The Second Happy Camper Mystery
As Halloween approaches Spirit Canyon Zo Jones arranges for local author Marianne Morgan to have a book signing at the Happy Camper. The event is a big success, although not everyone is happy with Marianne's witchy style and brand of feminine empowerment. When Zo sees a life sized witch decoration outside her store she's amazed by its realism...until she realizes it's a very dead Marianne. The local newsman, who acts more like gutter press, has it in for Zo and is trying to create a big news piece, at Zo and her shop's expense. With a lot of gumption and perhaps a little ghostly intervention, Zo will hunt for the killer and find justice for the author with so much promise.
With the action taking place in town and centered more on Zo, the Happy Camper Mystery series finds its groove with its second offering. The Happy Camper shop oozes coziness and the characters seem more connected and in tune with each other. I'm pleased with the development of the secondary characters, each of whom has become more multidimensional with their own raison d'être. The scene with Beth spotting her daughter with a boy still has me laughing, and as for Hattie and her new employee, I'm grinning just thinking about it. I also appreciate how Zo's relationship with Max is evolving.
I enjoyed the mystery and the suspects, two of whom I really wanted to be guilty as I disliked them so much. While not a suspect, "journalist" Justin Castle continues to leave a bad taste in my mouth; a character we can love to hate. I also appreciated the secondary mystery that came when a clue to Zo's birth mom was discovered.
Autumn in Spirit Canyon may bring on the chills, but curling up with a hot beverage and this book will leave you warm inside. Friendship, humor, and happiness combine to make MIDNIGHT SPELLS MURDER a success.
Midnight Spells Murder (A Happy Camper Mystery) by Mary Angela
About Midnight Spells Murder
Cozy Mystery 2nd in Series
Publisher: Lyrical Press (July 13, 2021)
Print Length: 271 pages
Spirit Canyon’s annual Spirit Spooktacular weekend is on, and for local amateur sleuth Zo Jones, it’s boomtime for business at her Happy Camper gift shop . . . until a murderer drops in for a browse.
To celebrate Halloween at the Happy Camper, Zo schedules a talk by successful author and self-proclaimed witch Marianne Morgan. Although Marianne’s benign brand of witchcraft is more about feminine empowerment than black magic, her presence is still not welcomed by everyone. Then on a midnight stroll home, Zo spots what seems to be a new Halloween decoration propped up outside the Happy Camper. What she finds is not a mannequin but a dead Marianne, her lifeless body dressed in traditional witch’s garb. But why would someone send this good witch back to the spirit world permanently?
Soon Zo realizes that plenty of folks have motives for murdering Marianne. What’s worse, nosy TV newsman Justin Castle plans to broadcast a report associating Marianne’s murder with the Happy Camper. Zo calls on her partner in sleuthing, local forest ranger Max Harrington, to help her find the culprit before Justin’s report airs. Otherwise Zo’s business just might go bust. But to catch this killer, Zo will have to risk much more than just her reputation . . .
About Mary Angela
Mary Angela is the author of the Happy Camper cozy mystery series, the Professor Prather academic mystery series, and several short stories. 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.