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Wendy Tyson’s background in law and psychology has provided inspiration for her mysteries and thrillers. Originally from the Philadelphia area, Wendy has returned to her roots and lives there again on a micro-farm with her husband, three sons and three dogs. Wendy’s short fiction has appeared in literary journals, and she’s a contributing editor and columnist for The Big Thrill and The Thrill Begins, International Thriller Writers’ online magazines. Wendy is the author of the Allison Campbell Mystery Series and the Greenhouse Mystery Series.
A Muddied Murder is a wonderful beginning to a new series that is already on my must follow list. Not only are the characters interesting and the plot intriguing, but the layers that were pealed back on the characters through the story only made me want to get to know them better. I did not figure out the murder but end the end felt that it was fairly presented. A great set up for a long term relationship with a series. I adore Denver and can't wait to see how things turn out for Brian. I want to talk about the characters I love but most of my comments would be spoilers so I'll just end with, I hope you become as invested in the characters as I have.
I loved everything about this book. Two women running a "gentlewoman's" farm! Gardening! A Scottish veterinarian who goes to great lengths to rescue dogs! People who were raised on a commune! American Revolution reenactors! Wounded warriors portrayed realistically! Charming bungalows in a bucolic small-town setting! Buried treasure! Mischievous baby goats! And of course, murder most foul.
Former Chicago-based corporate lawyer and widow Megan moves back to her hometown (and in with her grandmother) to take up the reigns of the continuously-failing family farm and homestead and turn it around once and for all. She's determined to make her dream of bringing sustainable, wholesome food to the townspeople a reality, but the Historic Preservation Society and the Zoning Board have other ideas. When the Jerk-in-Chief of the Historic Society denies Meg's permits, she's understandably frustrated. But then J-i-C ends up with a shovel to the back of the head in her own barn, the police turn a serious eye toward Meg and her grandmother.
There are family secrets heaped upon family secrets in this book, all of which lay excellent groundwork for books to come. The author left a few unanswered questions, and I can't wait to see how she deals with those in future books. I did not figure out who the murderer was, or the motive, which is a HUGE PLUS for me, because I hate it when I guess right, ha!
I liked this book for a lot of reasons. It is a cozy, but it is not precious. The characters seem real, and while they are well-developed in this book, there is obvious room for growth for them all as the series progresses. The animals in the book are treated with such care, and as actual characters, but without being cheesy.
Megan is very relatable; she's nothing like her parents, which makes her interactions with the townspeople who knew her parents quite interesting. I liked it that her romance with Dr. Finn was there from the beginning, so we didn't have to deal with the "insta-love" that is often seen in books. And even better was that the author is writing the romance as a slow burn, which is realistic given that a) both parties are not in their 20s, and b) Meg is a widow who hasn't been romantically involved with anyone since her husband died a few years ago. The author really hit the emotional part of all of it right on the head, and it was completely believable. There is a moment where Dr. Finn comes upon Megan and another character in a position which could be misinterpreted - and it is - but that doesn't turn out to be Some Big Huge Deal with a lot of frustrating crap that could and would be solved in real life by a couple of simple and honest conversations. Indeed, it IS solved by a couple of honest and simple conversations. REFRESHING. A main character without angst? I'll take it.
Megan also isn't a typical sleuth, and this book isn't focused on HER investigating the murder that took place in her barn. Rather, she thinks out loud and has discussions with her friends and family, and kind of naturally puts the pieces together, because she has an interest in the killer being found, but not because she is making it her mission to solve the crime. I cannot WAIT for more books in this series.
My final gold-star note for this book is the recipe for Garden Vegetable Pasta Primavera at the end, which I will be making ASAP. It sounds amazing.
A fun light mystery. I'm not a big mystery reader myself, but I was attracted by the cover and the organic farming idea. However, the characters were well drawn and the mystery well plotted and the writing is actually much better than some popular women's fiction I've tried recently. (This one might also appeal to history buffs and folks near Bucks County, PA just as much as organic farming fans.) The small town setting is perhaps the most charming aspect here -- the author has done a great job establishing a strong sense of place with a set of quirky characters who could conceivably want to murder each other in it. I will probably look for the next book in the series the next time I want a break from heavier reading.
This was quite a complex cozy - not one of the "fluffier" ones - very well written and not easily solved. I thoroughly enjoyed the farm and cafe theme to the story. A great cast of secondary characters (although a little hard to keep everyone sorted out initially) and the touch of romance was the cherry on the sundae. My only complaint - and it's a small one - was that it was a little slow. Overall, a very good read - I will be looking for more from this author.
There are so many aspects about this book to love. Megan and Bibi are wonderful intricate characters who both have pasts and memories that keep their relationship full of love and laughter. I want a grandma like her. I absolutely love the farming aspect to this book homegrown certified organic food and a cafe and store to sell them. Plus a murder buried treasure and bad guys which I always need in a good story. I loved this book and can't wait to start the second book in the series. I hope they keep coming for a long time.
A Muddied Murder is a very enjoyable, highly recommended mystery. I preordered the kindle edition but was privileged to have received Wendy's preview edition also. The new cast of characters, Megan, her grandma Bibi, the handsome animal Doctor , Denver, not to mention the dogs and goats, all make the characters ones you can relate to. I loved Wendy's other books but I also love this new series. Cannot wait to see what awaits Megan and her family and friends in the next book. Highly recommend this book.
I gave it 5 stars because it beckoned me back every time I put it down. I related to the sweet relationship between she and her grandmother. I recommend this book to anyone who has a fondness for simple life pleasures. A fun read that remained relatable.
Small town setting, slightly flawed but sexy love interest, lots of animals with a young, disillusioned lawyer turned organic farmer trying to discover who left a dead body in her barn..what's not to like?