My rating: 5 Stars
As this story opens, there has just been what appears to be cases of arson, and far more than the loss of property has occurred. A body has been found at one of the fires, and said arsonist has now become a murderer. Amateur detective Lucy Stone, a new mom for the fourth time, decides to investigate these arson cases.
Meanwhile, Lucy remains quite busy, especially as she is helping to prepare a Halloween party, and her role as a wife and mother are naturally quite demanding. Bill is finally becoming a favorite character to me. He has always been a devoted husband and father and a hard worker. Now his role has expanded, and he is reluctantly serving on the historical society.
As with the first two books in this addicting series that I have had the pleasure of reading, the story is quite fast-paced with the just the right touch of mystery, and as mom of six grown kids myself, I enjoyed Lucy's interactions with her family. After being forced to only give the previous title 4 stars due to a particularly disturbing scene, I am pleased to say that nothing of the sort happened like that in this book. That, along with the fact that I was kept guessing until almost the very end, went a long way into me rating this book 5 stars.
One thing that I really love about reading connected series is the continuity of characters. We have Barney, Sue and even the cranky Ms. Tilley. There is definitely a feeling of coming home again when reading Leslie Meier's books. I have already downloaded the first eight books in the series, with every intent on inhaling every title as this series is produced.
Kensington Books has made a smart move by releasing two omnibus's of these Leslie Meier's books. In so doing, I was alerted to this long-standing series, and am thus reading and reviewing Trick-or-Treat Murder. I will make a rather bad confession here. I love that these titles are shorter, one-sitting reads. This is because I only just found them and knew from the very first book that I would need to make time to read each one in quick succession.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
I started writing in the late ‘80s when I was attending graduate classes at Bridgewater State College. I wanted to become certified to teach high school English and one of the required courses was Writing and the Teaching of Writing. My professor suggested that one of the papers I wrote for that course was good enough to be published and I sent it off to Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine’s Department of First Stories. I got $100 for the story and I’ve been writing ever since. The teaching, however, didn’t work out.
My books draw heavily on my experience as a mother of three and my work as a reporter for various weekly newspapers on Cape Cod. My heroine, Lucy Stone, is a reporter in the fictional town of Tinker’s Cove, Maine, where she lives in an old farmhouse (quite similar to mine on Cape Cod!) with her restoration carpenter husband Bill and four children. As the series has progressed the kids have grown older, roughly paralleling my own family. We seem to have reached a point beyond which Lucy cannot age–my editor seems to want her to remain forty-something forever, though I have to admit I personally am dying to write “Menopause is Murder!”
I usually write one Lucy Stone mystery every year and as you can tell, my editor likes me to feature the holidays in my books. Of course Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year and my newest mystery “Eggnog Murder,” is included in an anthology with two other Christmas novellas by Barbara Ross and Lee Hollis. I’ve long been a fan of the classic English country house mystery, and was a faithful watcher of “Downton Abbey,” so I couldn’t resist trying to write one. I think I succeeded rather well, if I do say so myself, with “British Manor Murder,” which came out in October, 2016.
My books are classified as “cozies” but a good friend insists they are really “comedies of manners” and I do enjoy expressing my view of contemporary American life.
Now that the kids are grown — we have five fabulous grandchildren — my husband and I are enjoying dividing our time between Braintree and Cape Cod, along with our cat, Sylvester.