I just love it when Edith Maxwell drops by for a visit!
Her latest Local Foods Mystery was just released on May 30th!
I’m delighted to be a guest here again. Thanks for inviting me, Lori!. Mulch Ado About Murder, my fifth Local Foods Mystery, came out on May 30 and I’ll give away a signed hardcover to one commenter here today.
Here’s the cover text:
It’s been a hot, dry spring in Westbury, Massachusetts. As organic farmer Cam Flaherty waits for much-needed rain, storm clouds of mystery begin to gather. Once again, it’s time to put away her sun hat and put on her sleuthing cap when a fellow farmer is found dead in a vat of hydroponic slurry—clutching a set of rosary beads. Showers may be scarce this spring, but there’s no shortage of suspects, including the dead woman’s embittered ex-husband, the Other Man whose affair ruined their marriage, and Cam’s own visiting mother. Lucky for Cam, her nerdy academic father turns out to have a knack for sleuthing. Will he and Cam be able to clear Mom’s name before the killer strikes again?
This is the first cozy mystery series I wrote. I am often asked why I write in the genre I do, and my answer is that I love reading cozies. Real life is scary enough. I don’t need my down time to be filled with car chases and international thrillers, or with depressing noir and male detectives always commenting on women’s legs and other “assets.”
When I started writing the first book more than twenty years ago, I had a small certified organic farm, so I figured, hey, write what you know. I didn’t finish the book until 2012, after I landed the contract with Kensingon Publishing, but I loved the world I had set up all those years earlier so I kept it. It’s a classic cozy setup: an outsider returns to a small town, a cast of recurring characters support her amateur sleuthing, and justice is restored in the end.
In the case of the Local Foods Mysteries, Cam Flaherty is the outsider. She’s a former software engineer who takes over her great-uncle Albert’s farm at his request when he can’t do the work anymore. The cast of regulars are members of the Locavore Club, a group of locals who believe strongly in eating food grown close to where they live. And justice is restored by the end of every book.
Throughout the series, Cam has been referring to her peripatetic academic parents, to whom she isn’t particularly close, but we’ve never met them – until this book. Right away Cam’s mother Deb gets involved in a public protest against a new hydroponic farmer, and she was seen going into the farmer’s greenhouse. So when Nicole turns up dead, you know the police want to talk to Deb.
The series is set in a town modeled on West Newbury, in the northeast corner of Massachusetts, where I had my farm. One of the annual spectacles is the Memorial Day parade, with all the quirks and color only a small town can present. I knew I wanted to include it in a book, and I love that book came out exactly at the time it is set (as did the first book in the series. A Tine to Live, a Tine to Die).
I love writing this series and immersing myself in the farming life again without having to do all the hard work. Lots of readers have written me saying how much they learned about small-scale farming. I hope you like it, too.
Readers: What’s your favorite quirky Memorial Day parade? How about the small farm where you like to buy produce? I’ll give away a signed hardcover copy of the book to one commenter.
About Edith Maxwell
2017 double Agatha-nominated and national best-selling author Edith Maxwell writes the Local Foods Mysteries and the Quaker Midwife Mysteries; as Maddie Day she writes the Country Store Mysteries and the Cozy Capers Book Group Mysteries. Her award-winning short crime fiction has appeared in many juried anthologies and journals, and she serves as President of Sisters in Crime New England.
A fourth-generation Californian and former tech writer, farmer, and doula, Maxwell now writes, cooks, gardens (and wastes time as a Facebook addict) north of Boston with her beau and three cats. She blogs at WickedCozyAuthors.com, Killer Characters, and with the Midnight Ink authors. Find her on Facebook, twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and at www.edithmaxwell.com.
As Tace Baker
As Maddie Day
Mulch Ado about Murder (Local Foods Mystery)
5th in Series
Setting – Massachusetts
Kensington (May 30, 2017)
Hardcover: 304 pages
Kindle ASIN: B01LJKQGES
It’s been a hot, dry spring in Westbury, Massachusetts. As organic farmer Cam Flaherty waits for much-needed rain, storm clouds of mystery begin to gather. Once again, it’s time to put away her sun hat and put on her sleuthing cap . . .
May has been anything but merry for Cam so far. Her parents have arrived unexpectedly and her crops are in danger of withering away. But all of that’s nothing compared to the grim fate that lies in store for one of her neighbors. Nicole Kingsbury is the proud owner of the town’s new hydroponic greenhouse. She claims the process will be 100% organic, but she uses chemicals to feed her crops. To Cam’s surprise, her mother embarrasses her by organizing a series of loud public protests against Nicole’s operation.
When Nicole is found dead in a vat of hydroponic slurry—clutching another set of rosary beads—Detective Pete Pappas has a new murder to solve. Showers may be scarce this spring, but there’s no shortage of suspects, including the dead woman’s embittered ex‑husband, the Other Man whose affair ruined their marriage, and Cam’s own mother. Lucky for Cam, her father turns out to have a knack for sleuthing—not to mention dealing with chickens. Will he and Cam be able to clear Mrs. Flaherty’s name before the killer strikes again?
Spring is such a busy time for a farmer. The last thing Cam needs is a surprise visit from her parents. O.K. that’s not the last thing she needs, the last thing she needs is to get wrapped up in another murder. But that is just what she does. When she arrives at the new hydroponic greenhouse to drop off some seedlings she finds the owner Nicole Kingsbury dead in a vat of slurry. Because of the group protesting outside the greenhouse she has plenty of witnesses to provide an alibi for the time she arrives. Unfortunately that doesn’t work for her mom, who happens to be one of the protesters. There are plenty of other suspects too but her mom is hiding something. To keep her mom out of jail she is going to be assisting the local police including her boyfriend Detective Pete Pappas.
What I really like about these stories is that Cam does the her sleuthing but she quickly tells the police anything she finds even if they don’t always appreciate her help. This time her dad even lends a hand.
Edith Maxwell has created such a vibrant cast of characters. Cam has really grown into her role as a farmer. I love that she has a group of volunteers that help with the chores and receive produce for their labors. They span all ages from teenagers to senior citizens.
Of course, I have heard of organic farming but hydroponic farming is brand new to me. The author educates the reader in the course of the story. I found the process very interesting.
The story is well written with important seeds sprinkled throughout getting us closer and closer to finding the killer. The family dynamic that grows between Cam and her parents was just as engaging as the murder mystery. The author gives us suspense and drama peppered with humor and also gives us several heartwarming moments too. Cam and Pete’s relationship has to take a little break because of the investigation but its strength shines in the way they handle the separation.
This is a strong addition for this series. A perfect summer read. And there are recipes in the back of the book too. Yes, it can be read as a stand alone. PICK yours up today!
Readers: What’s your favorite quirky Memorial Day parade? How about the small farm where you like to buy produce? Tell me in the comments below. I’ll give away a signed hardcover copy of the book to one commenter.
Winner will be chosen Tuesday Morning – June 13
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Comments on “Special Guest – Edith Maxwell – Author of Mulch Ado About Murder – #GuestPost / #Review / #Giveaway”
We have a farmer’s market to buy produce. It’s by a parking ramp–so that really adds to the ambiance! My favorite is the loaves of bread!
We have several Farmers Markets in the area and produce stands also. We usually make a trip to one of our favorites after book club each month, since we “are in the area” anyway. Love getting local grown food!
There are two farmer’s markets in towns close by. One is open on Saturday morning and the other is open Monday – Friday. I visit both of those for fresh vegetables. There is also a small farm on the outskirts of the town I live in that has a produce stand that is open Monday – Saturday. They had wonderful strawberries earlier this season. Now they have other fresh fruits and vegetables.
Our farmers market is ok. Doesn’t draw a large crowd and I wish that more farmers would do it for the fresh produce people could buy.
Thank you for hosting Edith Maxwell and her latest book. Her writing style and subject of her books are so inviting. One year when our children were little, their 4-H group was invited to ride on the top of the firetruck that was in the Memorial Parade. Of course they had to be accompanied by an adult so my husband I had to climb up and ride with them. When the parade was over and we got off my husband found he had lost his wallet. A mad search was held and lo and behold it was found on the top of the firetruck. What a laugh was had by all of us who were involved.
I used to get fresh veggies delivered weekly from a local farm—it was great because there was always a surprise of some fruit or veggie that was unusual. But then the farm closed so now I have to go to a farmers market and it seems like I very seldom try something I’ve never eaten.
We have a wonderful produce stand near us. The Linebergers sell all kinds of produce from their farms. Strawberries and Blackberries and Pumpkins, pick your own or buy picked ones, corn, cantaloupe, cucumbers, tomatoes, peaches…etc.!
I live in a small town and we have several farmer’s markets in my area. It is wonderful to buy fresh produce straight from the farm.
We don’t have a Memorial Day parade around here but as for small farm stands, we have 2. One is known for pies and scones along with fresh fruit and the other has a special strawberry shortcake stand that is AMAZING with all the fresh fruits and veggies there. So much yumminess, I have to pace myself!
The farmer’s market where we live is filled with fresh fruit and veggies. I depend on the market for my healthy eating and enjoy the produce which is available.
We have a farmer’s market that meets once a week for a few hours. I wish they were permanent or had longer hours, though.
Memorial Day will always be the town parade for me. The “best” part (most memorable) was watching the school bands members in their wool uniforms start fainting from the heat as they stood listening to the speakers!
Memorial Day Parades always serve as a reminder to me of how many men and women sacrificed their lives for our freedom. The patriotic music and floats make me proud to be an
American. When our daughter was younger she twirled in parades– it was so fun to watch her and her group. Thank you for the giveaway opportunity.
Although it’s no longer around, for every parade there was this big bull type statue, they would drag through the parade. It was from a steak place in town. It is no longer in our community but it was sorta funny to see it there in every parade.
Forgot my addy. jluebke(st)frontier(dot)com
I like to visit the Lake Oswego (Oregon) Farmers’ Market.
We don’t have a Farmer’s Market here, but there’s a beautiful one in Tishomingo County hosted by the Co-op. I visited it when I lived there and I’ll stop by there while I’m “home” this summer. As for the parade, we have an interesting parade that features our living military members (current or retired) marching in honor of all those who’ve gone before to defend our country.
The small rural town that I moved to in Iowa a year ago has a ceremony at our Veteran’s Memorial, followed by a fund raising lunch by & for the Legion.
Love to buy veggies at our local farmer market.
Drakebdog at gmail dot com
we have a large veggie garden but we do have a strawberry/raspberry farm close by that we go and pick
I’m from berry country in Michigan and I like go to the strawberry farm to buy fresh strawberries. Also, there are awesome farmer’s markets and farm stands in the area.
We live on the Pacific ocean and have wonderful organic farms her3 all along7u the cuoast. I love buying their produce on a,Saturday morning at our farfarmers market . The greens,are the best I have ever had. It’s good to buy from our local farmers
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