Saturday, November 28, 2015

Berried Secrets

Author:  Peg Cochran
Series:  Cranberry Cover Mystery #1
Genre:  Cozy Mystery
Publisher:  Berkley

Description:  When Monica Albertson comes to Cranberry Cove—a charming town on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan—to help her half-brother Jeff on his cranberry farm, the last thing she expects to harvest is a dead body.

It seems that Sam Culbert, who ran the farm while Jeff was deployed overseas, had some juicy secrets that soon prove fatal, and Jeff is ripe for the picking as a prime suspect. Forming an uneasy alliance with her high-maintenance stepmother, Monica has her hands full trying to save the farm while searching for a killer. Culbert made plenty of enemies in the quaint small town…but which one was desperate enough to kill?

My Review

I enjoyed the Gourmet De-Lite series by this author so when I saw that she had a new series I thought I would give it a shot. Another draw was that this book was set in a fictional town in my home State of Michigan. I found this be a wonderful first installment in this series. I was drawn in from the beginning by the charming town, the unique setting (a cranberry farm) and a cast of wonderful characters. As with other stories set in small towns, there is a great cast of secondary characters. In this book, the main characters were well developed allowing the reader to be drawn into the story by feeling as if they already know them.   However, the author did a wonderful job of leaving room for each of the characters to grow and develop in future installments.   There is more to learn about each of the main characters and I am looking forward to seeing what the author has in store for each of them.
The main character, her brother and her step-mother were all likable and people that a reader could relate to. The mystery was strong with plenty of twists, turns and suspects. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised at the identity of the killer, who was someone that I did not expect. I always enjoy reading mysteries that keep me on my toes and guessing at the culprit until the end.  I enjoy when the author incorporates the theme of the book by including recipes.  There are some cranberry recipes at the end of the book that sound delicious and with the holidays approaching there are one or two that I think I might try. 

I felt that the author delivered a great first in a series. This book has it all - a good pace, great characters and a strong mystery. I am really looking forward to future books in this series and they will automatically go on the TBR list.

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