A Hive of Homicides: A Henny Penny Farmette Mystery

Meera Lester. Kensington, $25 (288p) ISBN 978-1-61773-917-0
At the start of Lester’s touching third Henny Penny Farmette mystery (after 2016’s Murder of a Queen Bee), ex-cop-turned-farmer Abigail Mackenzie attends a church ceremony at which her friend Paola Varola renews her wedding vows with Jake Winston, the owner of the Country Schoolhouse Winery in Las Flores, Calif. After the reception at the winery, Abby hears a gunshot and finds Paola gravely wounded and Jake dead in a car parked outside. The police warn her not to interfere, but Abby conducts a quiet investigation on her own. The event awakens long-buried traumas from Abby’s past, and she seeks help with her anxiety from psychologist Olivia Crawford, a newcomer in town who’s also the sister of Abby’s secret crush, Lucas Crawford. After a suspect in the shooting is killed, Abby realizes that someone means to get rid of possible witnesses—including the injured Paola and Abby herself. Lester’s sensitive portrayal of Abby’s struggle with her wounded psyche raises this traditional mystery above the pack. Agent: Paula Munier, Talcott-Notch Literary Agency. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/14/2017
Release date: 09/26/2017
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