Death by Jack-o’-Lantern (An Abby McCree Mystery)
2nd in Series
Setting – Washington State
Kensington (August 27, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
Kindle ASIN: B07L2G18F8
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 …
Abby McCree just doesn’t know how or get the chance to say “NO!”. Still filling in for her deceased Aunt Sybil, she is also part of the planning committee for the Halloween Festival and soon will be volunteered by her tenant Tripp to help with another event. With one of the Halloween committee down sick Abby is recruited to pick up the pumpkin order from Ronald Minter’s farm. While searching the farm for its owner she comes upon his corn maze. Thinking he must be in there getting ready for the expected crowds from the festival, she ventures in. She finds the man, but with that knife in his back, he will be of no help with those pumpkins. The prime suspect becomes Kevin Montgomery, a homeless vet that has been living in the woods. Tripp also a veteran has been trying to help the man acclimate and knows he didn’t kill Minter, in fact, he would stake his freedom on it.
There are also some unique creations showing up around town that may tie into the case. Abby along with her sidekick Zeke, for the most part, a Bull Mastiff, a gentle giant, at least most of the time set out to find the real killer. Her friend Police Chief Gage tries to keep her safe knowing she will not back down.
I liked Abby right away in the first book of this series, Death by Committee, I love her now. Check out the way she takes a new detective down on notch with just her words.
Please let me finish. What I was going to say was that I really don’t care who you are, Detective Whatever-Your-Name-Is, or why you’re here. As I’m sure Deputy Chapin told you, I have permission to be here and to stay as long as I like. I’m sure if you want time to talk to Mr. Blackston, Chief Logan will be glad to schedule you an appointment. This particular time slot, however, is already taken.”
She wasn’t sure what her smile looked like at that moment, but Deputy Chapin backpedaled a few feet. “Now, if you’ll excuse us, Mr. Blackston and I were talking. I’m sure you can find something to occupy yourself until we’re done. I’m betting if you kick some money into the kitty in the bullpen, they’ll even let you have a cup of coffee. If not, there’s a nice coffee shop right down the street.” By that point, all three men were looking at her as if they hadn’t understood a single word she’d said. “I’m sorry, do you need me to repeat that, maybe slower this time?”
Strong, smart, sassy, I laughed out loud and gave Abby a “You Go Girl!” Now if only she could stand up to that group of her aunt’s friends that keep volunteering her for everything under the sun. She is getting there but her kind nature I believe she will always be a soft touch especially when she feels is honoring her aunt.
Ms. Morgan has surrounded Abby with a great supporting cast. We are getting to know Tripp Blackston a little better and the connection between him and Abby is getting stronger. He already has a big strong relationship with the lovable Zeke 🙂 Abby has a true friendship with Gage Logan and they are getting to understand each other. The ladies from the quilting group are always there to help, advise or butt in as needed.
The author has written a strong mystery too. I was pulled in many different directions over the course of the novel. I knew in my heart who it couldn’t be but I would be lying if I didn’t tell you I was totally surprised by the big reveal. Alexis Morgan expertly pens a slow build the rachets up at a delightful pace all leading up a dramatic ending. She describes everything so clearly readers can feel like they are right there on the spot.
I really have to applaud the author for the way she addressed homeless veterans and veterans, in general, dealing with veterans with PTSD and finding their way back in the world after surviving horrendous things can be a rough road. Many in Snowberry Creek were on the wrong side of this issue but thankfully there were those willing to help, some veterans themselves. Putting a hot topic issue like this into a work of fiction makes it more real and relevant.
Death by Jack-o’-Lantern is a marvelous addition to this series. I loved the Halloween theme and was totally entertained beginning to end. Bring on Book #3!
About the Author
USA Today Best-selling author Alexis Morgan has always loved reading and now spends her days imagining worlds filled with strong alpha heroes and gutsy heroines. She is the author of over forty-five novels, novellas, and short stories that span a variety of genres: American West historicals (as Pat Pritchard); paranormal and fantasy romances; and contemporary romances. She is excited to say that next year will also see the release of her first cozy mystery series. Alexis has been nominated for several industry awards, including the RITA, the top award in the romance genre.
Author Links –
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