CAROLYN ARNOLD is an international bestselling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has four continuing fiction series—Detective Madison Knight, Brandon Fisher FBI, McKinley Mysteries, and Matthew Connor Adventures—and has written nearly thirty books. Her genre diversity offers her readers everything from cozy to hard-boiled mysteries, and thrillers to action adventures.
Both her female detective and FBI profiler series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining, leading her to adopt the trademark: POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™.
Carolyn was born in a small town and enjoys spending time outdoors, but she also loves the lights of a big city. Grounded by her roots and lifted by her dreams, her overactive imagination insists that she tell her stories. Her intention is to touch the hearts of millions with her books, to entertain, inspire, and empower.
She currently lives just west of Toronto with her husband and beagle and is a member of Crime Writers of Canada and Sisters in Crime.
What inspired you to write Halloween is Murder?
Halloween is probably the most popular holiday next to Christmas! Who wouldn’t want to read a Halloween-themed murder mystery? And it’s kept light and fun.
I understand this is part of the McKinley Mystery series, but can this book stand on its own? And can you share with us what the book is about?
Halloween is Murder can easily be read as a standalone.
In Halloween is Murder, Sean and Sara McKinley are set to celebrate Halloween in style, and they’re eager to invite the entire city to visit their haunted house fund-raiser. But their recorded segment for a local television station goes unaired and the reporter is later found dead. Sara’s determined to get answers, and she brings Sean and their entire PI firm along with her. There are more tricks than treats, however, as they try to carve out the truth.
Please tell us a little more about the McKinleys and their series.
Romance. Humor. Murder.
Those three words best sum up what readers can expect from the McKinley Mysteries series.
These stories are cozy in nature and appeal to readers who love a murder mystery without the gore or foul language. Each installment is novella length, with the exception of The Day Job is Murder, which is a short story. This makes the books “perfect for curling up for an afternoon” (Brooke Blogs) and “perfect to bring along on vacation” (Bound 4 Escape). The Layaway Dragon describes the series as, “perfect if you like clean-cut characters, a sweetheart romance, having the money to follow your dreams, and crime-solving abilities.”
To tell you a bit more, Sean and Sara McKinley are former homicide detectives with a talent for attracting death investigations wherever they go. When a billionaire leaves them all his money, they no longer have to work for a living, but they find themselves sticking to what they’re good at—solving murders. From sleuths to eventual private investigators, they’ll do whatever it takes to solve a case. Whether that means going undercover, off the books, or around the world, you can be certain they’ll be romancing it up along the way.
This is the perfect book series for fans of Hart to Hart, Castle, Colombo, Monk, Rockford Files, Psych, and Magnum, P.I.
What can readers expect when they crack the cover?
They can expect to feel the chill in the air, to see the colored leaves on the ground, and to slip into the world of make-believe in true Halloween spirit while Sean and Sara search for a killer. There is also, of course, some humor and romance along the way.
Name one specific just-for-fun liberty you took with the book?
In Christmas is Murder, I named the chapters after holiday-related songs, and I carried a bit of this fun over to Halloween is Murder. Each chapter is titled with a play on Halloween-related words or phrases. Here are some examples (in no particular order): “Dreading the ‘Boo,’” “Stuck Between a Grave and a Tombstone,” “An Attempt to Sweeten the Cauldron,” and “Grim Reaper Claims a Victim.”
What’s your favorite part about Halloween?
Seeing how happy people are when they dress up and pretend to be someone else for the night. And let’s not forget the candy!
What makes Halloween is Murder the perfect Halloween read?
It’s fun and light, just like the holiday. Throw in a murder to solve, dressing up, some cloak-and-dagger, and a haunted house, and who can say no to that?