Hi there. Cam Flaherty here. I’m a small farmer, a tall independent businesswoman, and so far my organic Attic Hill Farm tucked in the northeast corner of Massachusetts has been doing pretty well. I’ve been selling veggies, herbs, and small fruit for a year now, and I have a loyal following of customers. But May is a crazy busy time, as you can imagine. I have a zillion seedlings to plant out in the fields now that the frost-free date is past. I need to harvest asparagus, rhubarb, and scallions, start more seedlings, weed the potato field, and much more.
So I definitely don’t need my quirky, peripatetic academic parents hanging around my farm and the small town of Westbury where it’s located. One town in from the coast, two towns south of New Hampshire, as I like to tell prospective customers. But they said they wanted to come visit on their way to their summer anthropology research site abroad, so what could I do?
How my mom got herself involved in a public protest against a new hydroponic farmer is anybody’s guess, but it just added to my headache when the farmer turned up dead – and I found her. Then my gangly, intellectual, and entirely unhandy dad decided to “help” out on the farm. His help ended up doubling my work. When I got home from telling the police about poor Nicole, Dad proudly showed me the pile of “weeds” he’d pulled up. Yeah, those were my month-old sweet pea shoots.
Anyway, things only went downhill from there. A suspicious couple from out of town, a spurned lover, someone lurking around my barn, and an attack at a vacation house got all mixed in with the Memorial Day parade – small town at its best – a couple of secrets from my mom’s past, and the everyday work of a farmer.
Giveaway: My author says she’ll give away a signed hardcover edition of Mulch Ado About Murder to a commenter here, so ask her a question! She loves talking to readers. US entries only, please. The giveaway ends May 26, 2017. Good luck everyone!
Now, back to that potato patch.
You can read more about Cam in Mulch Ado About Murder, the fifth book in the “Local Foods” mystery series.
It’s been a hot, dry spring in Westbury, Massachusetts. As organic farmer Cam Flaherty waits for much-needed rain, storm clouds of mystery begin to gather. Once again, it’s time to put away her sun hat and put on her sleuthing cap . . .
May has been anything but merry for Cam so far. Her parents have arrived unexpectedly and her crops are in danger of withering away. But all of that’s nothing compared to the grim fate that lies in store for one of her neighbors. Nicole Kingsbury is the proud owner of the town’s new hydroponic greenhouse. She claims the process will be 100% organic, but she uses chemicals to feed her crops. To Cam’s surprise, her mother embarrasses her by organizing a series of loud public protests against Nicole’s operation.
When Nicole is found dead in a vat of hydroponic slurry—clutching another set of rosary beads—Detective Pete Pappas has a new murder to solve. Showers may be scarce this spring, but there’s no shortage of suspects, including the dead woman’s embittered ex‑husband, the Other Man whose affair ruined their marriage, and Cam’s own mother. Lucky for Cam, her father turns out to have a knack for sleuthing—not to mention dealing with chickens. Will he and Cam be able to clear Mrs. Flaherty’s name before the killer strikes again?
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About the author
National best-selling author Edith Maxwell is a 2017 double Agatha Award nominee for her historical mystery Delivering the Truth and her short story, “The Mayor and the Midwife.” She writes the Quaker Midwife Mysteries and the Local Foods Mysteries. As Maddie Day she writes the Country Store Mysteries and the Cozy Capers Book Group Mysteries. Her award-winning short crime fiction has appeared in a dozen juried anthologies, and she serves as President of Sisters in Crime New England.
Maxwell writes, cooks, gardens north of Boston with her beau and three cats. She blogs at Wicked Cozy Authors, Killer Characters, and with the Midnight Ink authors. Find her at edithmaxwell.com and elsewhere.
All comments are welcomed.