Monday, December 1, 2014

Review: Scent to Kill

Scent to Kill (Natural Remedies Mystery - Book 2) by Chrystle Fiedler

Publication Date: 02/26/2013
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Imprint: Gallery Books
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 320
ISBN-10: 1451643616
ISBN-13: 978-1451643619

(Received for an honest review from Gallery Books)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Indiebound, itunes

Chrystle Fiedler on the WEB: twitter, facebook, goodreads

Books in the series

Natural Remedies Mysteries

1. Death Drops
2. Scent to Kill

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

Excerpt from, Scent to Kill, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature.



When naturopathic doctor and shop owner Willow McQuade’s ex-boyfriend Simon Lewis invites her to a party for the cast and crew of a new television show at Long Island’s scenic Bixby Estate, she’s most excited to visit the property’s exclusive lavender farm. But a whole field of her favorite stress-reducing herb can’t provide enough soothing support to calm the effects of a murder! 

Even the show’s psychic star didn’t predict the demise of Roger Bixby, the estate’s owner and estranged husband of Simon’s new girlfriend. Now Simon, who’s been collared by police, needs Willow’s help to remedy the situation. As Willow snoops about the mansion, offering natural cures to ease the mounting tension, a strange energy—and the discovery of an eerily similar unsolved murder decades earlier—makes her wonder whether the alternative source of the crime might actually be . . . supernatural. Can she find harmony between mind, body, and possibly even spirits before somebody else goes up in smoke?


Scent to Kill is the second book in Chrystle Fiedler's Natural Remedies mystery series. Fiedler's experience in the aromatherapy field comes through on every page and readers who want to know a little more about herbs and essential oils, as well as, murder, will enjoy it. With plenty of healthy living tips, a psychic, a haunted mansion and two murders decades a part, heroine Willow McQuade has her hands full with this whodunit. A good solid effort in a very interesting series!

What I liked:

This is one of the first cozy mysteries that I have read from Simon and Schuster and I was interested to see how it staked up against Penguin's impressive line of cozies. I was pleasantly surprised for several reasons. I was quickly drawn into Scent to Kill by the interesting theme of the series. Many people today are interested in natural remedies, yoga, aromatherapy and organic eating and I thought this was a unique and refreshing idea for a series. It was a theme that I felt was current and something I might find educational, as well as, entertaining. 

Heroine, Willow McQuade was a naturopathic doctor who specialized in herbs and ran a health food store. I sympathized with Willow's need to prove to her family that she was in fact a real doctor. She was a character that was very intuitive and she used her knowledge of herbs to further her investigations. She didn't come across as badgering with her insights on health and fitness and she was clearly tolerant of those who did not share her views. I liked her attitude, she had spunk and wasn't afraid to get her hands dirty as she researched the Bixby family and their ties to rum-running. A nice heroine with an interesting profession. 

The secondary characters including Willow's hunky boyfriend, Jackson were multi-facted and all added something special to the book. Not one character was used as a filler and I felt like Fiedler did a great job of bringing together an eclectic group of suspects in the murder of Roger Bixby and lots of interesting tidbits from the caretakers murder in the 30's. From the psychic to the television crew there was plenty of motive and lots of red herrings to keep the reader off track.

The climax of the story was satisfying. Willow was able to ferret out the killer, all the while keeping her ex-boyfriend out of the pokey! I didn't figure this one out too quickly and the conclusion was not drawn out. If the reader looks closely at the clues, they will see that the author alluded to the killer all along, it was just subtle and very clever. 

Bottom Line:

Overall I enjoyed Scent to Kill. I liked all of the healthy living tips at the beginning of each chapter from Willow's blog and I liked the natural remedy theme. I think Fiedler has created a very likable heroine in Willow that will draw in readers and keep them flocking back to read more of her books. Looking forward to the next one!

Scent to Kill is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

About the Author:

Chrystle Fiedler is a writer who specializes in alternative health topics and the author or coauthor of four nonfiction books: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Natural RemediesThe Country Almanac of Home RemediesBeat Sugar Addiction Now!, and the Beat Sugar Addiction Now! Cookbook. Chrystle made her fiction debut with Death Drops, first in its series. Visit


holdenj said...

Looks like a great twist for a cozy. It is interesting how the other publisher has so many titles, and I'm glad to see more joining in!

Carol M said...

This sounds a little different than most cozies. I'm sure I would enjoy it. Healthy living tips is definitely a bonus!