Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Book Review: Peaches and Scream by Susan Furlong (Georgia Peach Mysteries #1)



Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Great characters and setting with a fun mystery
Cons: None
The Bottom Line:
Murder in orchard
Introduces us to a
Great new character




Peachy Debut

Last week, I was on a business trip to Georgia.  Why am I bringing that up?  Because it happened to correspond with me reading Peaches and Scream, the first in the new Georgia Peach series.  Since the series is set in a fictitious small town, I couldn’t actually go to the setting, but I did get a kick out of the coincidence.  It was a great book to entertain me on those long flights back and forth, too.

Nola Mae Harper has spent very little time in her hometown of Cays Mill, Georgia, since she graduated from high school.  But she’s back to help run the family’s peach farm for three weeks while her parents take a cruise to celebrate their fiftieth anniversary.  She is hoping to spend the time reconnecting with friends and family still in the area, but she is shocked to learn the farm isn’t doing as well as normal financially and if things don’t turn around, the Harpers might lose it.

The night Nola arrives, her family throws a big party on their farm for her parent’s anniversary.  The next morning, she finds Ben Wakefield, the owner of the local mill, in the orchard strangled to death.  Worse yet, the murder weapon is the scarf her sister was wearing earlier that evening.  The local sheriff is quick to arrest Nola’s brother-in-law, and town gossip already has him convicted, but Nola believes his protest of innocence.  Can she find out who really killed Ben?  And can she come up with a way to help her family farm make more money?

This may be a debut, but I felt right at home in Cays Mill from the very beginning.  Author Susan Furlong brings the setting to life, and I loved my visit.  The characters are equally vivid and feel right at home in this small, southern town setting.  Nola and her family and friends are great, and I can’t wait to visit them again.  The suspects were mysterious enough that I couldn’t figure out just who might have done it.

The plot is strong as well.  The murder takes place early on, and the rest of the book is filled with twists and clues along the way.  The ending caught me completely by surprise, and I loved it!  Nola’s efforts to help the family peach farm provide a nice sub-plot that helps flesh out some characters without ever overshadowing the mystery.

One aspect I love about this book is how well Nola and her siblings come together over the course of the book.  That kind of family loyalty and love is wonderful to see, and I am looking forward to seeing more of that bond in future books.

And, of course, there are five peach recipes for everything from a peach cobbler (naturally) to peach ice tea and spiced peach preserves.  My mouth, which was watering all through the book, watered even more while reading these.  And yes, I did have to grab some peach cobbler while in Georgia as a result of reading this book.  (It was absolutely delicious, too.)

Oozing with Southern charm and peaches, this is a debut not to miss.  Peaches and Scream left me hungry for more, and I can’t wait to revisit Cays Mill.

NOTE: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

GIVEAWAY:

Thanks to the publisher, I have one copy of this book to give away.  Because it is a physical book, the contest is limited to residence of the US.

Leave me a comment with your favorite way to eat peaches and your e-mail address so I can get in touch with you.  I will pick the winner next Tuesday, July 14th, so please leave your comment before 12:01AM on 7/14.

29 comments:

  1. Cozy mysteries have such fun titles...Peaches and Scream...really? Too cute!
    Thanks for the recommendation. I'm sure I'll enjoy this one.

    GIVEAWAY:
    I like my peaches sliced and chilled.

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  2. Home made Peach Crumb Pie. I could eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

    kpbarnett1941[at]aol.com

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  3. I love to eat peaches in peach cobbler. Yummy

    xzjh04 Gmail.com

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  4. I like to peel,slice, and sugar them. Just eat a bowl of peaches - no whip cream or cake. Delicious.
    thanks for the chance to win the book. Looking forward to reading it.
    txmlhl@yahoo.com

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  5. I love vanilla ice cream with fresh peaches cut up in it.

    ourbutton@yahoo.com

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  6. Peach pie! My great grandma's recipe!
    moonandstars0311@yahoo.com

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  7. I like my peaches just picked and eaten right then.kphans08@gmail.com

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  8. Peach Cobbler :) Thank you for this opportunity! peggyhyndman(at)att(dot(net)

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  9. I love all things peach during the summer - fruit, baked goods and anything peach scented. I love a good peach cobbler but I found some peach butter not too long ago and it was like heaven in a jar especially when spread on a toasted English Muffin or a scone. This sounds like a fun series and what perfect timing for you to pick this one up! katherine.e.pitts@gmail.com

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  10. My favorite peach dish is just peaches cut up and sugared. Thank you for the opportunity. atwoodrugrat2@yahoo.com.

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  11. I love peaches each and every way

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  12. Peach Cobbler, warm, with whipped cream. Close second would be peach ice cream.
    Thanks for the chance to win.
    MarshaMysteryreader@yahoo.com

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  13. So many ways to enjoy peaches. I love eating them fresh, but peach jam helps keep summer around longer.

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  14. Right off the tree and any other way possible. doward1952@yahoo.com

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  15. I love eating a good, fresh peach as a good, fresh peach!

    ElaineE246 at msn dot com

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  16. I live in Georgia and I have to admit my favorite way to eat peaches is in a peach cobbler!

    sandybar57@msn.com

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  17. I love them just as they are, ripe tasty and dripping down by arm!
    lynn@tangledyarn.com

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  18. I eat peaches like it is.

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  19. My favorite way to eat peaches is in a pie!
    Bski92@gmail.com

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  20. Although pies and other goodies are yummy, the best is to it is fresh and enjoy the juice.
    afarage (at ) earthlink.net

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  21. I'm going with peach cobbler but peach pie runs a close second! christinedenicola@gmail.com

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  22. Fried Peach Pie is my favorite.
    gibsonbk at hiwaay dot net

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  23. Peach pie and you know where to find me.

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  24. Love to eat fresh peaches just as they are, but also love them in a cobbler with ice cream. elainehroberson@gmail.com

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  25. Fresh peaches are one of my very favorite fruits. I used to make peach jam and my very favorite peach treat is homemade peach ice cream. I would puree some of the peaches and then add some in small chunks so that the flavor was intense. Nothing can compare to homemade peach ice cream; have never gotten any from any ice cream company that compares. That being said, I will be salivating the entire time I am reading this series, which I am longing to do. Wish I had some peaches to whip up a pie for later today. Ummmm. Thank you for the great blog post, Mark. Good luck to Susan with this series too.

    Cynthia

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  26. I had such a jones for peaches recently that I ordered 6 cans from Amazon and the first one got eaten with a fork all at one time. No sharing. I drank the nectar, too. I also love peach tea, hot or iced.

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  27. I don't think I've ever eaten a peach.....ever ..... and i'm an old lady. This looks like a fun book though.
    dotkel50@comcast.net

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  28. I love peach pie. jchizmar01@windstream.net

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