Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Deep characters, entertaining mystery
Cons: No reason to be bitter; there are no cons
The Bottom Line:
Megan returns with
A great second mystery
Should make her new fans
Last year, I was completely taken with the first Greenhouse Mystery, and I’ve been counting down until I could revisit the characters. That day has finally arrived as Bitter Harvest is ready, and it’s wonderfully fun.
It’s October in the town of Winsome, Pennsylvania, and for small farmer Megan Sawyer, not only does it mean harvest time but also Oktoberfest. This is the first year that the town has celebrated it, an idea of Otto Vance, a local brewer with German roots. It’s going to be a week-long celebration highlighting the local small farms and businesses. In fact, Megan’s café and store, featuring foods grown on her farm, is one of the sponsors of the event.
However, not everyone is happy. Megan witnesses a fight between Otto and another brewer over who should be the major brewery sponsor. Later that day, Otto’s body is found in the middle of the local solar power field. It looks like an accident – Otto hit his head on the corner of one of the panels. But Megan isn’t so sure since that explanation leaves her with too many questions, like what was Otto doing in the field in the first place. With the police busy with the added security needed for the upcoming event, it’s up to Megan to learn the truth. Is she reading too much into what happened? Or is there a killer in town?
I fell in love with the first book because of the characters. It was wonderful to revisit them, and fans of the first book will find they are just as strong here. It’s been six months between books, and that has allowed the characters some time to grow. It is there is subtle things, and I really liked seeing it as it continues the character depth I loved in the first book. The characters introduced in this book are just as strong as the series regulars.
Another thing I liked about the first book is how the mystery feed into Megan learning about some family history. The family history portion was kept to a sub-plot this time, but it was another satisfying chapter in her life.
That means there is plenty of time for the main mystery. That’s a good thing because it seems like there is always something happening to confuse us. People are not always what they appear, and they work hard to keep their secrets from coming out, which is perfect for a page turning story. As Megan untangles the many branches of the book, things slowly become clear to her and to us, although I was still surprised by the climax.
With all the food talk in the book, it’s no surprise that the book includes a recipe. This time around, it is for Rustic Potatoes au Gratin.
With strong characters and an engaging plot, Bitter Harvest is hard to put down. I was finished all too quickly, and I’m looking forward to visiting these friends again very soon.
Enjoy more trips to Winsome with the rest of the Greenhouse Mysteries.
NOTE: I received an ARC of this book.