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Wilmington, N.C. Mystery Books In Order

Publication Order of Wilmington, N.C Mystery Books

Murder On the Candlelight Tour (2003) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Murder At the Azalea Festival (2004) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Murder On the Ghost Walk (2004) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Murder At Wrightsville Beach (2005) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Murder On the ICW (2006) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Christmas Wedding (2007) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Murder On the Cape Fear (2007) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Murder At the Bellamy Mansion (2009) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Murder at the Holiday Flotilla (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Much Ado About Murder (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Author Ellen Elizabeth Hunter uses her background in restoring old houses to write about Ashley Wilkes and her sister Melanie Wilkes. It also was her original inspiration for the series, as she was working on houses of her own at the time.

Ashley works as a historic preservationist, while Melanie is a star realtor in the town of Wilmington and irrepressible in any way shape or form. Ashley’s work sees her restoring homes in the town’s Historic District.

The books were voted by Spirit (which is Southwest Airlines Magazine) to be the best mystery series to portray Wilmington, North Carolina.

The series began publication in the year 2003, when “Murder on the Candlelight Tour” was released, which was also Hunter’s debut novel. The series is from the traditional mystery genre, and is called “Magnolia Mystery” series (also called “Wilmington, N.C. Mystery”).

“Murder on the Candlelight Tour” is the first novel in the “Magnolia Mystery” series, which was released in the year 2003. There are a lot of houses in Wilmington, North Carolina that have ghosts in them. One example is the mansion that Ashley Wilkes is restoring at the moment, with its spectral crescendo pounding organist.

Ashley finds something sinister in, and the people that live on quiet Orange Street are afraid. Halloween weekend, Melanie and Ashley are both dressed to kill and in attendance for the Cape Fear Crime Festival costume party. The evil trickster picks this event to treat everyone to murder.

“Murder at the Azalea Festival” is the second novel in the “Magnolia Mystery” series, which was released in the year 2004. Ashley Wilkes’ lifelong dream is coming true. Her newly restored Victorian home is one of the homes on the “Olde Wilmington by Candlelight Tour”. A docent is murdered in the library, making things worse. Ashley’s history professor and friend, named Binkie Higgins, is the prime suspect.

“Murder on the Ghost Walk” is the third novel in the “Magnolia Mystery” series, which was released in the year 2005. It is springtime in Wilmington. Ashley Wilkes is currently too distracted by the romance she is involved in to truly care about the recent string of murders. While at a garden party, one occurs.

She tries her very best not to get involved, but thinks the actress is actually innocent of the crime. The cast of a hot, new, and locally made television show seems to make up the most promising suspects for the killing.

“Murder at Wrightsville Beach” is the fourth novel in the “Magnolia Mystery” series, which was released in the year 2005. Temperatures have hit the nineties, so Ashley goes to an oceanfront cottage that sleeps fourteen, that her sister rented. Murder never takes a vacation, of course, and as the bodies pile up, she finds that living the beach life is a lot more than sunscreen and fried fish platters.

All of the neighbors and house guests act suspiciously, and Ashley ends up just wanting to go back to town. She is restoring a Georgian revival home from the twenties. Even the site has its own dangers. There is nothing at all that can get her ready for a stroll in the moonlight with a crazy murderer along the pier.

“Murder on the ICW” is the fifth novel in the “Wilmington, N. C. Mystery” series, which was released in the year 2006. Ashley is renovating a house that has an old moonshine operation under it, and she finds some skeletal remains that belong to a federal agent that was around during the Prohibition times. This part of history has more in common with the young guys that are each associated with Ashley’s sister Melanie.

The police believe Melanie, a man magnet is their murder on this one. Ashley’s skills at rebuilding the past tell a much darker story. Searching for the killer, someone who is killing the swinging bachelors in Wilmington, it puts Ashley up against a killer. This is a murderer that has enough dark history and blood all his own to paint both Ashley herself as well as the town red.

“Murder on the Cape Fear” is the sixth novel in the “Wilmington, N. C. Mystery” series, which was released in the year 2007. Currently, Ashley is working on restoring a house that used to belong to a blockade runner from the Civil War. There is a killing connected to Captain Pettigrew’s life, along with a treasure hunt. Ashley finds some old letters, as well as a journal. These let Ashley know that this rugged privateer’s daring adventures led to huge booty. There is someone that is ready to murder for this loot, too.

She is able to connect Captain Pettigrew’s secrets after finding a real estate investor’s body in a bookstore. She is certain that she will be able to find the key to the whole mystery in a journal, as zero clues point to the location of the booty. Rapidly, she is stuck in a game with a killer that shows no mercy and has zero intent to lose this time.

Readers found this to be a page turner in a superb series. This series is great as it shows off the setting and history of the town well, and the food, all inside of a mystery novel. Some enjoyed reading this one, and cannot wait to see what happens next in such a wonderfully written series of novels.

“Christmas Wedding” is the seventh novel in the “Wilmington, N. C. Mystery” series, which was released in the year 2007. The social event of the season is coming in Wilmington. Ashley and Melanie’s big Christmas double wedding to Cameron and Jon. Vows are going to be exchanged at St. James Church, with any out of town guests being ensconced at some wonderful bed and breakfasts. The guy planning the wedding is Colin Cowie, the one and only.

Is there anything that could spoil these nuptials? There is the hyper critical mother in law that was once a Sweetheart of the Silver Screen? A handsome guy from Wall Street that vows to proclaim love for a bride? Or could it be a “Queen of Tarot Cards” bridesmaid that predicts disaster on the wedding day? Or, biggest of all, the wedding crasher whose lie filled life might just cost the brides their lives?

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