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4.3 out of 5
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  • Murder and theatrics

    The ELT is putting on Dracula as their next production and the lead actor is so authentic that it’s blurring the lines between fact and fiction for some of the cast and crew. When a man dressed as the Grim Reaper at the Etonville Halloween party is found dead in the cemetery with a stake, it pushes things to a point where even Dodie is thinking it’s a little too true to life. This means that the call is on for Etonville’s resident sleuth to take a little closer look. While Dodie swears off investigating, she does agree to check a few things for her BFF Lola, but she’s NOT investigating, well maybe 98% not investigating. But when Count Dracula himself is missing, the show cannot go on and Dodie finds herself in far deeper than she thought as things don’t look good for the missing actor and his wife. Can Dodie find them before the body count rises or will she be just another stake in the killer’s coffin? Having a series set on the Jersey shore makes this series a must read for me. The storyline, characters and writing keep me coming back. Can’t wait for the next entry!

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  • A good series

    I highly recommend this sixth book in the series. I enjoyed the small town amateur theatre, the Windjammer restaurant, along with the interesting and well written characters. The whodunit was well paced and kept me guessing. I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.

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  • Great Halloween read!

    By day, Dodie is the manager of the Windjammer restaurant in Etonville, New Jersey. By night (or anytime really), she helps her fiancé, Police Chief Bill, solve crimes. It’s the day before Halloween. And it’s almost Killing Time in Etonville Little Theater’s production of Dracula. Will life imitate art? When a new couple moves into the disheveled Hanratty place, the town begins to think Carlos is a little too close to his lead role of Dracula. He totally looks the part. Plus no one has seen him during the light of day. And his wife, Bella, is a real-life psychic! So when things start to go missing in the theater, Carlos is blamed. The town gets vampire fever. People complain to the police about “vampire” bats in the park. Even the town’s gossipy old ladies take to wearing neck scarves and garlic necklaces. At the town’s Halloween party, Carlos appears dressed as the Phantom of the Opera. Bella reads palms. And a fully-clad Grim Reaper lurks nearby. When someone is killed in the town graveyard by a stake to the heart, Dodie feels it’s her duty to investigate—because that’s how she rolls—head first into danger. Dodie is spunky and headstrong. She goes where others, quite rightly fear to tread. Just as you are thinking that doesn’t seem like a good idea, Dodie is already blatantly questioning the main suspect or searching someone’s bedroom in the middle of a party. Her behavior reminds me of the gothic “had-I-but-known” genre. While I found Dodie’s behavior annoying, others will like her spunk. The mystery had a lot of twists and turns. I adored the small town setting and the supporting characters that lived there. Even while reading this book on a hot spring day, I could feel the brisk Halloween air. Overall, if you want authentic characters and that creepy Halloween feeling, Killing Time is the book for you. 4 stars! Thanks to Kensington Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.

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  • Quirky Characters, Fun, Fast Cozy Mystery

    Fall is closing in, Halloween is upon the town of Etonville and the Etonville Little Theatre has decided on running with Dracula with a great new actor playing Dracula. Problem is, someone in a Grim Reaper costume is found in the local cemetery with what appears to be a stake through his heart. This definitely carries the whole Halloween production too far. Dodie O'Dell is manager of the Windjammer Restaurant and engaged to the local police chief, Bill. As she begins her carefully calculated sleuthing, we are introduced to the restaurant regulars, the town's recurring characters, and some description of the area and contiguous little villages. It's a cozy mystery. They do tend to begin a bit slow for me, but Dodie has a fine way of handling the restaurant while inquiring into details of the victim's death. Meantime, the reader is treated to the eccentricities of some of her closest buddies, Edna the police dispatcher who speaks in code--and Penny who enjoys famous quotes, but always get them wrong. "What doesn't kill you makes you live longer." Not character-driven really, as Dodie makes steady progress with her investigation and the well-plotted mystery becomes more complex. Dodie's quandary regarding Bill isn't really hammered out until the conclusion (but then very satisfactorily), and the climax ramps up the excitement considerably with a real surprise you probably didn't see coming. The sixth in the Dodie O'Dell mystery series, this can function fine as a standalone, and is certainly a series with setting, premise, and characters you'll enjoy. There are some wacky characters contributing to humorous dialogue and situations. I received this digital download from the publisher through NetGalley and greatly enjoyed the opportunity to read and review. Recommended cozy mystery.

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  • Suzanne Trauth’s Killing Time

    The Grim Reaper is DEAD in a cemetery in Etonville, New Jersey! A stake is in the middle of the person’s chest! Several mischievous teenagers found the body. A Halloween costume party is taking place in the Episcopal Church. Earlier there was bobbing for apples, the candy corn count, the pumpkin carving, the palm reading and the kiddie costume parade down Main Street. The Windjammer Restaurant, run by manager, Dodie O’Dell is providing spiced apple cider and homemade donuts for the parade. Dodie is offering theme food this week to coincide with the opening of the Eltonville Little Theatre’s production of Dracula.....Garlic Cuisine. The question arises....Is the theater haunted? Costumes pieces are missing, the cues card are being mixed up, the light board was fooled with and the stake to be used to kill Dracula has gone missing!! Was the missing stake used to murder the a Grim Reaper? Who is this dead person? Why was he in Etonville at the Halloween party? The man playing Dracula is new to Etonville. He is the perfect Dracula for the production but what is he hiding? He is scary. Dodie can not resist investigating even though her fiancé is the police chief of Etonville, New Jersey. Dodie should be planning her wedding but lets herself get involved in solving this murder. Is she running from her fears that marriage will change what she does and says or does her curiosity dictate her investigating?? A fast paced, complex murder mystery which is extremely well written. The vivid description used in the story will let you feel Dodie’s pain when she sprains her ankle, breaks a wrist and gets an eye infection. The reader will hear the dogs on the street wailing at night and visit the old rickety house where Dracula the actor lives. The characters are very realistic, well fleshed, some quirky, others scary but all add flavor to the story. Drama, intrigue, mishappenings, blackmail, threats , suspense with situations that are precarious make this a good read. The reader will also learn some theatre lingo plus police codes such as 10-36, 10-61, 10-30. Code 2, 187 and more but you need to read the book for what the codes mean. The book ends with Thanksgiving feast. This is book # 6 in the Dodie O’Dell Mystery series. It can be read as a stand alone. A Highly Recommended Read!!! I volunteered to read Killing Time. I received a pre-release copy of this book and I’m reviewing it voluntarily. My opinion is my own.

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