Thursday, January 2, 2014

Review and Giveaway: Merry Market Murder

Merry Market Murder (Farmer's Market Mystery - Book 5) by Paige Shelton

Publication Date: 12/03/2013
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley Prime Crime
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 304
ISBN-10: 0425252353
ISBN-13: 978-0425252352

(Received for an honest review from Berkley Prime Crime)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound

Paige Shelton on the WEB: Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads

Books in the series:

Farm Fresh Murder (2010), Fruit of All Evil (2011), Crops and Robbers (2011), A Killer Maize (2012), Merry Market Murder (2013)

Coverart: Click the image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.

Excerpt from Merry Market Murder, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature.


Bailey’s Farmers’ Market is this season’s go-to holiday destination, but not all the vendors are feeling the Christmas spirit...

Jam and preserve maker Becca Robins is excited about the extra business that the Ridgeway Christmas Tree Farm is bringing to the market this holiday season. But when a competing tree farmer, Reggie Stuckey, arrives with a truck full of trees, angrily barking that he has exclusive selling rights at the market, Becca finds herself pining for more goodwill toward men.

After Reggie is found with a tree stake in his chest, she wonders when the Christmas tree business turned so deadly. Now Becca has to use the only clues she has to the killer’s identity—mysterious ornaments that begin to show up in her stall—to hook a sinister Scrooge who will go to any lengths to drive home a point…


Paige Shelton creates a perfect balance between murder and merriment in her latest book in the Farmer's Market Mystery series, Merry Market Murder. Shelton's ability to set the scene is remarkable and Monson, South Carolina is a place readers want to return to time and again. Shelton's characters are ready to celebrate the Christmas season when murder comes to town right along with Santa. A great addition to a wonderful series based on mystery and farm fresh products. 

What I liked:

The first thing I liked about this book is the same thing I like about everyone of the books in this series... the farmer's market theme. I grew up on a farm and relatives of mine are still vendors at the local farmer's market where I live. This series is very nostalgic for me for that reason, as I am sure it is to a lot of readers who grew up in a generation where fresh produce and farm fresh products were so important to the economy and the over all way of life. I am happy to see trends in both books like these and in the eating habits of many returning to this way of cooking and life. I love the fact that Shelton is promoting something good right along with giving us a great whodunit.

I am very happy that we get to visit Bailey's during the Christmas season this time. That time of year is wonderful for a farmer's market. There are so many things that can be sold for gifts, as well as, part of the Christmas feast. I liked the whole idea of the contract dispute over the Christmas tree vendors and how that all worked into the mystery. I loved the fact that Shelton used Christmas ornaments as clues also. That was a great idea! I didn't feel like this book was overloaded on Christmas, but had just the right amount of Christmas hub-bub to go around.

As always Becca and Allison are such a great duo. I liked the fact that Sam and Becca are going strong, but he does have reservations about her amateur sleuthing. It wouldn't seem natural if he didn't. We get to meet some new faces in this one and I hope some of them stick around. I felt like I was visiting old friends, with a couple new ones sliding in. There were plenty of suspects for Becca to try to sort through and I didn't figure this one out until about the last chapter. 

What I didn't like:

There wasn't really much I didn't like about this one. It was well written and the mystery aspects were believable and not easy to predict. 

Bottom Line:

I loved this one. I love this series. I think Shelton did a great job with balancing the Christmas theme against the murder and with creating clues that were imaginative and hard to figure out. Just what I was looking for during this holiday season.

Merry Market Murder is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

About the Author:

Paige Shelton also writes the Country Cooking School Mystery series. She spent lots of years in advertising but now writes novels full time. She lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, with her husband and son. When she’s up early enough, one of her favorite things is to watch the sun rise over the Wasatch Mountains.

Giveaway Details:

The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Merry Market Murder by Paige Shelton.

~ You must be an email subscriber to participate.
~ US Addresses only.
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, January 16th.

1. Please leave a comment describing your own adventures buying a Christmas tree. Do you go for a live tree, artificial or have different traditions?
2. Please fill out the FORM.


traveler said...

We don't have Christmas. Chanukah with latkes, applesauce, apple cake. brisket and gelt. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Linda Kish said...

One time I bought a tree from a tree farm where you chose the tree and then either you or they chopped it down. I brought it home and set it up in the living room to decorate. A few days later, when it was nice and warm(and decorated), I noticed little baby bees in my living room on the floor under the tree. Then I looked in the tree. There was a small hive and the bees had just been born since it was warm. I am allergic to bees! The tree went outside trimmed and all immediately.

Angela - Bookaunt said...

I have never bought a real tree but I think it would be a fun thing to do. What nice way to celebrate the holiday

skkorman said...

We've been using an artificial tree for the past decade or so—It's just so much easier and less messy!

skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

Rita Wray said...

I've had an artificial tree for many years.


Sue Farrell said...

We used to have 2 big real trees---one in the living room, one in the family room. But then we got 2 baby beagles---they just would not leave the trees alone so no more trees for us.

Carol M said...

We've always had an artificial tree. We put it up early and take it down late and don't have to worry about watering it!

Barbara T. said...

No trees for me.

Karen B said...

I've had artificial since 1980 but still miss the "piney" scent of a real tree.

Karen B said...

I filled out the form twice because I didn't finish my address on the first one. Sorry about that. :(

Rachelle21 said...

We have an electric menorah. Though I love to see other people's trees.

Unknown said...

We have Christmas at my niece's home and I have three great-nephews. They go to the Christmas Tree Farm and cut their tree and do everything. The neighborhood she lives in are great about decorating. It's a beautiful neighborhood decorated for Christmas.
Barbara Thompson

Nancy said...

We used to cut a tree from our farm. We even planted a bunch to sell, but the dear like tender new trees and we didn't get that many out of the 100 we planted. But after that I found out I was allergic to them and now we use an artifical tree and I feel better all Christmas season.

Unknown said...

When I was a child, we went to the mountains each year and cut down our tree. It was a huge tradition, as was trying to figure out how to cover up the bald spot our tree always seemed to have. Now, we all have artificial trees. Live trees are so much trouble, and I have asthma and allergies, so it just wasn't worth being sicker. We also don't have to worry as much about fire.

bn100 said...

use an artificial tree

Anonymous said...

I love time for our Christmas tree. As a child, my dad would go out and cut a tree for us. Then we kids would make paper decorations and strung popcorn ropes to decorate the tree. As a young Wife and mother we bought real trees until they became too high in cost. Then we got an artificial tree we could use for some years. In the early 70s I lived in WY. where we went out in deep snow to the country where so many trees grew and cut big beautiful tree for our home. Was probable two foot or more of snow on the ground. We really enjoyed this. And now I'm back to an artificial tree again. But I truly love decorating my tree with ornaments from many years.So many memories. Would love to win.
Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

Renee G said...

Up until this year we would buy a flocked tree from our local green house. However, they closed during the summer of 2013 and we resorted back to the artificial trees.

Karin said...

We have an artificial tree, but I miss the trees of my childhood. Real, fragrant smelling, needles all over the floor!

Linda said...

Don't have a tree at home because of cats. We do still put up an artificial tree at work. Not many Christmas tree farms on Texas coast. :)

lag123 said...

I live on the beach and bought a lighted palm tree.

lag110 at mchsi dot com

Anita Yancey said...

We use an artifical tree because it is cheaper and easier. We just use the same tree year after year instead of buying a live tree every year. Thanks for having the giveaway.