Released earlier this month, “Wicked Witch Murder” (Kensington; Book Club edition), is William Smith alum Leslie Meier’s 17th and latest book in the series about “Lucy Stone,” a reporter and amateur sleuth in New England. The book was published just in time for the fall season, with the plot being centered on Halloween festivities in Stone’s town of Tinker’s Cove, Maine. The publisher’s synopsis of the book follows:
“With planning the town’s annual Halloween Party, the drought wreaking havoc on her garden, and her brood of four children, Lucy Stone’s got her hands full this fall…
As the air turns crisp and the trees blaze red and gold in the tiny town of Tinker’s Cove, Maine, a newcomer arrives who seems to suit the Halloween season. Diana Ravenscroft has just opened Solstice, a charming little shop featuring candles, crystals, jewelry, and psychic readings. But after an unnervingly accurate reading by Diana, Lucy starts to get more than a little spooked…
Then there’s the dead body Lucy finds, way up on one of the old logging roads behind her house. The deceased is identified as Malcolm Malebranche, a seemingly harmless magician who worked at children’s birthday parties.
When it turns out that Diana knew the murder victim, Ike Stoughton, a prominent local businessman, starts a campaign against Diana, blaming “the witch” for everything from the unseasonal dry spell to his wife’s illness and his pumpkins’ lack of plumpness. But Lucy’s not so sure that Ike himself is innocent. Still, as the town Halloween party approaches, Lucy’s more concerned about the costume competition, pin-the-nose-on-the-pumpkin, and baking three dozen orange cupcakes and Beastly Bug cookies. But as the October moon rises, a killer plans a lethal celebration of his own-and Lucy’s the guest of honor…”
Meier earned her B.A. in English from William Smith College in 1970. She has also written for “Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine.” Due to come out later this month is “Gingerbread Cookie Murder,” which she co-wrote with Joanne Fluke and Laura Levine. Meier is currently at work on the newest edition to the Stone series, “English Tea Murder,” due out in 2011. She is married to alum Gregory R. Meier ’71. The two reside in Harwich, Cape Cod, Massachusetts.