Friday 9 February 2024

Easter Basket Murder by Leslie Meier, Lee Hollis, & Barbara Ross

Put on your springtime best and grab a basket, because Easter egg hunting is to dye for in this delightful new collection of Easter-themed capers set in coastal Maine and featuring fan-favorite sleuths from the long-running, bestselling cozy mystery series by Leslie Meier, Lee Hollis, and Barbara Ross!


Tinker’s Cove businesses are clashing over a new Easter Basket–themed promotion to boost in-store sales, with tensions boiling over the grand prize—a mysterious golden egg crafted by a reclusive Maine artist. When the one-of-a-kind art piece is stolen, it’s up to part-time reporter Lucy Stone to investigate three struggling entrepreneurs who stick out in the local scene. But a huge town scandal comes into focus when a harmless shopping spree turns deadly, leaving Lucy to stop a murderer from springing back into action . . .


As Bar Harbor’s annual egg hunt approaches, Island Food & Spirits columnist and restauranteur Hayley Powell is thrilled to introduce her grandson, Eli, to local springtime traditions. Turns out, keeping up with a rambunctious toddler isn’t always sunshine and rainbows—especially when a decadent peanut butter treat kills the Easter bunny himself during the festivities! Now, with a clear-as-cellophane case of murder on her hands, it’s up to Hayley to crack the clues and scramble deadly plans before it’s too late . . .


Julia Snowden’s Easter Sunday at Windsholme, a sprawling mansion tucked away on a remote Maine island, looks like it’s been borrowed from the pages of a lifestyle magazine. But when a dead body is discovered in the garden—then vanishes soon after without any explanation—an innocent hunt for eggs becomes a dangerous hunt for answers. With no clues beyond a copy of The Adventures of Peter Rabbit , Julia must find out if April Fool’s Day came early or if she’s caught in a killer’s twisted game . . .  (Summary via Goodreads)

I love reading novellas ... it's like an entire story written within a hundred pages or so.  And Kensington Publishing publishes a few books a year with three novellas in one book.  This is great when you don't have a lot of time but still want to feel like you accomplished reading a story.  And Easter Basket Murder not only will help with your book reading but get you into the Easter and Spring seasons.  And another thing I like about this concept is that it allows you to maybe read authors that you haven't read before and allows you a glimpse into their books.  The only times I have read books or stories by Leslie Meier and Lee Hollis are in other three novella books, however, I am a huge fan of Barbara Ross.


Easter Basket Murder says it all !!  It is just before Easter in Tinker Cove and the Chamber of Commerce is trying to get more business to the local businesses during the off season.  They decide to host a shopping spree to get more locals shopping and the prize is a huge Easter basket full of goodies with a golden egg sculptured by local artiist Karl Klaus donated.  Unfortunately while on displayed at the bank, the egg is stolen.  Main character of this series, Lucy Stone, who is a reporter for the local newspaper, jumps on the case.  But everyone that she interviews points the finger at someone else so the suspect list is longer than Santa's naughty list.  

At another local fundraiser the egg is uncovered but the person who is arrested is the last person you would suspect !!  Lucy, who is always on the case, keeps digging.  But her investigating and digging digs up more secrets and one turns deadly.....


Hayley Powell has a very hectic life and that is exactly how she likes it but this Easter may be just a little more than she bargained for.  Hayley's son, Dustin, his girlfriend MacKenzie and their son Eli are in town to spend Easter with her and her husband Bruce.  But Hayley did not know that there was going to be a theft at the bank and the Easter Bunny dying during the annual Easter egg hunt. The gentlemen dressed up as the Easter Bunny, Raymond Dobbs, is also the security guard at the bank and has been since Hayley can remember and everyone knows that Raymond was allergic to peanuts so when it is discovered that he died from eating chocolate eggs stuffed with peanut butter and his basket was switched so he didn't have his epiPen, it is ruled a murder.  Hayley needs to find out who killed Ray because she found Eli with the switched basket, Ray's real one.  

HOPPED ALONG by Barbara Ross

I just love the Maine Clambake Mystery series and anytime I can escape to Busman's Harbor or Morrow Island and the Windsholme estate, I will go in a heartbeat !!  Julia Snowden is the main character in this series and in Hopped Along the Snowden family and friends are having their first Easter celebration at the newly renovated Windsholme estate.  Things get a little wierd when Julia's nephew Jack finds an unconscious man dressed in a suit laying in the garden.  But when Julia goes back with her boyfriend Tom who is a detective, the man is gone !!  

Julia being Julia cannot get the wierd encounter out of her mind and when she goes to check on her friend Quentin's house while he is vacationing elsewhere, she finds the man from the island making soup in Quentin's kitchen.  Things turn even wierder when she goes back to the house after confirming with Quentin that the gentlemen should not be there and she finds a dead body.  It looks like the same man from the island but something doesn't feel right to Julia.....

I LOVE when you can read three short stories and feel like it is an entire book.  Even though these stories are around one hundred pages each, you can enjoy them in one sitting if you wanted to.  I am always amazed when I read novella's and marvel at the author's ability to write such a captivating story in a novella size .... especially when a murder needs to be solved.

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