Cover image for Silver scream : a bed-and-breakfast mystery
Silver scream : a bed-and-breakfast mystery
Daheim, Mary.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : William Morrow, [2002]

Physical Description:
306 pages ; 22 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense

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Homicide has never been more hilarious than when committed (on paper) by the inimitable Mary Daheim. And now the masterful creator of the bestselling Bed-and-Breakfast mysteries takes madcap malevolence to a delightful new level, when Hollywood comes calling...and killing.

Filmdom's most sparkling glitterati have brought their limos and their egos to Judith McMonigle Flynn's Hillside Manor for a gala preview of the latest epic monstrosity from genius superproducer Bruno Zepf. Hostess Flynn's Pacific Northwest B&B is a far cry from Hollywood -- but then Bruno's cinematic spectacular is a far cry from good. And the great man's entourage -- with their swelled heads, their tantrums, their demands, and their illicit habits -- surely rank among the most insufferable guests ever to rumple Judith's bed linens.

Bruno hopes his new film is to die for -- unfortunately for him, it is. Not long after the lights come up on the less-than-lauded screening, the unfortunate mogul is discovered drowned in the kitchen sink. His demise could have been a bizarre accident caused by a faulty cabinet door that Judith's ex-cop hubby Joe Flynn never got around to repairing. And since the only species in Tinseltown more numerous than Oscar seekers is attorneys, Judith could lose Hillside Manor in a wrongful-death suit. Unless, of course, she can prove it was murder.

But there's a problem: No one on the scene benefits from the producer's fade-to-black. The police are stymied (surprise!), but Judith's livelihood depends upon her finding a killer -- any killer will do. And that's the script she intends to follow, with the assistance of "Mr. Don't-Fix-It" Joe and a curiously reluctant cousin Renie, who's got troubles of her own....

Author Notes

Mary R. Daheim is a reporter and mystery writer. She was born in Seattle, Washington.

Daheim was a newspaper reporter and a public relations consultant before beginning to write. In 1983, she published her first historical romance. Daheim wrote six more books before becoming a mystery writer.

In 1991, Daheim began the Bed & Breakfast series of books. She began a second series, the Alpine series, in 1992.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

A quaint bed-and-breakfast seems so cozy. Yes, but guests of the Hillside Manor in Seattle might think differently if they knew how many crimes had been committed there in the past. Now, it's Hollywood producer Bruno Zepf and members of the cast and crew of his latest picture who have reservations at the lethal inn, sight of several previous episodes in Daheim's Bad and Breakfast series. Bruno's film is set to premiere in Seattle, and he thinks it's good luck to spend the night before the festivities at a B and B. This time, Bruno's luck runs out. He's found drowned in a sink, and it's up to the inn's owner and series star, Judith Flynn, to find the killer, presumably among the backbiting Hollywoodites. Although this series sets up like a cozy, there's always a slightly over-the-top zaniness to the characters and their actions; this time is no exception, what with all those easy-to-parody L.A. types. A bit silly but bound to please series fans. --Ilene Cooper

Publisher's Weekly Review

In her 18th cozy B&B mystery, Daheim offers more amusing action than in last year's Suture Self, now that her two sleuthing heroines, Judith Flynn and cousin Renie, have almost fully recovered from surgery and are no longer stuck in a hospital room. When a group of Hollywood hotshots arrives on Halloween weekend for a movie premiere and takes over Judith's beloved B&B, Hillside Manor, she's ready for anythingexcept the sudden death of famous producer Bruno Zepf, whose body she finds slumped into the standing water of her kitchen sink. Fearing she may be sued for negligence, Judith with Renie's help begins to investigate everyone involved with Zepf, in an effort to prove the accident was murder and exonerate Hillside Manor. Just as they've almost exhausted their leads among the stars, a new suspect appears on the scene and the plot hurtles to its surprising conclusion. The fog, mist and rain of a Pacific Northwest October add to the Halloween atmosphere, while the trick-or-treating ghosts and goblins aren't the only strange characters afoot. The neurotic producer, the egocentric actor, the blossoming starlet and the overzealous director, who literally looks at life through a camera that he keeps around his neck, are ghoulish enough for any Halloween. Also contributing to the holiday fun are the zany antics of Gertrude, Judith's aging mother, and the carryings-on of Renie's three children, plus the banter between the two irresistible cousins. Fans will be enthralled. (May 7) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved



Silver Scream Chapter One Judith McMonigle Flynn twitched in the kitchen chair, jumped up, paced the floor, and leaned her head against the cupboard by the sink. Desperately, she tried reason, argument, and, finally, bad grammar in an attempt to fend off Ingrid Heffelman from the state bed-and-breakfast association. "I don't want none of those crazy people at Hillside Manor," she shouted into the phone. "I mean, any of them. They're Hollywood types, and they're nuts." "Just because they make movies doesn't mean they're crazy." Ingrid huffed. "Look, I know this is a big favor. But you had only two other reservations for the last weekend of October besides the producer, Bruno Zepf. I can put those non-movie people up somewhere else to make room for the additions to Mr. Zepf's original guest list." Since Bruno Zepf had made his reservation two weeks earlier, Judith knew she was on shaky ground. Like many Hollywood big shots, Zepf was as superstitious as he was successful. Ten years earlier, his career as an independent producer had been launched at a film festival in the Midwest. At the time Zepf couldn't afford a hotel; he'd had to stay in a bed-and-breakfast. The movie had won the top prize, launching his Hollywood career. Ever since, he had stayed at B&Bs before premiering a new production. But other members of his company wanted to stay in the same B&B, hoping that Bruno's good luck would rub off on them. Magnanimously -- egotistically -- the Great Man had allowed at least a half-dozen associates to join him at Hillside Manor. "Please, Ingrid," Judith pleaded, moving away from the cupboard, "I'm stuck with Mr. Zepf, but I've had my fill of so-called beautiful people, from opera singers to gossip columnists to TV media types. I've had gangsters and psychos and -- " "I know," Ingrid interrupted, her tone suddenly cold. "That's one of the reasons you're going to accept this deal. You've managed to have some very big problems at Hillside Manor, and while they don't seem to have hurt your business, they give the rest of the B&Bs a black eye. Look what happened a year or so ago -- your establishment was included in a sightseeing tour of murder sites, and you ended up on TV with a dead body." "The body wasn't at Hillside Manor," Judith retorted as the cupboard door swung open all by itself. She took her frustration out on the innocent piece of wood, slamming it shut. "And it certainly wasn't my fault. Besides, I got the tour group to take Hillside Manor off the sightseeing itinerary, didn't I?" "You still looked like an idiot in that television interview about your so-called sleuthing," Ingrid countered. "It was embarrassing for innkeepers all over the state. You owe me -- and the rest of the good people who run B&Bs around here." "That was the editing," Judith protested. "I didn't ask to be on TV. In fact, I begged them not to do the piece. I hardly consider myself a sleuth. I run a B&B, period. I can't help it if all sorts of weird people come here. Look, now you're the one who's setting me up. Who will you blame if something happens while these movie nutcases are staying at Hillside Manor?" There was no response. The line was dead. Ingrid had hung up on her. "Damn," Judith breathed. "Ingrid's a mule." "She always was," Gertrude Grover responded. "Fast, too. She wore her skirts way too short in high school. No wonder she got into trouble." Judith stared at her mother. "This is a different Ingrid. She runs the state B&B association. She's my age, not yours." Gertrude's small eyes narrowed. "You just think she is. Ingrid Sack's been dyeing her hair for years. Had a face-lift, too. More than once, I heard." "Mother," Judith said patiently, "Ingrid Sack -- I believe her married name was Grissom -- has been dead for ten years." Now it was Gertrude's turn to stare. "No kidding? I wonder how she looked in her casket. All tarted up, I bet. Funny I didn't hear about it at the time." There was no point in telling Gertrude that she'd undoubtedly read Ingrid's obituary in the newspaper. Read it with glee, as the old lady always did when she discovered she'd outlived yet another contemporary. Judith was used to her mother's patchy memory. "I'm stuck," Judith announced, flipping the pages of the American art calendar she'd been given by her cousin Renie. August's Black Hollyhock, Blue Larkspur by Georgia O'Keeffe was a sumptuous sight compared with the stark, deliberately mundane realism of Louis Charles Moeller's Sculptor's Studio , which heralded October. Vibrant natural beauty versus taxing, gritty work. Maybe the painting was an omen. "Come Halloween, we're going to be invaded by Hollywood." Gertrude pulled a rumpled Kleenex from the pocket of her baggy orange cardigan. "Hollywood?" she echoed before gustily blowing her nose. "You mean like the Gish sisters and Tom Mix and Mary Pickford?" "Uh ... like that," Judith agreed, sitting down at the kitchen table across from her mother. "A famous producer is premiering his new movie here in town because it was filmed in the area. He's bringing his entourage -- at least some of it -- to Hillside Manor." "Entourage?" Gertrude looked puzzled. "I thought you didn't allow pets." "I don't," Judith replied. "I meant his associates. Speaking of pets," she said sharply to Sweetums as the cat leaped onto the kitchen table, "beat it. You don't prowl the furniture." Sweetums was batting at the lid of the sheep-shaped cookie jar. The cat didn't take kindly to Judith's efforts to pick him up and set him down ... Silver Scream . Copyright © by Mary Daheim. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from Silver Scream: A Bed-and-breakfast Mystery by Mary Daheim All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.