Thursday, March 5, 2015

With Baited Breath (The Lotus Bay Mysteries Book 1) by Lorraine Bartlett



Tori Cannon and her grandfather, Herb, return from her grandmother’s funeral, and it’s with sadness that she learns the bait shop and small motel they ran has fallen on hard times. Jammed into one of the motel’s units is the body of one of Herb’s customers, his mouth filled with spikes. The victim had no enemies, except for the rich woman who wanted to level his eyesore of a home. But he’s also got a daughter who’s resentful her father wasn’t a major force in her life, and friends who were anything but.

Tori’s friend, Kathy, arrives to help spruce up the property, and the two of them find themselves mixed up in the petty jealousies and deadly consequences that murder entails. Can they save the bait shop and find a murderer or will they, too, sleep with the fishes?


I’m depressed,” Tori admitted. “My grandma’s gone, I’ve lost my job, the bait shop isn’t pulling its weight, and Gramps is broke. I’m trying to figure out ways to make this place pay for itself. I was even playing with the idea of resurrecting the Lotus Lodge.”

Really?” Kathy asked, intrigued. “Tell all.”

There’s not much to tell. If we can get at least one room going before the fishing derby in August, he could make a couple hundred bucks.”

Why not get all of them ready and your grandfather could make a lot more?”

Getting him to agree to one will be hard enough.”

What if you had help?” Kathy asked.

A ghost of a smile tugged at Tori’s lips. “What are you saying?”

I’ve got the next two days off. What if I came out there on my days off for the next few weeks and helped you get the place in shape?”

Are you crazy?”

No, you know I’ve always wanted to run a bed and breakfast.”

The Lotus Lodge is not a B and B.”

But it’s in the hospitality business. I’d love to get my hands dirty on a project like that.”

Tori sighed. “There’s no money to fix it up.”

What about selling some of your grandma’s treasures?” Kathy suggested.

They’re more trash than treasure, but yes, I did think about putting a load of them on Craigslist, and having other stuff under a tent by the bait shop.”

Sounds like you’ve been thinking about this pretty hard.”

Yes, but talking Gramps into reopening the Lodge wouldn’t be easy. I mean, it’s not just a case of cleaning and painting. There’s maintenance, cleaning the rooms after each guest leaves, and all that laundry. Grandma used to do all that way back when.”

He could hire someone to do it.”

At his age, he probably won’t want to bother.”

If nothing else, I could at least help you tidy up the place. From what you’ve said, it sure could use it.”

You’ve got that right.”

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