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A Hive of Homicides (A Henny Penny Farmette Mystery) Hardcover – September 26, 2017
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"Lester's sensitive portrayal of Abby's struggle with her wounded psyche raises this traditional mystery above the pack." - Publishers Weekly
From the Author
A Hive of Homicides proved more challenging to write than the other mysteries in my Henny Penny Farmette series because of the twists and turns of the plot and because my sleuth was not only trying to solve the whodunnit but also deal with her own personal trauma--a psyche wounded by stress overload, guilt, and personal losses of the past.
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I always enjoy stopping in at the Henny Penny Farmette and she what exciting times Abigail and her friends are up to.
Abigail is waiting at the Country Schoolhouse Winery for Jake Winston, owner of the winery, and Paola to show up after renewing their wedding vows. Abigail sees their car enter the parking lot and moments later hears a gunshot. As she heading to for where they parked, she catches the briefest glimpse of a car accelerating away. When she arrives at their car she finds Jake dead and Paola suffering a serious head injury. With no witnesses and Paola in a coma, Abigail sets out to do a little investigation of her own. She needs to look at Gina, whose sister died in an auto accident a few hours after Jake broke up with her, Dori Lanston, a sous chef at the winery, seems to keep something a secret, and Scott Thompson who manages the barrel room and has been suspended for possible drug use. When another related killing occurs, Abigail knows she needs to zero in on the killer and quit before someone else loses their life.
Another well told story with a cast of believable and enjoyable characters. As with the previous books, each chapter has a little bit of information about farming, bees or delicious recipes.
A Hive of Homicides is nicely written and has a good pace. I appreciated the bee and honey information the author included in the book (it was very interesting and informative). The mystery is complex (I liked this part) and I think many readers will be surprised by the killer’s identity. My rating for A Hive of Homicides is 4 out of 5 stars. Abby was different in this book (and not in a good way). Abby’s reaction to finding Jake and Paola was very unlike her. For an ex-cop, you would expect her to be used to find dead bodies, seeing injured people, and finding herself in dangerous situations. Instead, we are subject to nausea, shaking, and she is afraid of her own shadow (not our usual strong, feisty Abby). The author did a good job at portraying PTSD as well as techniques to help Abby cope (she visits a counselor). I did not the like the direction the author took Abby’s character in A Hive of Homicides. It overshadowed the mystery. There are many delightful cozy moments in the book and a sweet, hopeful ending.
When Abby’s good friend’s husband is murdered and her friend seriously injured right after their marriage renewal vows, Abby knows she needs to investigate. But this time PTSD almost gets the best of Abby dragging her down with anxiety, sleeplessness, and loss of appetite. On top of that, her former colleagues at the police department seem to think that she is capable of the murder and the betrayal is deeply felt. The author effectively captures the mood of the dark abyss Abby finds herself in and I found myself cheering her on, hoping that she finds a way to overcome. And of course she does but I admire the author’s sensitivity to the matter and the way she brings it about. Despite the personal issues Abby must face, she still feels a great sense of duty towards bringing the killer to justice. The plot holds several twists and turns with enough action to keep the reader turning pages.
I received an advance copy of this book with the hopes I would review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Most recent customer reviews
I am all abuzz about this series. Former police officer Abigail Mackenzie just keeps finding dead bodies.Read more
I'm absolutely hooked.Read more