Book Review (and a Giveaway!): Open for Murder by Mary Angela

Posted December 3, 2020 by meezcarrie in contemporary, cozy mystery, giveaway, Mary Angela, mystery/suspense / 16 Comments

A Happy Camper Mystery #1
GENRE: Cozy Mystery
PUBLISHER: Lyrical Press
RELEASE DATE: November 24, 2020
PAGES: 207

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 . . .


Longer review coming later…

Bottom Line: Open For Murder is a cute start to a new series! Though it took a bit to get going, once it did I was fully on board. The picturesque setting & Zo’s unique shop add new layers to the story, and I loved the romantic possibilities between Zo & Max. The mystery was nicely plotted & engaging, and I’m already looking forward to my next visit to the Happy Camper!

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received via the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating:

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© Julie Prairie Photography 2016

Mary Angela is the author of the Professor Prather and Happy Camper cozy mystery series. When Mary isn’t penning heartwarming whodunits, she’s teaching, reading, traveling, or spending time with her family. She lives in South Dakota with her husband, daughters, and spoiled pets. You can find out more about her loves, including her writing, at

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16 responses to “Book Review (and a Giveaway!): Open for Murder by Mary Angela

  1. Mary Angela

    Thank you for the kind review! I really appreciate it. This is a terrific blog/website. I’ll be visiting it for reading recommendations. Thanks again, and have a wonderful holiday season!

  2. Sharon Gullikson

    I love murder mysteries, but haven’t read any in the last few years. I would LOVE to read this

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