Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Review: The Murder of a Queen Bee

The Murder of a Queen Bee
Author: Meera Lester

**I received a copy of this book from Kensington Press via NetGalley in exchange for a fair, honest review**

When Abigail Mackenzie left her job as a police officer in Las Flores, CA, she bought a farmette and settled into a life of farming and beekeeping. She pads her income with private investigation services on the side. When her friend and local businessowner, Fiona Mary Ryan is murdered, Abby steps up to help investigate. Cult tie-ins, an ex-boyfriend and possible drug connctions soon have local law enforcement and Abby scrambling to discover who is the murderer in their midst.

I enjoyed this book! Every chapter starts with a note from The Henny Penny Farmette Almanac and ends with a recipe or tips about farming. Some of the tips are quite informative, like the proper way to clean freshly collected farm eggs (I never knew there was a proper way to wash them off -- I've been doing it wrong!) and how to make tea from fresh herbs.

When I first started reading the book, I did a bit of reading on Farmettes. Basically, a Farmette is a small, residential farm where the owner makes their main income off-farm. In my mind, I see it as somewhere between a hobby farm and a regular farm. Abby makes some money off honey and herbs, but her side-jobs doing investigations help pay the bills. Living in the South, I know a lot of women who do the same secretary, teacher or some-such by day and evening/weekend farmer, crafter, herbalist.  This made Abby seem like a very believable and likable character for me.

The mystery portion of the plot was well-written with plenty of possible suspects, red-herrings, twists and turns. The side plots did not over-power the mystery, although one character was extremely annoying. I will not provide any spoilers ... but readers will know immediately which one I wanted to punch in the face. :) The character was written to incite that very emotion in readers, I believe....and it was extremely successful in my case. :) The engaging wanting to know what happened with the detestable character....kept my attention right up to the very end of this book!

I will definitely be reading more in this series! A fun, mysterious time down on the Farmette!

This is the 2nd book in Meera Lester's Henny Penny Farmette Mystery series. Murder of a Queen Bee has a release date of September 27th, 2016 from Kensington Press. Lester has also written several non-fiction books including 365 Ways to Live Happy, and Why Does Santa Wear Red and 100 Other Christmas Curiosities Unwrapped.  Check out her website at:

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