Hello and welcome back to the Friday Fiction Feature! Series editor Tabatha here again to take you through the exciting world of books-based-on-what-happens-to-be-going-on-in-my-day. Today I am looking forward to an early weekend thanks to the state-school-definitely-not-associated-with-Easter-“Spring Break Day,” which means that I get out of work on Friday (at least on campus). And so, in light of this totally-nothing-to-do-with-that-religious-holiday-that-happens-to-be-this-weekend day off, I have decided to theme this week’s feature around Easter! (and zombies).
Easter Bunny Murder (A Lucy Stone Mystery #19) by Leslie Meier
First on the list is the very dark and mysterious (you can tell how depressing it’ll be by the baby-blue cover) Easter Bunny Murder. Set in the dark and terrifying world of toddler-ridden Easter-egg-hunts, this mystery is sure to send you hiding under the covers!
Spring has sprung in Tinker’s Cove, and Lucy Stone has a mile-long to-do list. From painting eggs with her grandson, to preparing the perfect Easter feast, to reviving her garden after a long, cold winter, she hardly has time to hunt for a killer with a deadly case of spring fever… Lucy has always loved covering the annual Easter egg hunt for the Pennysaver. Hosted by elderly socialite Vivian Van Vorst at Pine Point, her luxurious oceanfront estate, it’s a swanky event where the grown-ups sip cocktails while their children search for eggs that are as likely to contain savings bonds as they are jelly beans. But when Lucy arrives with her three-year-old grandson, VV’s normally welcoming gates are locked, and a man dressed as the Easter Bunny emerges only to drop dead moments later… Lucy discovers that the victim is Van Vorst Duff, VV’s grandson, and soon learns that not all is as it seems at idyllic Pine Point, where the champagne and caviar seem to be running dry. Always a social butterfly, VV has been skipping lunch dates with friends, and her much-needed donations to local charities have stopped with no explanation. Maybe she’s going senile, or maybe her heirs are getting a little too anxious to take over her estate… As Lucy gathers a basketful of suspects, she’s convinced someone’s been hunting for a lot more than eggs, and she’ll have to chase the truth down a rabbit hole before the killer claims another victim…
The Passover Murder by Lee Harris
Because there is more than one religious holiday definitely not influencing the long weekend, I’ve brought you the only Passover mystery I could find: Lee Harris’ The Passover Murder!
Until someone killed her, the only mystery about adorable Iris Grodnik was why she had never married. But for fifteen years, her strange disappearance and murder during a Passover seder has remained a troubling piece of family history.
So when Iris’s relatives ask ex-nun Chris Bennett–now the wife of a New York City cop–to make one last attempt to learn the truth, she reluctantly consents. Iris’s old friends and suitors have scattered, and Chris soon suspects that some of the relatives are not telling her all they know about Iris’s life and death.
Then, in the dusty depths of a hall closet, she finds an old leather purse–and her worst forebodings about Iris Grodnik’s haunting murder begin to be fulfilled. . . .
Death and the Easter Bunny by Linda Berry
For more holiday horror, Linda Berry mixes humor, mystery, intrigue, insanity, and “creative” driving when she brings us Death and the Easter Bunny! (Who knew he/she was so dangerous!).
Trudy Roundtree — the only woman on the Ogeechee police force — is not exactly excited about Hen Huckabee’s request that she investigate Tanner Whitcomb’s report that “he’s run over somebody” given that Whitcomb is one of the town’s odder oddballs: he doesn’t have a car or a driver’s license, he simply walks/putt-putts around town holding his hands at 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock on a hubcap.
But when Trudy finally interprets Tanner’s rambling, and the man leads her to a dead body with tire tracks on his shirt, Trudy has to think twice about the ability of a car-less weirdo to do someone in. Tanner’s also “driving” with a brand-new hubcap, has the dead guy’s watch and cell phone in his ever-present plastic bag, and swears he “bumped” the dead guy when he was “driving” the night before.
Could it be that Tanner was actually the killer?
Cue the Easter Bunny by Liz Evans
Mixing adventure, murder, gardening, investigation, and part-time costume-clad work, Liz Evans’ Cue the Easter Bunny continues our theme of holiday humor and hazards.
Things get hopping for PI Grace Smith when she dons a bunny outfit to earn a little extra money handing out promotional items. While she’s on the job, one of Grace’s business cards falls into the hands of Della, a woman whose son, actor Jonathon Black, has been receiving threatening letters. Jonathon is married to television soap star Clemency Courtney, and Grace gets her foot in their door by telling the couple that Della has hired her to be a gardener for their estate. Grace, of course, knows nothing about plants (except how to cut them down), and the closer she gets to catching the villain, the worse the landscaping looks. A witty, wisecracking heroine who manages to bungle her way to solving the case; colorful characters; hilarious situations; and snappy dialogue all add up to a very fun read.
Zombie Jesus and Other True Stories by Max Booth III et. al.
Finally, we finish off this holiday Fiction Feature with a book that gives a much more direct nod to ‘the reason for the season:’ the reanimated corpse of a religious figure (And if you expected anything less then frankly I think you just haven’t been paying attention to the FFF lately). The eponymous undead is perhaps the most famous of all zombies (though not the only one! Somewhere between the better-known zombies there was also a Tabatha brought back in that particular book).
With a new look at history, the dead, the undead, our most famous heroes and villains, and of course, Zombie Jesus and Other True Stories shows a ‘what if’ alternative to history.
What if John Wilkes Booth had a good reason for killing Lincoln? A reason kept secret to protect the innocent; a reason so sinister that it would turn your hair white as light. What if Jack the Ripper was the protagonist of his life story, and he was only trying to save the world from the apocalypse? What if there was an agency somewhere out there, responsible for the death of every single celebrity? What if the Titanic wasn’t just carrying the living? What if there was more than just lava that erupted from Mount St. Helens? What if, what if, WHAT IF!?
With that, I’m off to attempt an Easter-Egg Hunt with a toddler. Probably there will be no murder. I wish you all a happy weekend and Spring Holiday of your choosing!