Halloween is approaching and newlywed Liss MacCrimmon Ruskin is tapped by the Moosetookalook Small Business Association to organize a community fundraiser. Liss throws herself into plans to turn an abandoned mansion into a “haunted house.”
There are already all kinds of scary stories about the old Chadwick place, which was most recently owned by Blackie O’Hare, a mob hit man from Boston. There are even rumors of buried treasure on the premises. Unfortunately, work on the haunted house is plagued by a series of minor mishaps and by the disappearance and reappearance of various objects. And then, to Liss’ horror, the fake skeleton she’s acquired for a special effect is replaced with a real body—and it’s someone she knows…
VAMPIRES, BONES, AND TREACLE SCONES was a fun, not-too-complicated mystery set in the quaint town of Moosetookalook, Maine. (Cute name, huh?) I’m new to the Liss MacCrimmon series, and even though this is the seventh book, I had to read it. The Halloween theme drew me in.
The book started out strong with Liss setting up a haunted house for a town fundraiser. The location was an abandoned Gothic mansion, the former home of a deceased mobster who is thought to have left his loot hidden somewhere on the property. Liss’ big party plans are thwarted when one of the spooky props turns out to be a murder victim, someone she knows personally.
Liss MacCrimmon was a likable character and very sensible when it came to amateur sleuthing. She conducted a smart investigation that helped nudge the police in the right direction. I thought is was nifty that she was a former Scottish dancer who now runs an “all things Scottish” store in Moosetookalook. Even with me jumping in at book seven, I still got to know Liss pretty well.
The mystery itself was good though not too exciting. I had things figured out fairly early on. One thing I didn’t like was the big time jump that took place. One moment it’s Halloween, and in the next paragraph it’s February. I’m not sure what the point of the fast-forward was. Something I really liked was the side story about Boxer Snipes. Loved him. Clever kid!
If you’re into Halloween cozies, I’d say give this one a shot. I’m tempted to read the earlier books and find out more about Moosetookalook.
Ratings: 3½ Stars
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.