Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Berry the Hatchet

Author:  Peg Cochran
Series:  Cranberry Cove Mystery #2
Genre:  Cozy Mystery
Publisher:  Berkley
Publication Date:  May 2016

Description:  The entire town of Cranberry Cove is popping with excitement. Monica Albertson is baking cranberry goodies by the dozen and shopkeepers are decking out their storefronts for the first annual Winter Walk—an event dreamt up by the mayor to bring visitors to the town during a normally dead time of year.

But it’s the mayor who turns up dead during the grand opening ceremony, his lifeless body making its entrance in a horse-drawn sleigh. Monica’s mother and stepmother quickly become the prime suspects when it’s discovered that the mayor was dating both of them, and to make things worse, her half brother Jeff uncovers a clue buried near one of the bogs on Sassamanash Farm. Now it’s up to Monica to find out who really put the mayor on ice.

My Review

Peg Cochran is another one of my favorite cozy mystery authors and any new book by her is an automatic buy for me.  She is a fantastic writer and never disappoints.  Her books always keep me engaged from beginning to end with mysteries that have plenty of twists and turns coupled with wonderful characters.  

This is the second book in the Cranberry Cove Mystery series set in a fictional town in Michigan.  I enjoyed is as much as the first book, in part because the series is set in my home state and I always think its fun to read a story set in a place where you live.  Ms. Cochran has crafted an excellent story and draws the reader in right from the beginning with the charming setting of Cranberry Cove.  Once there, the reader is kept engaged with the cast of wonderful characters that Ms. Cochran has so deftly crafted.  In each book so far, we have had the pleasure of getting to know Monica, her brother Jeff, and the rest of the cast. These are all very enjoyable characters that grow each time we stop in for a visit.  In this book, we get to meet Monica's mother, Nancy, which is a treat considering Gina (the second Mrs. Albertson) lives in Cranberry Cove.  And lets just say Ms. Cochran provides a nice little twist to begin their story line.   The relationship between Monica and Greg is coming along nicely as well.

The mystery in this book, as with all of the author's previous works, is fast paced and full of plenty of suspects including Gina and Monica's mom.  The author crafts this mystery with plenty of twists and turns so that the identity of the killer is not obvious until it is revealed in a dramatic ending.  Once again, Monica is the reluctant sleuth but undertakes the job because Gina and her mother are both suspects.  She is smart in her sleuthing and always makes sure that she keeps in contact with the local detective.  I like that about this character.  She is not hasty, rash or reckless which makes her very realistic for me.

This is a great series and I am excited to see what happens for the characters in the future. If you are a fan of this author, pick up a copy of this book or the first, Berried Secrets.  You will not be disappointed.  There are also some delicious sounding recipes at the end of the book.

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