Feel the Bern: A Bernie Sanders Mystery
Fiction Satire/Cozy Mystery
Setting – Vermont
Ten Speed Press (December 6, 2022)
Paperback : 256 pages
ISBN-10 : 198486114X
ISBN-13 : 978-1984861146
Kindle ASIN : B09HH327LC
Who knew fighting for a living wage could be so deadly? Bernie Sanders and his Gen Z intern are drawn into a murder investigation in a small Vermont town in this hilarious spin on cozy mysteries from the New York Times bestselling author of Hope Never Dies: An Obama Biden Mystery.
Fall is bursting out all over Vermont, and while the rest of the Congress enjoys its recess, Senator Bernie Sanders has returned to his beloved home state for a weekend of events in Eagle Creek, “America’s #1 Leaf Peeping Destination.” It’s up to intern and Eagle Creek native Crash Robertson to keep the senator on schedule—and out of trouble.
Crash’s hopes for a quiet homecoming are dashed, however, when the lifeless body of a community banker with ties to “Big Maple” is found in Lake Champlain. While the sheriff’s department closes the case as an accident, a leaked autopsy indicates foul play…with a trail of syrup leading directly to one of the senator’s oldest friends. Bernie, taking a page from the cozy mysteries he’s addicted to, enlists Crash in a quest to uncover the killer’s true identity.
If Crash allows the senator to go too far off-script, it will be the end of her yet-to-begin political career. But as the suspect list grows to include a tech bro set on “disrupting” the maple syrup industry, struggling small-business owners, and even Crash’s own family, she realizes there’s more on the line than her own future. If the unlikely duo can’t solve the mystery of the Maple Murderer before they strike again, Bernie’s life-long fight for justice may come to an unplanned end.
This (totally fictional!) mystery also features recipes from Eagle Creek’s Vermont Country Shed, including Vermont Cheddar Mac & Cheese, “Feel the Bern!” Maple Sriracha Hot Sauce, and more!
It was supposed to be a quiet weekend for Senator Bernie Sanders but he decides to head to Eagle Creek Vermont to be the parade marshall for their fall festival and host a few speaking engagements. Surprisingly his intern Crash Robertson is from Eagle Creek and her mom runs the local store/restaurant/B&B so she is pegged to be his staff for the weekend. Basically to keep him on schedule and out of trouble. It is not as easy as it sounds especially when a local banker’s dead body is found floating near the dock on Lake Champlain.
The police quickly close the case declaring it an accident. Then the good senator receives a leaked copy of the autopsy report showing the man was in fact, murdered. It isn’t long before cozy mystery lover Bernie Sanders is on the case and Crash Robertson is doing everything she can to keep up with him. Suspects are plenty in this little town including members of Crash’s family. Bernie is all about justice and he isn’t going to give up until he gets justice for the murdered man. Crash’s political career could be over before it starts and a quiet weekend in Eagle Creek could be Bernie’s final event unless they can catch the killer before the killer catches them.
I am not sure if Bernie has time to read cozy mysteries but it sure makes this book fun. Amateur sleuths Crash and Bern are taking names and chasing clues. I read and reviewed Hope Never Dies a couple of years ago so I knew what to expect from Andrew Shaffer and he didn’t disappoint.
Bernie, maple syrup, mittens, and murder, what could be better? He really captured Bernie, I could hear all the words in Bernie’s voice as I was reading, especially when he was pontificating lines from speeches the man actually gave in real life. I felt for Crash as she tried to keep him on task but it sure was funny. The man was up for anything.
Like any good cozy mystery, this one was filled with quirky characters, several suspects, twists, turns, and a few red herrings. It is also filled with many laugh-out-loud moments. Picture Bernie ringing up customers at the general store or him attending the local “Beefcake Breakfast” or him explaining how to solve a murder based on cozy mysteries he has read like, There Will Be Bud: A Cannabis Beach Bakeshop Mystery.
There is a truly heartbreaking theme in this book that isn’t funny at all. The town of Eagle Creek’s economy is dire as all the small maple farms are being taken over by a conglomerate. Bernie does his best to save the fictional town but it does shine a light on a real-life problem.
Feel the Bern is a sweet hilarious cozy mystery, heavy on the sweet with maple syrup everywhere and a political twist. When things get too stressful or crazy in government, a book like this by Andrew Shaffer is a Perfect Escape. I still have Hope Rides Again: An Obama Biden Mystery on my TBR stack and with all the crazy in Washington I will be moving it closer to the top. I hope Mr. Shaffer has more stories in the works. We are going to need them.
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