Midnight Spells Murder

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Published by: Lyrical Press
Release Date: July 13, 2021



Spirit Canyon's annual Spirit Spooktacular weekend is on, and for local amateur sleuth Zo Jones, it's boomtime for business at her Happy Camper gift shop . . . until a murderer drops in for a browse.

To celebrate Halloween at the Happy Camper, Zo schedules a talk by successful author and self-proclaimed witch Marianne Morgan. Although Marianne's benign brand of witchcraft is more about feminine empowerment than black magic, her presence is still not welcomed by everyone. Then on a midnight stroll home, Zo spots what seems to be a new Halloween decoration propped up outside the Happy Camper. What she finds is not a mannequin but a dead Marianne, her lifeless body dressed in traditional witch's garb. But why would someone send this good witch back to the spirit world permanently?

Soon Zo realizes that plenty of folks have motives for murdering Marianne. What's worse, nosy TV newsman Justin Castle plans to broadcast a report associating Marianne's murder with the Happy Camper. Zo calls on her partner in sleuthing, local forest ranger Max Harrington, to help her find the culprit before Justin's report airs. Otherwise Zo's business just might go bust. But to catch this killer, Zo will have to risk much more than just her reputation . . .


“Zo continues to be a witty heroine whose life experience and genuine appreciation of Spirit Canyon make her a winning investigator, one whose blogs for the local newspaper deserve to be shared. Readers will be looking forward to the next in this fun series that highlights a charming town, aggressively slothful cat, and a woman finding her Happy Place." Kings River Life Magazine 


“MIDNIGHT SPELLS MURDER is full of treats, nasty tricks, and a determined amateur sleuth.” Fresh Fiction


"...diving into Spooky Spirit Canyon was sublime. I loved all the descriptions of costumes, pumpkin carvings and the parade. Midnight Spells Murder was over way too soon for my liking and I'm eagerly awaiting the next book." --Books Read By a Prairie Girl


"The second book in this series has left me a very happy camper. I really enjoyed the first book and was thrilled to see the second one. Filled with enjoyable characters and a solid whodunit! I’m ready for Halloween after reading this…and we have awhile to go before October even thinks about making an appearance. While each book focuses on solving a mystery, I really enjoying learning a little more about Zo as she learns it herself. Seeing Zo forming new relationships and nurturing others makes this one series that has me tuning in for more than just the whodunit. A great cozy that will have you coming back for more too!"

--Cozy On Up


“Midnight Spells Murder is the second book in the “A Happy Camper Mystery” series and is as good, if not better, than the first book.” --The Cozy Review


“I read this in one day because I just couldn’t put it down!” –Texas Reader Girl


“I love a holiday themed cozy mystery, and Midnight Spells Murder really delivers! Not only does it have spooky Halloween vibes, but it also has hints of wintery holiday fun to come!” –I Like Old Books


“I’m always curious to see if the second book in a series can live up to the first book… and Mary Angela may have written an even better one!” Cozy Mystery Launch


“Zo Jones is a terrific leading lady. She’s smart and brave and funny. Her gift shop is a place I’d love to hang out, and Spirit Canyon is filled with the beauty of the Black Hills. Angela’s descriptions add another powerful layer on top of the complex and twisty plot and engaging characters.” ~Author Elena Taylor

“With plenty of suspects, clues, and red herrings, this mystery will have you guessing whodunit along with Zo.” ~Diane Reviews Books 

“Autumn in Spirit Canyon may bring on the chills, but curling up with a hot beverage and this book will leave you warm inside. Friendship, humor, and happiness combine to make MIDNIGHT SPELLS MURDER a success.” ~Cozy Up With Kathy 

“I love Zo's friendships, the camaraderie, and the way the author wrote their interactions. The character development and world-building continued in book 2 and I have fallen more in love with Spirit Canyon and its unique citizens.” ~Sapphyria's Books

“You will not be disappointed if you pick up this book but be prepared to spend some time. You will be drawn into the town, drawn to the people there, and want to find someplace like it in your real life.” ~Laura's Interests


Book Club Questions 

The theme of author Marianne Morgan’s book talk is Embrace Your Inner Witch. Do you believe women (or men) have an “inner witch”? Do they suppress it? How and under what circumstances? How might they embrace those parts of themselves that are thought of as “witchy”? Discuss as a group.


In Midnight Spells Murder, a townsperson scoffs at the Halloween parade, decorations, and festivities. She sees the event as harmful to her children. Do you think people make too much of the holiday? Do they decorate too early or too much? Do you think adults should wear costumes/attend parties, or should those activities be reserved for children? Could they be harmful? How do you celebrate the holiday?


Throughout the novel, strange things happen that Zo can’t explain. If she didn’t know better, she’d think a ghost is trying to give her clues to the murderer’s identity. Have you ever encountered something you couldn’t explain? Have you ever been in a place that felt creepy or haunted? Do you believe in ghosts?


Also in this series: