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Six Cloves Under (A Garlic Farm Mystery) by Gin Jones #Review

Six Cloves Under (A Garlic Farm Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Massachusetts
Publisher: Lyrical Underground (April 21, 2020)
Paperback: 229 pages
ISBN-10: 1516109619
ISBN-13: 978-1516109616
Kindle ASIN: B07TV24GPW

App developer Mabel Skinner is about to discover something rotten on her late aunt’s garlic farm—and it’s not the compost heap . . .


Mabel doesn’t know a stinkin’ thing about garlic farming. She knows how to develop an app and how-to code. But when her aunt, Peggy Skinner, dies suddenly, Mabel inherits her Stinkin’ Stuff Farm in western Massachusetts. She arrives during peak harvest time—with three days to bring in the entire crop before rain can destroy it.


But Mabel has an even bigger problem: she suspects her aunt’s “accidental death” was murder. As she digs for both garlic and clues, Mabel must contend with a mysterious crop thief, a rival garlic grower her aunt was suing, and a farmer who was after Aunt Peggy’s green-thumb secret. It’s up to Mabel to crack the code on a killer, before she joins the garlic bulbs six cloves under . . .


Dollycas’s Thoughts

Mabel Skinner hasn’t visited her Aunt Peggy is years. Then her aunt suddenly dies and she has left her the Stinkin’ Stuff Garlic Farm. Mabel a successful App developer hopes she can tie up the loose ends with the final harvest and get back to her life.

But Mabel starts to believe her aunt’s death may not have been as accidental as everyone believes. When she starts to dig for clues she finds much more than she bargained for. She has put herself in the killer’s path. She may find herself buried six feet under, pushing up garlic, if she isn’t very careful.

Mabel Skinner is a tough nut to crack, determined and smart, but a little hard to warm up too. Her analytical skills are top-notch and do come in handy when tracking a killer and determining the in and outs of a garlic farm. I really wish her relationship with her aunt had been more current because I think that is going to bother her beyond the pages of this first story. Mabel did grow on me by the end of the story.

Ms. Jones does introduce us to a fine crew of supporting characters that come together to bring in the garlic crop. Many in the community are dedicated and loved Aunt Peggy. In fact, the entire town is counting on Mabel to finish the garlic harvest, which is touted as the Best Garlic on the East Coast. Restauranteurs, the local CSA, the farmer’s market, even the librarian is counting on that crop. All the residents we meet really grow over the pages of the first book. Rory is a true stand out. That woman has more energy in her little finger than I ever had in my entire body. The author has left plenty of room for growth for all the characters and I am excited about that.

The mystery was very well-plotted. There really aren’t any straight forward clues until later in the book. I actually suspected everyone. Things didn’t add up for me or Mabel, but accidental death surely wasn’t the cause. She needed proof and it was hard to come by. I enjoyed the chase, the questions, the quest for the truth. When I honed in on the real culprit it was just a feeling. When that feeling proved right I was actually pretty stunned.

I love garlic and the garlic farm theme is one I was am excited about. I learned a lot and that is always a bonus. I love that the farm is called the Stinkin’ Stuff Farm. The second crop of lavender also interests me.

Six Cloves Under is a nice start for this series. A variety of characters and a puzzling mystery was a very enjoyable read. I am looking forward to the next book in this series. Rhubarb Pie Before You Die will be released in December. 

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About the Author

Gin is a retired lawyer who specialized in ghost-writing for other lawyers. She prefers to write her own books, though, since she doesn’t have to worry that her sense of humor might get her thrown into jail for contempt of court. In her spare time, Gin makes quilts, grows garlic, and advocates for patients with rare disorders. Find more stories by Gin Jones here. Visit her website here.

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.”