Monday, October 23, 2017


Title:  Halloween is Murder
Author: Carolyn Arnold
Series: (McKinley Mysteries #11)
Publisher: Hibbert Stiles Publishing
Source: Author via Beck Valley Book Tours 
in exchange for an honest review
Format: Ebook
Published: October 3, 2017
Genre(s): Cozy Mystery
Reading Challenges:  2017 New Release Challenge


As a big fan of Carolyn Arnold, after reading Violated from her Brandon Fisher series, I could not wait to read Halloween is Murder. It has been awhile since I read a cozy mystery. The ones I read are those written by Agatha Christie and to be honest I never felt compelled to read any other cozies until now.  After all Carolyn Arnold is the author.

Halloween is Murder is the eleventh book in the McKinley series. However, it can be read without having to read the previous books.

What the story is about.

Sean and Sara McKinley are former police officers turned private investigators. The name of their firm is Pay It Forward Investigations, which is fitting given their philanthropic nature. They are launching a haunted house charity event, which is being covered by the media. Chloe Parsons is the reporter responsible for featuring the event. Unfortunately, after filming the event she was found dead in her apartment.  Did she die from natural causes or was she murdered?

The Story

This was a quick and easy read. There was humour and a dash of romance. I found the pacing slow for my tastes, but I still enjoyed the plot, characterisation and development. It held my attention from start to finish.

The Characters

Although this is book eleven in the series, there is sufficient background information, which allowed me to establish a connection with the characters.

I admired Sara for her tenacity. She concluded that the circumstances surrounding the reporter’s death was suspicious, and she was not willing to give up until her suspicions were satisfied. She relies on her gut instinct in conducting investigations.  Sean on the other hand relies on hard evidence, but he has learned to trust his wife’s instincts, making them the perfect investigating duo.

They say variety is the spice of life and this was evident from the varying range of characters who brought the story alive. From the grumpy medical examiner to the snarky computer geek, they added their own blend of spice to story.

The Mystery

Due to the lack of danger and conflict, the intense and edge of your seat feeling one would expect from mysteries was absent.  I thought the mystery developed nicely. The author created a wide pool of suspects making it difficult to figure out who or what was behind Chloe’s demise. It was not until near the end that all was revealed, but that did not stop me from trying to figure it out on my own.


I had a good time with this installment and I will be looking to read the previous books in the series. If you enjoy cozies, then you may want to give this series a try.

Beware of all that goes bump in the night…

Sean and Sara McKinley are excited about the haunted house they’ve set up as a Halloween charity fund-raiser, but things take a ghoulish turn when the reporter covering their story is found dead. With the media keeping mum about how she died, Sara’s curiosity is piqued, and she convinces Sean to take on the investigation through their PI firm.

But this case is not without its challenges. The police are actively investigating it, as well, and it’s not even clear that the woman was murdered. It will take a little cloak-and-dagger, dress-up, and finesse for the McKinleys to get to the bottom of it, but they aren’t the kind to give up.
As they troll for leads and work through the skeletons in the reporter’s closet, they unearth a few suspects, but they’ll need to carve out the whole truth if they’re going to find her killer. If they do so fast enough, there might even be time for a little trick-or-treating

What to expect from the McKinley Mysteries:

Romance. Humor. Murder. 
Are you looking for a murder mystery without all the graphic violence and foul language? 
Something that you can enjoy in an afternoon and walk away feeling good about afterward? 
How about a dash of humor and romance? 
If so, meet former detectives Sean and Sara McKinley. 
When a billionaire leaves them all his money, they no longer have to work, but they find themselves sticking to what they’re good at—solving murders. 
Undercover, off the books, and around the world, they’ll get to the bottom of things…and romance it up along the way.

Read an excerpt


About the author

CAROLYN ARNOLD is an international best-selling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has four continuing fiction series—Detective Madison Knight, Brandon Fisher FBI, McKinley Mysteries, and Matthew Connor Adventures—and has written nearly thirty books. Her genre diversity offers her readers everything from cozy to hard-boiled mysteries, and thrillers to action adventures.

Both her female detective and FBI profiler series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining, leading her to adopt the trademark: POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™.

Carolyn was born in a small town and enjoys spending time outdoors, but she also loves the lights of a big city. Grounded by her roots and lifted by her dreams, her overactive imagination insists that she tell her stories. Her intention is to touch the hearts of millions with her books, to entertain, inspire, and empower.

She currently lives just west of Toronto with her husband and beagle and is a member of Crime Writers of Canada.

Find the author on the following sites... 

Newsletter   Website   Facebook   Twitter    Google+   Pinterest   Goodreads   Amazon Author Page

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