woods_arden_bk_tsp woods_arden_bk_lbb
Full Name: Bard's Bed and Breakfast
Series Name: Arden Woods Thriller
Nationality: American
Organization: CIA
Occupation Agent

Creator: S. M. Barton
Time Span: 2017 - 2017


Bard's Bed and Breakfast is a rest area for spies.

It is run by Beatrice and Benedict. If a last name was mentioned, I missed it but that is alright really because whatever it is, it is not real. Beatrice and Ben are not the real names of the proprietors anyways.

It is located "in the middle of Arden Woods, on the banks of Lake Champlain" in beautiful Vermont. It is described as "an old Queen Anne shingle-and-stone mansion" consisting of "two guest rooms and three suites in the big house and a cottage that sleeps four". If it sounds interesting and welcoming, which it should, do not get too interested or eager to book a stay there as we are told straightaway that "this is not your typical New England inn". They don't advertise. They discourage people from visiting going so far as claiming no vacancy on those rare times when they actually have one.

That is because it is "actually a safe house for battered spies, a respite spot for the occasional intelligence asset in need of TLC to loosen the tongue, and a place where American intelligence officers can meet for debriefings and some decent fishing."

It was started by a fellow everyone calls Uncle Edward, an "erudite Shakespearean scholar, had finally realized his dream of opening a bed and breakfast establishment in the middle of nowhere. Gracious host, dedicated historian of all things OSS, seasoned clandestine services provider who retired in 1970 to teach English lit at an Ivy League college that shall remain nameless, Uncle Edward was in his glory as innkeeper. He loved his days and nights regaling guests with his well-researched tales, serving good food and better wine, and acting as laird of his almost-Shakespearean castle." That was some years ago and before his right hip gave out on him and he needed help.

Enter the two people now running it.

Ben is the pretend nephew of Uncle Edward, actually a CIA agent who was mentored by Edward back in the day and was chosen much against Ben's desires to help out. There is a far deeper reason for the transfer but that is best read in the adventures.

Beatrice is Ben's wife. She was already working at the inn when Ben arrived, having gotten that job after the closure of her bookshop in D.C. It had been supported by the CIA as part of their clandestine operations until a mishap in a dead-drop caused a wee bit of problems in far away Iran. And she had had that job because the CIA kind of owed her after that unfortunate kidnapping of her by them in Paris when she was a student on a summer break. Yet a couple more long but interesting stories there.

So now Beatrice and Ben run the inn taking in operatives from different agencies who are in need of a rest or recovery or a quiet out of the way place to hold a very hush-hush meeting. It is in effect a safe house.

Except that things do not stay safe too long because when spies are involved, things happen.


Number of Books:2
First Appearance:2017
Last Appearance:2017

1 The Syrian Package The Syrian Package
Written by S. M. Barton
Copyright: 2017

"The Bard’s Bed & Breakfast isn’t your typical hotel. Run by former CIA personnel, the proprietors cater to intelligence officers and others in the business of keeping national security secrets in need a safe place to stay. When the Iranian team joins forces with Russian spy Yuri Ivanovich, it’s only the beginning of the onslaught of mayhem and murder! There’s never a dull moment in Arden Woods… "
buy from Amazon

2 Last Bitter Breath Last Bitter Breath
Written by S. M. Barton
Copyright: 2017

"A terminally ill scientist, trained in chemical and biological weapons, is sent to the Bard’s Bed & Breakfast, run by a CIA officer and his wife. Only trouble is she has no intention of going quietly! Linda Romano is determined to make everyone miserable or die trying!"
buy from Amazon


     This series is a hoot. It is like a cozy mystery with a good amount of humor tossed in, complete with the requisite murder happening now and then. Except the deceased are usually spies. And so are the killers.

     The author named the books in the series as being "Arden Woods Thrillers". I liked the name of the establishment too much to not use it instead.

     So far the author has only given us two books in this series but I really, really hope more will come. I adore Beatrice and I would gladly book a week at the inn if it actually took bookings - and promised I would not end up lying dead in the library next to a candlestick.


My Grade: A-


Be the first to leave your own comments about this series.

Tell us what you think of the series. Give your grade and comments.

Your Grade:
Your Comments:

To give your opinion, you must be logged in.

Sign In

SpyGuysAndGals is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, and links with the Buy from Amazon button are affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.