Candy Corn Murder
A number of years ago, I had read almost all of Leslie Meier's holiday murders. Those books got pushed aside as I began reading an increasing number of books for review. But some things cannot remain buried forever, and they will come back again. And so it has.
Candy Corn Murder is not Ms. Meier's best cozy mystery, but it did hold my attention. The story develops along two paths – the one following the murder as it occurred in 1979, the other in the present as the Lucy Stone and her friends stumble through the clues to discover the true circumstances of the missing wife. The present setting is Tinker's Cove, Maine, where the first annual Giant Pumpkin Fest is about to begin. The biggest problem proves to be that if held as scheduled, secrets that some thought were long buried were going to be exposed.
The plot moves along at a nice pace – but reaches its end too abruptly. From major plot events, to conclusion, to wrap-up, the book seems to miss a potential climatic end. For a book that has a major, underlying theme, it is lost as the books wanders through its last few paragraphs. As the author wrote her final paragraphs, they should have been woven into a two or three separate chapters:
Wrapping up a number of secondary stories involving miscellaneous characters
Tying a pink ribbon around the important thesis which the final event of the book addresses
In not doing so, the reader is forced to blink as the book moves between each of these pieces of the story.
The book, none-the-less, is worth reading. In spite of its flaws, it comes with a high (five-star) recommendation. Leslie Meier has again presented an excellent tale in the midst of another holiday season.
This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions expressed are my own.