education pathways

Home » Book Review » Penned In–Idaho Halloween tale

Penned In–Idaho Halloween tale

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.


Penned In

by Lynn Cahoon

Penned In is a novella in Lynn Cahoon’s excellent Farm-to-Fork series which does not typically contain paranormal references. This novella has a paranormal twist to it, however. The story takes place on the night before Halloween at the old Idaho Penitentiary where the County Seat Restaurant’s staff goes for a team building exercise. The book contains a little history which is interesting. As a novella, neither the plot nor character development are extensive.

My enjoyment of the novella was probably colored by my dislike of both paranormal novels and team building exercises. As a diversion, it was satisfactory, but not something I would ever reread. If you are a fan of locked room mysteries, you would probably enjoy this little mystery!

I would like to extend my thanks to NetGalley and to Kensington Books for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 3/5

Category: Mystery

Notes: 1. Would work as a standalone.

  2. Includes paranormal, but is not scary.

  3. Locked room mystery.

  4. Includes a recipe for chocolate chip muffins.

Publication:   August 31, 2020—Kensington Books

Memorable Lines:

“Anyone that mean, he has to be the killer. The other people are nice. Tad doesn’t have a nice bone in his body, as my grandmother would say.” Hope leaned back in her chair and folded her arms. No one was going to mess with her logic.

“They said I wasn’t smart enough to sell computers. Hell, I could sell ice to Eskimos.”

It was all just posturing for him. He didn’t want her but he wasn’t sure he wanted her to be happy with another guy.”


  1. I remember this penitentiary, my Girl Scout teamed tour it while was still in use. We were allowed only in the guest shop and never saw any inmates. It is now the site of Idaho Botanical Gardens.

    Liked by 3 people

    • lghiggins says:

      I thought of you as I was reading this book, wondering if you had toured it. I hadn’t thought about it still being in use. Botanical Gardens sounds like a great use of the site.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Nancy says:

    Thanks for the honest review. I’m not into paranormal as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lghiggins says:

      As a reviewer, I can’t warn of everything, because we all have different tastes and tolerances, but this seems like something people either do or don’t want included in a mystery–no gray area.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I have read Lynn Cahoon and several books in this series, but I’m not a fan of her kitchen witch series or anything paranormal, so I appreciate your honest review, thanks Linda~

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Carla says:

    You summed up my feelings as well. I read the first book in her Kitchen Witch series and won’t be continuing for the same reason. This was a very different diversion from the usual in this series.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: