MURDER AT THE PUMPKIN PAGEANT is the fourth book in the Beacon Bakeshop Mystery series by Darci Hannah. From the eye-catching cover to the ghost-hunting premise to the tricks-and-treats on the pages, this newest Halloween cozy mystery proved to be a scary-licious delight! Halloween fever has arrived in Beacon Harbor and protagonist Lindsey Bakewell is gearing up for the town’s annual Halloween Bash shenanigans. With her lighthouse bakery known for its resident ghost, Lindsey’s bff, Kennedy, signs them up for a live streaming Ghost Guys’ ghost hunting investigation. This provides a great opportunity for all sorts of mayhem and mischief. I love the strong descriptive voice the author uses to bring the chills and thrills to life. Along with the great characters, the action leaps from the pages, drawing the reader in, and I found myself unable to put the book down.
Naturally, things go wrong… very wrong during the live streaming ghost hunt. What Lindsey thought was a prank—a creepy clown hanging in the trees by the lighthouse—turns out to be a murder victim, and it’s all captured by the videographer. The victim turns out to be a well-loved teacher in town and no one can understand why she’d been targeted. Ms. Hannah does an admirable job crafting the plot so that the pieces of the puzzle—which include a hidden treasure—come together in a most satisfying way. As Lindsey and her crew investigated, I sat back and enjoyed the ride, instead of trying to guess and second guess myself. With lots of suspects for Lindsey to consider, the twists and turns kept me turning pages to find out what happened next until the very final page. I’m looking forward to finding what comes next for Lindsey and her crew!
Owning a bakeshop, there are SO many mouthwatering treats and food on display throughout the book. Be prepared to drool over the mouthwatering descriptions. There are several seasonal recipes included at the back of the book for the home cook to make. I couldn’t wait to try the recipe for Fabulous Frosted Pumpkin Sugar Cookies. These soft on the inside, a bit crunchy on the outside, cookies are delicious all on their own, but it’s the addition of the cinnamon-flavored frosting that makes these an extra-special treat! Your ghosts and ghouls will thank you when served these yummy cookies!
Lindsey prefers to keep her bakeshop’s Halloween decor light and autumnal, rather than gruesome and ghoulish. But everyone knows her lighthouse home is haunted. Some intrepid teens have even tried to break in to witness the resident ghost themselves. Dreading Halloween night, Lindsey reluctantly allows her influencer and podcaster best friend, Kennedy, to host a live ghost hunting investigation in the lighthouse, conducted by a professional team. Protective of her ghost, Lyndsey is understandably nervous about what they might uncover . . .
The segment is uneventful—until things take a terrifying turn. The team freaks out. As Kennedy joins the mad dash outside, she bumps into what looks like the prankster teens’ creepy clown costume hanging from a tree. But when Lindsey’s dog, Wellington, begins to whine, they make a grim discovery: the clown is no dummy. It’s a corpse.
Now Lindsey and company will need to keep their cool if they want a ghost of a chance to solve the murder—and see another Halloween . . .
A special thanks to Darci Hannah for providing TWO winners with print copies of MURDER AT THE PUMPKIN PAGEANT long with Halloween-themed “Good Juju” specialty soap! Contest ends August 20, 2023 at 11:59 pm PST and is limited to continental U.S. residents only. Please use the Rafflecopter box located below to enter. The winner will be announced on this page and on Cinnamon & Sugar’s Facebook page, as well as notified by email (so check your spam folder!)
Prep time: 10 minutes. Bake time: 10-12 minutes a batch. Makes 3 dozen cookies.
- 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
- 1-1/4 cup granulated sugar, plus more for rolling
- 1/2 cup pumpkin purée
- 1 large egg
- 2 teapoons vanilla extract
- 6 tablespoons butter, softened
- 4 cup powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons (or more) whole milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Set aside.
In bowl of electric mixer, beat butter until fluffy. Add sugar, pumpkin purée , egg, and vanilla extract. Add dry ingredients and stir until combined.
Place half cup of sugar in a small dish. Form a tablespoon of cookie dough into a round ball, then roll in sugar. Place cookie on baking sheet, spacing each cookie 2 inches apart.
Bake cookies for 10 - 12 minutes or until lightly golden in color. Cool, then remove cookies to a cooling rack. Cool completely before frosting.
To make the frosting, beat the softened butter until fluffy. Gradually add the powdered sugar, milk, vanilla extract, and cinnamon. Beat until frosting is a nice spreading consistency.
Spread frosting on top of each cookie. Enjoy!
If the dough seems too sticky to work with, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 to 60 minutes.
I like using a open star tip for piping the frosting on.
These frosted cookies make a wonderful base for decorating with colorful Halloween sprinkles!
Pin to Pinterest:
I was provided with an advance copy. All thoughts and opinions are my own.