The best Christmas present I got (excluding the Ipad from Mom)?
The ARC for Paige Shelton’s second book in the Farmers’ Market Mystery series, Fruit of All Evil.
Ms. Shelton does it again with a deliciously good twist. There are enough possible suspects and a variety of clues that leave you uncertain over who the murderer is until the protagonist begins putting the pieces together in the last 40 pages.
The protagonist, Becca Robins is a quirky, true-to-life character. I wish I could set up a stall next to her at the farmers’ market.
I love how believably Becca becomes entangled in what should be police business. Her amateur sleuth foibles are hilarious. Laugh out loud moments included: the cat-in-the-hen-house and the ledge-climbing. Ms. Shelton does an excellent job bringing the reader along with Becca on all her escapades to the point where I held my breath out there on the ledge with Becca.
The other members of the farmers’ market are all well-rounded and endearing, from the curmudgeony Abner to the super-efficient Allison. The setting is always well done, I can picture Linda’s gingerbread house and Drew’s culinary masterpiece of a kitchen. I am not a fan of setting, but it’s worked in and done so well, I scarcely realized I’d read those paragraphs until the image of the place fills my mind.
The plot moves quickly and the transitions are seamless. Every scene builds on the one before it.
The voice is captivating and I can’t imagine anyone not liking Becca. Especially as she tackles the job of “Number One” (maid of honor) to her friend Linda.
And the recipes at the back sound scrumptious.
Dying to get your hands on a copy?
The book will be on sale from Berkley Prime Crime come March 2011. You can pre-order it here on Amazon.
I can’t wait for the next book in the series so that I can return to the town of Monson!