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Murder on the Toy Town Express
Vintage Toyshop Mystery #2
Barbara Early

Crooked Lane Books
October 10, 2017/ ISBN 978-1-68331-309-0
Mystery / Cozy / Holiday - Thanksgiving

Reviewed by Laura Hinds

Liz McCall and her father Hank run a vintage toyshop in East Aurora, New York. This wasn't part of Liz's life plan, but it is her father's dream and after he was shot and retired from his job as police chief, he needs his daughter's assistance.

There is a train and toy show in town, and Liz's ex-nemesis from grade school sets up his comic book booth right next to Liz and Hank's booth. Craig McFadden is still a bully, but not for long; he's dead before the event is half over, and although it appeared to be an accidental fall, we soon learn he was murdered. There are plenty of motives and suspects, but this isn't going to be an easy case to solve. After solving a previous murder, Liz has the sleuthing bug and sets out to work on the case. Naturally, her father can't stay out of the hunt for a killer, either.

There were some fascinating tidbits about vintage toys and I was soon recalling my own childhood favorites. The small town characters are believable as who you'd find in any small town, but with enough personality quirks to keep things interesting.

The storylines are well plotted and I was never sure who was actually guilty of what until the author spelled things out. I like that in a mystery! I get frustrated when I can solve things easily early on in a book.

With two men vying for Liz's affections, there is a romantic triangle Although nothing may come of either relationship, it is fun to watch and read about Ken and Jack, and you never know things may still change in the next book.

A really good read, I recommend it for all ages of mystery lovers. Hank's puns were often a riot and I found myself laughing out loud on several occasions.

Reviews of other titles in this series

Murder on the Toy Town Express #2
Death of a Russian Doll #3

Reviewed 2017