A Muddied Murder by Wendy Tyson

March 25, 2016 2016, book rating, Cloak & Dagger Mystery Reading Challenge, Goodreads, Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge, New Author Challenge, New Release Challenge, Reading Challenges, reviews 2

a-muddied-murderA Muddied Murder by Wendy Tyson
Series: A Greenhouse Mystery #1
Genre: Mystery (cozy)
Setting: Winsome, Pennsylvania
Published by Henery Press, 2016
Format: e-Arc (Release Date: March 29)
–I received a review copy of this book from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. The opinions stated here are entirely my own.
235 pages
Grade: B+
Synopsis: When Megan Sawyer gives up her big-city law career to care for her grandmother and run the family’s organic farm and café, she expects to find peace and tranquility in her scenic hometown of Winsome, Pennsylvania. Instead, her goat goes missing, rain muddies her fields, the town denies her business permits, and her family’s Colonial-era farm sucks up the remains of her savings. 

Just when she thinks she’s reached the bottom of the rain barrel, Megan and the town’s hunky veterinarian discover the local zoning commissioner’s battered body in her barn.  Now Megan is thrust into the middle of a murder investigation—and she’s the chief suspect. Can Megan dig through small-town secrets, local politics, and old grievances in time to find a killer before that killer strikes again?

Initial impressions

  • I enjoyed this mystery a lot. The setting on a farm in Pennsylvania with small-town politics thrown in plus a murder has the main character Megan (and the reader) scrambling to figure out what is going on.

The story

  • Her grandmother Bibi needs her help so Megan gives up her law practice in Chicago and returns to the Colonial-era family farm near Winsome, Pennsylvania where her family has strong roots.
  • Winsome has a strong historical preservation group and they want the farm zoned for historical preservation. Small towns always have local politics and Winsome is no different. Megan must wade through the politics and secrets to find some answers.
  • Some of the secrets are in her own family. Her grandmother isn’t telling her everything and Megan can’t figure why or what she’s not telling.
  • Megan is ready to open her cafe to highlight the organic produce she grows, but she keeps getting turned down for permits.
  • Then the zoning official ends up dead on the farm and Megan must figure out what is going on since she’s a suspect.

Pluses

  • I really enjoyed this mystery. The author does a great job with the characters including those who might have motive for the murder.
  • I like the setting on the organic farm and the starting of a cafe. I love gardening so it’s fun to read about the gardening necessary to grow organic produce. Starting the cafe and store is also interesting. We see some of the hard work which goes into farming with the problems of weather plus the hard work of beginning a cafe and store.
  • Megan has a lot to do in this story–run an organic farm, start a cafe and store and help her grandmother. And then a murder happens and the mystery of why and what is going on.
  • There’s a lot to like about the characters. They’re interesting and well-developed so I felt like I knew them. I love how Megan interacts with her grandmother. Other characters like the farmhand (Clay), the store manager (Clover),  the veterinarian (Dr. Denver Finn) all are people who would be fun to know. There’s even a hint of romance in the book.
  • Love the cover. It reminds me of the pictures on old seed packets.
  • The goat is a lot of fun and is part of the action!

Minuses

  • Megan’s grandmother could have helped Megan figure out what was happening if she’d been more honest with Megan from the start.

And concluding thoughts . . .

  •  I look forward to reading more mysteries in this series and hope to read books in Ms. Tyson’s other series–Allison Campbell Mystery series and Delilah Powers Percy Mystery series.

Have you read this book? How did you like it?

Author info

  • Wendy Tyson is an author, lawyer and former therapist whose background has inspired her mysteries and thrillers.  Wendy has written four published crime novels, including Dying Brand, the third novel in the Allison Campbell Mystery Series, which was released on May 5, 2015.  The first in the Campbell series, Killer Image, was named a best mystery for book clubs in 2014 by Examiner.com.  Wendy is also the author of the Greenhouse Mystery Series, the first of which, A Muddied Murder, is due to be released in spring 2016.  Wendy is a member of Sisters in Crime and International Thriller Writers, and she is a contributing editor for The Big Thrill, International Thriller Writers’ online magazine.  Wendy lives with her husband, three sons and three dogs on a micro-farm just outside of Philadelphia.  

Reading Challenges

2 Responses to “A Muddied Murder by Wendy Tyson”

  1. Rita

    I just reviewed this yesterday 🙂 I really liked it and would probably read the next one.

    I didn’t know about her other series, so maybe I’ll look at that one also. Her writing style was enjoyable for me; I prefer these kinds of cozies over the slapstick silly ones. I gave it 4/5 stars. It was fun to read your thoughts on this same book, so thanks!
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