Veteran Maine crime writers Meier, Hollis, and Ross (Yule Log Murder, 2018, etc.) team up once more for a trio of holiday-themed treats.
Haunted houses, a holiday staple, are an especially good fit for the authors’ folksy Down East setting. When the decrepit house at 66 School St. in Meier’s “Haunted House Murder” is purchased by a young couple, the good citizens of Tinker’s Cove have high hopes for its renovation—at least until the spooky lights and eerie noises emanating from the tower of the home make the local residents fear for the safety of their new neighbors. In “Death by Haunted House,” Hollis ups the ante. Not only does the couple that buys the creaky old place next door to Hayley and Danny Powell look and act peculiar, but Wendi Jo Willis, the real estate agent who sold them the house, disappears shortly after closing the sale. And in "Hallowed Out," Ross casts her net wide, offering a whole bundle of haunted houses for the price of one. To draw off-season tourists to Busman’s Harbor, Harley Prendergast, owner of the Lobsterman’s Wharf Motel, starts up a haunted house trolley tour. Some of his ghosts are questionable at best. But in the venue offering the best-documented of the local legends—the shooting of bootlegger Ned Calhoun—Prendergast’s guests get to witness a real-life shooting that leaves Spencer Jones, the actor who portrays Calhoun, undeniably dead.
All three tales offer a dash of detection, but their strong suit is hometown charm.