Halloween Mystery List, I've asked "Halloween Crime Writers" to Guest blog about themselves, their books and their Halloween Experiences. Boo!
First up is Camille Minichino. She has published eight novels in the Periodic Table Mysteries series, featuring retired physicist GLORIA LAMERINO. The series continues in short stories on Kindle and smashwords.com.
As Margaret Grace, she's published five novels in the Miniature Mysteries series, featuring miniaturist GERALDINE PORTER and her 10-year-old granddaughter, Maddie.
As Ada Madison, she's poised to release a new series, the Professor Sophie Knowles Mysteries, featuring college professor SOPHIE KNOWLES.
A Halloween Carol by Camille Minichino/Margaret Grace
I can't say enough about a month that starts out National Dollhouse Month, and ends with Halloween.
Throw in all that fun-size candy, those glittery costumes, and the anniversary of Sputnick (October 4, 1957), and you have 31 party-filled days every year. Well, except for October 30, 1938, when Orson Welles read a script derived from "The War of the Worlds" and scared millions in the radio audience more than any ghosts, evil witches, or giant spiders' webs could have.
In October, all the whites are safely put away and the orange comes out: pumpkin scones, pumpkin lattes, and pumpkin ice cream. No wonder I love this season.
I always wanted to live on a street that treated Halloween with respect, taking orange and black decorations seriously. It didn't happen, so I created one of my own in my fifth miniature mystery, "Monster in Miniature."
The residents of Sangamon River Road, in the fictional town of Lincoln Point, California, hold a competition every year for the best, most elaborate Halloween sets. I had the most fun time with this book, sparing no expense in outfitting the street with cauldrons, low-flying bats, jack o'lanterns, skeletons, gravestones, black cats ready to attack, and electronic nooses (yes, that's nooses, not noises, though there's also sound everywhere). In front of every house is a large pumpkin shaped bowl filled with treats, mostly chocolate.
My childhood fantasy come true. Why else write fiction?
"Monster in Miniature" revolves around a scarecrow that comes out every year on a certain porch on Sangamon. The scarecrow is wired to scream and flail its arms when anyone approaches. Children, including those who know what's in store, run away even as they squeal with delight.
Except this year, the scarecrow doesn't move. It turns out (not a spoiler; it happens right away) the scarecrow is alive. Well, dead, but formerly alive.
Not to worry—the town miniaturist and her precocious eleven-year-old granddaughter are on the case and the story ends with a rousing Halloween party where Shakespeare's three witches show up.
It's not a coincidence that National Dollhouse Month is the same month as Halloween. Dollhouses and Halloween go together just as Mysteries and Halloween are a natural combination. Every miniaturist has built at least one haunted house.
I wish there were Halloween carols to sing. But failing that, I've programmed my smart phone with a new ring tone: He did the mash. He did the monster mash.
It will have to do.
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