Thursday, April 11, 2019

Book Review: Dyeing Season by Karen MacInerney (Dewberry Farm #5)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Strong characters, good mystery
Cons: A few repetitions that can be easily edited out
The Bottom Line:
Murder, tornado
Start this delightful cozy
That’s a fun, fast read

Spring Tornado Leaves Behind a Murder Victim

With spring finally here, I was happy to pick up Dyeing Season, the latest Dewberry Farm mystery from Karen MacInerney.  The book takes place during the weeks leading up to Easter, so it was perfect timing.

Spring is a busy time for farmer Lucy Resnick.  She’s got her new crops in the ground, there are new kids on her farm (goats, that is), and she is getting ready for the Easter market in town, creating specialty items, including packets of natural dyes for eggs.

However, a sudden spring tornado finds Lucy scrambling to protect her property.  When she goes to her elderly neighbor’s place, she finds Dottie alone with no idea where her home health aid is.  This isn’t like Eva, so the women are worried.  It’s only after the storm has passed that they get an answer when Lucy finds Eva’s body.  Even with the tornado having just passed, it is very clear that Eva was murdered.  The tornado left behind destruction to Lucy’s crops, so she needs to replant, but she can’t help begin to investigate what happened to Eva.  Will she uncover the truth?

Being a California native and someone who hates the wind, tornados are not my thing at all.  So you can imagine how the opening couple of chapters hit me.  I’m not kidding when I say that this book grabbed me from the very beginning as Lucy has to deal with this unexpected storm.

Of course, the storm is just the set up for another great mystery.  As the story unfolds, we get several viable suspects and very strong movies.  The book doesn’t adhere to a standard cozy formula, but I was still hooked waiting to see how Lucy would prove what she was sure had happened and who the killer would turn out to be.

Also helping draw us in are a couple of strong sub-plots.  I enjoyed those and seeing how they wove in and out of the main mystery.

Since this is book five, the regular characters are definitely old friends, and I enjoyed getting to see them again.  We get to learn a bit more about them as the story unfolds.  The book does introduce a few new characters, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a couple of them pop up again in the future.  In fact, I suspect some of them will be featured in future books, although that is just a guess on my part.

Unfortunately, there are a few minor editing issues in this book, mainly consisting of people asking for the same information just a few pages apart.  There’s nothing here that affects the story; it’s just a minor annoyance worth noting in passing, especially since they vanish as we get into the second half of the book.

Naturally, we get a few recipes at the end of this book, including shrimp and goat cheese quesadillas and pecan pie.  If you are interested in learning more about natural dyes, there are suggestions for making red, yellow, and blue dyes you can use for your eggs this Easter and Easters going forward.

Karen MacInerney knows how to weave the elements together for a fun cozy mystery, and she’s proven that again here.  Dyeing Season is a fast, fun read that will leave fans old and new anxious for more.

Looking for more?  Here are the Dewberry Farm Mysteries in order.

NOTE: I received a copy of this book.


  1. Karen MacInerney is oneof my go-to authors!

  2. Thank you, Mark, for the wonderful review. This really did make my day!!!

  3. I'm behind on this series. I need to pick this one up. Thanks for the review, Mark!

  4. I haven't read Karen MacInerney in quite some time though I think I own most of her books. This really apeals to me and reminds me that I need to get back to the series!