Halloween is coming to Tinker’s Cove, Maine, and local reporter Lucy Stone is covering the town’s annual Giant Pumpkin Fest for the Pennysaver. There’s the pumpkin-boat regatta, the children’s Halloween party, the pumpkin weigh-in…even a contest where home-built catapults hurl pumpkins at an old Dodge! But not everything goes quite as planned…Lucy’s getting very annoyed that her husband Bill and his friend Evan have been working seemingly nonstop on their potentially prize-winning pumpkin catapult. But when the day of the big contest arrives, Evan is nowhere to be found…until a catapulted pumpkin busts open the trunk of the Dodge. Amid the pumpkin gore is a very deceased Evan, bashed in the head and placed in the trunk by someone long before the contest started.
Bill is on the hook for the Halloween homicide—he was the last one to see Evan—so Lucy knows she’s got some serious sleuthing to do. The crime’s trail seems to always circle back to Country Cousins, the town’s once-quaint general store that’s now become a big Internet player. Though the store’s founder, Old Sam Miller, is long gone, his son Tom and grandson Trey now run the hugely successful company. But whispered rumors say things aren’t going well, and Lucy finds that this case may have something to do with an unsolved, decades-old Miller family mystery…
With each new lead pointing her in a different direction, Lucy sees that time is quickly running out. If she wants to spook the real killer, she’ll have to step into an old ghost story… (Goodreads)
Lucy and her husband Bill, are very busy in Tinker’s Cove, Maine. They are babysitting their four year old grandson, Patrick, for a few months while his parents are away. They are busy with the town’s preparations for the Great Pumpkin Fest, the town’s Halloween celebration. Bill is growing a pumpkin, that he named Priscilla, in hopes of winning the prize for largest pumpkin. He and his friend Evan are building a pumpkin catapult for another competition that is being held. Lucy is busy with the newspaper that she is a reporter for, covering all the events in town. They have a lot going on, but when someone is found murdered, their lives become even busier and a lot more deadly.
The characters were well developed and well rounded and seemed very realistic to me. I enjoyed reading about the relationship between Bill and Lucy. They argued and disagreed just like normal couples do. In a lot of books, relationships are portrayed all lovey-dovey, all the time, and that is just not realistic. I found this portrayal refreshing. I liked Lucy’s attitude, she seemed like a no nonsense type of person. And as a grandma, she was very happy to spoil her grandson, even after being warned by his parents to follow their rules. Most grandparents do a fair amount of spoiling, so she seemed more real to me.
One thing that I found different about this book is that the murder does not take place until the book was more than half over. That hardly ever happens in a cozy mystery. Another thing that I found different about this book was the age of Lucy and Bill. In most of the cozies I read, the protagonist is late twenties or early thirties. As I stated before, Lucy and Bill are grandparents. Being a grandparent myself, I could relate well with them.
The writing style flows smoothly and the book is an easy, quick read. I love reading about the happenings in small town USA and the author did a great job describing what was happening in such a city in Maine.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well crafted cozy mystery. It is a great read for anyone looking for a Halloween themed cozy. This book is the twenty second book in the Lucy Stone series. I felt like it does well as a stand alone book but now I have a lot of reading to do to get caught up on this series.
I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for a honest review. I would like to thank NetGalley and Kensington Books for the opportunity to read and review this book.