4 out of 4 stars
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Death by Pumpkin is the third book in the Rhe Brewster Mystery Series by N. A. Granger. You don’t need to read the first two books in the series to enjoy this excellent mystery! This book stands quite well on its own. There is a helpful foreword that includes a glossary of the main characters that were introduced in the first two books. This is a well-crafted mystery and an enjoyable read.
The main character in Death by Pumpkin is Rhe Brewster. Rhe is an ER nurse who lives in the fictional town of Pequod, Maine. Part of the entertainment during the annual Pequod Pumpkin Festival is the dropping of a giant pumpkin, from a large crane, onto an old car. Unfortunately, this year there was a body in the car beneath the pumpkin! Since Rhe is also a consultant with the small town police office, she joins in the efforts to solve the mystery of who the victim was, and why he came to such a squishy end.
This book reminded me a lot of the The Cat Who… mystery series by Lilian Jackson Braun. They both have an excellent small town feel with characters that could be your neighbours. This particular plot was well thought out and well-paced throughout the book. Even though the book was at a small town speed, the mystery added some very exciting elements.
I really enjoyed the fact that Rhe was an excellent and determined investigator. She worked through the mystery in a logical and realistic manner. She was a first-rate asset to the local police department and an excellent female role model. I also enjoyed the aspects of local life that were added into the story. Parts of the local culture and aspects of everyday life were woven into the fabric of the story in a realistic manner.
The only area where I felt there was room for some improvement was the dialogue text. It seemed a bit formal at times. There were phrases like “I would not know where to start looking.” instead of “I wouldn’t know where to start looking.”. This was a minor thing. Once I got used to it, it did not take away from my enjoyment of the book. I think it would also be helpful to add the pronunciation of the name Rhe to the glossary in the Foreword.
All in all, Death by Pumpkin was a great mystery with well-drawn characters and a solid plot. I really enjoyed the small town setting. Rhe was a strong female lead who was both intellectually and emotionally smart. The mystery and its impacts on Rhe’s life were woven together seamlessly. This book was an excellent stand-alone novel. It is also one that makes me want to read the earlier books so I can enjoy more of Rhe’s adventures! I give Death by Pumpkin by N. A. Granger 4 out of 4 stars. People who enjoy mysteries in a small town setting will really enjoy this book.
Death by Pumpkin
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