Halloween Is Murder
By Carolyn Arnold
McKinley Mysteries #11
Hibbert Stiles Publishing Inc., 2017
Beware of all that goes bump in the night…
Sean and Sara McKinley are excited about the haunted house they’ve set up as a Halloween charity fund-raiser, but things take a ghoulish turn when the reporter covering their story is found dead. With the media keeping mum about how she died, Sara’s curiosity is piqued, and she convinces Sean to take on the investigation through their PI firm.
But this case is not without its challenges. The police are actively investigating it, as well, and it’s not even clear that the woman was murdered. It will take a little cloak-and-dagger, dress-up, and finesse for the McKinleys to get to the bottom of it, but they aren’t the kind to give up.
As they troll for leads and work through the skeletons in the reporter’s closet, they unearth a few suspects, but they’ll need to carve out the whole truth if they’re going to find her killer. If they do so fast enough, there might even be time for a little trick-or-treating.
If you enjoy seasonal mysteries like I do, then Halloween Is Murder is a good fit for these cool fall months. Halloween-themed mysteries often get a little dark for my tastes, but I’m glad to say that this story is simply light, humorous and fun – and the novella length felt just right. I have not read any of the previous books and had no trouble keeping up with the characters.
The premise is different from anything that I’ve read … Sean and Sara, married and very much in love, have a background in law enforcement. Financially comfortable due to inherited wealth, they are still eager to work at what they do well – solving murders. Their hearts are also in charitable activities, which is what I loved about them so much. As this story opens, Sean and Sara are sponsoring a haunted house fund-raiser to benefit local children’s foundations. This brought back so many fond memories of Halloween parties that I worked with at our church. Costumes and all the fall activities are so much fun, and Sean and Sara’s enthusiasm was contagious.
There’s not a lot of character depth, but I’m sure that reading the series in order would provide more of that. I liked that the story is clean, with no violence or gory parts. In true cozy mystery format, it’s all about the logical, step-by-step investigation. And in this instance, Sara (and Sean at Sara’s instigation) are investigating a murder way before anyone else rules that it was murder.
I was provided a free copy of this book through Great Escape Tours. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
Carolyn Arnold is an international bestselling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has four continuing fiction series and has written nearly thirty books.
Both her female detective and FBI profiler series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining, leading her to adopt the trademark, POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™.
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