Overcommitted committee member Abby McCree gets in a patch of trouble trying to solve the murder of a pumpkin farmer …
The small town of Snowberry Creek, Washington, is gearing up for the Halloween Festival, and naturally Abby is on the planning committee. As part of her duties, she's picking up a pumpkin order from ornery farmer Ronald Minter. But what she finds instead is the farmer in the middle of his corn maze with a knife in his back.
The police suspect a homeless veteran named Kevin Montgomery, who was seen arguing with Minter when the farmer accused him of trespassing and stealing pumpkins. Abby's tenant Tripp Blackston, a veteran himself who’s been helping Kevin, is sure he’s innocent. Together, Abby and Tripp follow the twists and turns of the case to corner the corn maze killer—before someone else meets a dead end …
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The second An Abby McCree Mystery
Death by Jack-O’-Lantern by Alexis Morgan is the second An Abby McCree Mystery. It can be read as a standalone for those new to the series. Abby McCree has been “volunteered” to help with the planning of the Halloween Festival. When Glenda’s driver bails because of the pouring rain, Abby takes her neighbor out to Ronald Minter’s farm to pick up the pumpkins for the festival. Abby finds the cranky farmer dead in a shed in the middle of the corn maze. When Tripp and his friend, Kevin Montgomery find themselves afoul of the law, Abby begins searching for the guilty party. I thought Death by Jack-O’-Lantern was easy to read with a charming town and a variety of quirky characters. Abby keeps getting herself “volunteered” to committees and projects (I think gullible is written on her forehead). When Abby is not helping others, she is whipping up baked goods that come in handy for bribes and to offer to police when they inevitably end up at her house. Zeke, Abby’s dog, is my favorite character. He is such a lovable and smart fellow. Gage Logan, the chief of police, is a good guy. He is a fair minded individual who cares about his daughter. I wish Gage was Abby’s love interest. The murder of Ronald Minter provided a couple of suspects along with misdirection and direct clues. I would have liked the mystery to be more challenging. It seemed like the author was pointing a giant neon arrow at the culprit. I thought the reveal was interesting and entertaining. There were some appealing aspects to the crime, and I appreciated that it was completely resolved. The pumpkin carving sculptures were a delightful addition to the story especially Gage Logan’s. I would have liked less repetition of case details (I got it the first time). Death by Jack-O’-Lantern is a cute Halloween themed cozy mystery with purloined pumpkins, copious cookies, a humorous hound and a vigorous volunteer enforcer.