Title: Murder in the Badlands (A Ghost and Camper Kooky Mystery #3)
Author: Rita Moreau
Published on: 1 December 2021
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Mabel Gold and her camping friends Lili, Bob, Josh and Peggy have made it to the Badlands. With the 4th of July just around the corner, preparations are going on at Mount Rushmore.
Ralph, an old marine buddy of Bob, asks him to investigate the death of his son Danny. Danny was found dead in the path that led to the secret room in Mount Rushmore – the path that is not open to tourists. Though Danny’s death was ruled an accident, his father refuses to believe so.
With the help of Irma and Chief Bear, Mabel’s ghostly friends, the team once again finds themselves in the middle of a murder investigation.
Murder in the Badlands is the third book in Rita Moreau’s A Ghost and Camper Kooky Mystery series.
The story so far: Mabel Gold thought her life was perfect. A grandmother of one and mother of five children, and of course, a loving husband, nothing could go wrong in Mabel’s life. Until, the husband found someone else! Mabel might have made a decision on a whim – buy a camper and set off traveling across the country with her best friend Lili and her husband Bob. What Mabel did not know was, her camper came with a ghost. A ghost from purgatory named Irma. Irma needs to make amends and she can do so only by solving cases… murder cases which Mabel finds herself drawn into.
In Murder in the Badlands, Mabel and her camper friends have arrived at the Badlands. They meet Ralph, an old buddy of Bob. Ralph claims his son Danny’s death was no accident. The mystery behind Danny’s death might be connected to the Hall of Records – or, as they call it in the movies, the Secret Chamber in Mount Rushmore.
Irma and her ghostly buddy Chief Bear join hands once again to solve the mystery. And this time, they have more ghostly friends in tow. On the personal front, Mabel is eager to receive her son Henry and his boyfriend Barry. The couple are planning to spend time with Mabel. Jack, Mabel’s ex-husband, also plays a small role – the woman he left Mabel for has left him for someone else. Hmm, what goes around, comes around.
Murder in the Badlands is yet another fantastic addition to the series. Having read the first two books, I must say this one is a new favorite. Excellent characterization and a mystery to keep one guessing till the end. Also, unlike the previous books of this series, we have more action, more spirits (Poker Alice, Calamity Jane and Wild Bill Hickok join the ghostly group!) and a whole lot of history related to Mount Rushmore and the Sioux.
Mabel’s life also seems to be improving. She’s getting along with her camper friends and her children well. Peggy, the retired schoolteacher who’s tagging along with the group with her husband Josh, plays an important role in the story. Jolene, Lili’s estranged twin is back! She helped the group catch the killer last time and this time too, she involves herself – in return for a favor, of course. Jolene doesn’t believe in random acts of kindness!
Murder in the Badlands was an entertaining and enjoyable read. If you are looking for a unique cozy mystery with a dash of humor, you might want to give Murder in the Badlands by Rita Moreau a read.