Wednesday, October 5, 2016

The Murder of a Queen Bee

Author:  Meera Lester
Series:  A Henny Penny Farmette Mystery #2
Genre:  Cozy Mystery
Publisher:  Kensington
Published:  September 27, 2016

Description:  Former police officer Abigail Mackenzie has made a fresh start as a beekeeper and farmer in picturesque Las Flores, California—but she never suspected her new hometown would prove to be a hive of criminal activity.

When Abby invites her free-spirited friend, Fiona Mary Ryan, owner of Ancient Wisdom Botanicals, to her farmette for lunch, she never imagines that Fiona’s no-show will lead to a murder investigation.

Only hours after their lunch date, Fiona’s body is found in a burning car in what at first appears to be a tragic accident. But after the coroner’s report is issued, it’s clear she was dead before being placed in the vehicle. Someone has gone to great lengths to cover up a murder. But who—and why?

Driven by her loyalty to her friend, and her deeply ingrained skills as a trained investigator, Abby sorts through suspects—who seem to be sprouting up everywhere. Speculating that Fiona’s herbal business might hold the key to motive, Abby isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty to smoke out a killer. 

My Review

This is the second book in Ms. Lester's Henny Penny Farmette Mystery series and I found it to be just as enjoyable as the first book.  It is well written with a steady pace that moves along nicely.  In addition, it is full of colorful characters and a well plotted mystery.  There is a lot happening in this book so the reader is engage from the beginning until the mystery is solved. 

I think Abby is a strong main character.  She is once again in the middle of a murder but this time it is one of her friends so she feels compelled to assist where she can.  Not to say this doesn't get her into some trouble.  I think she is smart and cautious, for the most part, while investigating and keeps the police informed.   I thinks she is different from other main characters I have read because she is more of a professional rather than an amateur sleuth. This is due to her being a former police officer and working as an investigator.   I like her friend Kat and other members of the police force that we are introduced to with the exception of the Chief (he is a bit of a chauvinist).  There is a romance brewing for Abby and I think the readers will be happy to with his identity.

The mystery was well plotted and with the involvement of a commune/cult there were plenty of suspects to choose from.  The author wove enough clues throughout the story to keep the reader off track and threw in twists and turns for good measure.  I was surprised that I figured out the identity of the killer but that did not take away my enjoyment as I wanted to see how Abby and the rest of the cast put the pieces together.

The bottom line - this book is well written and has a well crafted mystery that will keep the reader engaged from beginning to end.  It has characters that the readers will like (for the most part) and at the beginning of each chapter you will find a recipe with a farming tip at the end of each chapter.

I was provided an ARC from Kensington through Netgalley.  This did not influence my opinion and the thoughts expressed are my own.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing your review. Looks like a good book.