Carolyn Arnold stopped by to answer some questions about her cozy mystery Halloween Is Murder from her McKinley Mystery series. So, without further delay…
What inspired you to write Halloween Is Murder?
Halloween is probably the most popular holiday next to Christmas! Who wouldn’t want to read a Halloween-themed murder mystery? And it’s kept light and fun.
I understand this is part of the McKinley Mystery series, but can this book stand on its own? And can you share with us what the book is about?
Halloween is Murder can easily be read as a standalone.
In Halloween is Murder, Sean and Sara McKinley are set to celebrate Halloween in style, and they’re eager to invite the entire city to visit their haunted house fund-raiser. But their recorded segment for a local television station goes unaired and the reporter is later found dead. Sara’s determined to get answers, and she brings Sean and their entire PI firm along with her. There are more tricks than treats, however, as they try to carve out the truth.
Please tell us a little more about the McKinleys and their series.
Romance. Humor. Murder.
Those three words best sum up what readers can expect from the McKinley Mysteries series.
These stories are cozy in nature and appeal to readers who love a murder mystery without the gore or foul language. Each installment is novella length, with the exception of The Day Job is Murder, which is a short story. This makes the books “perfect for curling up for an afternoon” (Brooke Blogs) and “perfect to bring along on vacation” (Bound 4 Escape). The Layaway Dragon describes the series as, “perfect if you like clean-cut characters, a sweetheart romance, having the money to follow your dreams, and crime-solving abilities.”
To tell you a bit more, Sean and Sara McKinley are former homicide detectives with a talent for attracting death investigations wherever they go. When a billionaire leaves them all his money, they no longer have to work for a living, but they find themselves sticking to what they’re good at—solving murders. From sleuths to eventual private investigators, they’ll do whatever it takes to solve a case. Whether that means going undercover, off the books, or around the world, you can be certain they’ll be romancing it up along the way.
This is the perfect book series for fans of Hart to Hart, Castle, Colombo, Monk, Rockford Files, Psych, and Magnum, P.I.
What can readers expect when they crack the cover?
They can expect to feel the chill in the air, to see the colored leaves on the ground, and to slip into the world of make-believe in true Halloween spirit while Sean and Sara search for a killer. There is also, of course, some humor and romance along the way.
Name one specific just-for-fun liberty you took with the book?
In Christmas is Murder, I named the chapters after holiday-related songs, and I carried a bit of this fun over to Halloween Is Murder. Each chapter is titled with a play on Halloween-related words or phrases. Here are some examples (in no particular order): “Dreading the ‘Boo,’” “Stuck Between a Grave and a Tombstone,” “An Attempt to Sweeten the Cauldron,” and “Grim Reaper Claims a Victim.”
What’s your favorite part about Halloween?
Seeing how happy people are when they dress up and pretend to be someone else for the night. And let’s not forget the candy!
What makes Halloween Is Murder the perfect Halloween read?
It’s fun and light, just like the holiday. Throw in a murder to solve, dressing up, some cloak-and-dagger, and a haunted house, and who can say no to that?
What do Sean and Sara McKinley investigate in Halloween Is Murder?
I think the blurb says it best…
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.
With the police actively investigating and with no clear indication that the woman was murdered, the McKinleys will need to take a cloak-and-dagger approach if they’re going to carve out the truth. As they troll for leads and work through the skeletons in the reporter’s closet, they unearth a few suspects. If they’re able to narrow them down fast enough, there might even be time for a little trick-or-treating.
And where can we buy Halloween Is Murder?
You can buy Halloween is Murder in ebook, paperback, and large print edition.