Genre: cozy mystery
Cover: very nice, but it has nothing to do with the story or the mystery.
Muffin maker Merry Wynter hopes to find a buyer for the castle she's recently inherited. But when she throws a party to draw interest, she finds someone who's bought the farm instead...
Merry's career as a New York City stylist has crumbled, but her passion for muffins has helped her rise upstate in Autumn Vale. Everyone in town loves the tasty treats. Still, she would like to return to her glamorous life. Besides, the upkeep of Wynter Castle is expensive, and Merry's cup isn't exactly overflowing.
So in order to bring some prospective buyers into the mix, Merry whisks together a spooky soiree and decorates the castle with dashes of fabric and a sprinkling of spider webs. Friends new and old are invited, and everyone has a blast. But as the revelers empty out, Merry notices one partygoer who isn't leaving - or breathing. Now Merry must hurry to unmask a killer before her perfect plans turn into a recipe for disaster...
Merry Wynter has inherited a real American castle from her great-uncle, and she would dearly love to keep it, but she just can’t afford it. She is running a small muffin bakery business from it, and with the help of her two best friends and some local hired help, is doing her best to clean it up so prospective buyers can see its potential.
The idea is to host a Halloween party, to show it off. But when the party is crashed by a bunch of locals, and Merry ends the night by finding a real corpse in the display coffin, the party is over. She can’t believe her good friend Pish is actually a suspect, and she is hurt when he doesn’t want to tell her the story as to why he knew the dead man.
And then there is Cranston, a man claiming to be her uncle’s grandson, and he wants a piece of her inheritance. Is he really her family, or just a con-man? He sure is a nuisance, and Merry refuses to let him stay in the castle, even though there are of course plenty of rooms.
Merry is determined to find out what the deceased was doing on her land, and who killed him. And to do that, she needs to find out the identity of all the locals who crashed her party. And that sure puts her into danger …
I really like Merry, who is an older heroine close to my own age, who is trying to build a new life after a career in New York city. She loves the castle, and she has made some friends with the locals, she is caring and educated and still grieving her husband’s death.
The mystery was a good one, and scary.
But what really annoyed me, were the many repetitions in this book. Not only what happened in the first book, that is to be expected, but her observations of people and places kept being repeated as well. And the action, the murder, did happen pretty far in to the book.
Merry did learn new things about her mother and her great-uncle though, and I hope she will learn even more about her family’s history in the next book. It is entertaining to read.
© 2015 Reviews by Aurian