Silver Anniversary Murder by Leslie Meier

A newer book in the Lucy Stone series, this one focuses on two things: the Silver Anniversary wedding weekend planned by a local Tinker’s Cove wedding shop owner and the death of one of Lucy’s friends from her days in New York City. Authorities say Lucy’s friend Beth committed suicide by jumping off the balcony of the apartment she shared with her billionaire fourth husband. Lucy doesn’t believe this conclusion and spends a week in New York City to prove it was actually murder. She focuses on Beth’s current husband and her three ex-husbands: the first a religious cult leader with whom she had a son, the second a troubled artist, and the third a seemingly mild-mannered chiropractor. 

As her investigation proceeds, the danger level increase and Lucy finds herself in a sticky situation. The backdrop of the wedding weekend lightens things up and involves a couple where the wife is verbally abusive to the husband, but wants to celebrate their Silver Anniversary with the whole town as a way to promote her wedding shop and her husband’s limo business.

This is one of Meier’s better books. I love the change of scenery and Lucy striking out on her own. The author throws in some political commentary, which she has in several of the later books, and I find it distracting and preachy. Otherwise, a solid mystery where I suspected the murder, but never saw the end coming. A great read! **Thank you to NetGalley for gifting me this book**

Sunset Beach by Mary Kay Andrews

Sunset Beach is a great hybrid of a beach read romance and a mystery. Drive Campbell is at loose ends after her mother dies. Her estranged personal injury lawyer father show up at the funeral with the keys to a beach cottage she’s inherited and a job offer at his firm. She’s soon investigating of his father’s cases on her own involving a murder at a nearby resort. As Drue wades through a network of lies, she battles her (very young) stepmother/office manager, home repairs, and a growing attraction to a coworker. 

Drue is an interesting heroine for a beach read. She’s sarcastic, skeptical, wile at the same time compassionate and at times too trusting. The author adds in an interesting subplot that parallels closely with the main plot and adds depth to the characters. The setting adds to the story, almost a character of its own. The plot moves swiftly and believably, though is a little neat in places. 

I wasn’t expecting a full on mystery and that added to the enjoyment. A good, satisfying quick read.

**Thank you to NetGalley for the advance e-book copy.

They All Fall Down by Rachel Howzell Hall

A great reimagining of Agatha Christie’s classic. The characters were well drawn and the plot skipped along nicely. It wasn’t predictable despite having read Christie’s book. Some of the drama got a little over the top, but was still generally believable. There’s a twist that is satisfying. I listened on audio and it really brought the story alive. Highly recommend!

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Curses, Boiled Again! by Shari Randall

A fantastic debut from Shari Randall. Allie Larkin is injured as a ballerina and dimes back to help her Aunt Gully at the Lazy Mermaid Lobster shack. When all four judges were poisoned at a Lobster Roll contest sponsored by the Yum! Network (one dies), Allie helps unravel the whodunit with the help of her friends and family. The story is highly original, though as a frequent cozy reader I figured out the murderer fairly early. But it definitely wasn’t predictable. The best cozy I’ve read in awhile. Nice New England flavor with being overbearing about it. Delightful! 

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Halloween Murders by Leslie Meier

**Thank you NetGalley for this free ebook review copy. **

Leslie Meier’s Halloween Murder is a delightfully suspenseful two-books-in-one compilation. They each, of course, center around Halloween in Maine’s Tinker’s Cove and the town’s amateur sleuth and reporter Lucy Stone.

In Trick or Treat Murder, the annual kids Halloween Festival planning is underway. Among all her other duties of raising children and reporting for the paper, she’s up to her elbows and, soon enough, murder. A series of arson hits the town and when Lucy’s friend is found dead in one of the houses Lucy goes into investigation road. The story has some good twists and turns and a surprise ending. Meier builds up the suspense to the end well, though the resolution is a bit convenient. A satisfying read for Lucy Stone fans.

Wicked Witch Murder takes place years later beginning in the summertime when new shopkeeper Diana Ravenscroft appears on the scene offering Wiccan products and psychic readers. Meier weaves a unique and believable story centering around the town’s reaction to the shop and its owner. Lucy is skeptical about magic but finds Diana basically harmless. When Diana’s friend is brutally murdered, the sentiment of the town begins to turn against Diana and Lucy must unravel a web of clues. As always, Meier ratchets up the suspense to the very end. I’ve read many of her books and found this one to be the most twisty and suspenseful with a surprising ending. Fans will love the interpersonal relationships and the natural way Lucy comes into the clues. The stretch between the murder and when the action pumps up again about halfway through the book drags a little bit still an enjoyable read. Not for people who have difficulty with witchcraft and Wiccan storylines.

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