Berkley, Dec 2004, 6.99, 224 pp.
Halloween is right around the corner and people are getting ready to celebrate. The town has taken an economic upswing ever since they converted the place into a colonial village where residents dress in period costumes. Tourists stay at the restored button factory converted into an inn. Mayor Peggy Turner, who also owns a hardware store, is at loggerheads with the new Chief of Police Henry Cartwright, who she believes is impugning on her territory.
Henry thinks that whoever is stealing the skeleton Buddy from the lab and leaving him dressed up in clothes so he looks like a corpse should fall under his jurisdiction, but Peggy takes care of it because she knows it is silly schoolboy pranks. When ailing elderly Luigi Alsop vanishes, Peggy organizes the search. They find him in a cave next to Henry's dead son. Many folks believe Luigi killed the lad because the deceased was harassing and terrifying the older man's granddaughter. Peggy thinks otherwise and sets out to prove her assertion.
This New England cozy contains a very interesting mystery because of the attitudes of the locals who pull together in good and bad times. Neighbors know they can count on one another for help (a friend in need is not a pest as it seems in most places today). Peggy as the activist mayor symbolizes all that is good in this small town. Readers will also gain a feel for life in a New England village, but it is the unusual situations that Peggy and her best friend seem to and in find themselves in that make for a fun regional tale.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner