Title: Midnight Spells Murder
Author: Mary Angela
Series: Happy Camper Mysteries #2
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Release Date: July 13, 2021
Pages: 271
Book Source: Netgalley

“To celebrate Halloween at the Happy Camper, Zo schedules a talk by successful author and self-proclaimed witch Marianne Morgan. Although Marianne’s benign brand of witchcraft is more about feminine empowerment than black magic, her presence is still not welcomed by everyone. Then on a midnight stroll home, Zo spots what seems to be a new Halloween decoration propped up outside the Happy Camper. What she finds is not a mannequin but a dead Marianne, her lifeless body dressed in traditional witch’s garb. But why would someone send this good witch back to the spirit world permanently?

Soon Zo realizes that plenty of folks have motives for murdering Marianne. What’s worse, nosy TV newsman Justin Castle plans to broadcast a report associating Marianne’s murder with the Happy Camper. Zo calls on her partner in sleuthing, local forest ranger Max Harrington, to help her find the culprit before Justin’s report airs. Otherwise Zo’s business just might go bust. But to catch this killer, Zo will have to risk much more than just her reputation …” – Amazon

Kim’s Review

I read Open for Murder, the first book in the Happy Camper Mysteries by Mary Angela, and really enjoyed it. So when Midnight Spells Murder came to my attention and I saw that it was a Halloween cozy, I was super excited. And I’m always curious to see if the second book in a series can live up to the first book… and Mary Angela may have written an even better one!

Zo is once again tangled in a murder when the author who had given a book talk about women’s empowerment and is also a witch, turns up murdered outside Zo’s store’s front door. Zo jumps into investigating and while looking for clues she comes across more information about herself and her family. Mary Angela was able to weave these two different mysteries together perfectly.

While running around town talking to suspects, she and the Forest Ranger, Max, get a bit closer, George, her very large, orange tomcat gives everyone a scare, and we get to read about new, very well developed characters in the Happy Camper Mysteries.

Mary Angela shines with her descriptions of the Halloween decorations and festival, as well as all the descriptions of the stores and town and had me wanting Autumn to get here faster this year. The whodunit part will leave readers guessing with lots of red herrings and a killer they may not see coming.

Another great book in the Happy Camper Mysteries and I’m excited to see what adventures Zo gets into in the next book and if we find out more about her long lost family.

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