Murder isn’t usually on the menu at Cape May bed-and-breakfasts. Anna McGregor, the young proprietor of the Climbing Rose Cottage B&B, did not expect her first client of the season to die at the living room table while eating one of her freshly baked scones. The next thing she knows, the police are at her door, naming Anna a person of interest in George’s death. Scones and Scofflaws follows Anna through her adventures trying to solve the mystery at her Cape May B&B.
After a tumultuous breakup, Anna decides to seek refuge in Cape May, where her great aunt Louise left the B&B as an inheritance. Anna hires Luke, a local handyman, to help her fix up the place. In addition to ongoing renovations, Anna starts hearing sounds in the house when Luke isn’t working.
When Anna thinks her plate is full enough, her eight-year-old cousin Eoin shows up from Ireland earlier than planned. She promised Eoin a fun Cape May summer. Now she must tend to him while investigating the mystery with help from her best friend and bakery owner, Sammy.
Anna has multiple run-ins with Evan, the young cop investigating the murder. As she visits local businesses in town, Anna realizes she is considered a “fresh face” and that the locals, including Evan, are wary of her because of the murder rumors circulating via the town gossip mills. Running a new B&B is hard enough, especially when the legacy of the cottage is threatened as future guests begin calling to cancel their reservations.
Throughout Scones and Scofflaws, Anna, Sam, and Eoin travel around town, visiting businesses and locations that readers will recognize. The beach descriptions are spot on, with sandpipers running along the waves, along with visits to the library, World War II bunker, and collecting Cape May diamonds.
Readers will delight in figuring out the “whodunnit” aspect of this mystery novel, as Anna puts two and two together to discover who is behind the B&B murder. Scones and Scofflaws is best read in one of Cape May’s many B&Bs.■