The Pumpkin Killer: Stacey Alabaster

A Bakery Detective Cozy Mystery Book 8

Rachel couldn’t be more clear: she hates Halloween! For her best friend, Pippa, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. Being that Pippa is majorly into the supernatural phenomenon, she’s in her element. But, for Pippa, scares will have to be minimal. She’s 9 months pregnant & due any time.

When the ladies are invited to mutual friend Teagan’s haunted house tour, Rachel attends only for Pippa’s sake. Fancying herself the town ghost expert, Teagan expects to be the center of attention. But, the tour barely gets started when an unexpected guest drops in- literally.

Expecting a prop, everyone is mortified when a real corpse, dangling from a tree with a pumpkin over his head is found. Rachel’s had enough death in her life to last a lifetime & would rather focus on Pippa’s baby. Pippa can’t help herself, though, & soon the two best friends are investigating the murder.

This time it won’t be easy. The deceased was just a want to be baker. But, as the investigation continues, the ladies can’t help but notice the similarities between this murder & a rash of murders from a century ago. Some may be quick to blame the previous murderer, but he or she should have been long dead themselves. Teagan & Pippa would prefer to believe they’ve come back from the beyond. Rachel believes there’s a more earthly explanation. Regardless of the ‘who’, Rachel has put herself in jeopardy, again. She’ll need to connect the dots before this becomes her last Halloween.

‘Pumpkin’ may be Book 8 in the series, but, I read it out-of-order. It can definitely stand alone. In fact, it made me want to go back to read the first 7. While I am most definitely not a fan of paranormal fiction, I was pleased to see that it was minimal. WHile it’s easy to see that it could’ve gone in that direction, it became more or less just an interest to Pippa & Teagan than the explanation for the plot. I was glad to see that.

I enjoyed the duo of Pippa & Rachel. Both are strong-willed women, fearless in their own right, who are also small business owners. While there was minimal police interaction, they did work within the limits of what they could legally do. All the clues are there for the reader to put together. Diligent readers will figure it out before the last page.

The series is well done and I can definitely see why the series has continued this far. For a seasonal read & a cozy mystery at that, it’s full of great characters and a super plot. It is definitely a 4 star book.

Fractured Eden: Steven Gossington

Fractured Eden

By Steven Gossington

Genre: Suspense

Book Description

When a doctor loses everything and is forced to start over, he finds himself in a strange town filled with addiction and mental illness. Dr. Aaron Rovsing, Family Practice Physician, is fired from his medical practice in Connecticut because of alleged incompetence. After he flees and starts over in a town in East Texas, he discovers that things are not as they first appear, and soon Aaron must combat the deranged and addicted minds of the townspeople. Events take an even deadlier turn when he finds himself the next chosen victim of a serial killer who plans to add the doctor to his collection of skeletons. In this town of insanity and with a serial killer waiting to strike, how can Aaron manage to stay sane . . . and alive?

About the Author


Steven Gossington is an emergency room physician with over 30 years of patient care experience. Dr. Gossington was an academic professor of emergency medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City for 11 years, and he published 20 book chapters and medical articles of original research.

His enjoyment of mystery and suspense fiction and his love of writing led to the novel “Fractured Eden,” a psychological suspense story in which he draws upon his extensive experience with mentally ill emergency room patients. This novel and his future fiction can be found on


On Amazon:

Very Veggie Murder: Patti Benning

Book 3 in Papa Pacelli’s Pizzeria Series

Moving in with her Nonna has also allowed Ellie Pacelli to see some of the extended family she once knew. Uncle Toby, Aunt Kathy, & Cousin Darlene have all arrived to visit. Although it’s been a major adjustment to the life Nonna & Ellie have created together, it’s only for a little while. They’ve even had a chance to spend time with Darlene’s childhood friend, Danny. He knows more about the family than Ellie does and everyone likes him.

In fact, when Ellie discovers a troublesome note that belonged to her grandfather, Danny is the one she turns to for help. Underneath a bookshelf in Papa’s study, an old piece of paper reveals a dark secret. Thinking her grandfather was always a stand-up guy, both Danny & Ellie are surprised to see that the note refers to blackmail.

Papa Pacelli had been blackmailing someone known on paper as only ‘T’. Being too mysterious for Ellie to let go of, she asks Danny to do some more investigation. Comfortable that he’ll know who to ask, Ellie waits for news. However, someone wants them to stop snooping.

When Danny is discovered dead in his car, Ellie realizes that the whole blackmail scenario was even darker than she’d thought. Now she needs to discover who Papa had the goods on before they decide she knows too much, too.

Book 3 is just as wonderful as the first two. I hope it won’t be the last in the series. ‘Very Veggie’ has several twists & turns that will allow readers a chance to decipher all the clues. There are several suspects and any of them could’ve fit the bill.

Ellie continues to be a top-notch heroine with a solid moral compass. I like tht she is presented as a good, ethical business woman who still puts family first. I also appreciate that we aren’t introduced to evry person in town all at once. Many cozy mystery author’s make this mistake. Instead of bite-sized introductions, they throw everyone out there at once. But, avoiding this, Patti Benning deepens the mystery, lets us pick our suspects, & gives readers a chance to really like Ellie.

It’s another well done, 4 star book.

Bacon Cheddar Murder: Patti Benning

Book 2 in Papa Pacelli’s Pizzeria Series

After moving back to her childhood home, Ellie Pacelli is finally settling in. Under her management, Papa Pacelli’s is finally turning a profit, she’s reconnected with her Nonna, & become a part of the community once more. In fact, she & her best friend, Shannon, are closer than they’d ever been. That’s a good thing, considering their friendship is about to be stretched to its limit.

Shannon abruptly appears at Ellie’s back door late one night. Covered in blood, she seeks Ellie’s help. She’d been covertly meeting a source for a big story she was working on. As a local reporter, she wanted to tackle a story that was edgy. How was she to know that meeting her acquaintance, Anthony, in the wooded area behind Ellie’s home would get him killed? Whatever Tony wanted to tell Shannon must have been awfully important to someone.

Despite having the Sheriff for her brother-in-law, Shannon is the obvious number one suspect. No one really believes it was her, but she is the only witness. To make matters worse, Tony’s body has disappeared! When Ellie returned to Kittiport, she thought it’d be a quiet return. Now, she’s got a second murder to solve.

‘Bacon’ is a sequel that is as good as its predecessor. Patti Benning keeps the main characters on a steady path while introducing a few, unknown residents. We see Ellie grow a bit as a character and she becomes an even more likeable heroine. Readers will connect with her as she works hard to make her small business a success. I’ve become a fan of the two animal characters, Bunny & Marlowe, who need to have their own crime fighting series. They’re adorable.

I appreciate that she works within the confines of the law and solves the murders by working with the police rather than making them seem like a bunch of nitwits.

I truly hope Ms. Benning will continue with this series. She really has a good thing going and it could definitely be a huge success for her. As with the first in the series, this one is a 4 star book.