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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.
I am all abuzz about this series. Former police officer Abigail Mackenzie just keeps finding dead bodies. This time she finds her friend Paola’s husband, Jake dead and Paola has been wounded too, right outside the party celebrating their marriage renewal. Jake was not her favorite person but she would never wish him dead. Was he the real target or was Paola? Was it business or personal? Abigail is having a honey of a time trying to figure everything out. When another person is killed she bee-lieves she is close to solving the case. She just needs to keep herself safe while she gathers enough evidence for her friends at the PD.
The story is well paced with real life and murder investigations in a nice balance. The suspense really builds as Abigail becomes more of a target and everything and everyone she loves falls into the killer’s sights. There are some nice twists and some really scary moments to keep readers on this toes. Again, the descriptions gave me more of watching a movie feel. The author makes visualizing everything so easy.
Ms. Lester has really taken us on a journey with Abigail over the course of the first three books in this series. We know she is a top notch investigator but she has some serious issues she is dealing with. She has been through so much and is fighting PTSD. The author handles this so well in a very true, real, and believable way. Abby still drops herself right into the middle of an investigation, because that is just who she is, but friends on the force are getting pretty used to that by now. The good thing is she reports what she finds to them and even shares her theories no matter how far-fetched. Her personal life is blooming just a bit too. I have really become invested in this character and am excited to see what happens next in her life.
The farms tips were very interesting and the recipes sound delicious.
This is a great addition to the Henny Penny Farmette Mystery series. I recommend all three books! I can’t wait to return to Las Flores, California to visit Abby and her friends!
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.
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