The Socialite’s Guide to Murder

Crooked Lane. (Pinnacle Hotel Mystery, Bk. 1). Oct. 2022. 320p. ISBN 9781639101764. $28.99. M
DEBUT In 1958, the Pinnacle Hotel in New York City is one of the premier hotels, and Evelyn Elizabeth Grace Murphy is the pampered only child of the owner. After she discovered her mother’s murdered body when she was only six, Evelyn suffers from shell shock and agoraphobia, so she seldom leaves the hotel. She does attend parties there, though, including one celebrating the paintings of artist Billie Bell. She’s shocked when her best friend, actor Henry Fox, gets into a fight with Bell. That makes him the primary suspect when Bell’s latest painting is missing when it’s time for the unveiling. Evelyn knows Henry didn’t steal it, but the artist is killed before she can investigate. When a hotel employee is arrested for the murder, Evelyn recruits a bellboy, her secret crush, to help her find the killer. After a series of mishaps, Evelyn holds a Hercule Poirot–style reveal to announce the solution.
VERDICT Evelyn is quite spoiled, something of an acquired taste as an amateur sleuth. Suggest to readers who enjoyed other hotel-set mysteries with young amateur sleuths, like Nita Prose’s The Maid and Audrey Keown’s Murder at Hotel 1911.
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