Heartache Hotel by Teri L. Watson, Larissa Reinhart, and LynDee Walker is a 2013 Henery Press publication.
This delightful collection of cozy mystery novellas centers on the Heartache Hotel in Memphis.
The hotel is not offering five star accommodations. The staff is made up of drag queens who impersonate characters from movies Elvis Presley starred in. Man-Margaret will have you in stitches.
All the stories are connected through the Heartache Hotel as the walls are somewhat thin and dubious conversations can be easily overheard, plus all the stories have a holiday/Christmas theme.
The first story is: Diners Keepers, Losers Weepers written by Teri L. Watson. This is a Rose Strickland novella.
Ma decides it's time for a vacation and wants to close the diner for several days so she can travel to Memphis and visit Graceland. However, when an acquaintance they recently met is murdered, Rose and the gang vow to find out who killed him and why. My favorite character was Joe who became an unlikely hero. I have not followed this series but now I think I could enjoy getting to know Ma, Rose and the gang a little better. I’m giving this one a 3.5.
The second story is: Quick Sketch by Larissa Reinhart and is a Cherry Tucker Mystery.
Cherry and her boyfriend Todd are in Memphis trying to help Todd's naive cousin recover some gambling debts in time to save Christmas for his kids. They meet “Priscilla” and “Tom Parker” who help them come up with a sting to catch the scammers who tricked Todd's cousin out of his money. Cherry uses her skills as an artist to sketch the men in order to catch the right person. Meanwhile, Cherry gets into a few hilarious situations with Priscilla and also doubts Todd who is enjoying a flirtation with a woman working the sting with them.
This mystery was well thought out and action packed as well as heartwarming. This one gets a 4.
Last, but not Least: Dateline Memphis by LynDee Walker- A Headlines in High Heels Mystery.
Nichelle Clark is headed home for the holidays but makes a stop in Memphis in order to tour Graceland. Once again, the thin walls at the Heartache Hotel cause trouble, especially for Nichelle's dog.
Meanwhile, while on her tour Nichelle gets locked in at Graceland after someone stole something that had once belonged to Elvis. As a crime journalist, Nichelle senses this story could propel her into the national spotlight, but the thief might have other plans for Nichelle.
This story was the most serious of the three, but the mystery was really solid. Actually, I wouldn't be surprised if someone tried this in real life. Someone could make some serious cash selling something from Graceland. The lock down is also something that sounds authentic. I loved the dog being in the story and loved the way everything was all tied up in the end. This one is a 4.
Overall these light mysteries with the obvious Elvis theme throughout was a fun read and all the characters were great. This book would be perfect for your holiday reading and with all the stress associated with the holidays this one would certainly keep your mood light. You couldn't read these and still feel anxious. This is also a great way to get a brief introduction to some characters you haven't discovered yet or touch base with some of your favorites. As a whole this book gets a 4.
THREE TIMES THE FUN AND MYSTERY…
Elvis has left the building, but he’s forever memorialized at the Heartache Motel. Filled with drag queens, Rock-a-Hula cocktails, and a vibrating velveteen bed, these three novellas tell the tales of three amateur sleuths who spend their holidays at the King’s beloved home.DINERS KEEPERS, LOSERS WEEPERS by Terri L. Austin
A Rose Strickland Mystery Novella (follows DINER IMPOSSIBLE)
When Rose and the gang head to Graceland right before Christmas, they get all shook up: the motel is a seedy dump and an Elvis impersonator turns up dead. Rose discovers missing jewels tie into the death and her suspicious mind flips into overdrive, questioning her fellow guests, the staff, and even a cute impersonator who keeps popping up. Will Rose be able to find the murderer and get home by Christmas day? It’s now or never.QUICK SKETCH by Larissa Reinhart
A Cherry Tucker Mystery Novella (prequel to PORTRAIT OF A DEAD GUY)
Sassy Southern artist Cherry Tucker and her poker-loving boyfriend, Todd, pop into Memphis to help Todd’s cousin who’s been hustled out of his savings, right before Christmas. Staying at the shady Heartache Motel, Cherry can’t tell a shill from a mark and fears everyone is playing them for chumps. Cherry and Todd quickly find themselves in a dangerous sting that could send them to the slammer or mark them as pigeons from cons looking for an even bigger score.DATELINE MEMPHIS by LynDee Walker
A Nichelle Clarke Headline in Heels Mystery Novella (follows BURIED LEADS)
Crime reporter Nichelle Clarke thinks she’s going home for Christmas. But a quick stop at Graceland proves news breaks in the strangest places. When the King's home gets locked down with Nichelle inside, she chases this headline into the national spotlight—and the thief's crosshairs. Christmas dreams of blue suede Manolos fade, and all Nichelle wants from Santa is to land the story before the thief cuts off her news feed for good.
Part of the Henery Press Mystery Series Collection, if you like one, you'll probably like them all….