Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Book Review: Midnight Spells Murder by Mary Angela


Spirit Canyon’s annual Spirit Spooktacular weekend is on, and for local amateur sleuth Zo Jones, it’s boomtime for business at her Happy Camper gift shop . . . until a murderer drops in for a browse.

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.


Halloween. Murder. Yes, please. Midnight Spells Murder by Mary Angela is the second in the A Happy Camper series, the started with Open For Murder. Yes, it is the second but if you haven't read Open For Murder, you don't need to. I didn't read it, and I made it through Midnight Spells Murder perfectly fine. I am sure I missed some character history, such as the growing relationship between Zo and Max, but it did not take away from the story.

Zo is the owner of The Happy Camper, a gift shop in Spirit Canyon. She hosts an author book signing as part of a town-wide Halloween celebration, and when it is over finds the author dead dressed as a witch. She sets out to find the murderer before she is blamed for the crime. It is exactly what you want in a cozy mystery, however typical they usually are.

Ok. I will admit it. I totally chose this book because of the super sweet Halloween cover. I couldn't resist, it called my name. I know I should never pick a book based on the cover ( I bet you have also... tell me you haven't and I probably won't believe you LOL), but this time it worked out for me.  

The writing in the story is engaging and easy to read, making it quick and fun. The characters all seemed to have a purpose in the story, and for me, the secondary characters really played strong roles and added much humor to the story. There was also a secondary story, that involved Zo and her necklace, which was one of my favorite parts of the book.

The setting was perfect and it had me dreaming of cooler weather as I read ( It has been over 100 degrees here since we arrived home from San Diego and their 75-degree weather ) and the author's description of all the towns Halloween decorations and the seasonal parade had me craving some good ole pumpkin spice.

So turn up your AC, grab a cozy blanket, and some pumpkin spice whatever it is you drink, and sink in for a fun, cozy Halloween read with Midnight Spells Murder.


  1. Thank you for reading and reviewing! I’m so happy you enjoyed the book. I’m also glad I’m not the only one who is ready for fall!

  2. I want to read both of the books in this series. It looks like a good series.

  3. Ah pumpkin spice! A few months and it will be that time again!

  4. Halloween is my favorite so that cover would appeal to me too.

    Glad to hear it was an enjoyable read too.

    Karen @For What It's Worth