Murder at the Pumpkin Pageant
Beacon Bakeshop Book 4
July 25th, 2023
Murder at the Pumpkin Pageant by Darci Hannah is a good book for the Halloween season since many are already decorating their houses. This Halloween atmosphere has ghosts, goblins, pranksters, costumes, pirates, clowns, and dogs in costume along with professional ghost hunters.
“This is the fourth book I have written in the series. I have the setting in Michigan. I love to bake, and my youngest brother bought a bakery so I incorporated a bakery and lighthouse into the series. I wanted to be a paranormal writer, so I slip some of this into my writing. When I started this series, I thought of a haunted lighthouse tale within a cozy mystery. I always visit a lot of lighthouses. I came to realize a lot of lighthouses have a history and a story about lingering lightkeepers. In this series the lighthouse has a history and a ghost story. Lindsey, the protagonist lives in the haunted lighthouse and has developed a working relationship with this lighthouse ghost. A lot of the techniques of the ghosts I use are from real lighthouses here in Michigan. People see eerie green lights which I incorporated in this story. There are a lot of shipwrecks here. Because I did dive on shipwrecks, I included it in the story.”
“I wrote the main character Lindsey with a financial background. She is practical, wants to make people happy, is pretty, and caring. She is from New York City and has moved to a Michigan small town. She has her mother’s looks and her father’s brain. She is not a social media person, more private.”
“Her boyfriend Rory is an ex-Navy SEAL who is very tall. He is a woodsy outdoorsman. The whole state shuts down in November during deer season. I wanted to put this cultural piece of Michigan into Rory’s character. He is very protective, kind, funny, intense, and a good diver. Together they are an item and are attracted to each other. She sees him as intriguing. They respect each other a lot.”
“I love dogs so there are a lot of dogs in my story. Wellington is Lindsey’s dog. He is a Newfoundland because I had a dog of that breed. He is the perfect dog for a lighthouse because they are big water dogs. He has freedom and space now.”
The plot has the main character, Lindsey, renovating an old lighthouse, for her home and bakery. In the story the Halloween festivities include Lindsey having in her bakery a lot of pumpkin-flavored treats. Lindsey has also reluctantly agreed to let her best friend, Kennedy, do her live podcast from the lighthouse with professional ghost hunters. But things go sideways after they all stumble upon a fresh corpse in Lindsey’s yard. First, they thought it was teens doing a prank, a clown as a dummy, but it’s a corpse. With the help of her friends and her resident ghost they strive to find the murderer.
“It was great fun to write a Halloween theme. The idea came from my publisher. There are pirates, the Wizard of Oz comes into it with the costume of a straw headed person. The “Pumpkin Pageant” had people dressed in costume along with their pets. Everyone in the bakery owned by the protagonist dressed in a theme costume. There is also a pumpkin carving contest. In fact, the next book in the series continues the holiday theme. It is titled Murder at the Blarney Bash, a St. Patrick’s Day book, but coming out in January. The plot has a new Irish import store being opened by Rory’s uncle and cousin. There will be a Leprechaun in the story.”
The mystery has many tricks and treats that include twists and turns. The action leaps from the pages. One of the treats the author gives her readers is the delicious seasonal recipes included at the back of the book.