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Too Much To Candle (A Glenmyre Whim Mystery, #2) by Sarah E. Burr 

The disappearance of a disagreeable professor places another of Hazel and Poppy’s good friends under suspicion of murder! 

Since solving Kevin Finchmore’s murder, things have finally settled down for Hazel Wickbury and her young aunt and best friend, Poppy Glenmyre. Hazel’s candle shop is a success, and she’s completed the renovations to move her candlemaking from her cottage to the new kitchen above the shop. Hazel and Ezra are dating but taking things slowly, and Hazel is on the cusp of adopting her first pet. Things are going well all over their hometown of Crucible, New York. 

Ignatius “Iggy” Alewell, their friend and Hazel’s righthand man at the candle shop, has gotten a contract with a publisher for his first novel and is looking forward to purchasing his first home with the sizable advance he’s received. Out for dinner and drinks at the Cold Cauldron one evening, Iggy is updating his friends on the progress of his house hunting. He’s made an offer on the old Cragmore place, a nice-sized home on a couple of lakefront acres where it has been rumored a treasure in gold is buried. A stranger approaches their table and threatens Iggy about buying the house. The man, Dr. Mayhan Montgomery, yells at Iggy and claims he’ll do whatever it takes for the place to be his. Fitz Ames, the proprietor, quickly intervenes and kicks Montgomery out, banning him from ever returning. 

A couple of days later, when Montgomery goes missing, his small boat found splattered with blood, abandoned on Lake Glenmyre, the new detective in town sets his sights on Iggy as his main suspect. Iggy turns to Hazel and Poppy to help clear his name and discover what really happened to the disagreeable professor. 

Too Much to Candle is a fabulous follow-up to author Sarah E. Burr’s You Can’t Candle the Truth, the debut novel in the Glenmyre Whim Mystery series. Readers are returned to the quaint and cozy town of Crucible, New York, and get to catch up with their favorite residents and meet some interesting new ones.

The core characters, Hazel, Poppy, Holden, Ezra, Constance, and Iggy, are a delightfully fun group of friends, people anyone would like to hang with. Hazel and Polly, once again, make for a very effective investigative team. I liked that the two women have come to an understanding with the cousin, Holden, the real detective, and seem to respect each other’s roles and abilities and collaborate on the case. 

The book’s action starts early with the confrontation at the Cold Cauldron, and the victim goes missing soon after. Mayhan is a nasty piece of work, and readers will have no qualms about seeing him exit the story early on. Hazel and Poppy’s investigation reveals other possible suspects, all with good motives for wanting Mayhan out of the way, so the story has several plausible red herrings to keep readers guessing. 

The concept of the Glenmyre’s whims (supernatural abilities) continues to intrigue me. However, Hazel’s gift of seeing a person’s “lifeclock” truly seems a curse. I can understand her feelings over not wanting to know the exact amount of time her loved ones have left on this plane, as she puts it. 

With its comfortable and homey setting, engaging characters, unique paranormal elements, and intriguing mystery, I recommend TOO MUCH TO CANDLE to cozy mystery readers who enjoy a touch of the supernatural in their stories and those who would like the cozy and warm small-town New York setting during the Halloween season. 

I voluntarily reviewed this after receiving an Advanced Review Copy from the author through Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours.

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