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Goodnight Moo (A Buttermilk Creek Mystery)

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1861,068,232 (3.79)17
With a foster cow in her corral and a new calf on the way, Brynn MacAlister has a lot on her plate. Especially since her micro-dairy farm is hosting the first annual cheesemakers contest at this year's summer fair. A relative newcomer, Brynn's hoping the contest becomes a tradition, bonding her even more strongly to the community. But when a mysterious tractor accident looks suspiciously like murder, Brynn suspects someone is up to no-gouda . . . Some folks say the lead suspect was just defending his underage daughter from a suitor more mature than a vintage provolone, but Brynn isn't buying it. Especially when another dead body turns up and Brynn's top cheesemaker falls under suspicion. It's enough to make a girl bluer than her best Stilton. But not enough to stop Brynn from getting to the bottom of things. What she discovers is the small town harbors some pretty unsavory characters. And the closer Brynn gets to the killer, the deeper she gets into danger . . . Praise for Mollie Cox Bryan's mysteries "A playful charmer!" -Woman's World on No Charm Intended "Scrapbookers and hobby cozy fans will enjoy this delightful holiday escape." -Library Journal on A Crafty Christmas "A font of ingenuity . . . superb entertainment." -Mystery Scene magazine on Scrapbook of Secrets Includes Udder-ly Delicious Recipes!… (more)
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In the bucolic setting of beauty and peace comes the unexpected: drugs, porn films, murder, attempted murder, false accusations, and computer ransomware attacks. And Brynn and Wes, her assistant, are caught up in the middle of it. At a cheese contest at the fair, both Wes and Brynn are injured, and later Wes becomes a person of interest to the police in a murder case. It will take some time before Brynn can reason it all out. The FBI get involved when it is obvious the sheriff’s department needs help. Wes’s father and brother show up to help Wes, and maybe talk him into leaving the village, and Brynn’s sister comes to aid Brynn as she recovers from a concussion. It’s quite an involved story, dealing with several unsavory subjects, including racism. All the characters are well drawn, even the secondary ones have definite personalities that define them. This story is more than just an average cozy, combining mystery and romance. The author confronts current social issues, and does it in a thoughtful way, in the confines of an engrossing mystery. ( )
  Maydacat | Jan 22, 2022 |
The lengths I will go to for a challenge never ceases to amaze me. I needed a book with cattle on the cover...preferably a cow with horns. I went searching and this was so cute I took it for the cow alone...to heck with what the story was like. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. Cute cow...and even though it isn’t my usual type of mystery...not a bad story at all. The book is packed with action and suspects. The characters continue to develop as the story goes on and they are well-rounded. The setting is in a valley that sounds absolutely lovely. The plot moved at a good pace and kept me engaged as I read. What more could you ask for? I kept waiting for that cute cow to have a bigger role but I guess they were all busy making milk for Bryann’s cheese. Fun story with more mystery than I thought it would have. ( )
  Carol420 | Oct 3, 2021 |
My three favorite bookish cows are back! Petunia, Buttercup, and Marigold return in Goodnight Moo, the second book in the Buttermilk Creek cozy mystery series! Their owner, and amateur sleuth, Brynn Macalister and all the characters from Shenandoah Springs, VA are back, too. :)

This time, Brynn is excited about taking part in the annual summer fair. Buttermilk Creek Farm will be hosting a new event, a cheesemakers contest! But before the event even gets going, there is an accident. A local farmer runs over a summer farm worker with his tractor. The police investigate because the dead man had ties to the farmer's daughter. When another summer farm hand turns up dead, the investigation turns serious. Someone very close to Brynn is the top suspect, and she's determined to prove his innocence!

Great second book in this series! There is even character development for the cows! I love the mix of humor and investigation...plus the cows/cheesemaking theme. The book even includes recipes!

Fun, entertaining cozy mystery! I will definitely be reading more of this series! Mollie Cox Bryan never disappoints! Cute cover, too!

**I voluntarily read a review copy of this book from Kensington. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.** ( )
  JuliW | Nov 22, 2020 |
Book two in the Buttermilk Creek cozy mystery series, featuring artisanal cheese maker Brynn MacAlister, and her small dairy herd: Petunia, Marigold and Buttercup, and now Jewel, a shaggy Highland breed.

It’s summer and time for the county fair. Brynn and her assistant / protégé Wes are working hard to organize a cheese-making contest. And Brynn is also working with the local community group to get out information about products made and available in the Shenandoah Springs area. But the fair gets off to a rocky start when word reaches them that there’s been a tragic farm accident – a young farm worker has been killed. Within a couple of days, Wes, finds a body – another young farm worker who’s been shot. What on earth is happening in this peaceful, bucolic community?!

I really enjoyed the first book, but this one seemed to be all over the place as far as plot goes. Bryan includes more red herrings than necessary, and way too many twists and turns. At least one thread just disappears without mention.

Additionally, it’s incredibly repetitive. We are reminded on practically every page that Brynn has a concussion / has a headache / needs her pills / isn’t thinking straight / wants to get back to her cows, etc.

I plowed through because I wanted it for a challenge, but it really didn’t hold my attention. Not sure I’ll bother with book three, if it’s published.

On the plus side, I really do like several of the recipes included at the end. Whole Wheat Banana Pancakes and the Blueberry Breakfast Bread both sound delicious. ( )
  BookConcierge | Oct 30, 2020 |
Goodnight Moo by Mollie Cox Bryan
Book #2: Buttermilk Creek Mystery Series
Source: NetGalley and Kensington
Rating: 4½/5 stars

Oh, boy! Less than a year in town and Brynn MacAlister has stepped into yet another murder! As if her growing business, apprentice, farm, friends, and the local fair aren’t enough, two of her friends have been accused of murder! Though she’s only sleuthed once before, Brynn isn’t about to let her friends go down for something they didn’t do, so it’s time to get the sleuthing hat back out and start asking questions.

While the first murder is troubling, it isn’t quite as pressing for Brynn as the second. A young man is shot to death and her apprentice and dear friend, Wes is being accused of the deed. Literally anyone who really knows Wes knows he can’t possibly be responsible for such an evil deed, but the evidence points to him. Wes is a kind, gentle soul who would rather be in the kitchen cooking up a gourmet meal for friends than conjuring up anger and mischief. Unfortunately, he is an absolute outsider in the Shenandoah Valley and that stacks the cards against him from the very beginning.

In the process of trying to help Wes, Brynn finds herself in a serious mess that leaves her with a tremendous concussion and an inability to really help as she would normally do. To help her out, her friends step in to tend to the girls and the farm and her sister comes to stay until Brynn can get back on her feet. In her moments of energy and clarity, Brynn works to solve the mystery of murder and she keeps coming back to one suspect, a beautiful, local sixteen-year-old girl with a reputation for loose morals and a variety of issues. Though Brynn doesn’t want to believe such a young person could be responsible for so much awful, the merging clues clearly indicate her involvement.

To make matters far worse, the local fair is something of a disaster this year and it is taking up time the police could be investigating Wes’s case. Wes’s father and brother have come to town and with Brynn’s help, they are digging into every avenue of inquiry they can think of. With the help of Brynn’s sister, the group stumbles onto a series of crimes that goes so far beyond the local level that the FBI is called in to assist. What’s clear is that Wes is absolutely not involved and the mastermind behind the whole fiasco is a whole new level of evil.

The Bottom Line: WOW!! What a mess this story is, in the best way possible. Not only does Brynn get pulled into the investigation, but Wes is totally railroaded, and there’s a series of crimes here that is so far beyond the local level. It took me very little time to read this book and now I’m sad there’s no more currently available. As I had hoped, there’s a huge presence of “older” characters and they really serve to enhance the overall read. Brynn really is becoming a part of her adopted community and with her business growing, it seems as if she has a very bright future in the Valley. That, dear reader, is very good news for us. ( )
  arthistorychick | Aug 29, 2020 |
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With a foster cow in her corral and a new calf on the way, Brynn MacAlister has a lot on her plate. Especially since her micro-dairy farm is hosting the first annual cheesemakers contest at this year's summer fair. A relative newcomer, Brynn's hoping the contest becomes a tradition, bonding her even more strongly to the community. But when a mysterious tractor accident looks suspiciously like murder, Brynn suspects someone is up to no-gouda . . . Some folks say the lead suspect was just defending his underage daughter from a suitor more mature than a vintage provolone, but Brynn isn't buying it. Especially when another dead body turns up and Brynn's top cheesemaker falls under suspicion. It's enough to make a girl bluer than her best Stilton. But not enough to stop Brynn from getting to the bottom of things. What she discovers is the small town harbors some pretty unsavory characters. And the closer Brynn gets to the killer, the deeper she gets into danger . . . Praise for Mollie Cox Bryan's mysteries "A playful charmer!" -Woman's World on No Charm Intended "Scrapbookers and hobby cozy fans will enjoy this delightful holiday escape." -Library Journal on A Crafty Christmas "A font of ingenuity . . . superb entertainment." -Mystery Scene magazine on Scrapbook of Secrets Includes Udder-ly Delicious Recipes!

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