The First Happy Camper Mystery
Zo Jones, owner of The Happy Camper, is happy. She has a wonderful
store, she takes time to be thankful, and her childhood friend is moving
back to Spirit Canyon. Beth has inherited Spirit Canyon Lodge and is
having a grand reopening of the rustic, yet chic accommodation. Zo is
impressed with her friend's new venture and with press in attendance the
opening looks to be a great success, until Enid Barrett comes on scene.
Owner of a nearby resort, Enid spoils the mood by picking a fight with
just about everyone. Why would a wealthy woman with her own resort and
mansion be staying at the lodge? As reasons for this unpleasant woman's
presence become known, more than one person has good reason to be upset.
It's bound to be a long night when a major thunderstorm knocks the
power out and traps everyone inside. Will everyone survive the night?
Tough, resilient, and independent are the hallmarks of Zo Jones. Growing up in the foster system has instilled these traits in her, yet she's also grateful and happy. Zo can also be opinionated and prickly with a chip on her shoulder. She's been able to face adversity and survive. I don't care for her behavior and attitude towards Max at the start of the book. But she's loyal and when her good friend is threatened with a murder charge Zo rushes to her defense.
The majority of the secondary characters got short shrift in the first Happy Camper Mystery. They each have such interesting backgrounds I hope we get to learn more about them soon. I especially want to learn more about Jules and Hattie seems a hoot.
With a crisply plotted mystery, a unique shop, strong characters, and a beautiful setting OPEN FOR MURDER is a solid start to a new series.
Open for Murder (A Happy Camper Mystery) by Mary Angela
About Open For Murder
Cozy Mystery 1st in Series
Publisher: Lyrical Press (November 24, 2020)
Paperback: 207 pages
Deep in the heart of touristy small-town Spirit Canyon, South Dakota, former journalist Zo Jones runs the Happy Camper gift shop, where she sells everything from locally made souvenirs to memorabilia. She even rents out mountain bikes, and dabbles in the adventure industry—and sleuthing . . .
It’s Memorial Day weekend in Spirit Canyon, and for Zo that means the return of summer shoppers. It also means the return of her good friend Beth, who’s moved back to the area to reopen her family’s premier hotel, Spirit Canyon Lodge. Beth and Zo spent many childhood summers there and Zo can’t wait to reconnect and celebrate the Grand Opening. But the festivities go from bad to worse when a power outage knocks out the lights—and morning reveals a competitor’s dead body found on the premises . . .
Soon enough, Beth is the prime suspect in the suspicious death. Fortunately, Zo isn’t afraid to put her investigative skills to work and prove her friend’s innocence. To start digging for information, she appeals to Max Harrington, a local Forest Ranger and unlikely ally. Though they’ve argued about Happy Camper’s tours, in this case they agree on one thing: Beth isn’t a murderer. Stranger things have happened than their collaboration. After all, this is Spirit Canyon. But as the list of suspects grows, Zo will have to keep her guard up if she doesn’t want to be the next lodge guest to check out . . .
About Mary Angela
Mary Angela is the author of the Professor Prather and Happy Camper cozy mystery series. When Mary isn’t penning heartwarming whodunits, she’s teaching, reading, traveling, or spending time with her family. She lives in South Dakota with her husband, daughters, and spoiled pets. You can find out more about her loves, including her writing, at MaryAngelaBooks.com.
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