Murder on the Toy Town Express: A Vintage Toyshop Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – New York
Crooked Lane Books (October 10, 2017)
Hardcover: 304 pages
E-Book ASIN: B06XWDQYJW
Liz McCall has come to love running her father’s vintage toyshop back home in East Aurora, NY, so when the Train and Toy Show comes to town, she’s all aboard for a fun toy-filled weekend. The only hitch is that her childhood bully Craig McFadden, now local business rival, has set up a booth next to hers. But the fun and games are over when Craig falls from the ceiling in a publicity stunt gone wrong.
What was initially thought to be a fatal accident proves much more sinister. Pulled into the case by her feelings for both Ken, the police chief, and Jack, her high school sweetheart whose brother is one the prime suspects, Liz dives headfirst into the investigation. But as she digs deeper, she’s shocked to learn her father may have been the intended target.
The trouble train is barreling down and Liz may have just bought herself a first class ticket in Murder on the Toy Town Express, Barbara Early’s delightful second installment in her Vintage Toyshop mysteries.
Choo! Choo! All Aboard for another fun mystery from Barbara Early!!
The toy and train show has come to East Aurora, New York and Liz McCall and her family have a booth to sell their vintage toys. Liz McCall is a little nervous because an awful blast from her past, Craig McFadden, has the booth right next to hers selling his comic books. It is bad enough that he has a store across the street from their toy shop, Well Played, does she have to see him for the whole weekend. She quickly meets his clerk and learns she will be running the booth, because Craig has something special planned. I don’t think dying was what he had in mind, but that is what happened. Accident… publicity stunt… one moment he was on the catwalk, then he was in the air and then he laid among the rubble of the disaster he created to a model train town. Was it murder?? Her dad, the retired police chief finds himself in the middle of the investigation and so does Liz when her high school boyfriend’s brother becomes a prime suspect and she finds her dad may have been the original target.
All the characters I loved in the first story are back. The relationship between Liz and her dad is heartwarming and uplifting. The whole family pulls together to help with the shop and the booth. It is a true family business. They also have many loyal customers that show up for their nightly board game events. Well Played is a family gem in a day of the big box stores.
Now the victim, he was a bully from back in grade school right up until the day he died. He didn’t have any friends and Liz even questioned if he would be missed. He was the perfect victim and while I never wish anyone dead, I was not sorry to see him go.
Ms. Early has written quite a puzzling mystery and I may be off my “game” but she had me so twisted, turned, and off the “track” that I pulled in the station right along with Liz. I had an OMG moment when I read that final twist. The plot was very exciting but the author threw in some funny instances too. There is also a bit of a romantic triangle going on. Liz is dating her high school crush and the new police chief. Her dad is giving her more than a little nudge to finally decide between the two. The author had me on board from the first page to the last.
So we have wonderful characters, a fun theme, an excellent mystery, with humor and romance. For me that chugs this story right into the depot as an absolutely perfect escape. Climb aboard, this is a story you don’t want to miss.
About The Author
Barbara Early earned an engineering degree, but after four years of doing nothing but math, developed a sudden allergy to the subject and decided to choose another occupation. Before she settled on murdering fictional people, she was a secretary, a school teacher, a pastor’s wife, and an amateur puppeteer. After several years living elsewhere, she and her husband moved back to her native Western New York State, where she enjoys cooking, crafts, classic movies and campy seventies television, board games, and posting pictures of her four cats on Facebook. She writes the Vintage Toyshop series and the Bridal Bouquet Shop Mysteries (as Beverly Allen).
Praise for Murder on the Toy Town Express: A Vintage Toyshop Mystery
by Barbara Early
MURDER ON THE TOY TOWN EXPRESS was an exceptional mystery…when I finally reached the end of the line in this story, I couldn’t have been more surprised. Game well played, Ms. Early.
~Lisa Ks Book Reviews
The characters were well defined and developed. There was a whole cast of characters that added depth to the story…The mystery was well done and multi-faceted.
The crazy investigation was a hoot with both her and her dad really getting into it which adds several layers to the overall story. This is an excellent cozy mystery that I highly recommend to fans of that genre.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews
Murder on the Toy Town Express, #2 in Barbara Early’s Vintage Toyshop series, is a fun, relaxing mystery to curl up with – just that you’d expect in a traditional cozy mystery.
~The Power of Words
Charmingly delightful. The reader (at least this reader) can’t help but fall in love with the daddy daughter team of Lizzy and Hank.
~My Reading Journeys
October 9 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
October 9 – A Blue Million Books – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
October 10 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY
October 10 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
October 11 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – INTERVIEW, GIVEAWAY
October 11 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
October 11 – Writing Pearls – REVIEW
October 12 – The Power of Words – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY
October 12 – Blogger Nicole Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY
October 13 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY
October 13 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW, INTERVIEW, GIVEAWAY
October 13 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – GUEST POST
October 14 – A Holland Reads – GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY
October 14 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY
October 15 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
October 15 – Sleuth Cafe – SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY
October 16 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY
October 16 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
October 17 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
October 17 – Brooke Blogs – CHARACTER GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY
October 18 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY
October 18 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY
October 18 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW, INTERVIEW
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”