Bed & Breakfast Cozy Mystery Series - Brook Acres, NC. In the Appalachian Mountains not too far from Boone
“The team duo amateur sleuth Avery and her sidekick Ali are unstoppable!”
“ I enjoyed reading this page turner which had me glued.”
About this series
Welcome to charming small-town life filled with friendly faces, cozy vibes, and dark secrets simmering beneath the surface.
Avery Jensen runs a quaint local bed and breakfast, but her ordinarily peaceful days get disrupted whenever a body turns up and foul play seems evident.
Luckily, Avery has an unexpected partner in solving crime - her mischievous pet monkey Ali. Known for swiping sparkly objects, Ali now turns his sticky fingers to clue-gathering as he and Avery investigate mysterious deaths plaguing their picture-perfect community.
Over the course of five humorous cozy mysteries, the curiosities never cease for this unlikely sleuthing duo as they peel back decades-old scandals, rivalries, lies, and betrayal hiding behind the town’s welcoming façade.
With nosy neighbors afoot and a suspicious death at every turn, Avery and her monkey sidekick must piece together challenging puzzles before the elusive killers silence them next.
Solving high-stake murders at the local B&B was not listed in the job description when Avery moved to town, but justice calls as she protects fellow residents on her unconventional quest to unewarth those dark secrets dead and buried.A kleptomaniac monkey, a small-town murder, and secrets to unveil: this is the thrilling world of Ali and Avery.
"I just couldn't stop reading."
"There are a few twists in the plot to keep you guessing the whodunit till the end."
" think that this cozy should be on everyones TBR least… it is that fantastic."
"Peyton Stone skillfully weaves together a suspenseful and engaging plot."
"Oh, and I was wrong about whodunit and I like that! Yes, I will be following this author."
" The idea of a klepto Capuchin is hilarious!"
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Enjoy a sample from 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.
Enjoy a sample from Mischief, Murder & Monkey Mayhem, Book 2
“Oops,” Jake muttered. “Sorry.”
“You’re fine,” Avery assured him. “Does that mean Lorraine Baker’s checked out?”
Jake’s jaw twitched and he suddenly looked a little nervous. “Uh, no,” he said, slowly. “I waited a bit and started cleaning some of the other rooms, but I still haven’t seen her. I was hoping maybe she slipped past me and you checked her out.
“Nope.” Her spine prickled. It was silly; there was no reason for her to think it was anything sinister. Alarm bells were screaming in her head. “I was just about to ask you about it. Welp, let’s go pay her a visit.”
As they walked up the steps together, Ali hopped down from his perch and onto Avery’s shoulder. His tail wrapped around her neck and he chattered in her ear.
“You’re not getting any sweets,” Avery chuckled, scratching his chin. “No matter how cute you are.”
Ali nuzzled against her head affectionately.
They arrived in front of Lorraine’s room and Avery knocked.
“Mrs. Baker?” Avery called out. “I’m very sorry to disturb you. It’s after check out time. Is everything all right?”
There was no answer, not even the soft sound of shuffling feet.
As unease washed over Avery, she retrieved her master key and slipped it into the lock.
“Oh,” Jake whispered as he looked inside.
It summed up the situation nicely.
The lights were out, though the room’s furnishings were still visible through the light streaming in through the curtains and the illumination from the hallway.
It looked as though things had barely been touched. The suitcase was open and neatly packed clothes remained inside, undistrubed. There was nothing scattered on the floor or litter in the trash. Other than the suitcase, the only real indication that someone had been there was the unmoving lump in the bed.
“Mrs. Baker?” Avery asked again, quietly. She was fairly sure she wasn’t going to get a response. She took a few hesitant steps into the room, then stopped, hoping against hope that the creaking floorboards would wake the woman up. There was no movement.
Worms crawled in Avery’s stomach as she moved closer to the lump. She could see Lorraine’s dyed blond hair poking out from beneath the covers. She eyed the comforter, waiting to see an up and down movement that would indicate the woman was breathing.
Again, there was nothing.
She slowly turned on the lamp on the end table, holding her breath.
Lorraine remained unresponsive, unaffected by the clicking sound and flood of light that banished the darkness surrounding her motionless figure.
Avery reached out and gently, tentatively pulled down the cover, revealing Lorraine’s face.
Her eyes were closed, and her skin was waxy. Her face was pale. Taking a deep breath, Avery touched the back of her hand to the woman’s forehead.