Pumpkin Picking with Murder (An Otter Lake Mystery, #2)by Auralee Wallace

Published August 30th 2016 by St. Martin’s Paperbacks

3.5 Stars

Synopsis: When murder strikes in the Tunnel of Love, Erica Bloom has to rock the boat to catch a killer…

For a small town like Otter Lake, New Hampshire, the annual Fall Festival is a big deal: a Ferris wheel, corn maze, caramel apples and pumpkin pies—even a Tunnel of Love. Back in her hometown, Erica Bloom is trying to enjoy herself, which includes getting better acquainted with Sheriff Grady Forrester. But when a swan boat sails out of the heart-shaped exit of the tunnel with a dead man slumped over a wing, her own romance will have to take a backseat.


Speaking of love affairs, the other passenger in the boat—and only witness to the elderly Mr. Masterson’s swan song—is not his wife. It’s Erica’s beloved and feisty “aunt,” Tweety, who quickly becomes the prime suspect. Vowing to clear Tweety, Erica teams up with her sassy BFF and self-appointed security expert Freddie Ng to solve the murder—despite the objections of Grady, who’s convinced the amateurs are going overboard in their investigation. And he just may be right. But as Erica and Freddie start to dredge up long-kept small-town secrets, will they heading straight into troubled waters?

Pumpkin Picking with Murder is the second book in Auralee Wallace’s Otter Lake Mystery series!

My Review: This is the first book I read in the Otter Lake Mystery Series and I really had mixed feelings about it. When I started the book, I almost put it back down. The author just seemed like she was trying to hard to be funny. The characters in Otter Lake all seem to be rather eccentric. Names like KitKat and Tweety, along with the retreat belonging to the mother of the main character holding a vow of silence retreat and the mom miming when she tries to communicate with her daughter just seemed to be a bit over the top. Having said all that, once I got in to the story, I began to enjoy it.

Erica Bloom has come back for a visit to spend time with Grady, the sheriff of Otter Lake. Freddie, her long time friend has opened his own security company and has been hired by the town council to do security at the Fall Fair. When Mr Masterson dying in the tunnel of love with Tweety, Erica’s aunt, she is arrested for murder. Erica and Freddie set out to find proof that she is innocent. This does not go over well with Grady. He feels like they are undermining him and this does not bode well for Erica’s and Grady’s relationship. As another murder takes place, Tweety’s sister KitKat gets injured and Erica and Freddie get arrested, the story takes on a fun tone that I was able to enjoy.

Erica and Freddie have a wonderful relationship. The two of them seem to jump blindly into situations that are not safe and at different times, each one seems to be the leader in their enterprise. They are funny and act more like a sister and brother with their relationship. Grady and Erica do not seem to have any luck at all with trying to get together. They have all sorts of hurdles to get over, but we are left at the end of the book with hope that they may be able to have a relationship in upcoming stories.

I am not sure if I am going to read another one by this author or not. I may give it a whirl and if it works out, then this series may be a go for me. Cozy mystery readers that enjoy really quirky characters and a sense of humor in their books will probably enjoy this series. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book via Netgalley.