"Mad Money Murder" By Leslie Langtry: Review/Giveaway

Review by Kathleen Costa

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

The Good, the Bad, and the Merry! 

With as much time that has gone by and several murderous attacks thwarted, you’d think personal peril was a thing of the past. Merry Wrath, now Ferguson, has shielded her friends, family, and a very precocious troop of pre-teen Girl Scouts, but something or someone from her past always seems to pop up...armed! Her exposure as a highly-trained CIA operative in a political “tit for tat” between her senator/father and the Vice-President almost cost her dearly (deadly is more like it since the Chechens, in whose company she was when the news broke, wanted her head), but returning home to Who’s There, Iowa, changing her moniker to a newish name, taking the leadership role for ten enthusiastic Girl Scouts, and marrying detective Rex Ferguson just might be the life best suited for her. Along with her husband, she also has BFF/co-leader Kelly Albers, former CIA handler now PI Riley Andrews, and friend and medical examiner Dr. Soo Jin Body to assist her when arms dealers, terrorists, and just plain bad guys show up, but it’s the troop of wannabe operatives who show more of a interest in covert surveillance and weapons use than earning badges and selling cookies that always seem to come to the rescue. She also has a trio of fur friends adding additional support. The CIA could definitely take some lessons from Merry and her budding operatives.

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Image Source Gemma Halliday Publishing
Mad Money Murder earns 5+/5 Bedazzled Urns...Engaging Entertainment!  

The family always talked about the enigmatic “Aunt June,” but Merry has little or no real background and insights into this woman’s existence. So, why are her cremains being sent to her? The accompanying letter explains a few things, but the “pet spiders,” “Okay, that’s it for now,” and “I need you to find out who murdered me” are all cause for alarm. “Aunt June’s” lawyers demand Merry meet with them to finalize her inheritance of another home. Kelly, however, will not let Merry go alone, and with a great Scout camp nearby for the girls to enjoy and the mandate to solve a murder, it’s a no brainer...road trip!

Merry, Kelly, and five of the Girl Scouts head off to Behold, Iowa, and are surprised by the contrasting shabby exteriors and meticulous interiors of the small number of shops and businesses, the everyone knows what’s going on, and the Hickenlooper triplets, but the residents “seem” friendly, the fried chicken is lip-smacking, and the tales of ghosts and aliens have inspired the scouts for a nighttime hike along the cliffs. Merry, however, is curious about her Aunt-not-aunt’s death, maybe murder, and without an autopsy, it’s gonna be complicated, but it’s the collection of venomous arachnids that might be the most dangerous.  

Brilliant! Leslie Langtry has once again penned a “gotta read every page” drama for the sixteenth book in her Merry Wrath Mystery series. The drama was engaging with an investigation that offered the fascinating frustrations over residents all seemingly keeping secrets, odd overheard conversations, and a myriad of possible motives from romantic jealousies and political rivals to disagreements over property and a secret life, but dig deeper and it’s Wow! Is it murder? Well, that’s the consensus, but the victim has set about a series of hidden clues for Merry, and the girls do well to gather information, theorize possibilities, and devise “camp” names for the suspects. Leslie’s writing style uses a first-person narrative providing the “I” perspective from Merry’s viewpoint. This better suits the flashback memories from Merry’s CIA days, like being disguised as a slightly feminine boy camel washer in Cairo, to illustrate her current behaviors, suspicions, or techniques. But it’s the added wit that makes me giggle, like comparing washing camels to washing “three deranged NFL linebackers with a garden hose.” I know one needs to suspend disbelief when it comes to the role of the ten-year-olds, but they’re fun, unique as cozy characters go, and they offer some great comic relief in their fascination with ghosts and aliens. I loved it, and the end was brilliant...Agatha Christie would be proud! A lot of food is mentioned from trips to the convenience store to meals at Fancy Nancy’s Home Cooking including questions as to who could claim “the best in the state.” But, sadly, no recipes for fried chicken, hot beef sandwiches, or Tater Tot casserole. And, what is strawberry pretzel cream cheese salad? Check google!

Merry Wrath Mystery series (KRL & KRL News Reviews)

#9 2019 Marriage Vow Murder

#10 2019 Mystery Night Murder

#11 2019 Meerkats and Murder

#12 2019 Make-Believe Murder

#13 2020 Maltese Vulture Murder

#14 2020 Musket Ball Murder

#15 2020 Macho Man Murder 

Be a Big Leslie Langtry Fan! 

USA Today bestselling author Leslie Langtry pens one of my favorite series, the now fifteen-book Merry Wrath series. She also writes the very entertaining ten-book Bombay Assassins Greatest Hits Mystery and is one of the contributing authors in GHP’s Aloha Lagoon Mystery with two marvelous books: Ukulele Murder and Ukulele Deadly. Something for every cozy taste! 

Facebook – Leslie Langtry

Website – Leslie Langtry

Be a GHP Fan!

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Website – Gemma Halliday Publishing

To enter to win an ebook copy of Mad Money Murder, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "mad,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen October 24, 2020. US residents only and you must be 18 or older to enter.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 which features mystery short stories and first chapters read by local actors! A new episode goes up next week.

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

Kathleen Costa is a long-time resident of the Central Valley, and although born in Idaho, she considers herself a “California Girl.” Graduating from CSU-Sacramento, she is a 35+ year veteran teacher having taught in grades 1-8 in schools from Sacramento to Los Angeles to Stockton to Lodi. Currently Kathleen is enjoying her retirement revitalizing hobbies along with exploring writing, reading for pleasure, and spending 24/7 with her husband.

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. Sounds like a fun read. Combine girl
    scouts with murderous villains and it
    should be interesting.

  2. Great series. Such fun reads, looking forward to reading the book.

  3. Sounds like another fun read from Leslie.
    kckendler at gmail dot com

  4. Love that cover! Legallyblonde1961@yahoo.com

  5. Sounds like a fun read. Love the cover!! Thank you for this chance! pgenest57(at)aol(dot)com


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