A Farmers' Market Mystery

By Paige Shelton

Berkley Prime Crime, 2012 ($7.99)
ISBN-13: 978-0-425-25174-4

Reviewed by Shirley Wetzel

Becca Robbins takes a break from her jams and preserves business at the Bailey's Famers Market to work the Swayton County Fall Festival. The first couple of days are so slow she has plenty of time to get to know some of the fair workers, including the very reserved operator of the Ferris wheel, Virgil Morrison. She likes the man, but feels he is hiding something.

Becca gets two shocks in short order. The man running the shooting range is someone from her past, someone she had no idea she'd ever see again. Like Virgil, he seems to have something to hide. Not long after, she and the whole fair community is horrified by the death of one of the ride operators. Could the whispers about the gypsy curse be true?

While Becca dithers between her feelings for Ian, the man she is currently involved with, and her growing attraction to Sam, a policeman she met during a previous crime investigation, she begins to suspect her old friend might be involved in the fairground murder. She can't help trying to figure out more about the victim, and how his death might be connected with the murky history of the town. Things come to a horrendous crescendo in the midst of the corn maze.

This is the fourth Farmers' Market mystery. There is lots of local color, an intriguing plot tying together the past and present, and some yummy recipes for country fair favorites. Ms. Shelton also writes the Country Cooking School mystery series.

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