Rating: 4 / 5
I received MIDNIGHT SPELLS MURDER by Mary Angela in the Sweet Halloween Box from Once Upon a Book Club. I didn’t know anything about this one, but it was the perfect pick for my prompt for a book set at my favorite time of year as the Halloween vibes of this cover definitely say ‘fall’.
MIDNIGHT SPELLS MURDER is the second book in the author’s A Happy Camper Mystery series. In this one, Zo has scheduled an author’s talk at the Happy Camper with self-proclaimed “witch” Marianne Morgan. Her brand is all about female empowerment, so it is a different sort of witchiness, but there are still some who thing she’s promoting evil. When she turns up dead near the shop, dressed in a witch costume, Zo is the one to discover her. Hoping to protect herself, her shop, and her friends, Zo is on the case to discover what happened to Marianne and discover some things about herself along the way.
I did not realize this was a second in a series until I was well into this book, so I can absolutely say that this works perfectly fine as a standalone. I am not sure what the story line was for the first book, but everything I needed to know about the characters and their connections came through in this book on its own.
I really enjoyed reading this one. Cozy mysteries can be a bit hit or miss for me as I tend more toward the darker read (no one will be surprised by this, I am sure!), but this one really hooked me in and kept me reading. There are wonderful friendships and even a touch of romance with some fun fall/Halloween vibes and a couple of good mysteries to uncover. The author did a great job of giving plenty of potential suspects who might have held a grudge against Marianne to keep me guessing. I really enjoyed the personal mystery that gets added in for Zo as well to add some extra layers to the story.
This isn’t a book I likely would have picked up if it weren’t for the box and I am glad that I had the chance to read this one! If you are interested in checking out one of the boxes from Once Upon a Book Club without committing to a monthly sub, the box for this book is available in their shop as of the time I’m writing this. Also remember that DGREADS10 will give you 10% off your first order!
#PopsugarReadingChallenge – a book set in your favorite season