Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Town in a Blueberry Jam

Author: B. B. Haywood
Genre: Mystery

2 Stars
After a breakup, Candy Holliday moves back home with her father in Cape Willington, Maine.  He has a farm, Blueberry Acres, which she now helps him run.  But soon a playboy and then the new Blueberry Queen are killed (in separate incidents), and Candy and her friend Maggie decide to investigate to clear the name of Candy's handyman.
The book opens with the death of Jock, an aging playboy.  We actually get to hear his thoughts, which is something different.  The first few pages are devoted to his murder, and then.....well, that's how I felt.  No more is said about it until toward the end of the book.

I'll admit I chose this book because of the title.  I read the blurb and it sounded like it might be a pretty good book, but there were too many things that just seemed "wrong." As mentioned above, the murder of Jock, who is pushed off a cliff (and I'm not giving anything away because that's the first few pages so you find out about it right away).  People speculate a little bit about whether he jumped or not, but then there's another murder and it's like, 'oh, this one is so much better let's just concentrate on her'. Admittedly, they think Jock's might be a suicide, but you'd think they'd investigate to make sure, and no one does.
The police arrest a Candy's handyman for the second murder, because his truck was seen at the woman's house, and since Candy doesn't think he committed the murder, she enlists the help of her best friend Maggie to investigate who really committed it.

This is where the book starts to go wrong.  Candy and Maggie get into situations that just aren't realistic nor believable.  One example is that Candy and Maggie break into a home.  Who does that and expects to get away with it?  I'm sure the author could have come up with something else, but there are similar situations that just don't ring true.

I do like the idea of Candy living on the blueberry farm and the setting of Maine (and recipes!)  The author can do a lot with that in future books, but in this book not so much.  I will probably read the second in this series, because I'm hoping it's an improvement over this one.


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