BOUGHT THE FARM
Farm-living lifestyle blogger Shelby McDonald is back in a third Farmer’s Daughter Mystery, and she seems to have finally settled on which of the three romantic potentials (Matt the grocer, Jake the neighbor or her brother-in-law Frank) she should pursue. She’s also in the middle of yet another murder mystery, which she handles with her usual aplomb and curiosity. The clever “Dear Reader” asides serve up just the right amount of dry wit, and the occasional blog post snippet provides readers with some helpful tips alongside their mystery. The case is always well plotted, and the fictitious Michigan small-town setting provides an intriguing supporting cast with a bevy of interesting personalities. Readers will root for Shelby to solve the case and stay on the edge of their seats until she does. Bert is ever a delight as Shelby’s slightly-crusty friend, and her storyline in this book adds to the tension.
Shelby’s friend Kelly is getting married at Love Blossom Farm, and Shelby’s fixed up the property for the big day. While the ceremony (mostly) goes off without a hitch, the reception … does not. The lead singer of their wedding band happens to be a former hometown star whose reappearance is decidedly not welcome. When Shelby finds him trussed up in her field like a scarecrow, her keen observations and people watching serve up no shortage of possible suspects. The groom. Shelby’s employee. The other band members. All seem to have good reasons to want Travis dead. (BERKLEY, Jun., 304 pp., $7.99)