Dying for Strawberries
Author: Sharon Farrow
Series: A Berry Basket Mystery #1
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Expected Publication Date: October 25, 2016
Description: Much has changed for Marlee Jacob since she returned to Oriole Point, Michigan, three years ago. Between running the Berry Basket, dodging local gossip, and whipping up strawberry muffins, smoothies, and margaritas to celebrate the town’s first annual Strawberry Moon Bash, the twenty-nine-year-old hardly has time for her fiancé, let alone grim memories of her old life in New York . . .
But unfortunately for Marlee, Oriole Point is muddled with secrets of its own. First her friend Natasha disappears after an ominous dream. Next the seediest man in town threatens to crush her business. Then an unknown person nearly kills her on the night of the Bash. When she discovers a dead body while searching for Natasha, Marlee realizes she’ll have to foil a killer’s plot herself—before the past permanently stains her future.
While this is the first book in the new Berry Basket Mystery series by Sharon Farrow, this author is not new to the cozy mystery genre. In fact, she is part of the writing duo D.E. Ireland who write the Eliza Doolittle mysteries. I thought this was a strong debut for this new series. The story had my attention right from the beginning and kept it all the way through the book. The story is set in the fictional town of Oriole Point on the lake shore of western Michigan, which was part of my reason for requesting an ARC of this book. I love when a story or series is set in my home state. For me, it just allows me to connect more with the book as a whole.
The characters in this book are well written and dimensional, each with their own history and back story which is nice incorporated into the book as the story unfolds. Marlee is a strong protagonist. She is thirty one and has some life experience behind her having lived in New York. Her history, and the reason for her return to Oriole Point, unfolds through the course of the book which makes her a well rounded character, in my opinion. She is a bit impetuous, but the secondary characters in the book all provide a nice counter balance to that particular aspect of her personality. She is loyal to her town and friends and because of that she gets herself involved in solving the disappearance of her friend and a subsequent murder. I think these characters all have great potential for future growth and there is much more to discover with them.
The book is well written with a steady plot and an intriguing mystery. It has a pace the flows and encourages the reader to continue turning pages to see what happens next. In my opinion, this is a well done whodunit. There are plenty of suspects for the murder and the author does a great job of keeping the reader guessing. I had several suspects, and in my mind each one of them had a viable motive for committing the murder.
I very much enjoyed the first book in this series and I am looking forward to more to come from this author and this series. This is a well written cozy mystery with characters the reader will like and a well crafted mystery that keeps you guessing until the end.
I received an ARC from Kensington, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review. This did not influence my opinion and the thoughts expressed are my own.