Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Pumpkin Muffin Murder-Livia J. Washburn

The Pumpkin Muffin Murder
Livia J. Washburn
Obsidian, Nov 2 2010, $14.00
ISBN: 9780451231321

As the Thanksgiving Holiday nears, Phyllis Newsom is happy to be spending the time with her grandson Bobby while his parents are visiting his dying maternal grandfather. She is especially looking forward to showing him the Harvest Festival that she is helping to arrange. On opening day, Phyliss’ friend Carolyn notices one of the scarecrows has been moved to a different locale; she looks closer only to realize she is staring at a dead person, realtor Logan Powell.

The subsequent autopsy confirms Logan was murdered. Suspicion falls on his wife Dana as witnesses state they saw the couple fighting. Further evidence leads to Dana’s arrest on a first degree murder charge. Phyliss is positive that Dana is innocent and at the bail hearing she tells the judge she will keep the accused at her house until the Grand Jury convenes. Dana explains to Phyliss that she was positive that Logan cheated on her so confronted him and that he was involved in a lucrative real state deal. Phyliss investigates because she knows her friend is innocent but doubts the authorities will look any further.

In this age of distant social networking, it is fascinating to see the close knit community of small town Weatherford, Texas. Phyliss has solved murder cases before (see Killer Crab Cakes and The Christmas Cookie Killer) that baffles the cops who she often gets to talk to her about the case as they wonder how she puts together the puzzle pieces. This feisty grandma makes this Fresh-Baked Mystery a fun read.

Harriet Klausner

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