Mulch Ado About Murder

Edith Maxwell. Kensington, $25 (304p) ISBN 978-1-4967-0029-2
Maxwell’s engaging fifth Local Foods mystery (after 2016’s Murder Most Fowl) opens with organic farmer Cam Flaherty’s discovery of the body of Nicole Kingsbury, who recently relocated to Westbury, Mass., to open a hydroponic greenhouse. Suspects include Nicole’s ex-husband and his new paramour; the man with whom Nicole had the affair that ended her marriage; and Deb Flaherty, Cam’s mother, a visiting professor who organized protests against the greenhouse for billing its hydroponic produce as organic. As Cam and her father, William, investigate, they realize Deb is keeping a secret that could hold the key to the murder. Series fans will be delighted by William’s proclivity for chickens, as well as a deepening relationship between father and daughter. Cold, distant Deb is less nuanced than her husband, however, and Cam’s boyfriend, Pete Pappas, remains in the background in a plot that relies heavily on coincidences. Still, Maxwell provides sufficient backstory for new readers and rounds out the volume with recipes for several of the dishes Cam and her parents savor. Agent: John Talbot, Talbot Fortune Agency. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/10/2017
Release date: 05/30/2017
Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 320 pages - 978-1-4967-0031-5
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