Easter Basket Murder By Leslie Meyer, Lee Hollis, and Barbara Ross: Review/Giveaway/Easter Post

Mar 23, 2024 | 2024 Articles, Mysteryrat's Maze, Sandra Murphy

by Sandra Murphy

This week we are reviewing an Easter mystery that is actually 3 stories in one book-Easter Basket Murder by Leslie Meyer, Lee Hollis, and Barbara Ross. We also have a fun mini Easter related interview with each of them! Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of the book and a link to purchase the book from Amazon.

Easter Basket Murder by Leslie Meyer, Lee Hollis, and Barbara Ross – a three in one set of mysteries

Easter Basket Murder by Leslie Meyer

With online shopping cutting into the profits of local businesses, the executive director of the Tinker’s Cove Chamber of Commerce has an idea to persuade locals to buy from people they know. Of course, out-of-town visitors will only add to the profits.

Shoppers each have a card with a drawing of an Easter basket. Colorful stickers are given for every 10 dollars spent. Each sticker filled card is an entry for an Easter basket full of goodies. When word gets around that Karl Klaus has donated one of his art pieces, interest is at an all-time high. As part of a giant Easter basket, Klaus’ golden Easter egg will be the main draw.

When the egg disappears, right from the bank lobby with people all around, it spells disaster for the town. Lucy, local reporter and snoop, is on the case to find the culprit, hampered by the fact that Klaus is mysteriously homeless and now camped out in her house and she hasn’t mentioned this to her hubby, Bill. Speed is of the essence to solve this case. After all, the old guy is wearing Bill’s bathrobe and drinking all his beer!

Death by Easter Egg by Lee Hollis

Haley is a grandmother and happy about it. Mostly. Eli is two years old and has more energy than 12 Olympic runners, is louder than a rock band, and as destructive as a wrecking ball. His mother says Eli is encouraged to express himself in whatever way he chooses. Hayley wishes a metal spoon and her new coffee table were not one of the ways.

Haley owns a restaurant and hopes for a quieter day there but it’s not to be. Bill Duffy, president of the Bar Harbor All Citizens Bank, recently divorced from his much younger wife, is there, always nice to see. One of the bank tellers is there too, with a boyfriend who is volatile at best. When their loud argument, a thrown glass of wine, and an overturned table disrupt the evening, Haley’s had enough.

Of course, a dead body, a safe deposit box that can only be opened with two keys used simultaneously but is now empty, and an irate bank client make the overturned table look like a dropped fork by comparison.
Recipes for lemon vodka, scalloped potatoes, a cranberry cocktail, French onion potato casserole, a spring cocktail made with grapefruit, and an easy potato ham breakfast casserole are included.

Hopped Along by Barbara Ross

Out on Morrow Island, Jack, age six, is on the hunt for Easter eggs. He hasn’t made the connection between eggs they dyed the day before and the eggs he’s hunting now. When he screams the Easter Bunny is in the vegetable patch and he’s dead, Julia thinks it’s a stray rabbit—but no. It’s an older man dressed like a butler, same as the illustrations of the bunny in a book Jack likes—striped pants, black coat with tails, a dove gray vest that matches the gloves he wears. When Julia runs for help, the corpse disappears.

If his identity isn’t enough of a problem, plus his ability to look dead but still disappear, Morrow Island is, well, an island. How could he disappear and where would he go?

When a dead body shows up in what is supposed to be an empty house, Julia’s puzzle gets that much harder to solve.

Since Julia’s family hosts clam bakes for tourists all summer and makes a celebration of Easter, she’s kindly shared the recipe for Sonny’s grilled lamb.

I like these holiday themed extra long stories (average 100 pages). They’re a perfect read when time is limited—there’s no forgetting who is who and what happened so far when you can finish one and save the others for a later read.

Sandra Murphy lives in the shadow of the Arch in St. Louis Missouri. She’s editor for Peace, Love, and Crime: Crime Stories Inspired by the Songs of the ’60s, with twenty-two cozy stories. She also edited A Murder of Crows, twenty-one stories featuring animals and crime (no animals were harmed). She also writes for magazines, newsletters, and the occasional guest blog. Both anthologies are available at the usual outlets, print or ebook.

Easter Interview with Leslie Meyer, Lee Hollis, and Barbara Ross

KRL: What do you like best about Easter?

Leslie Meier: I really enjoy dying eggs with my grandkids. I discovered a way to do it with bleeding tissue paper that creates a tie-dye look, and since I mistakenly got a huge box of bleeding tissue paper, we do it every year!

Leslie Meier

Lee Hollis (Holly): Filling and hiding the eggs. When my kids got a little older, they were always asking for money for things so at Easter I would put a piece of candy or two in each egg but then I would pull out the change jar I had been saving since the last year and fill the eggs with change. Bonus eggs would have ones, fives, a couple tens and one egg a twenty-dollar bill.

This added up to a lot of competition and excitement and in the end, everyone had a nice little sum of money to spend on what they pleased.

Barbara Ross: As a New Englander, I love all the Easter symbols of the coming spring – the bunnies, the chicks, the pastel colors. Spring sometimes isn’t quite upon us when Easter rolls around but celebrating the holiday of rejuvenation and renewal gives me hope. As a person married to an Italian American, I also have to go with the food – Pizzagaina and ricotta pie. Yum.

KRL: What is your favorite Easter Memory?

Leslie Meier: My favorite Easter memory is dressing up for church on Easter Sunday. My mother was a skilled dressmaker and she always made lovely outfits for me and my sister. One year she also made beautifully tailored suits for my two aunts, and Aunt Fredi topped hers with a gorgeously flowered hat, so chic!

Lee Hollis (Holly and Rick)

Lee Hollis (Holly): After my divorce the kids were very young, we weren’t around family, and they weren’t that interested in the traditional Easter foods, I cooked all of the time so we started of a tradition of heading off the island to Ellsworth and eating at the China Hill Buffet. We all enjoyed this, and we always had fun.

Barbara Ross: When I was very little, we spent our Easters at My great-aunt Elsie and great-uncle Pierre’s sheep farm in Clinton, New Jersey. The egg hunt with my second cousins ranged all over the farm. I also remember my older cousin Bobby making baa-ing noises over the lamb we had for Easter dinner to upset me, until the grown-ups made him stop.

KRL: What is the most interesting part about writing a mystery set at Easter?

Leslie Meier: It was actually hard for me to overcome my resistance to the very idea of writing a mystery about Easter, which is the most sacred celebration for Christians. I was very careful to focus only on the secular aspects of the holiday, and I love the idea of an Easter basket prize that I came up with for Easter Basket Murder—a sales promo that causes so much trouble!

Lee Hollis (Holly): This was our first Easter Cozy Mystery novella, so it was fun going down memory lane. For years our local grocery store held an Easter egg hunt with fantastic prizes. So, we definitely had to use that in our novella story. I think what is interesting for me was all of the good memories that it brought back when my kids were young and even some memories from when my brother and I were kids of how much fun we had Easter morning, but then we would go to our grandparents and would get to have another egg hunt. Then we would stuff ourselves with my grandmother’s delicious Easter dinner and I couldn’t wait to eat my favorite homemade angel food cake for dessert made just for me by my grandmother(or so I thought) because the adults ate pie.

Barbara Ross

Barbara Ross: I found the Easter theme very challenging. My first thought was, “head in an Easter basket,” probably because a friend had used that to great effect in a mystery and the image stuck in my head. Try as I might, I couldn’t find a way to make that cozy, but finally, I flashed on a story from my father’s childhood of the Easter bunny in a top hat and tails. The story was fleshed out on a retreat with other Maine crime writers, and I was off and running!

You can click here to purchase this book.

To enter to win a copy of Easter Basket Murder, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “basket” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen March 30, 2024. U.S. residents only, and you must be 18 or older to enter. If entering via email please include your mailing address in case you win. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. Also listen to our new mystery podcast where mystery short stories and first chapters are read by actors! They are also available on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Spotify. A new episode went up this week.

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. Great interview! count me in!

  2. Leslie Meier’s written a bunch of these! Count me in!

  3. I really like reading anthologies. Would really enjoy reading “Easter Basket Murder”.

  4. Sounds like a fun read and love the cover!

  5. All great authors and I love the holiday themed novellas.

  6. I have read books by all three of these authors, so I know I will love this book too!

  7. We have a winner!


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