Twelve-year old Emma Graham, unflappable and inventive, thinks too much is happening around the Hotel Paradise: murder, attempted murder (of Emma!), and a twenty-year old unsolved kidnapping. Martha Grimes' other series, which I totally adore, features Richard Jury; this tale shares the sly, dry humor that is Grimes' great strength (along with her rich cast of oddball supporting characters, her impeccable timing, and her unsurpassed plotting). Unlike the Jury series, though, this moves at a leisurely speed while racking up scene after scene of quirky people, unfinished thoughts, train rides, greedy drinkers and Emma's efficient mother. The drinks recipes are worth the trouble to get the book. It's a 4+...you'll probably think the whole series a 5.
NOTE: On my list of always-read authors, Martha Grimes is one of the stars. Her old pub titles (The Horse You Came In On, The Lamorna Wink, The Old Silent...and 20 others) are just a hint of the entertainment you'll get. If Ms. Grimes wrote a laundry list, it'd probably hold my attention.