Thursday, May 22, 2014

Book Review: 'Til Dirt Do Us Part by Edith Maxwell (Local Foods Mysteries #2)


Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Good mystery filled with real characters
Cons: One sub-plot slows things down early on
The Bottom Line:
These strong characters
Keep mystery intriguing
As the veggies grow




Get the Dirt on a Local Murder

I'm a city boy through a through (despite the fact that I like mud runs).  I'd never make it as a farmer - too much manual labor.  But that doesn't mean I can't enjoy reading about a farmer, and I certainly enjoyed 'Til Dirt Do Us Part, the second in a series that stars a farmer.

Fall is descending on Massachusetts, which signals that Cameron Flaherty's first season as a farmer is coming to an end.  To thank her shareholders for their support, Cam hosts a Farm-to-Table dinner featuring items from her farm and neighboring farms.

The event goes reasonably well despite the presence of Irene Burr.  Irene is a local business woman who has made lots of enemies, many of whom confront her at the dinner.  However, when she turns up murdered at a neighboring farm the next morning, the police zero in on Irene's step-son as their chief suspect.  Bobby is a friend of Cam's, and she doesn't think he could have killed anyone.  With a harvest to finish bringing in, can Cam find time to dig up the real killer?

Normally, I like to read series in order, but I've been making exceptions recently for books I've been asked to review.  While there were references to the events of the previous book, I didn't feel that there were any spoilers, so I hope to go back and read it soon.

The murder happens fairly early in the book, and I was settling in for a great mystery, and then things slowed down a little for a sub-plot.  Actually, this sub-plot was tied in to characters from the first book, and I think I might have appreciated it better if I had read the series in order.  However, it wasn't long before this new murder took center stage and I was once again full engaged.

There are plenty of suspects, so trying to figure out the killer was fun.  My top suspect changed a time or two before everything was resolved.  Ultimately, the killer was a logical choice, and it left us with a satisfying ending.

The characters were wonderful.  As the book unfolded, I felt like I got to know many of them well - flaws and all.  I was especially impressed with how one sub-plot was handled.  It showed a side of Cam that made her very human.  The rest of the locals are just as great.  Since this was my first visit with Cam, I wasn't sure who might be series regulars and who were just suspects for this book (although I do have a few ideas), but I felt that all the characters were equally well developed for their place in the story.

And you can't have a food themed mystery without some recipes, right?  At the back there are two recipes from the dinner that starts out the book.  These are definitely healthier than you often see in mysteries since they feature vegetables instead of desserts, but they both sound delicious.

Cam proves to be a great guide not only to local based farming but also to murder solving.  I'm certainly glad I picked up 'Til Dirt Do Us Part and recommend it for those looking for another cozy series to enjoy.

Be sure to read the rest of the Local Foods Mysteries in order.

NOTE: I was sent an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.

2 comments:

  1. I usually don't read books from the middle of series because a lot of them are incredibly tied together and don't make sense without having read the others. The good thing about murder-mysteries though is that I often feel there is quite a lot of individuality to each new book. This one sounds really nice! I like the rural setting, rather than a sprawling metropolis, and the fact there is such attention to the actual land. And recipes at the back of the book basically makes it a winner! Great review :)

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    1. With mysteries it is easier to read a series out of order. It's one reason I agreed to start this series with book two.

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