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Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Open for Murder (A Happy Camper Mystery #1) by Mary Angela

Open for Murder

(A Happy Camper Mystery #1)

by Mary Angela

Kindle Edition, 228 pages

Published November 24th 2020 by Lyrical Press

Goodreads synopsis: 

Deep in the heart of touristy small-town Spirit Canyon, South Dakota, former journalist Zo Jones runs the Happy Camper gift shop, where she sells everything from locally made souvenirs to memorabilia. She even rents out mountain bikes, and dabbles in the adventure industry—and sleuthing . . .

It’s Memorial Day weekend in Spirit Canyon, and for Zo that means the return of summer shoppers. It also means the return of her good friend Beth, who’s moved back to the area to reopen her family’s premier hotel, Spirit Canyon Lodge. Beth and Zo spent many childhood summers there and Zo can’t wait to reconnect and celebrate the Grand Opening. But the festivities go from bad to worse when a power outage knocks out the lights—and morning reveals a competitor’s dead body found on the premises . . .

Soon enough, Beth is the prime suspect in the suspicious death. Fortunately, Zo isn’t afraid to put her investigative skills to work and prove her friend’s innocence. To start digging for information, she appeals to Max Harrington, a local Forest Ranger and unlikely ally. Though they’ve argued about Happy Camper’s tours, in this case they agree on one thing: Beth isn’t a murderer. Stranger things have happened than their collaboration. After all, this is Spirit Canyon. But as the list of suspects grows, Zo will have to keep her guard up if she doesn’t want to be the next lodge guest to check out . . .


3 stars

This is the first book in the A Happy Camper series by Mary Angela.

I thought this book was okay. I had a hard time getting into it, honestly. I even restarted it twice trying to get the gist of the story into my brain. I guess this theme is just not the right one for me.

The police didn’t seem interested in solving the crime and took great pleasure at making Zo feel like crap on quite a few occasions. I liked the main character a lot but could feel her pain as she tried to solve the mystery that no one wanted to look at despite solve. I think they should have did a bit more brainstorming on this book. It could have been great with the right character motivations and plot points. It has good bones, for sure! I look forward to seeing where this series goes from here.

If you like cozy mysteries, definitely check this one out. You won’t be disappointed.

I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in return for an honest review. I thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for allowing me to read this title.

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