Murder at the Willcotts Hotel (The Janet Simpson Cozy Mysteries) by Sasscer Hill Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A recently widowed woman finds herself finding the things in life that finally make her happy, including a new romantic interest, until he is later found dead, and she becomes the main suspect in his demise in author Sasscer Hill’s “Murder at the Willcotts Hotel”, the third entry in the Janet Simpson Cozy Mysteries series. 


The Synopsis

Sheltered from life by a domineering father and an overprotective husband, middle-aged Janet Simpson suddenly becomes a very rich widow. She always wanted to own a racehorse, but her husband never allowed it. Her newfound freedom and wealth provide her with a race filly and the kind of trouble from which only her wits can save her.

Wintering at a five-star South Carolina hotel, with her young racehorse at a nearby training track, Janet finds a new love interest. Until he’s a no-show for dinner. She is horrified to find his battered corpse and, the local police consider her a suspect.

Her anxiety doubles when she realizes the niece who has come to stay with her has been trailed by a stalker. Two killers are on the loose at her elegant, southern hotel. Can she sniff them out before death strikes again?

ABN Banner

The Review

This was a fast-paced yet gripping read. The author does a remarkable job of capturing the suddenness and gripping nature of the mystery of this story while also delving into the heart of horse racing and life as a racehorse owner. The balance of these two worlds really speaks to a specific audience, while also leaving room for the general audience to get lost in this world and become enraptured with the narrative.

The heart of this story was the author’s incredible character development. The evolution of Janet as a character, who came from a life of domineering men in her life to gaining strength and resilience as a character showcases the powerful female protagonist she has become over time. The classic storytelling device of the protagonist becoming the main suspect in the case and the fight she takes on to not only prove her innocence but also stop two killers loose on the grounds of this hotel made this a compelling read.

The Verdict

Memorable, fast-paced, and engaging, author Sasscer Hill’s “Murder at the Willcotts Hotel” is a must-read novella and cozy mystery, as well as a great entry in the Janet Simpson Cozy Mysteries series. The twists and turns the narrative takes on and the gripping character twists that keep the action and suspense propelling forward made this a memorable read. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy on October 1st, 2023 or preorder today!

Rating: 10/10


About the Author

Sasscer Hill, a former Maryland racehorse breeder, trainer, and rider, uses the sport of kings as a backdrop for her mysteries. Her “vivid descriptive” prose about greed, evil, heart, and courage propelled her “Nikki Latrelle” novels to multiple award nominations, including an Agatha, a Macavity, and the Dr. Tony Ryan Best in Racing Literature Award.

Her 2020 novel, TRAVELS OF QUINN, is “A heart-stopping thriller of a murder mystery”– Charles Todd, Anthony, Edgar, and Barry Award-winning author.

Born an Irish American gypsy Traveller, can Quinn escape a dreaded marriage contract and the life of crime forced upon her?

Leave a Reply