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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Sailor Take Warning: The Painted Lady Inn Mysteries is a cozy sleuth mystery novel written by M.K. Scott. Donna Tollhouse, the innkeeper of The Painted Lady Inn, was belatedly appreciating all that her former assistant, Tennyson, had done to keep her inn running; his absence was particularly noticeable as she was preparing for the onslaught of guests in town for the Legacy’s first Regatta. Mark, her detective husband, would be on duty for the first day, and Donna, ever looking for a mystery to solve, was hoping for at least one murder. After he left, Donna was ready to face her first interview for Tennyson’s replacement, hoping beyond hope that Rosemarie would be a good fit. Her attitude seemed perfect for the hospitality industry and Donna was starting to feel positive about her. Then Donna heard police sirens not ten minutes after Mark had departed. Could it be a murder after all? Donna was frustrated at having to stay and take care of her obligations as the innkeeper, when she really wanted to rush down to the beach and scope out the situation. She knew Mark would let her know whatever he found out, but waiting was something she wasn’t terribly good at.
M.K. Scott’s Sailor Take Warning is the eleventh book in her Painted Lady Inn Mystery Series, but she provides new readers with enough background information to allow them to enjoy this book as a standalone. I enjoyed seeing how Donna Tollhouse reconciles the demands of running her inn with her penchant for solving mysteries. Scott’s plot is tasty and filled with red herrings to consider, and her characters are solidly fleshed out and authentic. Anyone who's ever considered running a bed and breakfast or an inn may find themselves reconsidering as they read about Donna Tollhouse’s experiences. And don’t worry about that growing sweet tooth after reading about the baked delicacies Tollhouse prepares for her guests -- the author provides complete and fairly uncomplicated recipes at the back of the book. Sailor Take Warning: The Painted Lady Inn Mysteries, Book 11 is a well-written and enjoyable cozy mystery that’s highly recommended.