The Haunted House Murder
by Leslie Meier, Lee Hollis, and Barbara Ross
#25.7 Lucy Stone Mystery, #.5 Hailey Powell Food and Cocktails Mystery, #7.5 Maine Clambake Mystery
Formats available: Hardcover Electronic, Audio
Pub Date: 8.27.19| 320 pages
REVIEWER: Sophia Rose
Tricks and treats keep the Halloween spirit alive in coastal Maine. But this year the haunted house theme is getting carried a little too far . . .
HAUNTED HOUSE MURDER by LESLIE MEIER
Newcomers to Tinker’s Cove, Ty and Heather Moon have moved into a dilapidated house reputed to be a haven for ghosts. Now strange noises and flickering lights erupt from the house at all hours and neighborly relations are on edge. And when a local boy goes missing near the house, it’s up to Lucy Stone to unravel the mystery of the eccentric couple and their increasingly frightful behavior.
DEATH BY HAUNTED HOUSE by LEE HOLLIS
For the past two years, the house next door to Hayley Powell has sat abandoned after the owner died under mysterious circumstances. The Salinger family has recently taken possession of the property, but the realtor behind the deal has vanished—after a very public and angry argument with Damien Salinger. If Bar Harbor’s newest neighbors are murderers, Hayley will haunt them until they confess.
HALLOWED OUT by BARBARA ROSS
With its history of hauntings and ghost sightings, Busman’s Harbor is the perfect setting for Halloween festivities. But when a reenactment of a Prohibition-era gangster’s murder ends with a literal bang and a dead actor from New Jersey, Julia Snowden must identify a killer before she ends up sleeping with the fishes.
There’s nothing like home sweet home in this trio of Halloween tales . .
Book was provided by publisher via Net Galley. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.
I was excited to find this fall seasonal group of mystery stories all set in Maine. All are new to me authors so I’m eager to give these a try. Each novella-length story was from an existing series, but they were all easily read as stand-alones or out of order by a newcomer like me.
A Haunted House Murder by Leslie Meier #25.7 Lucy Stone
So, this one… was moderately engaging. I felt like I was waiting for something to happen. It didn’t help that I didn’t like most of the surrounding characters in Lucy’s family who ditched her and let her do everything around the house and with the visiting grandson when she had a job and all the errands and housekeeping. I don’t think it helped that there wasn’t a murder so ignore the title. I had already guessed what was going on with the Moons and their creepy house so maybe that was part of it, too. I might try a full length book in the series to see if those are more engaging.
Death by Haunted House by Lee Hollis, a Hailey Powell mystery
From what I could tell, this one took place in Hailey’s past before the time of the first book in the mystery series since she is married with young children and in the series she is divorced.
The story itself was humorous and reminded me so much of that old 80’s movie, The Burbs, because new creepy neighbors move into the supposed haunted house next door and then a murder happens. Hailey’s husband is convinced the neighbors are in it up to their necks and gets her suspicions up.
I liked it and enjoyed the humor mixed with the mystery though the authors did a foreshadowing of the troubles that probably led to the divorce. Hailey was working at the paper and doing almost everything else in the family including handling a husband who acted like a big kid much of the time. There were recipes tucked in with explanations which I liked, but wish they would have been placed at the end of chapters instead of the middle. The authors did manage a good chilling atmosphere when it came to the woods and that house next door. I’ll have to start this series from the get-go
Hallowed Out by Barbara Ross #7.5 A Maine Clambake Mystery
I was most impressed with this story based on setting, characters, background, and story development. This is a series I most wish to read more. It definitely felt like a little slice of coastal Maine and Halloween with the ghost tour. Julia was an engaging heroine and I liked the side characters. I had no idea who did the killing and enjoyed falling along as Julia and the police solved it.
All in all, it was a mixed bag, but one I enjoyed delving into because it was fun to encounter new to me authors and series which have given me more backlist books to look up. They definitely gave off a good Halloween vibe and that was what I was after. Cozy mystery fans are definitely the target audience.