"Murder Through an Open Door" By Melissa Bourbon: Review/Giveaway

Review by Kathleen Costa

Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win either a copy of the first book in this series Murder in Devil’s Cove, or of Murder Through an Open Door (print or ebook winner's choice).

“The truth is an open book…”

Over twenty years ago, Grey and Pippin Hawthorne lost their mother, and to compound the tragedy, soon after their father disappeared. Many believed the hardship of losing his beloved wife and raising twins alone was too much and he just walked away. Twenty years later, the twin siblings returned to Devil’s Cove to take possession of their parents’ old beach house. Pippin had the idea to renovate the place as a seaside inn and make Devil’s Cove home, and Grey was inspired by the renovations to open his own woodworking business. It seemed perfect returning home, reuniting with long ago friends, finding their niche, and for Pippin, gaining the trust of a deaf Vizsla dog she named Sailor. However, the shocking revelation about their father, details about their family history and the curse that has plagued them, and Pippin embracing her bibliomancy gift has made life complicated. Devil’s Cove may hold good friends and close relationships, but it has also held a few suspicious deaths, perilous investigations, and fears from a two-thousand-year-old curse that neither knows how to destroy.

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Pippin finally received her Aunt Rose’s response to her update about the family’s curse, her father’s research, an ancient letter, and discovery of her mother’s necklace. Along with a letter wishing her and her twin brother to stay safe, her Aunt Rose sent a package containing their mother’s favorite book: a 1911 first edition copy of “The Secret Garden.” While holding the book, remembering her mother, Pippin is startled by the inn’s resident crow she dubbed Morgan. She drops the book and gasps at the passage activated by her bibliomancy. The words rise and float…words that give her hope; words that offer encouragement that she and her brother just might be able to break the curs

Murder Through an Open Door Earns 5/5 Classics…Compelling Entertainment!

The Sea Captain’s Inn has become quite busy, and the arrival of Hazel Hood has been a relief. She travels about offering support to innkeepers who need a break, and although Pippin doesn’t need a vacation, Hazel’s experience and intuitive nature allows her some breathing room. A new guest, Connel Foley, checks in hoping to speak to Pippin, and Hazel is suspicious when he tells his wife to go home because “he was here to do one thing, and one thing only.” The next day, having not yet met Mr. Foley, Pippin finds him nowhere about, so she heads over to The Open Door bookshop eager to share her mother’s book with Jamie MacAdams, friend and proprietor. She’s disappointed he’s gone for the day, but while talking to his mother, they are interrupted by a major kerfuffle coming from the locked room that houses many of their priceless books. Unlocking the door they discover the bookshop’s mascot, an anxious cat Miss Havisham, several books spewed across the floor, and the dead body of Connel Foley. When they learn the man is also a rare book dealer who had inquired about some classic first-editions, the situation becomes complex and dangerous.

Brilliant Series! Melissa Bourbon has penned a blockbuster for the fourth book in her Book Magic Mystery series with a delightful writing style, complex ongoing mystery, wonderful characters, and a fascinating premise two-thousand years in the making. It’s important, however, to preface my remarks with the fact that each book in the series builds on the other systematically revealing clues, connections, and insights to provide readers, like me, a “couldn’t put down” experience. I suggest reading the books in chronological order to get the full impact of the fascinating mystery surrounding the Lane women, the engaging family curse that includes untimely deaths, and Pippin’s continued efforts to hone her bibliomancy. The books also make references to previous incidents that some might consider spoilers. The prequel, The Secret on Rum Runner’s Lane, provided insights into Pippin’s parents, Cassandra and Leo, and I found it an engaging flashback after reading the first book, Murder in Devil’s Cove. I read the third book next, Murder at Sea Captain’s Inn, and so, for me, this is a favorite series and a major contender for “Top Favorite” of 2022.

Each book focuses on and offers a solution to a suspicious death that Pippin is compelled to explore as it might be connected to her goal to break the family curse. In the fourth book, a rare book dealer, with an interest in talking with Pippin, is murdered. The investigation, literary references, additional connections, reappearance of the man with the strange (ok, creepy) eyes, and some perilous predicaments kept me reading well into the night. Bourbon has created a strong and admirable lead in Pippin Hawthorne with intelligence, creativity of thought, and a few realistic challenges she makes efforts to overcome from dyslexia and her budding bibliomancy to fears of romantic entanglements and the flutters she feels for Jamie. The reoccurring characters of varying generations, personality, and involvement in the investigations add additional support, interest, and a bit of comic relief. I love Hattie Juniper Pickle. Also a treat! Enjoy the Blueberry Strata from the Sea Captain’s Inn. I highly recommend the entire series, and book four, Murder Through the Open Door gets a big thumbs up!

Book Magic Mystery

Murder in Devil’s Cove (Sept. 2020)

The Secret on Rum Runner’s Lane (prequel Nov. 2020)

Murder at Sea Captain’s Inn (2021)

Murder Through The Open Door (2022)

Murder and an Irish Curse (Sept. 2022)

Be a Big Melissa Bourbon Fan!

Cozy. Caper. Magical. Suspense. Pick your mystery.” National bestselling author Melissa Bourbon writes several series. Whether adding a touch of magic, a budding detective, or the smell of baking bread, they’re all fun reads. My personal favorite, Book Magic mysteries, intwines a fascinating family history and links to books with a clever murder mystery. A Magical Dressmaking Mystery series spotlights a descendent of Butch Cassidy, Harlow Jane Cassidy, who gets a bit of help from beyond, the Lola Cruz Mystery follows a fledgling detective, and under her pen name Winnie Archer, the Bread Shop Mysteries bakes up a few clever conundrums for Ivy Culpepper. Delightful!

Facebook: MelissaBourbon aka Winnie Archer Books

Website: Melissa Bourbon (also writing as Winnie Archer) Sign up for the email newsletter and receive a free digital copy of The Bookish Kitchen, an exclusive cookbook with recipes from several Melissa Bourbon or Winnie Archer books!

To enter to win a copy of the first book in this series Murder in Devil’s Cove, or of Murder Through an Open Door (print or ebook winner's choice), simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "door,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen April 2, 2022. US residents only and you must be 18 or older to enter. If entering via email please include your mailing address in case you win. If entering via comment please include your email address so we can contact you. BE SURE TO STATE WHICH BOOK YOU WANT AND IF YOU WANT PRINT OR EBOOK. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section in Kings River Life and in our mystery category here on KRL News & Reviews. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. And check out our new mystery podcast which features mystery short stories and first chapters read by local actors! A new episode went up this week.

You can use this link to purchase the latest book or click here. If you have adblocker on you may not be able to see the Amazon link:

Kathleen Costa is a long-time resident of the Central Valley, and although born in Idaho, she considers herself a “California Girl.” Graduating from CSU-Sacramento, she is a 35+ year veteran teacher having taught in grades 1-8 in schools from Sacramento to Los Angeles to Stockton to Lodi. Currently Kathleen is enjoying her retirement revitalizing hobbies along with exploring writing, reading for pleasure, and spending 24/7 with her husband.
Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. Sounds interesting! Count me in!

  2. This series is amazing, so original. Thank you for the chance. If I win I'd love a print copy of Murder at Devil's Cove. sue.stoner72@yahoo.com

  3. Sounds like a good read.
    thanks. txmlhl(at)yahoo(dot)com

  4. I would love to start this magical series with a print copy of the first in the series. Thank you. 3labsmom(at)gmail(dot)com

  5. I'm enjoying this series. Would love a print copy of Devil's Cove, as I accidentally missed the first book and started reading later ones.

  6. Print copy of the first book would be my choice! tWarner419@aol.com

  7. Would really like to start this series. Sounds amazing. I would like a print copy of "Devil's Cove" if I'm the winner.

  8. Sounds like a fun read! Would love a print copy!

  9. I would love a print copy of Murder Though an Open Door!


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