Review of Open For Murder


Deep in the heart of touristy small-town Spirit Canyon, South Dakota, former journalist Zo Jones runs the Happy Camper gift shop, where she sells everything from locally made souvenirs to memorabilia. She even rents out mountain bikes, and dabbles in the adventure industry—and sleuthing . . .

It’s Memorial Day weekend in Spirit Canyon, and for Zo that means the return of summer shoppers. It also means the return of her good friend Beth, who’s moved back to the area to reopen her family’s premier hotel, Spirit Canyon Lodge. Beth and Zo spent many childhood summers there and Zo can’t wait to reconnect and celebrate the Grand Opening. But the festivities go from bad to worse when a power outage knocks out the lights—and morning reveals a competitor’s dead body found on the premises . . .

Soon enough, Beth is the prime suspect in the suspicious death. Fortunately, Zo isn’t afraid to put her investigative skills to work and prove her friend’s innocence. To start digging for information, she appeals to Max Harrington, a local Forest Ranger and unlikely ally. Though they’ve argued about Happy Camper’s tours, in this case they agree on one thing: Beth isn’t a murderer. Stranger things have happened than their collaboration. After all, this is Spirit Canyon. But as the list of suspects grows, Zo will have to keep her guard up if she doesn’t want to be the next lodge guest to check out . . (Goodreads)


The characters are well rounded and well developed. Zo is so excited that her childhood friend, Beth, has returned to Spirit Canyon, South Dakota, to reopen her family’s hotel, Spirit Canyon Lodge. Bot before they can get too excited, someone is murder and Beth is the main suspect. With the help of Beth, and Forest Ranger, Max, Zo has to figure out the murderer before Beth is put away for a long time.

The writing style flows smoothly and the book is an easy read. The author is very talented in her descriptive writing and these descriptions helped the story come alive in my mind’s eye. The mystery had enough clues to sift through and enough suspects to consider. I had an idea of who the killer was but I was not completely sure until the reveal at the end.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well crafted cozy mystery. I cannot wait to see the next adventure awaiting Zo and her friends.

I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book provided by the publisher, Kensington Books, and NetGalley, which I greatly appreciate.