Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am so happy to welcome Peg Cochran to Escape With Dollycas today!
By Peg Cochran
(Provided by the publicist)
There is a certain irony in the fact that I am writing the Farmer’s Daughter series which takes place on Love Blossom Farm in the fictional Michigan town of Lovett. I didn’t grow up on a farm and my gardening skills can best be described as “limited.”
The suburb where I grew up is much more built up now but back then there was actually a very small farm about two miles away from where they grew corn and sold it at a roadside stand. The highlight of the summer was those first ears of fresh Jersey corn.
My grandparents had a fair amount of property behind their house and grew lots of vegetables (tomatoes, tomatoes, and more tomatoes!), fruits and herbs. The air around their house always smelled of basil and now when I smell the herb I’m immediately transported back to their home. My grandfather even grew grapes for the wine he made himself.
Sadly the green thumb wasn’t passed to me. I had good luck with tomatoes one year and the next year…not so much. I think I harvested three tomatoes from two plants. I did manage some herbs and my small lavender “starter” plant actually grew into a bush.
And mint! Note to self: next time plant mint in a container not in the ground! I had enough mint to make mint juleps for the entire county! And lemon balm, too. But I must say our yard smelled heavenly when the breeze blew over my herb garden!
So a lot of research went into this series—I spent a fair amount of time looking up growing seasons and what might be planted/growing/reaped in which month in the Mitten State. I learned about canning, storing root vegetables for the winter and even cheese making.
It was tons of fun, and I hope you’ll have as much fun reading Bought the Farm!
Thank you, Peg, so much for visiting today!
Now let me give you my thoughts on Bought the Farm.
Bought the Farm (Farmer’s Daughter Mystery)
3rd in Series
Setting – Michigan
Berkley (June 5, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
Kindle ASIN: B075HYXZ45
Wedding preparations are in full swing at Love Blossom Farm as food-and-lifestyle blogger Shelby McDonald transforms the property for her friend Kelly’s down-home country-style reception. But when the lead singer of the wedding band turns up dead–drowned in a trough full of rainwater and strung up like a scarecrow–the police round themselves up a barnful of suspects.
It seems that Travis sowed the seeds of discord wherever he went, and when it becomes clear that everyone from the groom to Shelby’s own staff has motive, tracking down Travis’ killer is going to be more difficult than finding a needle in a haystack. As Shelby finds herself drawn deeper into the investigation, she’ll have to move quickly before the killer decides to put her out to pasture…
INCLUDES DELICIOUS RECIPES
Love is in the air at Love Blossom Farm. Shelby McDonald is hosting her friends, Seth and Kelly’s barn wedding. The mother of the groom wanted an entirely different venue, but Shelby’s barn does look really pretty. The bride’s cousin and his band are on hand for the music and food is being barbecued for the dinner. After the wedding and the reception has ended and everything is back to “normal”, Shelby makes a frightening discovery. The lead singer from the band strung up like a scarecrow. Dead, yes, he is very dead, but Shelby has no idea what could have killed him. There is no blood, so obvious cause. Could one of her guests have killed him? or someone in the bridal party? or someone Shelby had hired? Maybe it was another member of the band? Everyone at the wedding is a suspect. Detective Frank McDonald may need Shelby’s help to solve this one. At least that is what she thinks.
These characters are very down to earth. Shelby is a food and lifestyle blogger who has a huge garden. She sells some of her harvests at Jake’s store. She posts recipes and gardening tips on her blog. I love that her blog posts are part of the book.
She is also raising 2 children, Billy and Amelia. Amelia is dealing with a bully issue at school. A current and relevant topic and I appreciated the insight shown by the author in a fictional way that really resonates. Shelby is also worried about Bert who is not feeling well. Also, a member of the church has asked her to check out the pastor’s girlfriend. The member is sure she has a shady past.
The murder mystery itself is full of twists and turns and even includes another murder that changes not only Shelby’s thinking but this reader’s as well. The singer’s past is pretty dark and his actions could lead to a few people that would have the motive to kill. So many suspects are holding things back or outright lying. That makes the case hard to solve. There are some suspenseful moments as the killer is revealed. I may have solved it just a little bit before.
The setting in Michigan, Love Blossom Farm sounds like a perfect place. A great place to raise children. A place I would have loved to live when our family was just starting out. I think leasing out the barn for weddings is a great source for extra income. If no one else gets murdered, of course.
I do enjoy the way Ms. Cochran writes. Her “Hello Reader” blog posts and tidbits make me feel right at home. Her descriptive style brings everything into focus. She builds up her characters lives in a very realistic way. I found myself invested in what was happening with all the characters. Shelby does make a decision about her romantic life. It was hard, but I feel she made the right decision.
The entire story is very entertaining. A great installment to this series. I hope we get to visit Love Blossom Farm again soon.
About The Author
Mystery writing lets Peg indulge her curiosity under the guise of “work” (aka research). As a kid, she read the entire set of children’s encyclopedias her parents gave her and has been known to read the dictionary. She put pen to paper at age seven when she wrote plays and forced her cousins to perform them at Christmas dinner. She switched to mysteries when she discovered the perfect hiding place for a body down the street from her house.
When she’s not writing, she spends her time reading, cooking, spoiling her granddaughter and checking her book’s stats on Amazon.
A former Jersey girl, Peg now resides in Michigan with her husband and Westhighland white terrier, Reg. She is the author of the Sweet Nothings Lingerie series (written as Meg London), the Gourmet De-Lite series, the Lucille series, and now the Cranberry Cove series. Her newest series, the Farmer’s Daughter, debuted with No Farm, No Foul in September 2016. Sowed to Death followed in July 2017. Bought the Farm is available now.
Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
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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.”