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Death by Jack-o’-Lantern (An Abby McCree Mystery) by Alexis Morgan #Review / #Giveaway @Alexis_Morgan @KensingtonBooks


Death by Jack-o’-Lantern (An Abby McCree Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Washington State
Kensington (August 27, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496719549
ISBN-13: 978-1496719546
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 …

Dollycas’s Thoughts

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!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Death by Committee here

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 –

Website  Facebook Twitter   Blog  

Purchase Links –


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#Review / #Giveaway – Death by Committee (An Abby McCree Mystery) by Alexis Morgan – Great Escapes Book Tour @KensingtonBooks


Death by Committee (An Abby McCree Mystery)
by Alexis Morgan

 

About the Book


Death by Committee (An Abby McCree Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Kensington (January 29, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496719530
ISBN-13: 978-1496719539
Digital ASIN: B07CWF6QBL

When Abby McCree suddenly inherits her favorite relative’s property in small town Snowberry Creek, Washington, she soon realizes that the ramshackle home comes with strings attached—one of which is tied to a dead body!

After a rough divorce, Abby McCree only wants to stitch up her life and move on. But other loose ends appear after her elderly Aunt Sybil passes away, leaving Abby to tend to a rundown estate, complete with a slobbery Mastiff of questionable pedigree and a sexy tenant who growls more than the dog. As Abby gets drawn into a tight-knit quilting guild, she makes a twisted discovery—Aunt Sybil’s only known rival is buried in her backyard!

Despite what local detectives say, Abby refuses to accept that her beloved aunt had anything to do with the murder. While navigating a busy social calendar and rediscovering the art of quilting, she launches an investigation of her own to clear Aunt Sybil’s name and catch the true culprit. The incriminating clues roll in, yet Abby can’t help but wonder—can she survive her new responsibilities in Snowberry Creek and still manage to patch together a killer’s deadly pattern without becoming the next victim?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Abby McCree hasn’t spent much time in Snowberry Creek, Washington of late but she remembers all the good times she had with her Aunt Sybil as a child. She especially remembers a quilt they were working on. Aunt Sybil finished it by herself as Abby’s visits became shorter and less frequent. Now her aunt has passed away and left her home to Abby and her aunt’s friends have already volunteered her to take over some of the committees Sybil was leading including the quilting guild.

Her aunt also left her a couple of other surprises. a bull mastiff named Zeke and a cantankerous but very easy on the eyes tenant named Tripp Blackston. Abby also uncovers another surprise among the blueberries, Dolly Cayhill’s body. Dolly was a snowbird who usually takes flight during the winter months, so sadly no one even knew the woman was unaccounted for. Dolly and Sybil were rivals in almost everything they did. Finding her body in Sybil’s yard wrapped in one of Sybil’s quilts lands Sybil square at the top of the suspect list. Abby believes there is no way her aunt could have committed such a heinous crime but the rumors are flying and evidence is stacking up. Is there any way to clear her aunt’s good name? There may be if she can live long enough to stitch all the clues together.

I like Abby McCree, but she needs to learn to say no! Those elderly ladies really ran roughshod over her. By the end of the story, she was getting her bearings and getting stronger, which I was very happy to see. Those ladies reminded me so much of some of the older ladies I have known in my life. A little pushy, but with huge hearts and kind souls. Tripp Blackstone, on the other hand, was a tough nut to crack, ex-military tough, and a little closed off. He starts to soften as he finds himself in the role of protector to Abby as digs into Dolly’s death and right into the line of fire. Tripp and Abby grow a lot for this being the first book in the series. I liked the way the author has started them on their journey. My favorite character of all was Zeke. A big dog who is a gentle giant, at least most of the time. The only time he leaves Abby’s side is when he is with Tripp. He is truly my kind of canine, even with all the drool 🙂

The plot was complex with two real mysteries. The first, the murder, had its share of suspects, but one after another are eliminated and Abby becomes a target. The second deals with 13 missing quilts the quilt had hoped to use for a calendar fundraiser. Given to a new member to photograph who then abruptly leaves town without returning the quilts or the pictures to the guild. As the new president of the guild, Abby tries her best to locate them. I used to love to quilt so this subplot really interested me.  The two mysteries mesh together so well. The story had some really exciting events and I was on the edge of my seat for the nail-biting ending.

Ms. Morgan has taken the time to fully describe each person and place so clearly that I could picture every element of the story. The people came alive. Abby’s home, the yard, the garage, and all the places around town were easily pictured in my mind. I was in each moment right along with Abby.

What I love most about this story was that it is written for the long haul of a series. The main characters evolved a great deal in this book but there is still so much to know about them. I am definitely invested in their lives and want to know more about them. The secondary characters are fun and entertaining too and have plenty of room to grow.

Ms. Morgan has sewn together a wonderful treat for her readers. Death by Committee was a perfect escape for me and I know fans of this genre will enjoy it too!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

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 –

Website     Facebook Twitter    Blog  

Purchase Links –

AmazonB&N –  KoboGooglePlay  –  IndieBound 

Praise for Death by Committee (An Abby McCree Mystery)
by Alexis Morgan

Death by Committee was a charming debut and I absolutely adored Abby and her trusty sidekick, Zeke,
~Moonlight Rendezvous

Death by Committee is a light-hearted cozy mystery with a charming Victorian home, a cute mastiff mix, beautifully crafted quilts, three busy older ladies and killer on the loose.
~The Avid Reader

With likable protagonist and support characters both, gentle humor, a precious dog, and even a little romance, this story has all that I look for in a tradition cozy and I enjoyed it very much.
~The Power of Words

I enjoyed Abby’s reflections on who might have wanted to kill Dolly. Her interactions are realistic and humourous.
~Nadaness In Motion

Wow, just wow! What an amazing start to a new series!
~The Montana Bookaholic

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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.”