Ding, dong, the witch is dead! Which old witch? Odious Enid, I said.
Enid is the owner of a resort and spa in beautiful Spirit Canyon, South Dakota. But Enid is anything but nice. She offers new hotel owner, Beth, $20,000 in cash to close up on the new hotel’s opening day. Enid calls her son’s new fiancée a snake. She’d even previously tangled with our heroine, Zo, the owner of the local gift shop and part-time reporter.
When Enid turns up dead at the new hotel, the Police Chief and the handsome Forest Ranger, Max, immediately assume Beth is the culprit. Since Beth was Zo’s childhood best friend, Zo must find the real killer. There are certainly plenty of suspects as Enid was almost universally hated. Or the motive could have been the now-missing $20,000. One hotel guest needs money for her sick toddler. Another clearly has a gambling problem.
Open for Murder checks every cozy mystery box. Heroine with an interesting backstory? Check. Hunky male town resident, whom she disagrees strongly with? Check. Cute cat? Check (and points for originality that said cat doesn’t like the heroine much). Recipe in the back of the book? Check. Heroine’s friend accused, or at least suspected, of murder? Check.
Adding a raging pandemic on top of the already stressful holiday season makes this time of year best for calm and comforting cozy mysteries. Open for Murder makes me feel like I’m taking a read-cation from my life. It is the perfect serene and soothing cozy read. Join Zo on her quest for truth and justice in a state, South Dakota, not having the best time right now in real life. 3 stars!
Thanks to Kensington Books, Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours, and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.
About Open For Murder
Open for Murder (A Happy Camper Mystery)
1st in Series
Publisher: Lyrical Press (November 24, 2020)
Paperback: 207 pages
Digital ASIN: B085LTP1XH
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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