Town in a Wild Moose Chase (Candy Holliday Mystery)
by B.B. Haywood
Cover Artist: Teresa Fasolino
Review by Gayle Surrette
Berkley Mass Market Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780425246177
Date: 07 February 2012 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Candy Holliday is relaxing and dreaming of her garden when she notices a man running out of the woods behind her house. She goes out to help and finds him injured, terrified, and nearly incoherent, but he tells her there is a dead man in the woods. It's Solomon Hatch, but no one believes her or the story he told her -- well, maybe Ben Clayton, her editor and boyfriend.
Making a few tries to follow Hatch's trail back into the woods, Candy doesn't find a body, but she does run into a white moose -- a big white moose. She later finds the same moose in her yard, her driveway, and it even follows her into town.
Meanwhile, the big event in Cape Willington, Maine, is the annual Winter Moose Fest and this year's ice sculptures. The sculptors are well known and everyone is looking forward to seeing their creations. Candy, of course, will be covering the event, but she keeps running into Wanda Boyle, town gossip and busybody, who now is publishing a blog with news and activities happening around town.
Candy is concerned that the police aren't really looking for the body. However, the police do have an officer assigned to tail her. For her own protection, of course, is what the chief says. Candy has every intention of staying out of this investigation, but one thing leads to another, the tension rises, town secrets are dug up again, and some new characters take a hand in helping Candy.
The town is one most of us would love to live in, except for all the murders that is. The characters are quirky, well-developed, interesting, and for Candy's benefit, well connected. The plot is interesting enough to hold up with enough misdirection to keep the reader guessing -- if not whodunit then whydunit.
NOTE: The book also contains recipes for some of the items mentioned in the story.