"A Curio Killing" By Mary Ellen Hughes: Review/Giveaway

by Cynthia Chow

Details on how to win a copy of this book at the end of the review and links to purchase it.

In Maryland’s Keepsake Cove, visitors are delighted by specialty shops catering to every variety of collectors. Model cars, salt and pepper shakers, and vintage toys are just a few of the collectibles available to shoppers, and new resident Callie Reed is delighted to be among them. It’s barely been a year since Callie first came to Keepsake Cove, and now that she’s running her late aunt’s House of Melody music box shop, Callie is eagerly anticipating her first Keepsake Cove Spring Festival. Callie has built a new life since fleeing her old one that came with a failing relationship, which is why seeing her ex-boyfriend in town is so unsettling. Hank’s country music band has been hired as one of the festival’s main performers, but it’s his manager Bobby Linville who seems to be stirring up the most drama in town. When he’s found bludgeoned to death by the music box Hank had just purchased from Callie, she feels obligated to once again delve into an investigation.

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Confident that Hank could not have changed so much that he could be capable of murder, Callie begins looking into Bobby’s past and who may have wanted the abrasive music manager dead. Bobby stirred up a number of angry reactions from the Spring Festival attendees, with one of the most noticeable being from new photographer Jill Burns. The pressure for Callie to quickly exonerate Hank is amped up when her mother calls before her impending knee surgery, and Callie feels the guilt and need to be two places at once. So she’s rocked to her core when she learns that Hank has not been entirely honest about his past, compelling her to question her judgment even as she continues to pursue the truth.

Mary Ellen Hughes excels at creating delightful cozy mysteries that highlight crafts, romance, and humor. She populates Keepsake Cove with so many eclectic and charming collectible stores that envious readers will wish they could visit with a full wallet and empty storerooms. Callie herself is admirable in her pursuit of justice and sense of responsibility, especially when it comes to someone who once did her wrong. Luckily for Callie, she has two effective detecting assistants, one a bestselling mystery author and the other a more-than-understanding boyfriend. Callie herself proves formidable when questioning suspects and demanding answers, even when her own shop is the target of arson. Collectible music boxes always play a vital role not just as a murder weapon, but in resurrecting cherished memories and emotions. The mystery of whether Callie’s Aunt Mel delivers timely messages from the afterlife through a music box lingers, but it’s undeniable that her House of Melody music box shop is a true gift to both Callie and readers.

To enter to win a copy of A Curio Killing, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "curio,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen November 16, 2019. U.S. residents only. If entering via comment please include your email address. If entering via email please include your mailing address in case you win, we will not use your address for any other reason. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section in Kings River Life and in our mystery category here on KRL News & Reviews. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. And check out our new mystery podcast featuring mystery short stories and first chapters read by actors. A new episode went up this week!

You can use these links to purchase the book. If you have adblocker on you may not be able to see the Amazon link:

Opens to author website

Cynthia Chow is the branch manager of Kaneohe Public Library on the island of Oahu. She balances a librarian lifestyle of cardigans and hair buns with a passion for motorcycle riding and regrettable tattoos (sorry, Mom).

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. I've read a book by Chow before. She's a good author. Sounds interesting. Count me in!

  2. You had me with the book
    cover. I’d love to read this.

  3. Love the idea of a town of collectables shops. Keepsake Cove sounds like a nice place to visit.

  4. I would love to read this! Thanks for the chance to win! jeaniedannheim (at) ymail (dot) com

  5. This sounds like a wonderful evening read as the nights close in and the comfy chair beckons. Thanks for the chance to win a copy. crs(at)codedivasites(dot)com

  6. Sure sounds like a fun read - thanks for the chance to win a copy - trwilliams 69 (at) msn (dot) com

  7. Great series! Can't wait to read "A Curio Killing".

  8. Sounds like a great read. Thanks for the chance to win kkat(dot)edwards(at)gmail(dot)com

  9. This sounds great. ckmbeg (at) gmail (dot) com

  10. Thanks for the giveaway. doward1952(at)yahoo(dot)com

  11. Sounds like a good read! Thanks for the review nani_geplca(at)yahoo(dot)com

  12. This sounds really good!



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