Two Fun Food Mysteries By Edith Maxwell

Jun 11, 2016 | 2016 Articles, Cynthia Chow, Food Fun, Mysteryrat's Maze, Sandra Murphy

by Cynthia Chow
& Sandra Murphy

This week we have reviews & giveaways of 2 fun food mysteries from Edith Maxwell, one written under the name Maddie Day-Murder Most Fowl: A Local Foods Mystery and Grilled for Murder: A Country Store Mystery. Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copies of both books, and a link to purchase them from Amazon.

Murder Most Fowl: A Local Foods Mystery By Edith Maxwell
Review by Cynthia Chow

As March finally arrived and with it the end of winter, there are so many things organic farm owner Cam Flaherty would love to be doing. One of those tasks definitely does not include attending Westbury, Massachusetts’ seven hours-long, stifling hot town hall meeting. In the interest of being a good citizen, though, Cam feels obligated to sit in while the selectmen vote on the zoning of a new parcel of land. In a town consisting of newer, wealthy Boston commuters and hardworking locals, opinions are divisive and tempers only getting hotter.

One of those with a firm viewpoint is Wayne Laitinen, a chicken farmer who laments the rising costs that prevent his own children from becoming homeowners. Opposing conservation or making the land a public ballpark, Wayne would rather the land be used to build affordable housing for the next generation. This interest also has him resisting the offers from one of his wealthier neighbors who insists on buying Wayne’s property for her own daughter’s horse stable.book

The debate is deadlocked, literally it seems, when Wayne is murdered and Cam discovers that this kindly man had more than his share of detractors. A secret from his past, a resentful wife, and animal rights’ protestors all made Wayne a target for their anger and animosity. When Cam’s own budding new venture into chicken-farming is threatened by activists, she is unable to sit on the sidelines and instead must investigate the simmering hostility hiding in her farming oasis.

Perhaps because of her experience as a certified organic farmer, author Edith Maxwell focuses a large portion of the novel on the practices and challenges facing organic farmers today. The balance between preservation and farming is gracefully presented, and it would be hard to resist Cam’s delicious descriptions of fresh produce and cuisine. Cam’s stuttering romance with Detective Pete Pappas continues to slowly play out, and their relationship is one refreshingly without drama or plot contrivances. Full of low-key humor and natural dialogue, this fourth in the Local Foods Mystery series has a surplus of engaging characters who seem as natural and rewarding as Cam’s organic farm.

You can use this link to purchase this book. If you have ad blocker on you may not see the link.

Cynthia Chow is the branch manager of Kaneohe Public Library on the island of Oahu. She balances a librarian lifestyle of cardigans and hair buns with a passion for motorcycle riding and regrettable tattoos (sorry, Mom).

Grilled for Murder: A Country Store Mystery By Maddie Day
Review by Sandra Murphy

Robbie Jordan has turned an old country store into a gift shop/eatery that’s popular with the locals as well as tourists. Pans and Pancakes sells vintage kitchen items as well as local specialties like Aunt Adele’s colorful yarn from her own sheep.

She was persuaded by a customer and by her bank account to cater and host a private party. Erica Shermer was a local girl. She’s been back in town about a month, since her husband’s suicide. Her parents want to throw a welcome home party for her. The evening was going well, except for the fact the guest of honor wasn’t there. Erica finally made her entrance about an hour late. book

Though she’s newly widowed, Erica doesn’t show signs of mourning, not with all the flirting she’s doing. During the course of the evening, she manages to alienate most of the guests. Tiffany swears Erica stole jewelry from her store. Erica’s flirting is beyond tacky as she flirts with Robbie’s boyfriend, Jim. It’s bad enough to flirt with someone’s boyfriend right in front of them, but Jim is Erica’s brother-in-law. He and her husband were twins.
Robbie’s glad most everyone is gone by eleven. She’s been up and working since six in the morning. Her friend Phil offers to tidy up and close for her. What a relief!

The next morning, it’s a shock to find the restaurant is icy cold, and it’s because the antique glass in the front door is shattered all over the floor. That’s not the only thing out of place—Erica’s dead body is right next to the pickle barrel.

Robbie’s questioned, of course, and the police want to know how she could be asleep in her apartment behind the kitchen and not hear the glass break. Phil is under suspicion because he was the last one there. Erica had managed to insult or offend a lot of people so the investigation is pretty much wide open.

The state takes over jurisdiction on murder cases and the new officer is Octavia. Robbie’s able to figure out Octavia and Jim knew each other, but the details are murky and Jim’s not talking. In fact, Jim is being rather distant all of a sudden. Things are just one big old mess.

The setting is South Lick, Indiana, and many of the characters speak local slang which could be a foreign language to readers, except that Robbie sometimes needs a translation herself. The dialect blends in flawlessly after a couple of pages and adds flavor to the story.

The side characters are a delight. Adele and her boyfriend Samuel are a fine example of love on the far side of retirement. Wanda, a police officer, Danna, the cook/server, and Birdie, the chirping cat, all have their own stories to tell.

Flipped for Murders was the first in the Country Store Mystery series—this is the second. Look for When the Grits Hit the Fan coming out in March, 2017. In the meantime, Robbie shared recipes for apple spice muffins, colorful coleslaw, Santa Barbara style eggs Benedict (avocado, lime juice and chipotle pepper), and overnight French toast.

To enter to win a copies of both books, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “edith,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen June 18, 2016. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section.

You can use this link to purchase this book. If you have ad blocker on you may not see the link.

peggyad

Sandra Murphy lives in the shadow of the Arch, in the land of blues, booze and shoes—St Louis, Missouri. While writing magazine articles to support her mystery book habit, she secretly polishes mystery books of her own, hoping, someday, they will see the light of Barnes and Noble and a Kindle. You can find several of Sandra’s short stories at Untreed Reads including her newest, “Arthur,” included in the anthology titled, Flash and Bang, available now. Look for Denali, in the anthology Dogs and Dragons.

14 Comments

  1. Theses sound like great reads

    Reply
  2. Love Edith! Love these cozies! So excited for this double book launch!

    Reply
  3. These two cozy mystery books sounds exciting. Thank you for the giveaway.
    myrifraf (at) gmail (dot) com

    Reply
  4. Give me a food cozy anyway!!!!

    Reply
  5. And yes Ma’am, people in Indiana can have a language all their own. These two both look like winners.

    Reply
  6. Both of these books are on my wish list. I love the cover of Murder Most Fowl!

    Reply
  7. I love the way Edith writes it is just wonderful! I have one of these books and would love to read the other one. ptclayton2@aol.com The one I would love is Murder Most Fowl as I am about to read the other one just got it.

    Reply
  8. Local foods and country store murders – is it not safe to live in the country any longer?

    I’d love to read these.

    karen94066 at aol dot com

    Reply
  9. Local foods mysteries, interesting heroines and amazing authors too? Sounds like a perfect trifecta! Thanks for the chance to win.

    Reply
  10. Murder Most Fowl is one of the best titles ever. It makes a bid I bet to Murder Most Foul a Miss Marple. So clever. Love all these cozies. Thank you.
    Marilyn ewatvess@yahoo.com

    Reply
  11. I enjoy how versatile this author is! Thanks for the chance to win!
    JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

    Reply
  12. We have a winner!

    Reply

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