Secrets run deep in charming small towns—but so does murder.
When a former resident turns up dead at the local fall festival, Avery Jensen finds more than sticky caramel apples. She discovers a body.
Shocked, Avery—owner of a cozy B&B—turns to her mischievous capuchin monkey for help. Known to slip jewelry and other shiny objects into his pockets, this kleptomaniac primate now busies himself collecting clues…or just more dead ends.
But why murder a former resident?
What secrets lie buried beneath this picturesque small town’s charming façade?
As Avery and her simian sidekick uncover rivalries, lies, and decade-old scandals, they learn no place is too remote for suspicion–and murder.
With a nosy B&B owner and her sticky-fingered pet on the case, the killer must work fast before his deadly secrets emerge from the shadows…
The characters are relatable, the monkey can’t keep his hands to himself, and the plot…is a page-turning, unputdownable twisty conundrum of whodunnit.
Monkey Business & Murder is the first book in the Bed and Breakfast series. Each book is a captivating standalone mystery where you can indulge in solving the case. Dive deep into the intriguing plots while gradually unraveling the complexities of the characters with every murder that unfolds.
“Oh, and I was wrong about whodunit and I like that!”
“It had a great mystery plot and loved the monkey shenanigans.”
“The idea of a klepto Capuchin is hilarious!”
“A well written and engaging book.”
“The suspense, humor, and surprise ending made for a fun read.”
“You will want to read what will happen next!”
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Enjoy a sample from Bed & Breakfast Series – Monkey Business & Murder, Book 1
The guest in room 1 looked rather stressed when Avery came back from lunch. She was talking agitatedly to Jake Lowen—the same Jake who had not been seen behind Hughie’s bar with Abigail Mueller.
“What’s the problem?” Avery came to stand next to Jake.
“I’m missing my necklace,” she said. “It’s a gold chain with tiny diamonds attached. It’s not very big, but it has sentimental value. I was asking this young man if he’d seen it.”
Avery exchanged a glance with Jake, one that told her that he definitely knew where the necklace was but didn’t want to be the one who told the woman.
Giving a warm smile, Avery said, “Let me see if I can’t find it for you. We have a lost and found that I keep locked up for security reasons.” Without another word, Avery dipped around Jake to go up the staircase.
On the second floor was a trap door that led up to the attic. Avery tugged on the cord and unfolded the wooden stairs, then clambered up.
The attic was small and full of pink insulation. Cardboard boxes and plastic storage bins sat haphazardly and disorderly all over. Sunlight came in through the open window, giving Avery just enough illumination to tug the string to turn on the light bulb.
Her footsteps creaked along the wooden planks as she moved. Even though she knew they were sturdy, it always felt like she would fall at any moment. She kept moving, walking to the far end of the room where a small trove of various treasures lay in a small heap. There was everything from some of her old costume jewelry to photos to an old Stephen King book. Avery rifled through, and it wasn’t long until she pulled out a small gold chain with tiny diamonds.
She sighed in frustration. She loved Ali, and he loved her. He was a great friend and made her smile. He was one of the best things to happen to her.
He was also a giant kleptomaniac.
It was the whole reason she’d named him Ali in the first place—both for Aladdin and Ali Baba. She’d lost count of the times guests had come down asking if they had left earrings or a wallet, even a pen, down in the dining room. When they did, she would always go to Ali’s ‘secret’ hoard, rummage around, and inevitably find whatever the missing object was.
She still had no idea how he managed to get into their rooms. He had some trick that she would probably never figure out. Still, anything he stole always inevitably wound up in Ali’s pile of treasure. She’d apologize to the guest, who always seemed mollified whenever they found out it was Ali. There was a certain charm to him that few guests seemed immune to.
Everything else in Ali’s hoard belonged to her. She made a point to check every so often to make sure there wasn’t anything super valuable or something that belonged to Meihui or one of the guests. She let him keep a handful of her own things, because if she didn’t, he tended to get upset and turn into even more of a kleptomaniac as though desperate to refill his stash. It was easier this way, and it made Ali happy, even if it was inconvenient when he decided that his current trove wasn’t enough and that he had to supplement it with something else. Like, say, a necklace with great sentimental value.
Avery let out a huff of irritation, then went back down the ladder.
Ali was sitting on the banister and made a loud protest when he saw the necklace in her hand.
“Don’t start,” she said. “I love you, but you know this isn’t allowed.”
Ali chattered and hopped onto her shoulder.
“Sorry about that,” Avery said as she descended the stairs. She held out the necklace to the relieved woman.
“Oh, thank you,” she said, clutching the necklace. “Where was it?”
“Oh, Ali decided to hold onto it for safe keeping,” she said.
The woman’s eyes flicked to the monkey, then back to Avery. Then the capuchin chirruped and hopped onto the desk, walking over to the woman in the perfect imitation of a scolded child. The woman’s features softened.
“Well, it’s back now,” she said, smiling. “I suppose there’s no harm done. Thank you again for finding it.”
Just then, the door opened. All four heads—Avery’s, Jake’s, the woman’s, and Ali’s—spun toward the entrance to see who was coming in.
Scott Johnson looked back at all of them. His face was set in a scowl, and he didn’t bother composing it. He wasn’t dressed in a suit and tie this time. He was wearing jeans, a loose long-sleeved t-shirt, and muddy hiking boots. The bottoms of his jeans were splattered with mud, too. Avery frowned. There were hiking areas all through the woods near here, but not many would have been muddy right now. It had been dry as a bone for the past two weeks. Something about it felt odd.
Scott looked down at his shoes.
“Sorry,” he said. “Do you mind if I leave these down here?” He gestured at the mud-spattered boots and again, Avery was struck with the certainty that she had seen him before.
“Not at all,” Avery said. “I’d prefer it, actually.”
The man nodded, kicked off his shoes, and walked up the stairs.
After the door upstairs was shut, Jake turned to Avery in an almost identical way to Meihui a few days earlier.
“That dude is weird,” Jake said. The woman with the necklace nodded her agreement.