Published October 18th 2016 by Thomas & Mercer
Synopsis: Lucy Resnick’s nerves are as tight as a tea cozy. Her new goats, Hot Lips and Gidget, keep making a break for the town square, her truck is dying, and her boyfriend’s gorgeous ex-wife is in town for the holidays. Worse, someone’s digging holes on her land…and uprooting her peach orchard and dewberry patch in the process. Lucy needs additional holiday stress like she needs a blow to the head—which she receives one night, courtesy of the mystery digger.
When the dim-witted sheriff arrests one of Lucy’s best friends, the former reporter puts her own problems on the back burner and starts investigating. What she finds is a patchwork of clues—an injured puppy, a sapphire necklace gone missing, and a string of poison-pen letters—that draws her deep into a web of small-town secrets.
Word travels fast in Buttercup. When the killer learns Lucy’s on the trail, Lucy finds she needs more than her reporting skills to save her friend—she needs a Christmas miracle.
My Review: This is the second book in the Dewberry Farm Mystery series and although not as good as the first one, was still an interesting and amusing read. This book had many subplots that did not necessarily have to do with the murder in the story, but did tie together at the end. A new-fangled church, someone digging on property by Dewberry Creek, a 17 year old that leaves home to elope, poison pen letters, the Christmas Market as well as two murders.
Once again we find Lucy struggling to make a go of Dewberry Farms. When she finds out that someone is digging up her land near the creek, she investigates and gets hit on the head with a shovel. Her Dewberry patch has been dug up and two of her peach trees upended as well as her truck is giving out. She is continuing her relationship with the local vet, but his ex-wife is in town. When the waitress, Krystal, from her best friend’s cafe is found murdered, Rooster Kocurek, the incompetent sheriff arrests her friend Molly. Molly’s daughter runs off with the son of the new pastor of the upstart church and she is frantic. Wanda and Ethel, two crusty women that belong to the new church seem to have it out for Molly and Lucy. When Lucy receives a poison pen letter about her relationship, she finds out that a lot of others have as well. Of course Lucy can’t let Molly remain in jail so she sets off to investigate.
I like Karen MacInerney’s writing style and read this book very quickly. She added some humour to the mystery along with a hint of a romance. The return to town of the ex-wife had Lucy on her heals, but it all turns out. Bringing in the delightful setting makes for a very well rounded story. It also has recipes at the end of the book that look yummy. I would definitely recommend this book to those who enjoy Cozy Mysteries, especially if you love the food and the chance to make it at home. With many thanks to Thomas and Mercer and Net Galley for the opportunity to read this book.