Howloween Murder By Laurien Berenson: Review/Giveaway

Oct 10, 2020 | 2020 Articles, Mysteryrat's Maze, Pets, Sandra Murphy

by Sandra Murphy

Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of the book, and links to purchase it.

In Greenwich, Connecticut, Melanie Travis teaches at the prestigious Howard Academy. The school runs smoothly, except for those times Melanie gets involved in murder cases, strictly as a way to help friends, of course.

Harriet is the school’s efficient secretary. She keeps the headmaster on schedule and seems to have been at her desk forever. However, a call from her sister upsets everything. A neighbor, Ralph, has died. He was an older man who suffered with dementia but still lived alone. The panicked look on Harriet’s face isn’t because poor Ralph died, it’s because it was murder and she’s the strongest suspect.

Each year, Harriet makes hundreds of marshmallow puffs to hand out at Halloween. They’d gotten so popular that she started making them in advance and delivering trays of them to neighbors and friends to hand out Halloween night. Of course, not all the puffs made it until Halloween. They were so tasty, many people found them irresistible and ate them before the 31st rolled around.

In fact, Ralph was eating one of the puffs when he died. It was the cyanide that proved fatal.

Harriet asks for Melanie’s help in gathering the remaining puffs from neighbors for disposal, just in case, and by the way, could she investigate as well? After all, what could go wrong?

This is book twenty-six of the popular series featuring Melanie, husband Sam, oldest son Davey, now practically grown up according to him, five-year old Davey, Aunt Peg, five black Standard Poodles, and a little mixed breed, Bud. This time, Melanie doesn’t have as much pressure from Peg as usual, although as an alum, Peg is interested, of course. Since dementia turned Ralph into a grouch who got lost on his own street, each of the neighbors had some kind of problem with him. His daughter has a for-sure alibi. It’s hard for Melanie to see who had means, motive, and opportunity but as usual, she manages to pull it off, without spoiling Halloween too.

The recipe for marshmallow puffs is at the back of the book—simple to make, addictive to eat.

To enter to win a copy of Howloween Murder, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “howloween,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen October 17, 2020. U.S. residents only, and you must be 18 or older to enter. If you are entering via email please include you mailing address in case you win, it will be deleted after the contest. You can read our privacy statement here if you like. BE AWARE THAT IT WILL TAKE MUCH LONGER THAN USUAL FOR WINNERS TO GET THEIR BOOKS DUE TO THE CURRENT CRISIS.

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!

You can use this link to purchase this book from indie bookstore Mysterious Galaxy, and KRL gets a portion of the sale:

You can use this link to purchase these book from Amazon. If you have ad blocker on you may not see the link:

Sandra Murphy lives in the shadow of the Arch in St. Louis Missouri. A Murder of Crows, edited by Sandra Murphy (a popular title so you need her name to search), has twenty-one cozy stories. Each features the collective name of an animal and a crime. The animals range from tarantulas, koalas, wolves, bears, jellyfish, toads, cats, dogs, alpaca, goats, penguins and more. No animals were harmed. The people weren’t so lucky. Available at the usual outlets, print or ebook.

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. Finished reading this book last
    week. It was great – as usual.

  2. Sounds interesting! Count me in!

  3. Would love to win a copy from on of my favorite authors!!

  4. I love this series. Thanks for the contest.

  5. Cute cover, sounds good! tWarner419(at)aol(dot)com

  6. We love dog books, thanks for the chance to win a copy of Howloween Murder!! crs(at)codedivasites(dot)com

  7. Love the cover! Would really love to read the book.

  8. I own a few of this author’s books and have read the series thru the use of my local libraries. I’d love to add this one to my collection.

  9. We have a winner!


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