Thursday, March 22, 2018

Sowed to Death (A Farmer's Daughter Mystery #2)

Author:  Peg Cochran
Genre:  Mystery

Mass Market Paperback; Digital Book
ISBN : 9780425282038
Berkley Publishing
298 Pages
$5.93; $7.99 Amazon
July 4, 2017


The county fair is the highlight of the year for the small town of Lovett, Michigan - especially for food-and-lifestyle blogger Shelby McDonald, who writes as the Farmer's Daughter.  She is submitting jams and jellies she's created from the produce she grows at Love Blossom Farm in hopes of harvesting a blue ribbon.

But the townspeople get more than just the excitement of hayrides, tractor pulls, and cotton candy when Shelby's neighbor and volunteer fireman, Jake Taylor, extricates the body of Zeke Barnstable instead of a dummy during a demonstration of the Jaws of Life.  The fact that Jake and Zeke were known to be at odds plants suspicion in the minds of the police.  As evidence against Jake grows, Shelby knows she has to plow through the clues to weed out the true killer and save her friend.


When Shelby attends the county fair with her kids, she's watching the firemen give a demonstration of how the Jaws of Life work.  But when Jake Taylor is pulling the dummy from the car, it turns out to be a real body - and someone that Jake wasn't fond of.  So of course he's suspected of killing the man, and Shelby does what any good friend would do - she resolves to find the real killer before Jake can be set up for the crime...

This is the second book in the Farmer's Daughter mysteries, and I was really hoping it would get better; but unfortunately, Shelby still isn't a good example of a parent.  She allows her daughter to run roughshod over her, even though she's still a kid herself.  Why are we being treated to the trials and tribulations of being a pre-teen in love?  At what point is Shelby going to act the adult and tell her daughter to straighten up?  So this little girl sees her 'boyfriend' holding hands with another girl and tells her mom that no one loves her.  And this is supposed to endear her to us?  To show us just how immature she really is?  Um, no.  So then her daughter is accused of cheating by a teacher, and Shelby finds out it was the "popular girl" instead.  Amelia (the daughter) won't tell because she'll have to 'sit with the nerds'.  Hmmm...there's a whole lot wrong here.  1) Shelby allows her daughter to think being popular is more important than having integrity or telling the truth; and 2) letting her believe that 'nerds' are the worst thing ever.   (In the first book, she let someone steal from her son, and now she's okay with someone lying to save their own skin.  What kind of person is Shelby?  Spineless, that's what).

Plus, Shelby has three men who want to date her and she's agonizing over it because she doesn't know if she's ready to date.  Yes, folks, a love quadrangle.  And one of those men is her brother-in-law.  While this may not be creepy to some, I can't even imagine sleeping with either of my brothers-in-law (shudder).  Too close to home, if you get my drift.  Uncle goes to Daddy real fast in that case.  Maybe she should think about things and allow the kids to spend time with the other two men (since they already know Uncle Frank).  She might come up with a few surprises, anyway.

All in all, not much improvement over the first in the series.  Shelby has no idea how to deal with a daughter, and when her son Billy gets older who knows what will happen then.  She'd better get married fast so at least there'll be one parent in the family.


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