Tuesday, August 21, 2018

A Deadly Brew (A Tourist Trap Mystery 9.5)

Author:  Lynn Cahoon
Genre:  Mystery

Digital Book
Lyrical Press (Penguin)
67 Pages
$1.99 Amazon
September 4, 2018


The house sat empty for fifteen years, taking up prime real estate along the picturesque coastline.  Built by one of the founders of South Cove, its last known owner, Maryanne Demerit, vanished without a trace.  Now her home will be demolished for a condo development, but until then, it's the perfect spot for a Halloween haunted house.

Jill Gardner, owner of Coffee, Books, and More, her boyfriend, and three other couples are spending the weekend in the Demerit home.  But what begins as an all-in-good-fun fright fest turns into a mystery begging to be solved as Jill is contacted by the ghost of Maryanne....


It's nearing Halloween, and Jill Gardner, owner of Coffee, Books, and More in the small town of South Cove, California, has agreed to spend a weekend in a soon-to-be torn down haunted house, along with her boyfriend Greg King, South Cove's sheriff, and three other couples.  Among them is Greg's receptionist and local psychic Esmeralda, who insists that the house really is haunted.

When they find a room full of potions they decide to do an impromptu seance that leads them to discover that the the resident ghost is a woman named Maryanne, who was also a witch, but others are not so sure.    They also have a partial idea of why she's there - to find her child - Jill's ever-active curiosity takes off, especially after a disturbing dream about Maryanne during which Greg was having trouble waking her.

While exploring the house Jill and her friend come across a remarkable scene in what appears to be a library, and it strengthens the idea that something indeed is going on.  But it will take the entire group to find the truth of the matter and why Maryanne is still remaining nearby...

This is a short story written by the prolific and talented Lynn Cahoon, part of the Tourist Trap Mysteries.  Because of some of the things written (a scene involving Sasha, for one) I get the idea that this was written earlier but never published in the order it should have been.  However, as far as short stories go it was not only quick, as it was meant to be, but delightfully semi-spooky as well.

I rarely read short stories because I don't feel they give enough background nor information before they've ended, but Ms. Cahoon has managed to incorporate our characters well - and if you read it you know them well; if not, I suggest you start with the beginning Guidebook to Murder, because the series will reel you in and you'll want to read the others.  The writing is brisk, the mystery well done, the plot line intriguing.  Another sparkling tale in the series, which is always welcome.

Anyway, it's a delightful tale that doesn't have a scary quality, but still has a couple of nice scenes, and discovering the truth of what happened to Maryanne is not only interesting, it shows us how easily the author can pull us into the story and keep us there to the end.  I truly enjoyed this one, and if I had any questions, the only one would be, why didn't Maryanne just stay in Louisiana?  Highly recommended.


Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2502365057

More on Lynn Cahoon's Books:  https://www.fantasticfiction.com/c/lynn-cahoon/

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