Series: Lucy Stone #22
Published by Kensington on August 25, 2015
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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. Amid the pumpkin gore is a very deceased Evan, bashed in the head and placed in the trunk by someone long before the contest started.
Bill is on the hook for the Halloween homicide—he was the last one to see Evan—so Lucy knows she’s got some serious sleuthing to do. The crime’s trail seems to always circle back to Country Cousins, the town’s once-quaint general store that’s now become a big Internet player. Though the store’s founder, Old Sam Miller, is long gone, his son Tom and grandson Trey now run the hugely successful company. But whispered rumors say things aren’t going well, and Lucy finds that this case may have something to do with an unsolved, decades-old Miller family mystery…
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…
Candy Corn Murder is the first Lucy Stone I’ve read, even though it’s #22 in the series. The cover is just too cute to pass up. That being said, maybe if I had read earlier ones in the series, I would have enjoyed this one more.
The author spent a lot of time introducing the characters and getting us involved in the town life. As this was my first time in Tinker’s Cove I appreciated it, but I feel like if you had read the others, you might be thinking “get a move on.” Of course, I can’t tell which are recurring characters and which are new to the series, so maybe it was all necessary.
The murder itself and the solution was interesting, as was the reason a certain somebody was against the Halloween festival. I liked seeing Lucy hunt down the clues and put it altogether, but it was a bit rushed.
My main problem, though, was I didn’t really like any of the characters. Lucy was okay I guess; I didn’t dislike her but she seemed to let people take advantage of her and didn’t really have much of a personality. Her husband was a bit of a jerk and sexist. Her grandson was cute, but his parents seemed a little nuts, even if they weren’t actually present. The day care worker was a snob. Her friends each seemed to have their own agenda when they asked her to do something. The only people I actually liked were the two daughters she had at home, they seemed like real teenage girls.
In addition to the murder, the story touches on violence against women, and although I think it’s an important topic, the coverage here felt a bit contrived.
It just overall didn’t work for me. I doubt I’ll read any others in the series.