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.

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