Thursday, November 10, 2011

Crops and Robbers-Paige Shelton

Crops and Robbers

Paige Shelton

Berkley, Dec 6 2011, $7.99

ISBN: 9780425244999

In Monson, South Carolina Bailey's Farmer's Market manager Allison orders everyone to be on their best behavior when the Central South Carolina Restaurant Association visits them. Allison’s fraternal twin Becca, who has a stall where she sells her jams and preserves, is excited even if she thinks her sibling is acting loco with her demands to clean everything in sight and many things not; Becca muses sweeping the dirt floor will be the final commandment.

Central South Carolina Restaurant Association President Joan Ashworth and her son Nobel make the rounds tasting and praising everyone until she tries Becca's strawberry preserves. In front of the vendor’s parents, who just came home, Joan instead of orgasmic joy as her customers show 1000 percent of the time on their face, the woman’s visage turns sour. Feeling rejected, Becca and her dog Hobbit go home only to find her mother’s hands bloodied and Joan dead on her kitchen floor. After fainting, Becca knows she must investigate to prove her mom’s innocence as even her friend on the force Sam probably will not look elsewhere.

The latest A Farmers’ Market Mystery (see Farm Fresh Murder and Fruit of All Evil) is an enjoyable Magnolia State amateur sleuth as the heroine feels obligated to investigate the murder that occurred in her house in which her mom is the only suspect. The story line is fast-paced and filled with twists while recipes from the farmer’s market sellers may be a sub-genre staple of culinary mysteries but fans will relish their inclusion.

Harriet Klausner

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