Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Bones to Pick (A Brie Hooker Mystery #1)

Author:  Linda Lovely
Genre:  Mystery

Hardcover; Trade Paperback; Digital Book
ISBN #:  9781635112627; 9781635112597
Henery Press Publishing
286 Pages
$20.92; $15.95; $2.99 Amazon
October 24, 2017

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Living on a farm with four hundred goats and a cantankerous carnivore isn't among vegan chef Brie Hooker's list of lifetime ambitions.  But she can't walk away from her Aunt Eva, who needs help operating her dairy.  Once she calls her aunt's goat farm home, grisly discoveries offer ample inducements for Brie to employ her entire vocabulary of cheese-and-meat curses.  The troubles begin when the farm's pot-bellied pig unearths the skull of Eva's husband, who disappeared years back.  The sheriff, kin to the deceased, sets out to pin the murder on Eva.  He doesn't reckon on Brie's resolve to prove her aunt's innocence.  Death threats, ruinous pedicures, psychic shenanigans, and biker bar fisticuffs won't stop Brie from unmasking the killer, even when romantic befuddlement throws her a curve.

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Brie Hooker is a vegan chef who comes to her twin aunts' goat farm for the funeral of one of them.  When the will is read, she discovers that they bought her a (needs tons of work to be inhabitable) large house she wants to eventually turn into a B&B.  She decides to stay at the farm and help the surviving twin, Eva, run the place while she uses her spare time to work on the place.

When, during the wake, a pot-bellied pig named Tammy uproots a human skull, it is eventually determined to be that of Eva's runaway husband, Jed.  The sheriff - who's kin of Jed - decides that Eva must have murdered the man over forty years ago and didn't expect his body to be found.  But Brie isn't going to see her aunt railroaded for something she didn't do, and with the help of old and new friends, she sets out to find the killer.  What she doesn't know is that finding a killer isn't that hard if you know where to look...

This is a new series, and I think that it might need a bit of honing.  I was a little concerned when Brie was shown a newspaper headline that read "Murdered Corpse Dug Up on Udderly Property."  How does one murder a corpse?  Oh, well...anyway, after Jed's remains are discovered, other people start dropping like flies.  I don't mind a murder or two, but when what seems like half the town is disappearing...

Then Eva is arrested for Jed's murder, and Brie decides it's time to dig a little deeper.  Luckily, she has the help of the town's two most eligible bachelors, Paint and Andy, and also has their undivided attention toward her personally; which she needs because it seems she's also become the target of a crazed killer.  It doesn't matter that she wasn't around for the original murder, but the fact that she's living at the farm includes her as someone to get rid of; and whoever it is, is doing their best to remedy the fact that she's still alive...

I thought the book was written well, and the plot was fairly decent, but things just didn't seem to come together completely enough for me.  I must truthfully also say that I absolutely abhor love triangles.  I always wonder if it were one man and two women if the reader would think it was cute - especially if he was speaking of them the way Brie was speaking of Paint and Andy.  They’d be calling the guy a dog.  So yes, unfortunately, that tempers my view of a book when it’s a prominent part of it.

I also get that Brie's a vegan, but I don't understand why she'd be so willing to sell cheese or other products, especially since she thinks dairy 'contaminates' food.  It just didn't ring true true for me.  I couldn't see that a true vegan would be so willing to sit down with meat eaters and have no problem with it.  Again, it just doesn't seem believable.

All in all, the mystery was done well and the ending was very good, but I just couldn't get past the points I mentioned above.  Very good for a new series, and hopefully the love triangle will be resolved in the next book.  Recommended.

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