Monday, September 5, 2016

NO FARM NO FOUL by Peg Cochran

Publisher:     Berkley
Published:    September 6, 2016
ISBN:        978-0425282021
Genre:       Cozy Mystery
Format:     Print
Obtained via:  Publisher  
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina


Shelby McDonald’s farm keeps her going from dawn to dusk.  But if that isn’t enough to keep her busy, she’s the single mother of two children including a pre-teen and a blog called the Farmer’s Daughter.  She’s also active in her church and when asked to host a fund-raiser pot luck on her farm she’s more than happy to do so.  Guests arrive with an array of yummy dishes, not the least of which are a few of Shelby’s salads fresh from the garden.  Despite the camaraderie at the dinner, all is not well.  Shelby overhears a rather terse discussion between the minister’s wife and at least one of her friends.  And then Prudence, the minister’s wife, stalks off, taking an angry sounding phone call.  Not long after though, Prudence asks if she can wash out her crock pot inside Shelby’s house.  Rather than invite Prudence into her kitchen to do so, she offers her the mudroom sink.  Shelby goes about her business but before long the minister asks after his wife.  Shelby goes in search of Prudence but when she finds her it’s not in the best of circumstances.  Someone has killed her—right there in Shelby’s mudroom.

I’ve read and enjoyed a couple of Peg Cochran’s Cranberry Cove series so when I saw she was starting a new series, A Farmer’s Daughter Mysteries I had to pick up book 1, NO FARM, NO FOUL to read.  I was not disappointed.  Cochran has a wonderful sense of humor that through in her characters.  Through their quips and thoughts you see the woman behind the pen and she sure is fun.  She also has her characters pop up with some fun memories, such as Shelby bringing up the plastic rain hats that banks used to give away.  I had at least one myself and remember my mother constantly pulling one out of her purse. 

Occasionally Shelby’s days seem a bit long…maybe I’m just jealous that I can’t come close to getting as much done during the day that she does.  Cochran also falls into the pattern that many of us cozy fans have lamented the past couple of years – the love triangle.  It used to be the author waited till at least book 3 or 4 before starting it – NO FARM, NO FOUL starts off with not only two possible love interests, but three.  And while I can understand Shelby missing her deceased husband who was the love of her life, I didn’t need to be reminded so many times.  I got it after the first 3 or 4 mentions.

That said, the mystery is a REALLY good one.  I certainly didn’t see it coming and when the reason for the murder was revealed I admit to my jaw dropping.  Well done Ms. Cochran! 

If you are looking for fun and interesting characters you can relate to Peg Cochran delivers.  If you are new to cozy mysteries, NO FARM, NO FOUL is a great start.  If you already enjoy them this is one series you want to put to the top of your list.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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