Luke are ready for the infusion of family and chaos brought by a wedding, but when they return home they find the church where the wedding is to take place has been hit by a storm, with massive roof damage as well as to the beautiful rose window in the nave. The squishy floor and holes in the roof don’t feel very wedding-y and Emily, an heiress, finds some dollars of her own and arranges some financing through the town to get the church repairs under way.

Their first guests are the stained-glass guy and his family – baby Raphael scorns clothes and pees just about everywhere and the whole household is holding their breath until one of the guest cottages opens up so the family can be on their own (and away from everyone else). The next guests – or refugees – are more heartbreaking. Emily’s priest asks her to take in Moses and his soon to be adopted daughter, Charlotte. They’ve fled the shelter Moses runs in Portland as a social worker seems to have it in for them, holding up the adoption in favor of the stepfather who beat Charlotte’s mother and abused Charlotte. Charlotte is so traumatized she doesn’t speak.

Emily and Luke are reserving judgement about the pair, but when they meet gentle Moses, a massive black man, and sweet Charlotte, who is a budding artist, their doubts disappear. When it turns out that baby Raphael’s family had a bad encounter with the same social worker, as did the parents of Lauren, Emily’s soon to be sister-in-law, there is - by all the laws of the mystery novel - a target on the woman’s back. In classic Murder, She Wrote fashion the woman is indeed killed, and the suspect pool all seem to be residing in the sheriff’s home.

As Luke sets out to prove the alibis of all concerned, it becomes clear that the errant stepfather has turned up in town, adding to the suspense. This is a nicely told tale with some great details like cats named Kitty and Levin. The “Hugo” of the title is Victor Hugo, an author Emily’s friend Margeurite is reading throughout her stay at the B & B as she waits for the wedding. One of the nicer bits of the book is Emily’s bonding with Charlotte throughout the story – they are truly drawn together when Emily teaches the girl to knit. She takes to it like she was born to do it.

The wedding details are also fun – Lauren’s family is Chinese and so there’s a church wedding followed by a Chinese banquet at the house, which of course is the finale. The wrap of the story is suspenseful, but gently so, and does involve some solid detective work on the part of Luke and his small team. I really liked the characters and setting, and this did bring a tear to my eye as Moses and Charlotte’s situation is eventually resolved. If the story was slight, the characters felt real to me and I was glad to have met them.

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this was a strong sixth entry in the Crime with the Classics series, it had the elements that I was looking for based on the other books in this series. It had that crime element that I was expecting and enjoyed how the characters worked in this universe. It had a great mystery element that I was hoping for when reading the other books. I thought it worked well with the characters and how they went about solving this mystery. Katherine Bolger Hyde has a great writing style and it left me wanting more in this world.

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