Town in a Pumpkin Bash
by B.B. Haywood
Mass Market Paperback:
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Released: February 5, 2013
Source: Review copy from the publisher.
Book Description, Modified from Back Cover:
In the quaint seaside village of Cape Willington, Maine, Candy Holliday runs the Blueberry Acres farm with her father…
Preparations for the Pumpkin Bash, Cape Willington’s annual Halloween festival, are well underway. Candy is helping a friend run a pumpkin stand and a haunted hayride in the hopes of making some extra cash. But when she discovers a real dead body near some fake tombstones on their hayride route, Candy uses her keen eye for detail to investigate.
As her search leads her through old graveyards and a haunted house, Candy will discover that not all of the skeletons hidden in this small town’s closets are Halloween decorations…
Town in a Pumpkin Bash is a cozy mystery. This book is the fourth in a series, but the whodunits of the previous mysteries weren't spoiled in this one. While you can easily understand this book without reading the previous novels, the author is linking the murders in a way that the characters vaguely suspect but haven't discovered yet. As in, why are there suddenly a lot of murders in a small town? There is a reason, but it's not the focus of this mystery. To follow the overall mystery, you'd probably want to start with the first book in the series.
The characters were engaging, and they reacted realistically to discovering a dead body. I liked that Candy (who is also a reporter) helped by uncovering background information that the police might not have connected to the current murder rather than Candy trying to do their work for them. The suspense was mainly from wondering whodunit and from unknown people periodically scaring Candy or stealing her work.
This was a clue-based mystery but not a puzzle mystery. I could piece together the possible relationship and motive along with Candy as she uncovered information, but there were no clues pointing to a specific character in the book until the very end.
I was confused by occasional references to someone who is not always visible but who isn't treated like a ghost. (This character wasn't directly involved in this mystery though he helped in past mysteries. In the next book, I learned that he's simply a man who has some people convinced that he can become invisible.) There was a very minor amount of explicit bad language. There was no sex. Overall, I'd recommend this enjoyable cozy mystery.
If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.
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