Hanging With Hugo by Katherine Bolger Hyde: 3***

Book 6 of the “Crime with the Classics” series was my first introduction to the works of Katherine Bolger Hyde, and I was pleased with the book. Not a huge fan of Cozy Mysteries, but this book in my opinion is a perfect beach read or for a rainy weekend escape. Despite being Book 6 of the series it is pretty easy to pick up the characters and the plot is interesting. As with the other books in this series, the setting is the small town of Stony Beach, Oregon, and specifically the Victorian estate of Windy Corner and which is owned by the narrator Emily Cavanaugh. Emily and her husband Luke have just returned from their honeymoon in England when her half brother Oscar asked if she can host his wedding. This certainly seems to set Emily into a tither, but she is willing to do anything for Oscar, even if this entails having a house full of guests and booking a local church as well as paying for some of the repairs that need to be done on the church due to a recent storm.. Add to that crew, the artisan who is repairing the stained glass window at the church, along with his wife and son, who have no place to stay other than with Emily.

And then we have Moses and his foster daughter Charlotte who are on the run from a out of control social worker named Janine Vertue. Yes, it is a crazy household combo made all of the crazier by the fact that Oscar and his fiancé show up and just a few days later the fiancé’s parents arrive to stay with them. It is a full house and eventually there is a murder as social worker Janine Vertue is found dead in her hotel room. Shockingly, many of the individuals who are staying with Emily have a connection to Janine, and nobody has anything but bad thoughts about her. In addition two sinister characters come in from Portland, and try to take Charlotte from Emily’s house. All of this just gives us a host of possible murderers to choose from. Emily’s husband, Luke, is a member of the police force, but even he can’t crack the case without some help from Emily herself. Yes, it is a cozy mystery that will keep you guessing. As for the title, Janine is found hanging in her hotel bathroom, and one of Emily’s friends is reading a book by Victor Hugo. Yes, the classics are part of this, as are each one of the authors books, which I find refreshing and different from most other cozy mysteries.

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