Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Who Moved My Goat Cheese? (A Farm-to-Fork Mystery #1)

Author:  Lynn Cahoon
Genre:  Mystery

Trade Paperback; Audio CD; Digital Book
ISBN : 9781615103829; 9781541460317
Lyrical Underground
182 Pages
$15.00; $18.99; $3.99 Amazon
March 6, 2018

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Angie Turner hopes her new farm-to-table restaurant can be a fresh start in her old hometown in rural Idaho.  But when a goat dairy farmer is murdered, Angie must turn the tables on a bleating black sheep...

With three weeks until opening night for their restaurant, the County Seat, Angie and her best friend and business partner Felicia are scrambling to line up vendors - from the farmer's market to the goat dairy farm of Old Man Moss.  Fortunately, the cantankerous Moss takes a shine to Angie, as does his kid goat Precious.  So when Angie hears the bloodcurdling news of foul play at the dairy farm, she jumps in to mind the man's livestock and help solve the murder.  One thing's for sure, there’s no whey Angie's going to let some killer get her goat...

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Angie Turner has just moved back home to River Vista, Idaho, along with her best friend Felicia Williams.  She and Felicia are getting ready to open their new restaurant the County Seat, a farm-to-fork establishment.  In order to do so, she needs to find local vendors willing to sell her their products.  After a chance meeting with farmer Gerald Moss, she strikes a deal to buy his goat cheese, and goes to visit him at his farm, meeting one of his baby goats on the way.  

Not long after she hears from the sheriff that Moss is dead, who has come to question her about when she saw him last.  Accompanying him is Ian McNeal, the owner/manager of River Vista Farmers’ Market, the place she’s been trying to get vendors through.  It seems Ian is related to the sheriff, and he thought it would be easier for her if someone she knew was with the sheriff.

What she does tell the sheriff is that when she was visiting with Moss on Sunday she saw the local realtor, but for some reason the realtor told the sheriff it was Saturday instead, so now he has to figure out who's telling the truth and who's lying.

But when Angie is out walking her St. Bernard puppy Dom, she comes across Moss's baby goat, Precious, and takes it home with her, not seeing the rest of the goats.  Later she learns the mother is dead, and Ian asks her to keep the goat, telling her it will go a long way with the locals for her to get the help she needs from the farmers' market.

So she keeps Precious, but decides to figure out who wanted to murder Moss, and why the realtor was lying.  When she receives a threatening note on the door of her restaurant, she knows the killer knows she's onto something, and she has to act fast or her restaurant may not open at all...

I must say first that I love Lynn Cahoon, and I was really looking forward to this new series.  But while it was interesting, there were some scenes that didn't make any sense - the scene with Rob Harris, the wine vendor seemed superfluous, since he's not in the book ever again - and some questions aren't answered (such as why Reana said she was there on Saturday, not Sunday). 

I also felt that it was too easy to figure out the murderer.  If you look at the clues, you can pick it out almost immediately.  The title, I believe, refers to the mysterious cheese cave that no one seems to know where it is; and for some reason they think it holds a treasure.  In the end, this was a nice start to a new series, but I believe that some polishing needs to be done (For example, Angie doesn't spend any time in her restaurant, but leaves all the work to Felicia, who hates to cook).

Hopefully the next in the series will give us more on the background of the characters and the town of River Vista.  Recommended.

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