Title: Town in a Blueberry Jam
Author: B. B. Haywood (Robert R. Feeman & Beth Ann Feeman)
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
Copyright Date: 2010
Print Date: February 2010
Pages: 308 + Recipes
Series: 1st of the Candy Holliday Mystery series
Book Description (from dust jacket):
IN THE QUAINT SEASIDE VILLAGE of Cape Willington, Maine, Candy Holliday has an idyllic life, tending to the Blueberry Acres farm she runs with her father, and occasionally stepping in to solve a murder or two...Comments:
Candy is just as shocked as the rest of the locals when two murders occur back-to-back. First, an aging playboy takes a midnight nosedive off a seaside cliff. Then, gossip columnist — and recently crowned town Blueberry Queen — Sapphire Vine stops the business end of a hammer with her head, right in her own home.
When her friend, a local handyman, is accused of the murder, Candy investigates to clear his name. Was the gossip columnist moonlighting as a blackmailer? Was the playboy playing around with the wrong person? But as Candy sorts through the town's juicy secrets, things start to get very sticky indeed...
This was a nice cozy mystery. It introduced some interesting characters. The mystery was decent. The Prologue stood out. I've kinda gotten used to amateur sleuths having a more direct connection with the local police, though. Candy gets all police-related clues through chance overhearing or the source of a retired cop friend of her father's. Since she wasn't so close to the police force (friendly or antagonistic) her sleuthing was... for lack of a better term, hodgepodge. However, she did make some connections (in her close encounter with the murderer and her role as the new gossip columnist) that may make for more proficient sleuthing in the future.
While I didn't love Town in a Blueberry Jam, it has caught my interest. Add to that the title of the next book, Town in a Lobster Stew (which fits so well with the first title)... well, I plan to try it out when it becomes available in February 2011.