Killer JamKiller Jam by Karen MacInerney is the first book in the NEW “Dewberry Farm” mystery series. Publisher: Thomas and Mercer, July 2015

A big crime in a small town turns Lucy’s focus from life on a farm to solving a murder.

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?

This was very enjoyable. A past perceived discretion threatens Lucy’s farm from the previous owner and when she is found dead, Lucy becomes the only prime suspects and it’s up to Lucy with some unexpected help to clear her name and save her farm.

I love the pacing and the comfortable tone that is featured in this fresh new whodunit. The murder mystery was well-executed and I enjoyed watching it play out as the story got closer to the killer’s identity with a few twisty turns. The author did a great job in keeping me intrigued with all that was going on and introducing the town and residents of Buttercup that I too, wanted to buy up land and farm it myself. With a wandering cow who I found adorable, this was a fun read. Boasting a lovable cast of characters, a picturesque setting, great dialogue and a blossoming romance, this was a delightfully charming beginning to a debut series that I hope is here to stay.

previously posted on the Cozy Chicks blog

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