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Deadly Row to Hoe (A Home Crafting Mystery) (edition 2012)

by Cricket McRae

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203515,329 (3.83)None
Member:gaialover
Title:Deadly Row to Hoe (A Home Crafting Mystery)
Authors:Cricket McRae
Info:MIDNIGHT INK (2012), Paperback, 264 pages
Collections:Read 2012, Own, ARC, Your library, eBook
Rating:****
Tags:fiction, netgalley, mystery, cozy, pacific northwest, series, csa, cooking, farming, gardening, soap making, murder, glbtq

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Deadly Row to Hoe by Cricket McRae

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Sophie Mae, husband Barr and housemates Meghan and Erin are now working with a Community Supported Agriculture farm. When Meghan finds a woman buried in the compost pile Sophie is soon on the case to find out who she is and why someone wanted her dead.

Sophie & Barr, Meghan and Erin are fun characters and it seems like each book in this series makes them more fun. Now that Sophie and Barr are married and Erin is hitting the teenage years the complications of their homemade family are growing. Sophie & Barr are working on making the family bigger and Meghan is thinking strongly about marrying beau Kelly.

There is a lot of information on growing your own food, stockpiling it for off-season growing and the joys and trials of freezing and canning food. There were fewer things about soap making but that was also discussed.

I still really enjoy this series and am looking forward to more in the series. ( )
  bookswoman | Mar 31, 2013 |
Cozy mysteries consist of a mystery (that’s not too explicit or bloody) paired with an unlikely investigator, some sort of crafting, a good dose of humor, and a punny title. In other words, they were basically made for me. (Some even come with recipes!) So when this one popped up on NetGalley, I snatched it up, and I’m so glad I did! McRae successfully pulls together everything that makes a cozy great.

The plot is excellent. The murder mystery isn’t too gory, but is also realistic. The body is found in a compost heap, yes, but it’s just a dead body. There aren’t slashed off heads hanging out in tea kettles or something. Everyone is appropriately disturbed by the finding. There’s no ho-hum just another day element at play. Although I admit I had figured out whodunit before the end, the why and when were still a mystery. Plus I never felt that Sophie Mae was being stupid and just missing something. Why it was taking her a bit to see whodunit made total sense. I also really appreciate that GLBTQ people are included in the plot without a big deal being made out of it. They are just another character, which is just how I like my diversity in genre literature.

The characters are fairly three-dimensional for a cozy. Everyone had something I liked and didn’t like about their personality, even the heroine, which is key to characters seeming realistic. There were also a wide variety of people present from Sophie Mae’s best friend’s daughter to an elderly friend of the family. This range is something that is often missing in literature, and I liked seeing it here.

What I really come to cozies for, though, I admit, is the integration of crafting. In this case the theme is participating in a CSA, so parts of the book are devoted to how a CSA works from acquiring your weekly allotment to figuring out how to use it to cooking with it. I really appreciated the quips about having so much of a certain produce that they’re coming out your ears. I also really enjoyed the scenes that discussed taking real time out to cook dinner and what that feels like, such as talking about how garlic smells when you first throw it into a hot pan. I know not all readers enjoy this, but honestly that’s part of the point of a cozy. Taking the time to linger on crafts and talents that take time to cultivate but are well worth it, and McRae incorporated this element very smoothly into the book. I do wish some recipes or CSA tips had been included, but it’s possible I just didn’t see them since I had an advanced copy.

Overall this book has a dash of everything enjoyable about a cozy mystery. Recommended to cozy fans, particularly those in or considering a CSA.

Check out my full review: http://wp.me/pp7vL-V8 ( )
  gaialover | Nov 29, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0738733083, Paperback)

Harvest time in Cadyville, Washington, finds Sophie Mae Ambrose volunteering at the local organic farm--and trying to make a little sprout of her own with Barr, her police detective husband. A dead body found in the farm's compost heap is enough to cast dark clouds over Sophie Mae's sunny mood, and when Barr's boss lets her know they need help identifying the body, a reluctant Sophie Mae presses her network of friends and neighbors into action. When a farmhand is found unconscious with a shovel-shaped bump on his head, Sophie Mae turns up the heat on their crop of suspects. If she and Barr don't root out the killer, it's only a matter of time before another victim is squashed.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:30:48 -0400)

Harvest time in Cadyville, Washington, finds Sophie Mae Ambrose volunteering at the local organic farm--and trying to make a little sprout of her own with Barr, her police detective husband. A dead body found in the farm's compost heap is enough to cast dark clouds over Sophie Mae's sunny mood, and when Barr's boss lets her know they need help identifying the body, a reluctant Sophie Mae presses her network of friends and neighbors into action. When a farmhand is found unconscious with a shovel-shaped bump on his head, Sophie Mae turns up the heat on their crop of suspects. If she and Barr don't root out the killer, it's only a matter of time before another victim is squashed.… (more)

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