Daily Archives: May 27, 2014

Losing the Farm with Albert St. Pierre by Edith Maxwell

Til Dirt do us PartMy name is Albert St. Pierre, and I was never so happy to lose a farm. Let me explain.

My late wife Marie and I grew the usual assortment of New England summer crops on our small property for many years together. We planted one field to sweet corn, another to squashes, and raised up a great many tomatoes and peppers. We produced some darn tasty sweet onions, too. Folks weren’t so keen on salads at that time, so that wasn’t part of the mix and nobody but my Italian friend Vinnie had much use for garlic.

Spring_flower_gardenMy Marie, she had the green thumb with flowers. Why, back in the day her perennial garden was the envy of the county, and she also had a way with annuals like zinnias and sweet peas. We raised chickens for some twenty-odd years, too, but they finally got too smelly for us. Their eggs surely were tasty, though.

But Marie passed about three years ago now, and then my consarned foot had to be amputated from the diabetes. So when our great-niece Cammy got laid off her job as a programmer, I thought she just might want to take over Attic Hill Farm as a change of pace. She grew up summering with us, she’s always been a smart cookie, and she absorbed a good bit of farming knowledge along the way. She’s already gathered quite the group of regular customers, even some of those nutty ones who call themselves locavores. It’s a shame she’s had to run into a murder or two in the last year, but she managed to use that brain of hers to figure out who did it before even the police did.

I spend my days now in the lap of luxury over at Moran Manor Assisted Living. I have a nice big sunny room, a kitchenette, a computer, and a whole raft of folks who do the cooking and cleaning. It’s not fancy, but it’s clean and friendly. You ought to stop by and join me for a meal or a mean game of Scrabble. I’d welcome you.

You can read more about Albert and Cam in Til Dirt Do Us Part, the second book in the “Local Foods” mystery series, published by Kensington. The first book in the series is A Tine to Live, a Tine to Die. Books are available at retail and online booksellers.

In the second Local Foods mystery, Til Dirt Do Us Part (May, 2014), the growing season is winding down and the fall days are cold and dark. The produce is local – and so is the crime – when long-simmering tensions lead to murder following a farm-to-table dinner on Cameron Flaherty’s farm. It’ll take a sleuth who knows the lay of the land to catch this killer. But no one ever said Cam wasn’t willing to get her hands dirty.

Comment on this post by 6 p.m. EST on May 30, and you will be entered for a chance to win a copy of TIL DIRT DO US PART. One winner will be chosen at random. Unless specified, U.S. entries only.

Meet the author
Former organic farmer Edith Maxwell writes the Local Foods Mysteries about farmer Cam Flaherty, a Locavore Club, and locally sourced murder (Kensington Publishing). Under the pseudonym Tace Baker she writes the Speaking of Mystery series (Barking Rain Press), featuring Quaker linguistics professor Lauren Rousseau in small-town Massachusetts. Edith holds a PhD in linguistics and is a long-time Quaker. She also writes award-winning short crime fiction. A technical writer and fourth-generation Californian, she lives north of Boston.

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Til Dirt Do Us Part by Edith Maxwell

Til Dirt do us PartTil Dirt Do Us Part by Edith Maxwell is the second book in the “Local Foods” mystery series. Publisher: Kensington, May 2014

The produce is local–and so is the crime–when long-simmering tensions lead to murder following a festive dinner on Cam Flaherty’s farm. It’ll take a sleuth who knows the lay of the land to catch this killer. But no one ever said Cam wasn’t willing to get her hands dirty. . .

Autumn has descended on Westbury, Massachusetts, but the mood at the Farm-to-Table Dinner in Cam’s newly built barn is unseasonably chilly. Local entrepreneur Irene Burr made a lot of enemies with her plan to buy Westbury’s Old Town Hall and replace it with a textile museum–enough enemies to fill out a list of suspects when the wealthy widow turns up dead in a neighboring farm.

Even an amateur detective like Cam can figure out that one of the resident locavores went loco–at least temporarily–and settled a score with Irene. But which one? With the Fall harvest upon her, Cam must sift through a bushelful of possible killers that includes Irene’s estranged stepson, her disgruntled auto mechanic, and a fellow CSA subscriber who seems suspiciously happy to have the dead woman out of the way.

The closer she gets to weeding out the culprit, the more Cam feels like someone is out to cut her harvest short. But to keep her own body out of the compost pile, she’ll have to wrap this case up quickly.

This fast-paced and well-crafted whodunit was very enjoyable and satisfied my reading pleasure. I like the pace of the mystery as it had me quickly turning the pages to see what happens next. The author did a great job in keeping me on my toes with several twists and turns that pushed this drama up a notch. I like that Cam is determine to make a go of her business venture while fending off a murderer who keeps knocking on her door. With a colorful cast of characters and good dialogue, this second novel is a delightful read and I look forward to more adventures with Cam and her friends.