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New Local Foods Mystery blends murder with organic farming

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Til Dirt Do Us Part by Edith Maxwell

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Cam Flaherty’s first season as a farmer is ending and she’s hosting a farm-to-table event to thank her shareholders for their support. The otherwise upbeat event is nearly ruined by Irene Burr, a petite woman with a huge attitude. And the only one who seems capable of tolerating Irene is Preston, Cam’s cat.

The following morning, Cam is cleaning up and preparing garlic for planting when she receives a message from the police. When Cam returns the call, she learns that the call is not friendly, but business. The police ask Cam questions about the party and Irene Burr, but will disclose nothing. Right after the phone call, Sim Koyama visits Cam and tells her that Bobby Burr, Irene’s stepson, is missing, and Irene’s body has been discovered in another neighbor’s pigsty.

Soon, the police settle on Bobby as the killer, but Cam’s not so sure they’ve got the right man. She digs into the murder investigation and soon realizes she could easily become the killer’s next victim.

“’Til Dirt Do Us Part” fits nicely into the cozy-mystery genre. The protagonist, Cam Flaherty, is trying to transition from her former lifestyle as a city-girl, programming geek to an organic farmer in a rural area.

The plot is well thought out. Events escalate to create more tension and the twists will keep readers guessing until the surprise ending.

Maxwell has varied the character dialogue to make each character sound subtly different. However, for a couple of the younger characters, their dialogue sounds forced, as though their slang is being forced into a grammatically correct format.

All-in-all, this delightful cozy will entertain readers even as they learn how to farm organically. Bravo, Ms. Maxwell!

FTC Full Disclosure: A review copy of this book was provided by its publisher.

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