A Beeline for Murder
Henny Penny Farmette Mystery, #1
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Date of Publication: September 29, 2015
Number of pages: 288
From peacekeeper to beekeeper…
After an injury forced her to leave the police department, Abigail Mackenzie started a second career as a farmer. Raising chickens, harvesting honey from her bee colony, and growing heirloom vegetables on her farmette in the beautiful Bay Area town of Las Flores, Abby has embraced all the benefits of a peaceful life.
But when she attempts to deliver her trademark honey to local pastry chef Jean-Louis Bonheur and finds him dead in his shop, her old investigative instincts kick in. After the coroner rules the death a suicide, the chef’s handsome French-Canadian brother insists on hiring Abby to find out who really killed Jean-Louis.
With the patience of a farmer and the industriousness of a bee, Abby sorts through a swarm of suspects, including the chef’s landlord, his protégé, an eccentric homeless woman, loan sharks, and a brawny biker. But as she closes in on the truth, she’ll need more than her beekeeper suit to protect her from a killer’s sting…
Includes farming tips and delicious recipes!
Bees are a rather interesting insect. They have had some interesting cameo's in various movies, everything from Fried Green Tomatoes to Sherlock Holmes. There are several idioms involving bees: bee in you bonnet, busy as a bee, Queen Bee, even the bee's knees. And let's not even get started on the various and sundry uses for the products that bee's produce - honey and beeswax. Seeing a book that showcased them tempted me to add this to my book stack.
Abby is a former police officer who had to leave her profession when she damaged her thumb. Being unable to cock a gun quickly and efficiently is unfortunately, a necessary requirement of the job. However since she has become a farmer, raising bees, chickens and heirloom vegetables, her life has had new meaning. Plus she still keeps her hand in, doing the odd investigation for the DA's office. She doesn't expect to end up spear heading a murder investigation when she finds her client, Jean-Louis dead. The coroner ruled the death a suicide, but too many things didn't add up for Abby and then Jean-Louis's brother shows up requesting her help in finding out the truth.
The start of every chapter has an excerpt from the Henny Penny Farmette Almanac, most concerning bees, and ends with either a gardening tip or recipe concerning something mentioned in that chapter. This was an engaging read, giving us a realistic look at the day to day life of a farmer, even a small one. The mystery was nicely thought out and though I thought I had figured out the whodunit, I wasn't sure of the how and why until the end. There was no cliffhanger, but a nice set up for future books with an eye towards a possible romance in the distant future. I had a good time with this book and gave it 3 stars.
Thank you to Netgalley, Kensington, and Great Escapes for the opportunity to read and review this book.
Meera Lester is the author of nearly two dozen nonfiction books and the proprietress of the real Henny Penny Farmette, located in the San Francisco Bay area in Concord, California. Meera co-founded Writers Connection, a Bay Area organization of writers and publishing professional. Readers can visit her blog at hennypennyfarmette.com.
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