by Kathleen Costa
All of our giveaways this week are ebooks in honor of Earth Day. Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win an ebook copy of Musket Ball Murder, and a link to purchase it from Amazon.
You Were a Spy?
What does an ex-CIA spy do after being exposed to the world putting life and limb in jeopardy? She changes her name, returns to the small town in the Midwest in which she grew up, and becomes a Girl Scouts’ leader. Merry Wrath has tried to keep a low profile in Who’s There, Iowa, and provide a “kick ass” woman perspective to her bunch of precocious pre-teens…which comes in handy when international criminals, spies, and terrorists track her down and she needs back-up. Along with protecting her ten overly inquisitive charges (Betty, Lauren, Hannah, Inez, Ava, Caterina, and four Kaitlyns all with the last name starting with an “M”) who always seem to happily get caught up in the trouble, she has her BFF, co-leader, former ER nurse, apprentice PI Kelly Albers, her former CIA handler now PI Riley, friend and medical examiner Dr. Soo Jin Body and her state trooper boyfriend, now husband and the town’s detective Rex Ferguson, and Philby the cat as her support. It takes a village, ya know. Well, maybe a Girl Scout troop will do.
Musket Ball Murder earns 5/5 Cannon Balls & Skunks…Engaging Fun!
A last minute invite (really a plea for an invite) to a civil war reenactment seems the perfect learning experience for the Girl Scout troop. Excitement abounds with the idea of immersing themselves into the local history surrounding the 1865 Battle of Idiot Creek (although the real battle and the re-enactment have little in common except for the skunk), clothing themselves in period dress (corsets?), camping and cooking outdoors, and acting the part of the Ladies Auxiliary Aid Society. ”Do we get rifles?” No, the muskets the girls ordered online, using Merry’s credit card, were promptly cancelled, but a cannon? The battle, as it is, begins with a bang and the girls are squealing with excitement desperately wanting to get into the middle of the melee. However, the event makes a suspicious turn when Merry is grabbed by one of the acting soldiers and warned, “It’s not safe here, Merry Wrath!” and a down soldier doesn’t get up when the battle is paused and then disappears. “Why did this stuff always happen to me?”
Wrangling a troop of overly exciting girls is one thing at which Merry is an expert, but the real leg found in the amputations tent may be more than a reenactment prop. When the body on the field can’t be found and the leg goes missing, the local sheriff isn’t interested in pursuing the matter. Also Rex has been called in about a missing government employee, and PI Riley, dressed as a officer, is on his own “confidential” case. Connections? Merry may again be in jeopardy, but who better to provide assistance than a bunch of pen and ink toting ten-year-olds. Look out!
Brilliant! I am so hooked on Leslie Langtry’s very well-written Merry Wrath series, and this fourteenth book with its clever premise, intriguing local history, and empowered pre-teens was a perfect read during these “stay at home” days. Her writing style uses a first-person narrative from Merry’s “I” perspective giving me the vicarious role in the drama, and she does well to illustrate the setting, characters, tone, and personalities through her sensory-filled descriptive language and entertaining dialogue. I enjoy Leslie’s story organization which starts with a fight with some “southern gentlemen” and personal peril in the present to grab your interest, then flashback events show how we got here. The actual murder takes awhile to be revealed, but I was never impatient since I was totally engrossed in the lead up. The drama was clever, but it’s Merry’s snarky humor and some age “not appropriate” retorts from the girls that I thoroughly enjoy. All of the girls, especially Betty who wanted to fight as a boy, are quite entertaining, but some suspension of disbelief is needed. With my experience as a retired fourth-grade teacher, parents of even the most precocious or inquisitive student might balk at helping out in the doctor’s tent. All in all…I love this series and it seems each new book becomes a favorite!
Be a Big Leslie Langtry Fan!
USA Today bestselling author Leslie Langtry pens one of my favorite series, the now “lucky” thirteen-book Merry Wrath series. She also writes the very entertaining ten-book Bombay Assassins Greatest Hits Mystery and is one of the contributing authors in GHP’s Aloha Lagoon Mystery with two marvelous books: Ukulele Murder and Ukulele Deadly. Something for every cozy taste!
To enter to win an ebook copy of Musket Ball Murder, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “musket,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen April 25, 2020. Must be 18 or older to enter. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.
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