Town in a Pumpkin Bash (Candy Holliday)
by B.B. Haywood
Cover Artist: Teresa Fasolino
Review by Gayle Surrette
Berkley Mass Market Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780425251881
Date: 05 February 2013 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Candy Holliday and her best friend, Maggie Tremont, have taken over the running of the Pumpkin Patch. Business is booming with the approach of Halloween and the town of Cape Willington's third annual Pumpkin Bash. They'd managed to raise the pumpkins following the directions of the land's owner, Mr. Gumm. They'd even added a hayride to generate extra money. The ride toured the upper and lower pumpkin fields where they'd put up some explanatory scary scenes and gave a short lecture on the spookier aspects of Cape Willington and the pumpkin patch. However, when a child pointed out legs sticking out from under a pile of pumpkins, Maggie and Candy knew they hadn't set up that scene. It was a body and Candy was right in the middle of another murder.
Town in a Pumpkin Bash is the fourth in B.B. Haywood's series about the fictional town of Cape Willington, Maine. Haywood shows his understanding of small town living in a rural state with little industry in a slow economy. Candy and Maggie, as do many people, must scramble to find paying work to help meet their expenses. Candy, with her father, runs Blueberry Farms and also works as the Community Correspondent for the local paper, the Cape Crier.
Finding the body buried under pumpkins at the Pumpkin Patch, means that Candy is once again involved in a murder investigation. Because of her work on the local paper, she has connections to many of the people in town who may be connected to the victim in some way. It doesn't take long to find out that this murder may be related to a previous murder and may also be connected as previous murders have been to the two major families in town -- the Pruitts and the Sykes.
Each book in the series can be read as a stand-alone novel; however, each also contains threads that link the mysteries together and with Town in a Pumpkin Bush seem to be leading up to a future book that may pull all of these threads together for a final solution where all the true criminals will be unmasked.
There's plenty of quirky characters and a solid mystery to be solved. Candy is a believable amateur sleuth as she's observant, well meaning, curious, and loves to solve puzzles. Violence takes place off the page and there is no sex scenes -- so safe for all readers.
The book also contains some recipes for Holly Holliday's Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread, Wild Rice and Pumpkin Pilaf, Melody Barnes's Pumpkin Soup, and Candy Holliday's Pumpkin Cheesecake Swirl.