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Killer Jam by Karen MacInerney
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I enjoyed this book. I was in the mood for a cozy mystery and really wasn't sure which one I wanted to read when I spotted this book in Amazon's Prime Reading. I actually had no idea that there were audiobooks included in the program but that is a whole other story. I decided to borrow this book and take a chance on it since it was the first in a series. It turned out to be a whole lot of fun in the end.

Lucy has just bought her grandmother's old farm in Buttercup, Texas. She really wants to make a go of it and is busy making jams and trying to contain her wandering cow. She runs into problems right away when a truck shows up on her property to look for oil. She learns that when she bought her farm the previous owner, Nettie, retained the mineral rights and there isn't much that she can do to stop her from looking for oil.

I guess pretty early on that Nettie was probably not going to be around for very long. I couldn't stand her character and kind of wanted her to come to a quick end myself. The sheriff is convinced right away that Lucy must be responsible and really doesn't work to hard to actually look for any evidence so it is up to Lucy to prove that she is innocent.

The mystery kept me guessing and I was really never quite sure who the villain would be in this story. There was actually a lot to this story in addition to the mystery. Lucy's best friend is dealing with a difficult situation and Lucy does her best to help. There is even a bit of romance with the local vet who seems to be a pro at catching wandering cows. I loved that there was a touch of humor spread throughout the book.

I enjoyed the narration in the end. This is the first time that I have listened to Teri Clark Linden and it did take me a little bit to get used to her style of narration but that is actually pretty normal for me. Once I really got into the story, I really enjoyed the narration. I think she did a great job with all of the different voices in the story and her pacing was perfect. I would definitely listen to her narration again in the future.

I would recommend this book to fans of cozy mysteries. I thought that this was a fun story filled with some really great characters. This was the first time that I have read any of Karen MacInerney's work and look forward to reading more of this series in the future. ( )
  Carolesrandomlife | Jun 16, 2017 |
I enjoy MacInernery's Gray Whale Inn series, and I expected to like this one too. I was not disappointed. The setting for this series is the world that Gray Whale Inn's Natalie left to move to Maine. This series is set in rural Texas. Lucy Resnick has acquired Dewberry Farm and is trying to make a go of the place. Somehow she has, in her purchase of the farm, not ever acquired, or even inquired, about drilling or mineral rights. The owner of said rights, a nasty piece of work, announces her intent to drill. A few days later she turns up dead. Lucy is the main suspect. so she starts investigating. Everyone in town hated the victim, but Lucy remains the focus of the police investigation. Along the way she finds some historical clues that suggest a secret in the town's past.

Like all of MacInerney's books this is well-written, and is a cut above many other cozy mysteries. I always expect a quality book from MacInerney, and I always get one. While I did enjoy this sotry, I had a really hard time digesting the idea that someone buying a farm would pay no attention to the resource rights. I mean, isn't that farmland 101? I know Lucy's supposed to be a city slicker, but somewhere along the way a lawyer would have maybe caught this? If Lucy had been researching starting a small farm surely she would have noticed this? This aside, I do plan to read the other books in the series. ( )
  lahochstetler | Mar 3, 2017 |
Sissy: There were some entertainingly quirky characters in Killer Jam by Karen MacInerney but I especially enjoyed the antagonists. Yes, there were more than one! They were terrifically nasty, underhanded, scheming sneaky slimeballs and it’s not surprising that one of them gets skewered with a kabob (not that I agree with random skewerings, no matter how heinous the person).
Bubby: I know a few people that I’d have skewered (non-fatally) if given the chance. But I never did. I’m excited to see more from Karen MacInerney. See full review at www.bubblebath-books.com. ( )
  bubblebathbooks | Aug 3, 2015 |
A heifer is a young cow that has never had a calf. A cow that has never had a calf does not give milk. If Ms MacInenery does not know this then she knows nothing about farming and why should I read any more of this book or the series?

Once again, Thomas and Mercer, the lack of technicians on your editing team shows.

I received a review copy of this Killer Jam: A Dewberry Farm Mystery by Karen MacInerney (Thomas and Mercer) through NetGalley.com. ( )
1 vote Dokfintong | Jul 30, 2015 |
I just finished the first book in a new series called Killer Jam by Karen MacInerney. The series is called Dewberry Farm Mystery series. Lucy Resnick has bought Dewberry Farm which used to belong to her grandparents (they had to sell it fifteen years ago). Lucy was a report in Houston until the paper had to downsize. Lucy is going to earn money with making candles, jam, making cheese, and selling produce. She has acquired one cow that she named Blossom. Blossom is less than cooperative. She likes to dump full buckets of milk and has turned out to be an escape artist (the seller failed to mention this to Lucy).

Lucy is using her Grandmother Vogel’s recipe book for making the jam and other delights from her garden (and orchards). Lucy can swear she smells violets on occasion (which was her grandmother’s scent) but that cannot be possible. One day Butch Simmons from Lone Star Explorations show up at Dewberry Farms. Evidently, Lucy does not own the mineral rights to the land (only surface rights). The real estate agent failed to disclose this to Lucy upon purchase. The owner is asserting her rights to land (even though she has owned it for fifteen years) and they are going to start digging up Lucy’s new vegetable beds. The owner of the mineral rights is Nettie Kocurek. Nettie is a woman who always gets her own way no matter what she has to do. She has ruled the town and her daughter, Flora with an iron fist.

They are getting ready to announce the winner of the Founders Day Festival Jam Off when a scream rings out. Nettie Kocurek is dead in the jam tent with a bratwurst skewer to the heart (you knew she was going to be killed). Sheriff Rooster Kocurek (he is a relation to Nettie) has decided that Lucy is the killer (without any evidence). Lucy will have to investigate to prove herself innocent. Then Lucy stumbles upon another body which provides just the right clue she needs to solve the murders. If she can just prove it before the sheriff arrests her for both murders. Lucy would really like to stay out of jail since she has just started dating Dr. Tobias Brandt, the local vet.

Lucy’s friend, Quinn Sloane is experiencing some troubles from her ex-husband. Jed, the ex-husband, is extremely violent especially when he is drunk. Can Lucy keep Quinn safe from Jed (you know the sheriff is not going to help)? Then there is the mystery of an old murder from the 1940’s. A newspaper blew down from the loft in the barn (there were no open windows and no breeze blowing). It tells about a murder that was never solved. Lucy works on finding out what really happened back in 1940 and how it impacts the life of a certain town member.

Lucy is up to her next in trouble! She will have to work hard to keep herself out of jail and on Dewberry Farm. Can Grandma Vogel really be haunting Dewberry Farm or is it someone else? Check out Killer Jam to find out! I enjoyed Killer Jam. The murders (all three of them) were simple to solve (maybe I have read too many mysteries), but I enjoyed following the clues. I give Killer Jam 5 out of 5 stars. I liked the characters and the humor in the book. I also loved the paranormal element (or the possibility of a ghost)! I look forward to the next book in this series.

I received a complimentary copy of Killer Jam from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The review and opinions expressed are my own. ( )
  Kris_Anderson | Jul 27, 2015 |
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When Houston reporter Lucy Resnick cashes in her retirement to buy her grandmother's farm in Buttercup, Texas, she's looking forward to a simple life as a homesteader. But Lucy has barely finished putting up her first batch of Killer Dewberry Jam when an oil exploration truck rolls up to the farm and announces plans to replace her broccoli patch with an oil derrick. Two days later, Nettie Kocurek, the woman who ordered the drilling, turns up dead at the Founders' Day Festival with a bratwurst skewer through her heart and one of Lucy's jam jars beside her...and the sheriff fingers Lucy as the prime suspect. Horrified, Lucy begins to talk to Nettie's neighbors, but the more she gets to know the townspeople, the more she realizes she's not the only one who had a beef with Nettie. Can she clear her name, or will her dream life turn into a nightmare?… (more)

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