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A Beeline To Murder by Meera Lester
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Very enjoyable cozy, featuring former police officer, current aspiring farmer, Abigail Mackenzie.

Although her life is almost monopolized by her bees, chicken, and farm work, Abby still has time to stumble upon mysteries. Due to her prior police training, she also has the time and ability to take an active part in solving said mysteries.

On this occasion, we are introduced to Abby's former colleagues at the police department, her neighbors, her previous/current/possible future loves, and the beautiful backdrop of Bay Area small town California.

A comfortable, pleasing read. As the development of her farm, supplemented by her detecting side job, has endless possibilities to expand upon, I trust that this series will flourish. Especially after this introduction.

**eARC netgalley** ( )
  Critterbee | Apr 16, 2018 |
First in a new series, this cozy is a sweet treat. When an injury forces homicide cop Abby Mackenzie to change careers, she still can’t squelch her cop instincts when she finds a dead body. One of her customers, a renowned chef, is declared a suicide but his brother believes it was murder. He hires Abby to ferret out the truth. Abby takes time out from her bee-keeping duties to search for clues, but the bees are always close to her heart. Gradually, Abby finds heart is also leaning towards the chef’s handsome brother. An interesting plot and delightful characters will keep you turning pages, and the fascinating bee-keeping tidbits and recipes are a bonus to the story. ( )
  Maydacat | Nov 28, 2016 |
A Beeline to Murder by Meera Lester was an interesting story. I was distracted by the style of writing where homilies, recipes or bee keeping tips were interpersed. It was just not my cup of tea. However, because the story-line itself was intriguing, I gave it four stars.
Abigail (Abby) Mackenzie is a former police officer who received an injury to her hand & thumb that prevented her from shooting. She turned into a farmer & bee keeper.

A Chef in Las Flores was murdered & Abby was hired by his brother to investigate.

I received a complimentary kindle copy from Kensington Publishing & NetGalley. That did not change my opinion for this review. ( )
  carolyninjoy | Jun 11, 2016 |
A Beeline to Murder by Meera Lester is the first book in A Henny Penny Farmette Mystery series. Abigail Mackenzie is thirty-seven years old and is hard at work on her farmette (a small residential farm). She supplements her income by being a private investigator (helping the local DA with cases). Abby also has honey bees and sells honey. Her best customer is Chef Jean-Louis Bonheur and his pastry shop. When Abby arrives to deliver his lavender honey, no one answers. She discovers Chef Jean-Louis dead in the kitchen. It looks like he was strangled. Abby immediately calls the police. Abby was a police officer for seven years until her hand was injured (her thumb is not consistently stable which means she cannot shoot a gun). Her friend, Officer Katerina “Kat” Petrovky is the officer assigned the case (Abby is thankful that Chief Bob Allen did not show up).

The preliminary investigation concludes it was suicide. The victim’s brother, Philippe Bonheur does not believe it. He knows that his brother would never kills himself and even had a trip to the Caribbean planned for his birthday. Philippe hires Abby to investigate the crime and prove it was murder. Abby investigates the crime with Philippe’s help in between taking care of her chickens, swarming bees (moving to a new location), handling Sugar (Chef Jean-Louis’ dog), and planting appropriate plants for her bees. Abby can really use the money from the case to help fix up her house (which needs work). Will Abby be able to prove Chef Jean-Louis was murdered? Who wanted Chef Jean-Louis dead?

I enjoyed reading A Beeline to Murder. It is a cute cozy mystery with the lovely setting of Las Flores, California. Abby Mackenzie is a likeable main character, but I wish we were given more information about her. The information we are given is given out in little bits throughout the story (which I found frustrating). We are not given a lot of information about the other characters in the book (I do know that Philippe is extremely handsome as it was mentioned several times). I think the characters just need to be fleshed out a little bit (given life). The author provided good clues to the mystery and provided a little twist at the end. I found the person responsible for the crime to be obvious, but that could just be me (I picked out the person responsible not long after the character was introduced). Overall, it is a good first book. I will definitely read the next book in the series. The one thing I did not like was that the crime happened almost immediately at the beginning of the story. I think we needed a little more of an introduction before we get to the dead person. I give A Beeline to Murder 4 out of 5 stars. The books does provide some great tips on taking care of bees, making good honey, and the right type of fauna to plant for bees (makes me wish I was not allergic to them).

I received a complimentary copy of A Beeline to Murder from NetGalley (and the publisher) in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  Kris_Anderson | Sep 28, 2015 |
"A Beeline to Murder" by Meera Lester is a mystery novel whose main character, Abigail Mackenzie, is a beekeeper, small farm owner, and retired law enforcement officer. The novel took off for me on the second chapter, due to my many years of interest in hobby farming.

This is an enjoyable read for anyone interested in mystery,small farms, beekeeping,and gardening. I recommend this as a great selection for any mystery book club monthly read, or anyone who loves a cozy mystery to read and relax by.

I received "A Beeline to Murder" by Meera Lester from the publisher Kensington Books from the Goodreads Giveaway for an honest review. ( )
  jcozart | Sep 28, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 161773909X, Hardcover)

From peacekeeper to beekeeper…
 
After an injury forced her to leave the police department, Abigail Mackenzie started a second career as a farmer. Raising chickens, harvesting honey from her bee colony, and growing heirloom vegetables on her farmette in the beautiful Bay Area town of Las Flores, Abby has embraced all the benefits of a peaceful life.
 
But when she attempts to deliver her trademark honey to local pastry chef Jean-Louis Bonheur and finds him dead in his shop, her old investigative instincts kick in. After the coroner rules the death a suicide, the chef’s handsome French-Canadian brother insists on hiring Abby to find out who really killed Jean-Louis.
 
With the patience of a farmer and the industriousness of a bee, Abby sorts through a swarm of suspects, including the chef’s landlord, his protégé, an eccentric homeless woman, loan sharks, and a brawny biker. But as she closes in on the truth, she’ll need more than her beekeeper suit to protect her from a killer’s sting…
 
Includes farming tips and delicious recipes!

Praise for A Beeline To Murder

“A mystery featuring a lady cop turned farmer who can't help digging up clues? What fun!”—Joanne Fluke, New York Times bestselling author of the Hannah Swensen Mysteries
 
“Ex-cop Abby Mackenzie may have traded her badge for a garden hoe and a beekeeper’s hood, but danger and crime won’t leave her alone. Beekeeping and garden tips, yummy recipes, and a darling dog named Sugar give this honey of a debut a special flavor that will leave readers buzzing happily.”—Leslie Budewitz, Agatha Award-winning author of the Spice Shop Mysteries
 
“This fun cozy mystery brings a triple treat: a California wine country setting, a touch of romance with a handsome Frenchman, and country hints and recipes from the writer's own farmette.”—Rhys Bowen, New York Times bestselling author of the Molly Murphy and Royal Spyness mysteries
 
A Beeline to Murder is a must-read for anyone who loves animals and enjoys a crime-fighting romp that blends rescue and romance, with an irresistible woman-plus-pooch sleuth duo leading the way.”—Katerina Lorenzatos Makris, author of the Island Secrets Mysteries and co-author of Your Adopted Dog

(retrieved from Amazon Wed, 26 Aug 2015 11:16:00 -0400)

After an injury forced her to leave the police department, Abigail Mackenzie started a second career as a farmer. Raising chickens, harvesting honey from her bee colony, and growing heirloom vegetables on her farmette in the beautiful Bay Area town of Las Flores, Abby has embraced all the benefits of a peaceful life. But when she attempts to deliver her trademark honey to local pastry chef Jean-Louis Bonheur and finds him dead in his shop, her old investigative instincts kick in. After the coroner rules the death a suicide, the chef's handsome French-Canadian brother insists on hiring Abby to find out who really killed Jean-Louis.… (more)

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