"Marigolds, Mischief, and Murder" By Erica Wynters: Review/Giveaway

Review by Kathleen Costa

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

Everything’s Coming Up … Murder!

The blame for Guinevere’s unique name is placed squarely on the shoulders of her father and his obsession with King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, and proceed at your peril if you try to call her anything other than “Gwen.” There are exceptions including her long-time friend Chris Crawford who never passes up a chance to push Gwen’s buttons. The Stevens family business, Camelot Flowers, also channels the father’s passion with the Arthurian legend. Gwen grew up in the shop, doodling as a child and later helping her mom making the fragrant arrangements. After graduating from business college, she worked there regularly, and now nearing thirty, she takes on a more “in charge” role.

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Gwen and Chris have been friends since primary school, and it is believed, especially by her bestie Penny, she’s been in love with him since then. Penny also sees things as a bit more complicated and is determined to find Gwen a more reliable “boyfriend” candidate since she is sure Chris isn’t the best type for her friend. She worries about Gwen always being there to help Chris whenever he needs it, like transforming an abandoned building into a youth center. It’s an admirable project, but one that ends up a crime scene. 

Image Source Gemma Halliday
Marigolds, Mischief, and Murder Earns 5/5 Bouquets … Engaging & Clever!

Life in a small town like Star Junction, Illinois, is much like other small towns in the Midwest; everyone knows everyone, their business, their relationships, and even some things wished kept secret, but there is always a sense of camaraderie and “shirt off one’s back” affection. So, it’s a shock to many when Justin Hunt goes ballistic at Chris, “you lying, cheating …”. They’d been friends since way before Gwen knew them both. They were schoolmates, teammates, and even tangled up in a few questionable pranks together, but this was different. Chris dismissed the conflict, and Gwen thought they’d work it out like they always had before. But, it seems unlikely now. Gwen gets a text from Chris at two in the morning about an “emergency” at the center he is renovating, Gwen is embarrassed about always being at Chris’s beck and call, but still it could be trouble … she’s right. She finds Justin dead. And Chris is nowhere to be found, not answering his phone, and ignoring texts, and the police, along with the new resident Detective Finn Butler, are sure they know why.

Small Town Gem! Erica Wynters’s debut cozy was exciting right from the start with a teasing friendship between Gwen and Chris being interrupted by Justin raising all kinds of hell with Chris. The rumors put a spotlight on money problems (of course), infidelities (great motive), scorned significant other (ooh they’re always in the mix), long-time grudges (you know someone long enough there’ll be grudges), and no honor among felonious partners (hey, they’re criminals). This all sets Gwen on a complicated probe as a “concerned citizen.” A small town should be the easiest setting to solve a murder with fewer people and gossip as an art form, but Gwen finds some are eager to share what they know and others refuse, some are an open book and others have secrets, and she’s in the way or maybe a target. Clever drama … engaging all the way to a surprise conclusion.

The crime, plot, and result are important, well-developed by Erica Winters’ creativity, but, for me, the characters in the drama need to be realistic, respond well, mostly, and in some way, capture my interest. They do. Erica’s lead character is a strong female who is portrayed with realistic strengths and weaknesses, boyfriend issues, and an engaging place in the family dynamic. The cast is loaded with figures in various capacities from high-school friends, business friends, family friends, and soon-to-be good friends, but it is still relatively easy to follow everyone’s connection to the crime. There is an enjoyable romantic triangle, for sure, with the longtime relationship with Chris pitted against the obvious spark with the new detective. Sides are forming, yet no definite decision … I, however, am on Team Finn! I greatly enjoy the banter between him and Gwen with a little bit good and a little bit bad interaction, and it’s a nice giggle to follow Gwen’s efforts to uncover Finn’s real name since he knows hers. I didn’t learn much about “marigolds.” I would have liked to have had some interesting insights or historical thoughts included about the flower, or maybe a connected clue discover because of the flower. However, no doubt, delightful fun!

Be a Big Fan of Erica Wynters!

Erica Wynters is a new author to Gemma Halliday Publishing writing stories with “a perfect blend of swoony romance and keep-you-up-late-at-night suspense.” Before premiering this new Camelot Flowers Mystery series, she penned a set of novellas, The Alexandra Briggs Mystery, following the trials and tribulations of an FBI profiler.

Be a Big Fan of Gemma Halliday Publishing!

Gemma Halliday Publishing (GHP Website) is a “small, boutique publisher of quality women's genre fiction.” There library of stories have “laughter, heart, and lots of clever plot twists,” with no graphic descriptions, their books perfect for eighteen-year-olds to eighty-year-old.

To enter to win an ebook copy of Marigolds, Mischief, and Murder, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "marigolds,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen May 27, 2023. US residents only and you must be 18 or older to enter. If entering via comment please include your email address so we can contact you. 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 went up this week.

You can use this link to purchase the book or click here. 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 interesting. Count me in!

  2. Sounds like a great read. Looking forward to reading the book.

  3. New author for me! tWarner419@aol.com

  4. Marigolds, Mischief, and Murder by author Erica Wynters would be a great book to add to my summer TBR pile.

    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

  5. We have a winner!
    Lorie Ham

  6. We have a winner!
    Lorie Ham


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