"Mind-Bending Murder" By Leslie Langtry: Review/Giveaway

Review by Kathleen Costa

Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win an ebook copy of the book and a link to purchase it.

Lemons to Lemonade!

When life gives you lemons, or your secret identity is exposed, make lemonade, or escape to a small Iowa town, change your name, and become a Girl Scout troop leader. Cheers to Merry Wrath who, after finding herself in peril when a “tit for tat” conflict caused her CIA identity to be compromised, found an alternate avenue as a public servant. She is in charge of providing activities, ventures, and trips along with imparting information and skills supporting the efforts of a dozen precocious preteens to earn their Girl Scout badges. However, they are more interested in hand-to-hand combat, high-tech weapons training, and backing up their leader than badges and selling cookies. That comes in handy, when Merry’s past catches up with her, multiple times, and lives are in danger; these spies-in-training are always prepared. She also has more adult support, some quirky or four-legged back up, to save the day: her now husband/detective Rex Ferguson, BFF/Assistant Scout leader Kelly Albers, former CIA handler turned P.I. Riley Andrews, the Druidic cult of NicoDerm, Philby the cat, Leonard the Scottish deerhound, and twin sisters-in-law taxidermy artists, Randi and Ronni, whose personalities are polar opposites. Lemons to lemonade!

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Image Source Gemma Halliday Publishing
Mind-Bending Murder
earns 5/5 Amnesiacs...Always Engaging Entertainment!

It’s bad to find yourself in a “windowless room with one door and a dead guy five feet away.” It’s worse when you’re arrested for the guy’s murder by a cop who knows you couldn’t possibly...well, maybe? Merry has no memory of how she got where she is, wearing someone else’s clothes, and next to a guy she doesn’t know. There were handcuffs, a night in jail, a friendly warning she’s gonna need a lawyer, and a budding bounty hunter stalking her every movement waiting for her to stray from court-ordered restrictions...still she has no memory. But, it doesn’t stop Merry, and her friends, from sifting through the witness’s statement, crime scene, and what does the book, Boats of the Midwest, have to do with murder?

 “Fasten your seatbelts; it’s gonna be a bumpy night!” Bette Davis had to be referring to Leslie Langtry’s Merry Wrath series; each adventure is filled with exciting predicaments, clever mystery, misdirection, witty, sometimes snarky humor, surprise reveals, and a troop of preteen spitfires. This seventeenth book starts off with the click of handcuffs and doesn’t let up. Merry finds herself in quite an “out on bail” quandary. Despite her CIA past, most know Merry couldn’t have committed this murder, except for residents of Bladdersley (rival to Merry’s Who’s There, Iowa) and the most antagonist sister-in-law who hopes to see Merry jailed. Her loss of memory adds a great element putting her alongside us readers learning in real time details and clues as they are uncovered. Murder shouldn’t be a laughing matter, but I challenge you to not giggle out loud with Langtry’s wit, a bunch of CIA-worthy Girl Scouts, and continued intervention from the Druids and the bounty hunter deftly played out on the pages. The characters have creatively been developed, building connections and sharing experiences over the series, and despite this book being a standalone treat, I implore newbies to read from the beginning. I love Betty, cringed whenever sister-in-law Ronni entered, and enjoy page after page of mirth, mystery, and murder!

Alert! Merry’s next adventure, Mascots are Murder, is up on preorder HERE. Merry believes if she can handle angry Chechens how bad can her ten-year high school reunion be when “Old friends are waiting to see you again!” Sure, until the class president threatens to expose long-held secrets, some start hallucinating, and they found themselves captive in a locked gymnasium. Oh, yeah, it’s gonna be epic!

Be a Big Leslie Langtry Fan!

USA Today bestselling author Leslie Langtry pens one of my favorite series, the now fourteen-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

Merry’s Troop FB group is private. Fans can join HERE.

Website – Leslie Langtry

Be a Gemma Halliday Publishing Fan!

Facebook - GHPublishing

Website - Gemma Halliday Publishing

To enter to win an ebook copy of Mind-Bending Murder, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "mind,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen February 27, 2021. 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. Love girl scouts.
    So handy to have around in an emergency

  2. Great series, love Leslie's books. Thanks for the chance.

  3. Looks really fun and I love the cover! JL_Minter(at)hotmail(dot)com


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