Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Trick or Treat Murder: Review

It's Halloween in Tinker's Cove and the jack-o-lanterns aren't the only things alight in this small historical town in Maine. While Lucy Stone and her fellow townsfolk are busy preparing to transform a run-down mansion into a haunted house for a Halloween party, a firebug is busy burning various historic buildings to the ground. But soon the police aren't just looking for an arsonist--the remains of the local doctor's wife is found dead in their refurbished home and crime goes from destruction of property to murder. But was Monica Mayes's death unplanned...was she just in the wrong place at the wrong time? Or did her philandering husband want to get rid of his wife without the cost of divorce? If her death was just an unfortunate accident, then does Tinker's Cove have a crazed pyromaniac on their hands or someone with a hidden agenda? Lucy, who really should be far too busy with a her new baby and dozens of cupcakes to bake for the Halloween party, can't resist trying to find the answers to those questions. And nearly becomes a second victim before the culprit is brought to book.

So...this was an okay kind of cozy mystery. Easy reading, quick-paced. If you're looking for some quick, fluffy brain candy this will do it for you. If you need a holiday-/Haloween-themed book to fill a slot in a reading challenge, here you go. [That would be why I read it.] But don't be fooled into thinking there's a mystery for you the reader to solve--I mean, yes, there's murder and arson and whatnot, but there really aren't any clues to be had so solving this one before the culprit is dumped in your lap probably isn't going to happen. And Lucy really isn't a detective. She asks rather bumbling questions (which kind of broadcast to all and sundry that she's sticking her nose where it doesn't belong) and then comes up with random theories based on very little info as to why various persons (one after the other) MUST be the killer/arsonist. She has three small children and gives no thought whatsoever to the risk she runs in poking around in a murderer's business (despite being warned several times by the authorities and her husband).

Others have mentioned it, but I can't resist adding my voice...if you have a problem being repeatedly told details about breastfeeding (TMI!), then you may not enjoy this. I also agree that the hospital scene is, indeed, very weird. All I have to say is that if I nearly die in a fire, my family better be hanging out in the waiting room waiting for me to come to. What's up with abandoning her at the hospital? And I find it hard to believe that in small town Maine, the hospital staff would be so impersonal and uncommunicative about her situation. But, hey, we needed to set up a scene where she would be dazed, drugged, and confused and waltz right into the murderer's there you go.

I don't that I've written the review, I wonder if two stars isn't generous. Oh well, that was my first thought, so let's go with it. ★★


Jacquie said...

Oh, dear. I have her "Turkey Day Murder" sitting here to read before Thanksgiving. Maybe I'll rethink it. I only recently returned to reading some cozies (have been reading darker mysteries and needed something lighter) but I'm noticing a big change from the cozies of, say, 15 years ago that were more traditional mysteries with clues and reasonable solutions. Are solid traditional mysteries still being published?

Bev Hankins said...

That's a very good question. From my infrequent forays into more modern mysteries, I'd say they are fewer and farther between. It just reinforces my love for the Golden Age of mysteries.

fredamans said...

Not very often do I like fluffy mysteries. Only contemporary or romance can I handle fluff. I prefer excitement and unpredictability.
Great review!