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Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
Room Service and Murder by Melissa Baldwin is the second book in the Madness and Murder series. Casey Cooper has settled into her new job and thought the most difficult things she’d have to deal with are troublesome guests, arguing co-workers, and a handsome new boss. Then one of her closest friends, the talented actress Phoebe Phord, has come to stay at the hotel and a mysterious package arrives, but when Casey goes to deliver it, she finds her friend’s body. She doesn’t believe for a second that it was suicide so when a mysterious cousin shows up for the funeral and her friend’s assistant doesn’t seem to be grieving, she delves into the case, determined to find justice. She doesn’t want to believe someone close to her could be responsible but as she uncovers surprising secrets, everything leads her back to the hotel.
Casey has settled into her new job at the hotel and is a pro at handling bickering co-workers and troublesome guests. Her new boss isn’t at all what she expected. He’s handsome and charming, and exactly the kind of relationship she shouldn’t pursue. Making her job more complicated is the immediate attraction between them that’s a blend of respect and flirting, which gives a spark to each of their scenes. The mystery has an emotional core and packs a punch as the victim is like a sister to Casey, so the loss is greatly felt throughout the story. Her bond with Phoebe is what drives her to find answers and what helps her draw out secrets from everyone around her. These secrets play a key role in how the case unfolds.
The mystery is suspenseful and with danger around every corner, the focus is centered on the hotel. The story weaves through Casey’s attempt to balance her sleuthing with her job and her handsome boss, which blends mystery with light elements of romantic comedy to make the story funny and flirty. Melissa Baldwin does a splendid job of keeping you guessing and balancing the mystery elements with moments that allow Casey to stop and grieve. This keeps the story grounded and the characters realistic. Room Service and Murder is the perfect read for mystery lovers with some flirty romance, a spunky sleuth, witty humor, and a quirky hotel to make for a fun, emotional, and grounded mystery.