Stars: 3 out of 5
Pros: Fast paced story, fun characters
Cons: Paranormal elements stronger than previous books, editing error
The Bottom Line:
Dampens this Oktoberfest
Book for series fans
Who is Wicked Enough to Kill?
I don’t remember Oktoberfests being a big deal until the last few years. It’s quite possible that I wasn’t paying attention since I don’t drink, of course, but it seems more places are joining in the celebrations. Author Karen MacInerney has decided to make the festival the background for Wicked Harvest, the latest mystery in her Dewberry Farm series.
The town of Buttercup, Texas, has decided to host an Oktoberfest event this year. Naturally, farmer Lucy Resnick will have a booth selling wares from her farm, but the kickoff event is at the Sweetwater Brewery, and Lucy is going to be there as just a guest. This brewery is fairly new in town, but Lucy and many of the residents are becoming fans of their brews, both beer and non-alcoholic drinks.
The brewery is planning to reveal a new recipe at the event, but that reveal doesn’t quite go as planned. However, things take an even worse turn a little while later when Lucy and her boyfriend, Tobias, start to take a brewery tour and instead find a dead body. It is pretty obvious that it was murder, but who did it?
The book is very fast paced. Not only is there the murder, but there are a couple of sub-plots to keep Lucy confused and us engaged. The pages flew by as I raced to find out just what was going on in Buttercup. Rest assured that things come to a satisfying conclusion.
This series has always had a bit of a paranormal element to it. Usually, it’s fairly small, and I can ignore it. However, that wasn’t the case here. It played a large part in Lucy’s investigative efforts and even played a part in one of the sub-plots. Since I’m not usually a fan of paranormal cozies (with a couple of exceptions), that aspect of the book bothered me, especially since it drove the plot rather than providing just a bit of a nudge like in previous books.
There was also a scene in the first half where Lucy talks over the clues she’s gathered so far with a friend. However, Lucy hasn’t actually gathered those clues yet. Sure enough, over the next few chapters, we watch Lucy have those conversations that lead her to those clues. Hopefully, this will get edited quickly so future editions won’t have the issue.
I do love these characters, and it was great to see them again. The book is a quick read, so it is focused on the mystery and the sub-plots, but there is still enough time to catch up with Lucy and her friends in town; they are such wonderful characters. The suspects are developed enough to keep us guessing and make us care about the outcome.
The book has several recipes at the end, which is no surprise to reads of the series. In this case, there are six recipes, covering some German inspired delights like Bienenstich and Lebkuchen Hearts. Not sure what those are? You’ll have to pick up the book for the English translation. There are also recipes for a goat milk flan and fresh mozzarella.
Wicked Harvest is a book that fans of the Dewberry Farm series will enjoy. Yes, it has its flaws, but it is still fun to spend time with these characters.
Want to read earlier books in the series? Here are the rest of the Dewberry Farm mysteries in order.
NOTE: I received a copy of this book.