We've come to the end of the first week of Carolyn's Cozy Halloween Readathon, and many participants have gone through many books in that time. Congratulations to all of you, and keep up the good work! Each book you read is worth points at the end of the month to be entered in a prize drawing.
I, on the other hand, am a much slower reader. Between writing my own stories and spending time with family, I can make time for about one book a week. so, for the first week of the marathon, I re-read one of my all time favorite books. Trick or Treat Murder by the talented Leslie Meier.
Trick or Treat Murder was my very first cozy mystery I ever read. Prior to that, I had read Agatha Christie and didn't realize she had inspired a whole genre of comfortable and enjoyable mysteries about amateur women sleuths.
Well, I stumbled upon Trick or Treat Murder and decided, due to it being near Halloween, that I'd pick it up and read it. I was intrigued by the cover, most of all. It had a somewhat dark and foreboding sensation, while also giving a sense of comfort that comes from the holidays. The picture of a festive pumpkin, surrounded by treats, in a dark room, was all it took. That original cover was what got me interested in cozies--before I even knew what a "cozy" was.
The book itself is one of my favorites. Lucy Stone, a stay at home mother and a part time sleuth, it gearing up for the holidays by baking cupcakes for the town's Halloween party that is going to be held in the local historic manor--which is considered to be haunted. However, things get frightening when it seems an arsonist is on the loose and is targeting historic landmarks. It also doesn't help that someone was killed in one of the fires--thus making it a murder.
Leslie Meier has a lovely balance of cozy Halloween treats and celebration with a hearty does of investigation. Meier throws many clues and a ton of suspects at you, making it quite the feat to figure out the answer. This mystery had me guessing right up until the end. When the murderer was revealed I was completely shocked.
Trick or Treat Murder will always stand as a classic Halloween mystery in my mind. I love the characters and the story, and I have a certain nostalgia attached to this particular book.
Carolyn Q. Hunter is an author of various paranormal and cozy mysteries--including the Diner of the Dead book series.