“Reading a new Leslie Meier mystery is like catching up with a dear old friend.” —Kate Carlisle
Halloween is coming to Tinker’s Cove, Maine, and local reporter Lucy Stone is covering the town’s annual Giant Pumpkin Fest for the Pennysaver. There’s the pumpkin-boat regatta, the children’s Halloween party, the pumpkin weigh-in…even a contest where home-built catapults hurl pumpkins at an old Dodge! But not everything goes quite as planned . . .
Lucy’s getting very annoyed that her husband Bill and his friend Evan have been working seemingly nonstop on their potentially prize-winning pumpkin catapult. But when the day of the big contest arrives, Evan is nowhere to be found…until a catapulted pumpkin busts open the trunk of the Dodge, revealing a deceased Evan . . .
Bill is on the hook for the Halloween homicide, so Lucy knows she’s got some serious sleuthing to do. With each new lead pointing her in a different direction, Lucy sees that time is quickly running out. If she wants to spook the real killer, she’ll have to step into an old ghost story . . .
“Series fans should be satisfied.” —Publishers Weekly
About the Author
LESLIE MEIER is the acclaimed author of over twenty Lucy Stone mysteries and has also written for Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine. She is currently at work on the next Lucy Stone mystery. Readers can visit her website at www.LeslieMeier.com.
Read an Excerpt
Candy Corn Murder
By LESLIE MEIER
KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP.Copyright © 2015 Leslie Meier
All rights reserved.
Tinker's Cove Chamber of Commerce Press Release For Immediate Release
Announcing the First Annual Giant Pumpkin Fest, a Fun-Filled Fall Event That Will Extend the Post–Labor Day Shoulder Season and Will Attract Thousands of Visitors to Our Beautiful Seaside Town!
Halloween already? It seemed to Lucy Stone that summer was hardly over. Even the trees had only just begun to turn in these last sultry days of September. Well, she admitted to herself, a few maples had blazed into bright displays of yellow, but the hills around Tinker's Cove, Maine, were still mostly green. Nevertheless, the cut-glass canister full of candy corn that had appeared in Country Cousins, the coastal town's general store, was a sure predictor of the coming holiday. The canister appeared every year, and shoppers were invited to guess how many pieces of candy corn it contained. The winner got a $250.00 gift certificate.
"Can I have some candy, Nana?" Lucy smiled down at her grandson, who was standing in front of the penny candy display, gazing longingly at the jars full of colorful treats. Patrick was four years old, and Lucy was taking care of him while his parents were overseas, in Haiti. Lucy's son, Toby, who was pursuing a business degree, had received a fellowship to study fish farming there.
"But Haiti?" she'd asked when he announced the project. "Isn't that awfully dangerous?"
"It's a terrific opportunity," Toby had replied.
Lucy had turned to Molly, her daughter-in-law. "Are you in favor of this?" she asked.
"Toby's right. It would be a shame to pass it up."
Lucy thought of the photos she'd seen of the slums in Haiti, the ramshackle structures that served as homes, and the faces of sick and hungry children, often with flies crawling on their skin. "But what about Patrick? You're certainly not planning to take him to Haiti, are you?"
"That's where you come in," said Toby. "We're hoping Patrick can stay with you and Dad while we're gone."
Lucy didn't hesitate, not for one fleeting nanosecond. "Of course! I'd be delighted!" She adored Patrick, her only grandchild, and treasured every moment spent with him.
"We'll be gone for about four months," said Molly.
"Not a problem," said Lucy, unable to restrain herself from smiling. Four months of bliss baking chocolate chip cookies together, popping corn and watching animated DVDs, and reading favorite children's books, like Make Way for Ducklings and Blueberries for Sal.
Molly and Toby shared a glance. "We know how much you love Patrick ... ," began Toby.
"But you do tend to spoil him," said Molly.
"Which is understandable, and fine, if it's only for a few hours," said Toby.
"But he can't have unlimited sweets and TV and McDonald's for four months," warned Molly.
"I wouldn't dream of ...," began Lucy, sputtering. "I raised Toby, you know, and I think he would agree that Bill and I were rather strict parents."
"That's true," agreed Toby as a smile crept across his face. "You were strict parents, but you two are not strict grandparents."
"He can't have sweets — absolutely no candy, no sugary drinks, and no ice cream," began Molly.
Lucy wanted to protest that a wee bit of sugar and carbonation never hurt anyone and that ice cream was made from calcium-rich milk, but bit her tongue.
"No TV except for an hour or two on the weekend," continued Molly. "And no fast food, ever."
"Lots of fruits and vegetables ...," said Toby.
"But no fruit juice — it's full of sugar!" cautioned Molly. "And only fat-free milk."
"And he needs plenty of exercise," advised Toby.
"That will be Bill's department," said Lucy. "He'll love tossing a football with Patrick."
Molly's eyebrows shot up. "No TV sports. I don't want him sitting on a couch for hours, watching grown men in helmets brutally attacking each other."
"But Bill loves the Patriots," said Lucy, wishing she could suck the words right back into her mouth.
"Dad could watch at a friend's house, right?" suggested Toby.
"Sure," said Lucy, knowing full well that was not going to happen. On Sunday afternoons Bill liked to be close to his own TV and beer fridge. "So when do we start?" she asked.
Now, almost three weeks had passed since Patrick made the move from nearby Prudence Path to Bill and Lucy's old farmhouse on Red Top Road, bringing a big suitcase of small size-four clothes and his favorite stuffed toy, Jack the Jaguar. She and Bill had made a real effort to stick to the routines that Toby and Molly had established, and Patrick had slipped easily into the household, pleased to be sleeping in his father's old room, with its antique spool bed and faded Star Wars posters.
"Nana?" Patrick tugged at her arm. "Can I please have some candy?"
Lucy looked at the tempting display of treats, penny candy in name only. Nowadays each sugary piece, even a tiny little Tootsie Roll, cost at least twenty cents, sometimes more. Her glance traveled toward the counter, landing on a jar of pretzel rods, also twenty cents apiece. Surely Molly couldn't object to a pretzel or two?
"Let's get a pretzel," she suggested, leading Patrick away from the candy and handing him one of the salty sticks. "And while we're here, let's enter the contest. How many pieces of candy corn do you think are in the jar?"
"A million," said Patrick, biting the pretzel.
"Okay, I think that's a bit high, but we'll go for it. Can you write a one and six zeros?"
Lucy helped Patrick fill out the entry form, enjoying the quaint atmosphere of the country store while he laboriously drew all six zeros with a stubby pencil clasped in his plump little fingers. Country Cousins had managed to maintain the appearance of an old-fashioned general store that stocked everything anybody could possibly need, if anybody happened to be living in 1900. It was masterfully done, thought Lucy, and if you were a tourist buying a half pound of cheddar, which had to be cut with a wire from a giant wheel of cheese, you'd never guess that the true heart of Country Cousins was a massive complex of steel buildings on a back road behind Jonah's Pond. Despite its size, Country Cousins was still a family business owned by the Millers, who had craftily taken advantage of the Internet boom to transform a regional catalog retailer into an international merchandising giant.
Patrick put down his pencil and picked up the remains of his pretzel.
"Good job," said Lucy, folding the entry and giving it to him to stuff into the box. "This means Halloween is coming," she said, taking Patrick's hand. "Do you know what you want to be?" Patrick certainly did. "A ninja," he said.
"A ninja. Good idea," said Lucy, noticing the rack of costumes in the corner, which featured plenty of ninjas, as well as princesses, mermaids, and superheroes. Whatever happened to pirates and gypsies? she wondered as she reached for the brass doorknob, with its elaborate design almost worn away by generations of customers' hands.
Stepping outside, Lucy noticed a woman walking past with shocking orange hair that blazed in the sunshine. This was not a salon dye job, unless it had gone horribly wrong. It was one of those garish colors you sometimes saw on teens. But this woman wasn't a teenager, not unless teens had suddenly decided to adopt tailored beige business clothes.
"Look at that lady!" exclaimed Patrick in his piercing childish voice, and Lucy quickly changed the subject.
"Why do you want to be a ninja?" she asked, leading him to the car, which was parked just a short distance down the street.
Hearing Lucy's voice, the woman suddenly turned, doing an about-face, and walked directly toward them. Lucy was quite surprised to recognize her friend Corney Clark and wondered why she'd exchanged her expensive blond highlights for this bright orange.
"Hi, Lucy!" exclaimed Corney. "Fine day, isn't it?"
"It sure is," said Lucy, unable to pull her eyes away from Corney's hairdo, and desperately hoping Patrick wouldn't say anything about it.
But Patrick piped right up. "Why is your hair orange?" he asked.
"Patrick! Apologize right this minute. It's not polite to comment on a person's appearance."
"Never mind, Lucy," said Corney, smiling at Patrick. "I want people to notice my hair. That's why I dyed it."
"It's that spray stuff you can wash out, isn't it?" asked Lucy, noticing that Corney's carefully applied lipstick exactly matched her hair color.
"I sure hope so," said Corney, who was an attractive woman well into her forties and was always perfectly coiffed and conservatively dressed. "I don't want to be stuck like this. It's a publicity stunt for the Giant Pumpkin Fest. I'm in charge, and I want to get folks excited about the big weekend. Halloween is big business, you know, second only to Christmas, and Tinker's Cove has been missing out because we haven't had any sort of fall festival to attract shoulder-season tourists to our town."
"I think everybody's excited," said Lucy. "I see the banners up everywhere."
It was true. All the stores on Main Street were flying colorful banners picturing plump pumpkins and announcing the festival.
"Sticking up a flag is one thing," grumbled Corney, "but actually committing to taking on any responsibility is something else."
"Isn't the business community cooperating?" asked Lucy, resisting Patrick's tug on her hand. She was a reporter for the local newspaper, the Pennysaver, and sensed a possible story.
"Not as much as I'd like," said Corney, with a sigh. "Of course they're all busy with their own problems. It's not easy being in business these days." She paused. "The truth is, I may have underestimated how much time the festival would take and overextended myself just a bit."
"Take a deep breath ...," advised Lucy as Patrick gave her arm another yank. It was time she got a move on. Patrick was surely bored by this grown-up conversation and most certainly hungry, as it was almost time for lunch.
"No time for deep breathing," laughed Corney. "Actually, you could help."
"Oh, no. I'm sorry, but I've got plenty on my hands these days, what with Mr. Impatient here."
"Let's see how many times you can hop on one foot, Patrick," suggested Corney.
Patrick thought that was a great idea, and began hopping, still hanging on to Lucy's arm, of course.
"What I have in mind," began Corney, "is a story for the newspaper about the new leadership at Country Cousins. That's my other job, you know. Buck Miller ... Well, you knew him as little Sam Miller, but now he's come back. He's all grown up now, with a new name and a brand-new degree from the London School of Economics, and he's the VP in charge of marketing. He's got big plans for the company, and I think it would make a great story for the Pennysaver. Kind of a modern prodigal son, something like that."
"He wasn't much older than Patrick when he left Tinker's Cove, was he?" asked Lucy, noticing that Patrick had got to nine hops.
"That's right. He left with his mother after all that...."
"Not really a G-rated topic," warned Lucy, indicating Patrick. He was now up to twelve hops, and her arm was beginning to ache.
"Oh, right," said Corney. "Well, you were around then. You know what happened. It's not surprising that his mother didn't want to stick around. She made a new life in Europe. She even started calling little Sam by his middle name, Buckingham. I don't think she wanted to be reminded of her husband every time she called her little boy by name."
"Marcia did what she thought best," said Lucy. "But all that was a long time ago."
"And now Buck is back, and the family is grooming him to take over. He's a great guy. He'll make a great story." She smiled. "And he's very photogenic."
Lucy chuckled, knowing that Corney had a keen appreciation for handsome young men, and ruffled Patrick's hair. He had finally stopped hopping and was leaning against her. "I'll run it by Ted," she said, naming her boss at the Pennysaver, Ted Stillings. "But now we have to get home for some mac and cheese."
Patrick was a big fan of mac and cheese, so he clambered eagerly into the car and climbed into his booster seat, barely squirming while Lucy strapped him in. Raffi was singing about a baby beluga and Lucy's mind was wandering as she drove the familiar route to Red Top Road and home. She appreciated the logic behind the Giant Pumpkin Fest. She really did. It was a smart plan to lure tourists to town, where they would presumably spend money, boosting the town's economy. That was all well and good, but she really didn't approve of some of the planned activities, which seemed silly in the extreme.
It was one thing, she thought, to have a giant pumpkin–growing contest, but quite another to encourage people to transform their giant pumpkins into extremely unstable watercraft for a foolish and dangerous race across the cove. And worst of all, she thought, turning into her driveway and spying the enormous wooden structure that was taking shape in her backyard, was the pumpkin hurl, featuring homemade catapults.
She really couldn't understand why her husband thought he had to compete in this ridiculous contest to see whose machine could toss a pumpkin the farthest. To her mind, it was a senseless waste of time, energy, and money, since lumber certainly didn't come cheap these days.
He never would have gotten involved, she thought, if he hadn't fallen under the influence of Evan Wickes. Ev was a great guy. Everybody said so. He was ready for any challenge. Any challenge except taking a shower, thought Lucy. It was Ev who had convinced Bill to build the catapult and enter the contest, and it was Ev who was always around the house, making frequent trips to the beer fridge. "Can't run on empty," he'd say, tracking mud and dried leaves and bits of grass through the kitchen. "Man or machine, you gotta have gas if you wanna keep on keeping on."
Privately, Lucy wished Ev would keep on going, taking his smelly self out of the house and out of their lives. But Bill was having a great time building the catapult and was convinced he and Ev would win the pumpkin-hurling contest. "Of course, it's not really just about winning," he had told her as he unloaded yet another expensive wood beam from his pickup truck. "It's about the process, taking on the challenge and working to build something...." Here he had paused, looking for just the right word, and had grinned broadly when he found it. "Something absolutely freaking fantastic!"CHAPTER 2
Tinker's Cove Chamber of Commerce Press Release For Immediate Release
Free Pumpkin Seedling Giveaway!
Now That the Growing Season Is upon Us, the Chamber Is Giving Away Over One Thousand Giant Pumpkin Seedlings in Preparation for the Upcoming Giant Pumpkin Fest in October. These Seedlings Are Certified Healthy and Guaranteed to Grow. Don't Miss Out on the Fun. Grow Some Giant Pumpkins for the Fest. Limit Five Seedlings per Family.
Next morning, the scent of Bill's breakfast bacon was still lingering in the kitchen when Lucy went looking for her husband. A glance out the window revealed that his truck was still in the drive, so he hadn't left yet, but he certainly wasn't in the house. His egg-smeared plate and the pan he'd cooked it in were on the kitchen counter, so she slipped them in the dishwasher before stepping outside and onto the porch.
It was funny how people thought September was the beginning of fall, she thought, when it was really the tail end of summer. She always felt badly for the kids whose moms sent them off dressed in back-to-school sweaters and jeans on the first day of school; she knew from experience as a parent volunteer that the classrooms that faced south in Tinker's Cove Elementary School became solar ovens in June and September due to their large windows. Today was no exception. The sun was bright, even though it was lower in the sky, and it looked to be a scorcher. The only hint that summer had truly ended was the lengthening shadows cast by the trees.
And there was Bill, as she'd suspected, out in the garden, checking on his giant pumpkin, Priscilla. He was on his knees, measuring her girth with a carpenter's tape, rather like an anxious midwife checking a pregnant woman's progress.
"How's she doing?" she asked, crossing the patch of grass they called the lawn, now scorched and brown.
"She's grown four more inches," he said with a grin, letting the flexible steel tape reroll with a snap. He stood up, and even after twenty-plus years of marriage, Lucy's heart skipped a beat. He was still the handsome guy she fell in love with in college, tall and lean, but now his beard was touched with gray.
Excerpted from Candy Corn Murder by LESLIE MEIER. Copyright © 2015 Leslie Meier. Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Not much to this story. Gotta be the worst of the series so far. Stephanie Clanahan
Leslie M. Never disappoints. Great read
Every Holiday Season I enjoy visiting Tinker's Cove and this cozy did not disappoint. Halloween has arrived and Tinker's Cove is having a first annual Pumpkin Festival. Lucy is covering all the events for the Pennysaver, Taking care of her grandson, Patrick and supporting her husband as he enters the catapult contest with his new friend Ev. A series of accidents happen during the festival and then Ev's body is found and Lucy's Husband, Bill is the prime suspect. The mystery was good but easy to solve. I really enjoy visiting the town and the characters and the Holiday background. It was a quick read. Enjoy this fun cozy
Title: Candy Corn Murder - Lucy Stone Mystery 22 Author: Leslie Meier Published: 8-25-15 Publisher: Kensington Books Pages: 304 Genre: Mystery, Thrillers & Suspense Sub Genre: Women's Fiction, Amateur Sleuths ISBN: 9780758277077 ASIN: B00QDYV9PC Reviewer: DelAnne Reviewed For: NetGalley . Lucy Stone reporter for the Pennysaver is covering Tinker's Cove first annual Giant Pumpkin Fest. A weekend of fun for residents and visitors alike. With a variety of events such as The Pumpkin Boat Regatta, Giant Pumpkin Weigh In, A Halloween Party for the kids and The Homemade Pumpkin Catapult Which Lucy's husband Bill and his friend Evan are building an entry for much to Lucy's displeasure. She neither like nor trust Evan. When the day of the competition arrives Evan is nowhere to be found. With pumpkins flying through the air toward their target, an old dodge in the middle of the field. Mid way through he is found amid the smashed pumpkins when the trunk pops open and his body is found inside. Bill, as the last person to be seen with him, is suspect number one and Lucy jumps right in to prove her husband innocent and places herself in danger. Candy Corn Murder is not the first Leslie Meier Lucy Stone Mystery but it was the first to appall me by the way Lucy is treated by her family. That she takes care of Patrick for four months for her son, Toby and his wife, Molly, while he takes an internship out of the country. What shacks me is the rules and insults the issued to Lucy prior to her being allowed to keep Patrick. Then to accept that she and Bill would pay for such an expensive preschool. If he can't afford to pay while earning at his internship how did he pay it while going to graduate school? Then to tell the mother who raised him that she cannot be trusted to care for his son without a mile list of do's & don'ts. If they feel that way they should take Patrick with them and take care of themselves. With the cost of the school Bill & Lucy can come visit them. Then there is the way Bill talks to Lucy. I can tell you if he spoke to me like that he would either find himself walking funny or in the middle of divorce court. Lucy is a bright intelligent woman capable of holding a job, running a household and overseeing guardianship of a young child, not a simpleton who needs her handheld to cross the street. His condescending, arrogant chauvinistic attitude and pushy ways are offensive and hurtful. Not to mention the way he lets his friend act around his wife. No wonder Toby treats his mother the way he does with his father as an example. I was actually angry with Lucy for taking it. I do not remember ever reading their characters being like this in the other books, and I hope future ones are not either. Other than the above mentioned objection the story was well written and the mystery fun to find clues for. There are many twist and turns to the big reveal that will keep you involved in the story till the very end. I hope to enjoy many more of Lucy Stone's mysteries in the future. Leslie Meier continues to keep them interesting and fresh. 3 1/2 out of 5 Stars, but only because of my dissatisfaction on the interactions between Lucy & Bill.
This was a fun Hallowe'en mystery. With Hallowe'en coming, Tinker's Cove decides to use the holiday to boost the tourist trade by holding "The Pumpkinfest". They had the biggest pumpkin contest, pumpkin toss using catapults, carved pumpkin contest, scenes using pumpkins and more to drum up tourists and it worked. The story took a long time to get to the actual murder and investigation, but the lead up was interesting. Lucy Stone, local reporter, is caring for her grandson while his parents are away for 4 months. Bill, her husband, is building a catapult to enter the pumpkin toss contest as well as growing a pumpkin for the biggest pumpkin contest. Evan, a local unemployed handyman, is helping him. Lucy does not like Evan or all the drinking that he and Bill have been doing. There seem to be some malicious pranks going on in town, such as smashing the pumpkins and vandalizing the displays. One of Lucy's daughters is becoming involved with the local scuba club president and Bill is not too sure about that. Her daughters and some of her friends are participating in the local "Take Back the Night" march. There is a side story going on that takes place in 1979 that involves women's rights, that you know will somehow be part of the mystery. When someone turns up dead in the trunk of a car, Bill is under suspicion and Lucy gets involved trying to find the real murderer as the police seem set on her husband and are not looking elsewhere. All the goings on come together in the end to add a surprising ending to the story. I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in return for an honest review.
Yesterday was our first cool day of fall so I decided to curl up with a light blanket and a good book. I picked "Candy Corn Murder" and I am glad I did. This is a well written mystery about a small town's Halloween that held my interest until the very end. It was so good, I finished the book in one sitting. The characters were well developed and although I thought I knew who the murderer was, I was wrong. I received this arc free from NetGalley for an honest review.
I haven’t read a Lucy Stone Mystery since the first one. It was when I was first trying out cozies and new to me authors, so I was trying a lot of firsts. I’m happy to have been given the chance to visit with Lucy again. That being said, a lot of things have changed in Lucy’s life since I read about her last, but one thing that hasn’t changed is Lucy’s knack for getting involved in murder cases. In CANDY CORN MURDER, author Leslie Meier takes us on an amazing ride through not one, but two murders. This book moved at a great pace with lots of twists and turns, and questioning if the two murders were connected. But Ms. Meier brings it altogether with an inspired conclusion. If you’re a fan of Halloween themed cozies, you are going to love CANDY CORN MURDER. And it goes without saying that Leslie Meier fans are in for a real treat!
Long on Cozy, Short on Mystery I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. The Candy Corn Murder by Leslie Meier is the 22nd book in the Lucy Stone Mystery series. It is a classified as a cozy mystery, and it is long on cozy and short on mystery. I love a good mystery, and I have come to appreciate the cozy mystery genre. However, I could not get into Candy Corn Mystery at all. The premise of a murder mystery in a small town near Halloween sounded appealing, but I didn’t find the implementation riveting. The pace of Candy Corn Mystery is quite slow, and most of the book is filled with story set up and mundane details of the lead character’s daily life as an under-appreciated wife, mother and grandmother. The writing is technically good. The story-telling style is chatty. The scenes were vividly described, and the characters were well developed. The premise was cute. I just could abide the extremely slow pace of the book, and I lost interest before the murder was committed. The Candy Corn Murder by Leslie Meier might appeal to fans of small town, slice-of-life stories, but it did not provide enough mystery and intrigue for me.
While I haven't read all of Meier's holiday themed titles, I can certainly appreciate that the characters have aged and evolved appropriately as the years have gone by. In fact, Lucy and her husband are watching their 4 year old grandson in this title, while their son and daughter in law are in Haiti. The murder was so far into the story, I actually thought the mystery to solved in this book was going to be about the vandalism going on for the First Giant Pumpkin Fest in Tinker's Cove. Lucy is covering the festivities for the Pennysaver, along with attempting to get an interview with the new leader of Country Cousins, a young man who'd left town with his mother years ago. There is also a historical timeline in play, as the story of a long ago fall murder plays out in the 'past' section sand the goings on in the countryside in the present will help solve that mystery as well. I like how Lucy has remained so busy as each chapter of her life comes along. And the pumpkin theme is perfect as summer winds down!
Leslie Meier once more gives us a look into Lucy Stone's life. This is the 22nd book that i have enjoyed with Lucy and her family. Almost all the kids are grown up and living their own lives Lucy is in her glory when she is asked to keep grandson, Patrick. Toby and wife Molly will be out of the country for several months while Toby works on a fellowship. Lucy makes promises to Toby and Molly, that she discovers are impossible to keep. It's Halloween, how can anyone keep a child from dressing up and going trick or treating. Taking care of Patrick is the least of the problems to occur. Tinker Cove is having it's 1st Annual Giant Pumpkin Fest. But someone is trying very hard to prevent the Fest from happening. Vandalism to the giant pumpkins, and to the display in town, grown men acting like children trying to build the next great pumpkin launcher. How Leslie keeps writing and entertaining us through so many books is amazing. I don't think that I will ever tire of Lucy and the family, I know them so well that they seem like my family. I hope that Leslie continues to entertain us with more Lucy stories. I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review.
Great Series! This is a great series; this is the twenty second book in the Lucy Stone series by Leslie Meier. The books in this series can be read as a standalone, since they all have a different murder mystery. Halloween is coming to Tinker’s Cove, Maine and Lucy Stone is the local reporter and is covering the annual Giant Pumpkin Fest. Lucy’s husband Bill and his friend Evan are working nonstop on their potentially prize winning pumpkin catapult. When the pumpkin lands on the trunk of the Dodge and they find Evan’s body with his head bashed in Bill is the prime suspect since he was the last person to see Evan. Lucy determines that she needs to put her sleuthing skills to work to find the real killer. If you are looking for a great mystery that will leave you guessing until the end, then you need to read this book. It is also a great book that will get you in the mood for Halloween. I am looking forward to the next book in this series. A Review copy was provided to me in exchange for a fair and honest review. The free book held no determination on my personal review.
Candy Corn Murder by Leslie Meier is the twenty-second book in the Lucy Stone series. Lucy is watching her four year old grandson, Patrick while his parents are in Haiti. Lucy’s son, Toby is going to school for a business degree. He was offered a four month fellowship to study fish farming (I have no idea what a business degree has to do with fish farming). Molly, Toby’s wife, went with him to Haiti. Lucy has enrolled Patrick in Little Prodigies Day Care (with Lucy and her husband, Bill paying the fees). Little Prodigies has a unique philosophy (I personally would have found a new day care center). Tinker Cove, Maine is getting ready for their first ever Giant Pumpkin Fest. There will be a giant pumpkin contest, pumpkin regatta, displays of pumpkin people on Main Street, and a pumpkin catapult contest. Bill has decided to enter the pumpkin catapult contest with the encouragement of his friend, Evan Wickes (goes by Ev). Lucy is not fond of Ev. He is constantly hanging around the house drinking beer. He does not have good bathing habits and Lucy has to make sure to stand downwind. Bill is spending a fortune on wood for the catapult (which is messing with Lucy’s budget). The day of the contest Ev fails to show up. Bill is the first to compete in the catapult competition. They are aiming their pumpkins at a car that was recently in an accident. Bill does great. Lucy goes to get close-up shots of the car and notices fabric similar to Ev’s shirt in the trunk. Upon investigation they find Ev dead in the trunk of the car. Unfortunately, the normal police detective is on vacation. The two detectives assigned to the case believe Bill is responsible (since he does not have a rock solid alibi). Lucy sets out to prove her husband’s innocence. When the police search Ev’s home, they discover a pot growing operation (a big one) in the basement and $17,000 in his mattress. There was more to Ev than met the eye! The local police have their hands busy when someone is sabotaging Pumpkin Fest. Someone is taking an axe to people’s giant pumpkins. Then the Main Street pumpkin people display is attacked (the women characters were viciously destroyed). Buck Miller has returned to town and is working as Vice President of Marketing at Country Cousins. He left town over twenty years ago when his father was murdered (he was five at the time). Buck seems a little too eager and is making many changes to Country Cousins. Can Lucy solve Ev’s murder before her husband is convicted of the crime? Who is trying to ruin Pumpkin Fest and why? You will have to read Candy Corn Murder to find out! I enjoyed reading Candy Corn Murder. I have read every book in this series and loved every one of them. I give Candy Corn Murder 4 out of 5 stars. The murder was very easy to solve. I wish it had been a little more complicated. Candy Corn Murder can be read without having read any of the other books in the series. It does, though, help to have read the first book (of course, then you will be hooked) Mistletoe Murder since it directly relates to this book. I received a complimentary copy of Candy Corn Murder from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The review and opinions expressed are my own.
A quick little fun book that takes place in a small town where everybody just about knows everybody. It's a place where gossip is a traditional ritual along with the little old ladies that like to spread it. It is definitely a cozy mystery and the murderer is the one you usually suspect. There's no gore and even the body is kind of hidden even to the characters. It's just a fun little mystery that has a huge family secret that someone doesn't want known. It was entertaining and a little humorous just the way the little old ladies would all go around talking about everything. It makes for a nice little Sunday afternoon reading. Thanks Kensington and Net Galley for allowing me to read and review this book. I recommend it to any mystery readers who would rather forego the gory scenes and deaths in some books.
I received an ARC digital copy of this book through NetGalley.com in exchange for my fair and honest review. It’s Halloween in Tinker’s Cove, Maine and everyone is excited to celebrate the first annual Giant Pumpkin Fest. The events are fun, sure to please everyone! The events include a pumpkin catapult toss, a pumpkin boat race down the cove, a giant pumpkin weigh in contest, a costume party for the little ones and of course, the traditional guess the amount of candy corn in the jar, offered by Country Cousins, a local department store that boasts about old fashioned values. When I read a Lucy Stone book, I feel like I am visiting an old friend. I have read every book in this wonderful series and I was not disappointed on this wonderful addition. Lucy and her husband Bill are taking care of their only grandson, Patrick. Their son Toby, and his wife Molly are in Haiti for 4 months, leaving the care of the precocious 4 year old to the doting grandparents. Lucy is combining parenting skills, her job as reporter for Tinker’s Cove newspaper, The Pennysaver, and trying very hard to not be annoyed with Bill, who is currently growing a pumpkin, Priscilla, to enter on the giant pumpkin contest. Not only is bill growing his precious Priscilla, he is also building a catapult, with help of local yokel, Ev Wilkes. As if Lucy doesn’t have enough on her plate, she is also dealing with Heidi, Patrick’s somewhat rigid preschool teacher, who believes all children would benefit from a meal of gluten free food and steamed Brussel sprouts. All this leaves Lucy in a spin and she feels as she is spinning out of control. She hopes that by enjoying all the wonderful Pumpkin Fest events will help Patrick with the transition of not having his parents around. When someone begins to vandalize the decorations for the festival, Lucy wonders if someone is trying to stop the festival before it even begins. The pumpkin growers are frantic and pull out all stops to protect the big, fat, ripe pumpkins from being squashed! As the story unfolds, the reader is taken back to Halloween 1979 and describes the life of a woman who is locked in an abusive relationship. Lucy knows her dear friend Ms. Tilly knows more then she is telling, but Ms. Tilly honors her code of silence and will not give Lucy any details of the woman only known as Cynthia. When the nephew of Tom Miller, CEO of Country Cousins comes back to Tinker’s Cove, rumor has it he has ideas to bring changes to the business. Lucy tries to dig deep into the details, but she is shut down at every attempt to get the real story. On the day of the catapult event, Bill is anxiously awaiting the arrival of Ev, so they can transport their creation and catapult pumpkins into a beat up Hyundai. Time is u and Ev is a no show but that doesn’t stop Bill from sending his pumpkins flying into the car! It isn’t until Lucy is up close, taking pictures for the paper, that she sees something sticking out of the trunk. When a pumpkin flies at the trunk and it opens, Lucy is first to find Ev, dead in the trunk. Unfortunately Lucy’s friend, Detective Lieutenant Horowitz is on vacation and the new detectives act fast, investigating Bill for the death of his friend. Tempers flare and Lucy’s world is shattered when police stampede into her home, arresting Bill!
Welcome to Fall in the quaint town of Tinker's Cove; the residents are busily preparing for the first ever pumpkin festival. However, it appears someone wants to sabotage the entire event; culminating in the discovery of local resident, Ev Wickes' body. Having read many of Meier's books in past, I did not hesitate to request the newest installment. However, I must admit that it left me conflicted. On one hand, there were a few notable things that I did not enjoy about the book. They are as follows: *I felt that Lucy's Son and Daughter-in-law took advantage of Lucy. I believe that they used her for free childcare while they were in Haiti for months. Furthermore, they proceeded to give her a list of strict guidelines for Patrick; also making her pay for expensive daycare. *From my perspective, the story took too long to introduce the main plot-point [despite the fact that this is a 'Cozy Mystery']. Over half of this story was dedicated to detailing the ins-and-outs of life in Tinker's Cove; particularly the upcoming pumpkin festival. As a result, the mystery aspect of the story [including the ending] felt a touch contrived. *Lucy's husband, Bill, does have a touch of an arrogant attitude towards his wife. It is obvious he loves her however it is apparent that he believes in the old-fashioned gender role assignments [ie. Women in the kitchen, Men work, etc.]. This attitude was further exacerbated by Bill's friend [and the murder victim], Ev. *Heidi - the preschool teacher; she was disrespectful and irritatingly pretentious. That being said, on the flip-side there were aspects that I enjoyed about the book; aspects such as: *Reference was made to the "Take back the night" march, a student march that brings attention to sexual violence against women. *Once the murder was established the plot picked up pace and became quite interesting. *I loved that the characters age with the series; as opposed to having each book a few weeks after the previous installment. In my opinion, it adds an overall dimension to the series; loyal fans of the series get the opportunity to see their favourite characters grow up. *In terms of the series, I love that each novel is holiday-themed; it is especially delightful to read the books on their allocated holidays [ie. Candy Corn Murder on Halloween] Overall, despite its flaws, "Candy Corn Murder" is fun and decent light read; great for a quick rainy day book. I recommend this for fans of mystery who could do without the gory and descriptive detail of other books in the genre.