by Sandra Murphy
Here is another mystery with a magical twist, perfect for Halloween. Details on how to win a copy of Midwinter’s Tail at the end of this review, along with a link to purchase the book where a portion goes to help support KRL.
Kathleen Paulson is the town librarian and she’s up to her ears in fundraising plans for the Reading Buddies program. The waiting list is long, so how best to fund the idea?
If that isn’t enough, Rebecca, her backyard neighbor and first friend in town, is finally marrying Everett, the man she’s loved since childhood. They seem to have done a quick role reversal. Everett wants a huge wedding and reception, while Rebecca would be happy with a nice dress, small ceremony and party after. Maggie, the mixed media collage artist, Roma, the veterinarian and Kathleen are all willing to do whatever it takes to make this wedding happen.
The wedding isn’t the only thing that has townspeople talking though. Burtis Chapman’s ex-wife is back for a visit, the first one in over twenty years. She walked out on the family and seemingly vanished. It caused a lot of speculation at the time. Was she really living elsewhere or dead somewhere close by? Burtis does have a reputation for skating close to the edge of the law. But here she is, alive and well, although not welcome by most, including her own sons.
At the gala fundraiser, Burtis is in attendance with Lita. It’s an awkward moment when Dayna stops by to talk to them–current girlfriend and ex-wife? It’s even worse when Dayna bites into a chocolate truffle and collapses. The chocolates are from Olivia, who swears there were no nuts in any of the truffles and in fact, she allows no nuts in her kitchen at all since she’s allergic to them. There’s no way the candy could have been poisoned, since Olivia was the only one to make and package the goodies. To prove the point, she bites into one of her own candies and promptly keels over! Luckily, she carries an Epi-pen and is almost back to normal by the time the ambulance makes its second appearance.
There’s a general lack of grief when Dayna is pronounced dead from anaphylaxis, aka as an allergic reaction, but the talk increases when it’s discovered Dayna wasn’t Burtis’ ex-wife. They’d never gotten divorced. That pushes Burtis further up the suspect list as spouses are always a police officer’s first choice. And what about his girlfriend, Lita? Dayna’s sons make the list as well.
Kathleen feels that people didn’t get their money’s worth at the fundraiser and insists on issuing refund checks to all the donors. Now that this idea was a bust, how will they fund Reading Buddies?
Marcus and Kathleen are still feeding the feral cat colony. There’s a new member, Micah, who has some medical problems that need to be addressed, if only the cat can be caught. Can Kathleen do her cat-whisperer thing and coax the kitty into the trap? Owen, the cat obsessed with Fred the Funky Chicken (catnip) and Hercules are back and in full form as usual. They have a couple of paranormal characteristics, or maybe regular cat characteristics, finely honed.
As usual, Kelly has woven life in a small town, murder and a sense of community into a fine tail. Winter in Mayville Heights can be cold but the friendships are warm.
To enter to win a copy of A Midwinter’s Tail, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Tail,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen November 1, 2014. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.
Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & short stories in our mystery section.
Use this link to purchase a copy of the book & a portion goes to help support KRL: