Sunday, March 30, 2014

A Biscuit, A Casket

Author:  Liz Mugavero
Genre:  Mystery

Five Stars
 
The small town of Frog Ledge, Connecticut, has wholeheartedly embraced Kristan "Stan" Connor's new business - preparing quality organic treats for dogs and cats. On a healthy diet, the animals may live longer...but one local farmer won't be so lucky. As Halloween approaches, Stan is asked to cater a doggie costume party hosted by the Happy Cow Dairy Farm. Part of a local co-op, Happy Cow specializes in organic dairy products, and farmers Hal and Emmalee Hoffman have started opening up the farm for parties, offering a "haunted" corn maze as an added attraction. When Hal's lifeless body is found in the maze, the police at first suspect his wife, but Stan soon learns the dairy farmer had plenty of enemies - from bitter family members to shady business associates. If Stan can't extract a kernel of truth from the labyrinth of lies, she may be the next one to buy the farm...(from the back cover)
 
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I really didn't know what to expect, but I must say, this book was a delight to read.  The characters are not one-sided; you get to know them, and even though this is the second book in the series, the author explains enough (but not too much) about them that you understand who they are, and better yet, what they are feeling.  You don't go through the book trying to figure out why they would think the way they do.  I was caught up in the mystery almost immediately (and that is when it occurs, so there is no spoiler or surprise).  It is while we are immersed in the story that you begin to find out the type of person Hal was; and even so the people of the town.  You are left to solve the mystery along with Kristan (Stan), not in front of her or behind her, and that is a good thing.
 
The book takes place at Halloween (note, people!  This is a great book to re-read when it rolls around), and, as the blurb states, the Hoffmans have opened a corn maze as a way to bring in extra money for the farm.  The maze is closed as quickly as it is opened, and everyone in the co-op is more than willing to help, but that leads to more suspects.  Stan has determined to stay out of the investigation, but when she is begged to help by a friend of the family, she just can't say no.  Add to that you have a police officer, Jessie Pasquale, who really doesn't like her; the officer's brother, Jake, whom Stan really likes but doesn't want to say anything, also wants her to stay away, and Breanna, the youngest sibling and Stan's friend who asked her to investigate, and you have a tangled situation indeed. 
 
I would suggest you don't cheat and look at the end of the book to find the murderer (and I know some people do), because you will find, and you can trust me on this, that the journey to the end is well worth the wait.  Highly recommended, and I would also read the first in the series, Kneading to Die. 
 
I received a copy of this from the publisher but it in no way affected my review.
 
 



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