The Killer Wore Cranberry: A Second Helping
Edited by J. Alan Hartman
ISBN# 2940015594744

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Caro


It’s the Thanksgiving mystery anthology everyone’s been dying for!

In 2010, The Killer Wore Cranberry showed how funny murder and food could be. Now, in 2012, Untreed Reads presents a new installment of the worldwide, bestselling anthology with a table full of seasoned authors and new voices alike.

Join all of these fantastic authors as they make your holidays murderous and fill you with laughter: Arthur C. Carey, John Weagly, Earl Staggs, Amanda Lundberg, Betsy Bitner, S. Furlong-Bolliger, Steve Shrott, Andrew MacRae, Zoe Burke, Arlen Blumhagen, Lesley A. Diehl, Gail Farrelly, Herschel Cozine, Linda S. Reilly, Stephen D. Rogers, Barb Goffman and Laura Hartman.

So make some room for that extra portion of turkey, scarf down another slice of pumpkin pie and make room in the basement for all the dead bodies in this hilarious short story anthology that’s destined to become a holiday classic.


Thanksgiving dinners, aren’t they a real treat? Families get together and everyone has a great meal. Unless, of course, someone ends up dead before the pie is cut and then you have to bury the body in the backyard. This is just one, of the many ways, these Thanksgiving dinners go in The Killer Wore Cranberry: A Second Helping, which is just amazing to read!

This second edition is just like the dinner of that day. You start off with something light in your plate like mashed potatoes, then feast on the turkey and the rest of the side dishes and finally a sweet piece of pie, to top it off. The editor knew well how to arrange the stories and the authors came up with amazing story plots to tell at the holiday dinner table.

I can’t help it, but to pick my favorites. First is, All in the Family by Amanda Lundberg, which just fascinated me, remembering that my family can be like that, too, when you bring someone new to meet the family and somehow it ends up wrong in some way, just to laugh about it the coming year.

Campaign Seasoning by Betsy Bitner, was a good one to read, too. It leaves you wanting more after all that secrecy, past lives and strange unknown people in the closet. Another funny one was, The Over the Hill Gang by S. Furlong-Bolliger, with a plot that I didn’t see coming at the end just because I’ve, too, baked before and I forgot to add a ingredient (add, not replace in anyway). But it shows you how far friendship can go when it comes to taking the blame over your friends, even if you need a walker to commit murder.

Good Times by Steve Shrott, is one that makes you immediately go and tell it to someone else so you can have someone to laugh along with. This story is like the funny CSI of the book that involves a dentist and a Thanksgiving dinner a la Mafia, where the cranberry sauce is the main dish, both to save and kill you.

But, there is one that really made me feel sad yet like it, after all that fun comes a cruel bizarre end. Green Beans & Murder by Arlen Blumhagen, left me with a sour taste. A story definitely worthy of being in The Killer Wore Cranberry, where a simple ingredient turns into a long awaited revenge that takes over you while you nap the Thanksgiving dinner off and a hidden murder that you didn’t expect to hold the grudge. The author ended it well giving us a clue of the final unread scene.

The Killer Wore Cranberry: A Second Helping, is a book I really recommend to read at any time, even twice if you want to and if the second one was great, we all have to read the first one, too. And, let it be clear that I do enjoy cranberries.