The Merry Messy Mummy By R.A. Muth: Review/Giveaway/Interview

May 27, 2023 | 2023 Articles, Kathleen Costa, Mysteryrat's Maze

by Kathleen Costa

This week we have a review of the latest Haunted Housekeeping Cozy Mystery by R.A. Muth, along with an interesting interview with R.A. An interesting fact about R.A. is that she is also co-host of a true crime podcast! Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of the first book in the series, and a link to purchase the new one from Amazon.

The Merry Messy Mummy: A Haunted Housekeeping Cozy Mystery By R.A. Muth
Review by Kathleen Costa

Cleaning is our Name, but Trouble is our Game!
Victoria “Tori” Madison and her best friend Hazel own a cleaning service, Bubbles and Troubles, in Cooper’s Cove, Maine, on the banks of Blueberry Bay, and together they take on a variety of cleaning projects. First, in The Squeaky Clean Skeleton, they find their client’s skeleton stuffed in a steamer trunk hidden in the attic. The client’s cat, Rune, is now in need of a new home, so Tori reluctantly steps in, however, she discovers the cat in reality is a cursed Irish hunk that only she sees and hears. Next, in The Deadly Dust Bunnies, Tori and Hazel expand their interests by buying a thrift shop, The Treasure Trove, but it’s the dead body in the dumpster that isn’t the kind of treasure they hoped to stock. Rune is more corporeal now, and he and Tori have an official relationship, but he had words with the victim making him and others suspects. Hazel’s brother, Gavin, is a cop and not one to collaborate, but there’s an eclectic group of residents for support. Tragic circumstances have the two friends back to cleaning desperately hoping their new project, in The Merry Messy Mummy, is just a straightforward cleaning job sans any drama, danger, and dead bodies; is that just too much to ask for?

The Merry Messy Mummy Earns 5/5 Mummified Mischief … Entertaining Gem!
Tori and Hazel are back to offering their cleaning services with Bubbles and Troubles, and Marci Livingston, niece of Christine Livingston, their first experience with a dead body, has hired them to clean out the abandoned lighthouse at Mermaid Reef. Hank, the handyman, shows up with his “Heinz 57” mutt Thor looking for Marci, so Hazel agrees to help him find her leaving behind Thor in Tori’s hands. Tori starts working, but the floor gives way sending her crashing to the bottom of the staircase. She’s seems okay, and pleads for Thor to find help hoping for a “Lassie” moment to rescue her from the depths of the lighthouse. But, she becomes frantic when along the side wall she sees a mummified corpse. Not again!

The lighthouse has a complicated history including a mystery surrounding the disappearance of Professor Bryant Benefield thirty-years ago. At the time, news reports pondered the possibility that the Beach Plum Bay creature may be involved, a creature that gave parents fodder to threaten, warn, or cajole children to behave. But, a more realistic theory was his wife, Tori’s neighbor, who, despite his disappearance, didn’t report it to the police. So, is it a traditional murder mystery or is this proof of the legendary monster? The CoCoParaSo, Cooper’s Cove Paranormal Society, would like a chance to investigate the lighthouse and determine the answer.

Entertaining Gem!
R.A. Muth has put the humor and fun into this third installment in her Haunted Housekeeping Mystery series with my favorite element … a decades old cold case. Rumors fly, gossip flows, and fingers start pointing this way and that, and involving the paranormal society with their tech devices and passion is only a way to complicate matters, but it does showcase Tori’s interesting way with “ghosts.” Mrs. Benefield asks for Tori’s and Hazel’s help, but still thirty years is quite a expanse of time putting insights and details fuzzy which tickled my own inner detective’s fancy.

R. A. Muth’s writing style is entertaining, with humor, romance, and mystery making it an engaging read. She includes an eclectic cast with varied personalities and ages along with manifestations like her father’s “luck of the Irish” identity (no spoilers, you’ll have to find out his true nature). Although the first-person narrative is from Tori’s perspective, she and Hazel hold a more equal role in the investigation; Lucy is nothing without Ethel or Sherlock without Watson, so Tori is lacking without Hazel. Tori struggled her whole life with her parent’s unique situation, which probably explains her deep sister-like connection with Hazel, her shaky confidence level, and why she’s so taken with Rune who dotes on her (a little too much, in my opinion). But, she also has a cleverness and independence that is a positive skill set for detecting. I started the series with book three, and I noticed a few references to character transformations and results of some past incidents that seem to be spoilers, and for some, this might effect their reading book one and two, so be aware.

The Haunted Housekeeping series
The Squeaky Clean Skeleton (2022)
The Deadly Dust Bunnies (2022)
The Merry Messy Mummy (2022)
The Bath Bombed Zombie (2023) Amazon Preorder Link
“Will this blushing bride spend her wedding day behind bars?” Tori heads to South Carolina for her mother’s wedding, but the groom’s ex-girlfriend is the obstacle that puts her mother as the police’s number one suspect.

Be a fan of R.A. Muth (aka Becky Muth)!
As Becky Muth, she pens “sweet contemporary romance” like in her Myrtle Beach Memories series, but as R.A. Muth, she throws in an entertaining “cozy” murder mystery with a paranormal twist like in her Haunted Housekeeping Mystery series. But, no matter under which name she writes, her coffee mug is always full.

Website: R.A. Muth (aka Becky Muth)
Facebook: Author – R.A. Muth aka Becky Muth

Kathleen Costa is a long-time resident of the Central Valley, and although born in Idaho, she considers herself a “California Girl.” Graduating from CSU-Sacramento, she is 35+ year veteran teacher having taught in grades 1-8 in schools from Sacramento to Los Angeles to Stockton to Lodi. Currently Kathleen is enjoying year 2 of retirement revitalizing hobbies along with exploring writing, reading for pleasure, and spending 24/7 with her husband of 26+ years.

Interview with R. A. Muth:

KRL: How long have you been writing?

RAM: My whole life, but on January 2, 2012, I decided to make a career of it.

KRL: When did your first novel come out, what was it called, and would you tell us a little about it?

RAM: Screaming Jenny (written as Becky Muth) is a novella published in 2014. It’s a retelling of my very favorite ghost story set in my childhood hometown of Harpers Ferry, WV.

KRL: Have you always written mysteries/suspense and if not, what else have you written?

RAM: I write sweet romance and romantic suspense as Becky Muth. Most of my books and stories have some kind of suspense element.

KRL: What brought you to choose the setting and characters in your latest book/series?

RAM: The Haunted Housekeeping series was originally set in the shared world of Blueberry Bay, Maine with other cozy mystery authors like Molly Fitz (The Pet Whisperer P.I. series) and Emmy Lyn (The Little Dog Diner series). When I got the rights back last year, I changed the setting to Beach Plum Bay, Maine.

KRL: Do you write to entertain or is there something more you want the readers to experience from your work?

RAM: I write to entertain with the goal of the books being fun escapes from the humdrum of real life.

KRL: What is your ideal time to write?

RAM: Late at night past my bedtime.

KRL: Did you find it difficult to get published in the beginning?

RAM: No. I was blessed to be hired by Melissa Storm (aka Molly Fitz) in 2017. When she started her cozy pen name, she invited me to join the publishing house. I’m forever indebted to her for that opportunity.

KRL: Do you have a great rejection/critique or acceptance story you’d like to share?

RAM: No, but one of the early reviews for The Squeaky Clean Skeleton claimed they knew who the killer was from the first scene where that character appeared. I never know who did it until the last third of the book or so.

KRL: What are your future writing goals?

RAM: I’d like to write and publish as many books as possible in my lifetime.

KRL: Who are your writing heroes?

RAM: Molly Fitz, Susan Boyer, and Elizabeth Spann Craig are the first ones that come to mind.

KRL: What kind of research do you do?

RAM: The tools I most use for research are Google, true crime stories (both television and print), and my local library.

KRL: What do you like to read?

RAM: A little of everything but my top three are psychological thrillers, rom-coms, and cozy mysteries, not necessarily in that order.

KRL: What are your favorite TV shows or movies?

RAM: Gilmore Girls, An Affair to Remember, School Spirits, Survivor, Will Trent, and—because my husband is a firefighter—I watch a lot of the first responder shows like Chicago Fire, 911, 911 Lonestar, Station 19, etc.

KRL: I love Gilmore Girls! Have you any advice for aspiring or beginning writers?

RAM: Don’t let anyone tell you that you cannot do it or that it has to be done a certain way. Every author walks their own path, and what success looks like for one person doesn’t have to be the same for you.

KRL: What is something people would be surprised to know about you?

RAM: I’m addicted to Gilmore Girls and binge the full series (including A Year in the Life) at least twice a year, and my office decor is a mash-up of Lorelei Gilmore’s house and beachy elements.

KRL: How fun! Do you have any pets?

RAM: Yes! Our family currently has five dogs and a turtle.

KRL: Is there anything you would like to add?

RAM: At a time when there are so many things to distract us from reading, thanks to everyone who still makes time for books (ebooks and audiobooks included).

KRL: Website? Twitter? Facebook? Instagram?

RAM: You can visit my website at and I’m @authorbeckymuth on most social media networks.

KRL: You also have a True Crime Podcast please tell us about that and how it came about? And where can we find it?

RAM: The True Crime Cafe is a true crime podcast that I co-host with Angi Hegner, my co-worker at Novel Publicity (my day job). Similar to crafting a cozy mystery, we attempt to avoid vulgar language, gore, and adult content whenever possible. If we happen upon a story that goes beyond those parameters, we save it for our Patreon channel.

Enter for a chance to win a signed copy of The Squeaky Clean Skeleton by R.A. Muth by making a comment below about lighthouses or apparitions: (1) favorite lighthouse fact or insight, (2) a favorite mummy movie, or (3) what is your least favorite cleaning chore? or simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “squeaky” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen June 3, 2023. U.S. residents only, and you must be 18 or older to enter. If entering via email please be sure to 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 goes up soon.

You can use this link to purchase the book. If you have ad blocker on you may not see the Amazon link. You can also click here to purchase the book.

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. Sounds like a fun read.
    thanks txmlhl(at)yahoo(dot)com

  2. My favorite Mummy movie is the first, with Boris Karloff.

  3. Sounds like a fun read. Would love to start the series.

  4. Lighthouse fiction tends to feature staircases with rotten treads that collapse without warning.

  5. Dusting is my least favorite chore?

  6. Dusting is my least favorite chore!

  7. My least favorite chore is washing dishes! Sarahbaby601973(at)gmail(dot)com

  8. It sounds like a fun read! Also, my least favorite chore is washing dishes. It seems like there are always more dishes to clean, and sometimes it feels like they magically multiply when I’m not looking. 🙂

  9. We have a winner!


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