Publication Date: 12/03/2013
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley Prime Crime
Genre: Cozy Mystery
(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.
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.
The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Merry Market Murder by Paige Shelton.
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