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Review ❤️ Death by Jack-o-Lantern by Alexis Morgan

September 3, 2019
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death-by-jack-o-lantern-alexis-morgan

Overcommitted committee member Abby McCree gets in a patch of trouble trying to solve the murder of a pumpkin farmer …

The small town of Snowberry Creek, Washington, is gearing up for the Halloween Festival, and naturally Abby is on the planning committee. As part of her duties, she’s picking up a pumpkin order from ornery farmer Ronald Minter. But what she finds instead is the farmer in the middle of his corn maze with a knife in his back.

The police suspect a homeless veteran named Kevin Montgomery, who was seen arguing with Minter when the farmer accused him of trespassing and stealing pumpkins. Abby’s tenant Tripp Blackston, a veteran himself who’s been helping Kevin, is sure he’s innocent. Together, Abby and Tripp follow the twists and turns of the case to corner the corn maze killer—before someone else meets a dead end …


Release Date: Aug 27, 2019
Series: An Abby McCree Mystery
Book: 2
Publisher: Kensington
Price: $6.99


 

Since moving to Snowberry Creek, Washington, Abby McCree finds herself “volunteered” for one committee after another. With Halloween coming up, she is even busier than ever. Her most recent good dead is to go to Ronald Minter’s pumpkin farm to pick up an order for the local senior center. Instead of a box of pumpkins, Abby finds Ronald’s body. Her friend police chief Gage Logan warns Abby not to get involved in the investigation, but she can’t help but adding the investigation to her already full to-do list.

This is an enjoyable mystery that has a cozy feel, but still deals with some serious issues. Abby’s tenant and potential boyfriend, Tripp Blackston, is suffering from PTSD from his time in the military. Abby is convinced to help run his veteran’s group’s fundraiser and one of the people Tripp is helping who is also suffering from trauma, becomes one of the main suspects in the murder. Gage is a good investigator, but seems to quick to zero in on one suspect considering Ronald was a vocal complainer at town meetings Other than that, the book is a good mixture of light and heavier topics. The  “pumpkin portraits” of local residents being done carved by an anonymous artist are a great touch to set the mood for Halloween and also play a surprising part in the overall plot.

There weren’t any huge surprises in the solution to the murder, but this is still an evenly-paced mystery with interesting characters and small-town setting. Gage isn’t thrilled that Abby keeps putting herself in dangerous situation with her investigations, but besides that, it’s nice to see the amateur sleuth and the town’s police chief getting along. Abby’s romance with Tripp is moving very slowly which is okay except Abby needs to at least admit her feelings for him to herself. I enjoyed how everything turns out in the end and look forward to more books in this series. This book is the second in the series, but is one that new readers can easily enjoy. The series will appeal to fans of Lynn Cahoon or Melinda Mullet.

~ Christine

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