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Halloween Mayhem in Cedar Valley

Let me first say that I absolutely love the hand lettering cozy mystery series, and I am always happy when another book in the series shows up at my favorite book review site. I love the elements of hand lettering that the author weaves into the story, and she has created a main character in Jamie Lang who does have an attention to detail that a hand letterer would have. This comes in handy because she is often embroiled in mysteries, of course! I enjoyed the Halloween and fall aspects of this particular story are. Cedar Valley appears to go all out for it, including a zombie run. But it turns out that one of the number isn’t one of the undead but has actually been murdered. And of course, Jamie has to get involved. The people love to gab in the small town but not always with law enforcement… and even sometimes Jamie.

I like the community that the author has developed for this series. A good cozy needs a community of quirky characters, and this one has it. Unfortunately, in this installment of the series, I felt like the cozy aspect overwhelmed in the mystery aspect. The book is relatively short, but the murder doesn’t happen until close to the 20% mark, not leaving as much it time to fully develop the murder plot as I would have liked. The stuff earlier about all the goings-on in Cedar Valley for the festivities was definitely delightful and interesting, but I always feel like I just want to get to the dead body in a mystery so that the mystery part can start to unwind, take its twists and turns, and still leave plenty of space for red herrings and dead ends. Still, I did enjoy this book, mostly for revisiting favorite characters. (But what about Aunt Opal? Missed her!)

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