CROPS AND ROBBERS


(Farmers' Market Mysteries, Book 3) By Paige Shelton

Berkley, 2011 ($7.99)

ISBN-13: 978-0-425-24499-9

Reviewed by Katherine Petersen

The trouble starts when Joan Ashworth, president of the Central South Carolina Restaurant Association, makes a sour face after tasting Becca's jam when she and other restaurateurs visit Bailey's Farmers Market to sample the fare. Becca's parents, who had just arrived for a visit and her friends, try to boost her spirits, and deep down she knows she has a good product, but she's still offended. To make matters worse, she arrives home later to find Joan Ashworth's body in her kitchen and her mother's hands covered in blood.

The story has a strong premise and some interesting twists, but the things that bugged me about the second book still bug me in this one. Becca does some really dumb things that just can't be justified. Plus, she keeps mentioning that her boyfriend is 10 years her junior, which of course, leaves future romance open. I like the idea of a future romance with a sexy cop, but let's not be too obvious here.

It was interesting to meet Becca's parents after hearing about their hippie ways and travel around the country, but I don't think it's realistic for her father to have slept at the jail for a few days. Maybe I've never lived in a small town, and exceptions like that would be made, and maybe for a night but...then again, I don't think I have anyone who would be willing to sleep over in jail with me, should I ever find myself there, so perhaps I'm just jealous.

Some of the recipes sound really good, especially the Snickerdoodles, one of my favorite cookies, and I loved the scene with Becca and the rat. You'll have to read the book to find out more on that one. Overall, it's an okay read in my humble opinion, although I'll probably read the next in the series in hopes Becca will smarten up and to find out if there is a change in boyfriends.

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