Death by Pumpkin by N.A. Granger

Death by Pumpkin by N.A. Granger book review by Rachel Poli
Via Goodreads

Title: Death by Pumpkin
N.A. Granger
Genre: Cozy Mystery
How I got the book: I got a free digital copy from the author in exchange for an honest review

Summary (from Goodreads):

At the annual Pumpkin Festival in the coastal town of Pequod, Maine, Rhe Brewster, an ER nurse and Police Department consultant, responds to screams at the site of the Pumpkin Drop. Racing to the scene, where a one-ton pumpkin was dropped from a crane to crush an old car, Rhe and her brother-in-law, Sam, Pequod’s Chief of Police, discover the car contains the smashed remains of a man’s body. After the police confirm the death as a homicide, Rhe embarks on a statewide search to identify the victim and find the killer. During the course of the emotional investigation, she survives an attempt on her life at 10,000 feet, endures the trauma of witnessing the murder of an old flame, and escapes an arson attack on her family’s home. There is clearly a sociopath on the loose who is gunning for Rhe and leaving bodies behind. With Sam unable to offer his usual support due to an election recall and a needy new girlfriend, Rhe realizes that the only way to stop the insanity is to risk it all and play the killer’s game. Maine’s most tenacious sleuth is back, this time to confront a menace that threatens to destroy her life and those closest to her. The latest installment of the Rhe Brewster Mystery Series, Death by Pumpkin, is a murder mystery and thriller that tests the limits of Rhe’s strength and resolve like never before.

My Review:

Death by Pumpkin isn’t the first novel in the Rhe Brewster series, but it read like a standalone novel. The characters are the same and that’s all you need to know. There are descriptions of each important character before the story starts, which is extremely helpful.

We follow Rhe Brewster as she takes her son to the annual Pumpkin Festival. As a tradition, a crane drops the largest pumpkin from a high height to crush an old car. The only this wrong with that this year, is that there’s someone inside the car.

Working together with her brother-in-law chief-of-police, Sam, Rhe cracks the case among many other deaths.

The trail of this mystery was easy to follow. I didn’t find myself trying to guess the culprit (because we already had a good idea of who it was), but I found myself trying to figure out how the culprit managed to do what she did. Let’s just say I’m not as smart as Rhe.

Rhe is a wonderful main character. She’s fun to learn about throughout the course of the novel and she’s likeable and easy to get along with. Her best friend, Paulette, is also a wonderful addition. She had a small part, but the things she did to help Rhe were huge. She’s the perfect best friend.

Then there’s Sam, the police chief. I loved him and I also loved the relationship between him and Rhe. Though I won’t go into too many details due to spoilers, but I loved the subtleness of their relationship and Rhe’s crush.

Overall, this was a thrilling, fast-paced read, but easy and fun to follow. I will definitely be checking out the other Rhe Brewster mysteries.


Death by Pumpkin by N.A. Granger gets out of 5 stars.

Favorite Quote:

“Sam grabbed his whistle and blew three long and loud shrieks; the crowd around the car parted for him like the Red Sea.” –N.A. Granger, Death by Pumpkin

About the Author:

N.A. GRANGER is a Professor Emerita at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. After forty years of research and teaching undergraduates and medical students, she decided to turn her knowledge of human anatomy to the craft of mystery writing. In addition to the Rhe Brewster mystery series, she has written for Death South and Sea Level magazines and the Bella Online Literary Review. She lives with her husband, a cat who blogs, and a hyperactive dog in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and spends a portion of every summer in Maine.

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