by Sandra Murphy
Details at the end of this post on how to win a copy of Candy Corn Murder, along with a link to purchase the book where a portion goes to help support KRL and indie bookstore Mysterious Galaxy.
It’s Halloween in Tinker’s Cove, Maine. Pumpkin contests abound as the town gears up for a fall festival. One of the events is sort of a boating contest—in a pumpkin. (They grow them big in Maine!) Another contest, of course, is for the largest pumpkin. Bill and Lucy think they’ve got a chance to win that one. There’s even an underwater pumpkin-carving contest sponsored by the scuba club. And then there’s the catapult contest to see who can hurl a pumpkin the farthest and with the most accuracy.
Lucy’s pretty annoyed with the catapult. Money’s tight (as usual), but for a couple of months they’re babysitting Toby’s four-year old son. Preschool costs a lot. Toby and Molly have a lot of rules about Patrick’s care, too—time for bed, what he eats and when, and, most importantly, what he doesn’t eat—sugar tops the list. How can a kid not eat sugar at Halloween? No fast food, only an hour or two of television on the weekend, no sports, no fruit juice, fat-free milk—Lucy wonders if Toby even remembers his own childhood.
Back to the catapult. Bill’s building one with Evan’s help. Not only are they buying supplies, but they seem to spend a lot of time sitting out in the yard, drinking beer. Evan is not much on cleanliness, which adds to the problem. When Lucy finds out that Bill is paying Evan for his time, it’s about the last straw.
Vandalism soon is a bigger concern when decorated pumpkins downtown are destroyed and a shoo-in for largest pumpkin is smashed to bits. Bill and Evan install motion detectors that activate a siren when anything moves. Unfortunately, that means anything—including squirrels! Patrick delights in the sound, but Lucy could go forever without hearing it again.
Country Cousins, the mail-order house and big employer in town, has a new boss. Buck Miller, newly returned from Europe, is now in charge of marketing. The business has been in the Miller family since its beginning. There was a scandal involving Sam, Buck’s father, so Buck’s been out of the country since. He has a lot of new ideas for the company but Lucy’s interview with him for the PennySaver newspaper is more hot air than solid facts.
When it’s time to launch the catapults, Evan is nowhere to be found. Bill goes ahead without him and scores direct hits on the wrecked-car target. Lucy wants a few “up-close and personal” photos for the newspaper, so while the catapult is reloaded, she heads for the car. The trunk sprang open during the assault and her photo is closer and more personal than she ever expected when she sees Evan’s body inside.
Since Bill was one of the last people to see Evan, he falls under suspicion. It’s up to Lucy to ferret out who has a motive (several), opportunity (lots) and means (anyone). Evan wasn’t what he appeared to be, so the search for suspects is wide open.
In the end, it all comes together with some satisfying twists. This is book twenty-four in the series, all of them with a holiday theme. You can start anywhere, but to see Toby and his sisters grow up (and with fewer restrictions than Patrick has!), start at the beginning.
To enter to win a copy of Candy Corn Murder, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Candy Corn,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen October 10, 2015. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.
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You can use this link to purchase this book where a portion goes to help support KRL & Mysterious Galaxy: