"A warmhearted mystery with an irresistible cast of characters, two- and four-legged alike. Tyson's small town setting is a lush bounty for the senses, and the well-structured plot will keep you guessing right up until the satisfying conclusion." - Sophie Littlefield, Edgar Nominated Author of The Guilty One
"Tyson grows a delicious debut mystery as smart farmer-sleuth Megan Sawyer tills the dirt on local secrets after a body turns up in her barn. You won't want to put down this tasty harvest of a story." - Edith Maxwell, Agatha-Nominated Author of Murder Most Fowl
"Fast paced, engaging characters, and a plot with as many twists and turns as a country road. Murder may be 'muddied' in Winsome, PA, but the book's a winsome winner." - Gail Oust, Author of Cinnamon Toasted
"Hungry for a great mystery? A Muddied Murder is a delight and Wendy Tyson is a natural. She delivers a perfectly plotted mystery with well-planted clues and a healthy dose of secrets. This first Greenhouse Mystery will only whet your appetite for more." - Sparkle Abbey, Author of Raiders of the Lost Bark
"Tyson weaves an irresistible story with delicious food, scheming villagers, and a secret worth killing for. Her heroine, prodigal daughter of Winsome, PA Megan Sawyer, may not carry a gun, but she's packing brains, courage, and loads of integrity. Megan is a star. She"ll carry this winsome new series far. Don't miss the Greenhouse Mysteries." - James W. Ziskin, Anthony Award-Nominated Author of the Ellie Stone Mysteries
When Megan Sawyer gives up her big-city law career to care for her grandmother and run the family's organic farm and café, she expects to find peace and tranquility in her scenic hometown of Winsome, Pennsylvania. Instead, her goat goes missing, rain muddies her fields, the town denies her business permits, and her family's Colonial-era farm sucks up the remains of her savings.
Just when she thinks she's reached the bottom of the rain barrel, Megan and the town's hunky veterinarian discover the local zoning commissioner's battered body in her barn. Now Megan is thrust into the middle of a murder investigation-and she's the chief suspect. Can Megan dig through small-town secrets, local politics, and old grievances in time to find a killer before that killer strikes again?
Related subjects include: women sleuths, cozy mysteries, amateur sleuth books, murder mysteries, whodunit mysteries (whodunnit), book club recommendations.
Books in the Greenhouse Mystery Series:
• A MUDDIED MURDER (#1)
• BITTER HARVEST (#2) Spring 2017
Part of the Henery Press Mystery Series Collection, if you like one, you'll probably like them all...
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.
Read an Excerpt
A Muddied Murder
A Greenhouse Mystery
By Wendy Tyson
Henery PressCopyright © 2016 Wendy Tyson
All rights reserved.
Early mornings at Washington Acres were dead quiet. It was usually Megan Sawyer's favorite part of day, a time when the farm's inhabitants went about their daily routines silently, ghosts in a tranquil pre-dawn landscape. Today there was a disturbance in the air, an almost palpable sense of something amiss. Megan had felt it as soon as she climbed out of bed at four forty-five, and she felt it now as she was checking on the last set of tomato seedlings.
Standing in the old den that doubled as a nursery, Megan was thinking about the day ahead when something outside the window caught her attention. She paused, straining to see from her spot across the room. The sun had just risen, bathing the farm in a milky bluish glow muddied by a cold, steady rain, and all that was visible was the hazy outline of the trees on the horizon. You're imagining things, she thought. Still, a shudder ran the length of her spine. She blamed it on the chill of the morning.
Returning to her work, Megan ran a finger down the stem of a seedling, grateful for the full set of leaves on its thin stalk, and blew on it gently to strengthen the young plant. This set was strong enough to be transplanted outdoors. She adjusted the grow lights over the plants and sprinkled water on the seedling. She needed to get the tomatoes outdoors, alongside the broccoli, spinach, and other vegetables she planned to offer through the farm's store in town and at the local Saturday farmers market. Tomatoes would be a big seller. She hoped.
This task complete, Megan walked to the room's east-facing window and gazed through the glass at the curtains of rain pummeling the ground. No, it wasn't looking good for planting. Ah, well ... this new life was certainly teaching her patience. Mother Nature had her own opinions about timing, and she wasn't hearing appeals.
Megan stretched, yearning for release in her tired back and arm muscles. Less than two years ago she'd been tied to a desk, living in Chicago and defending big companies from environmental claims. She shook her head. Life can certainly take a turn.
Megan cracked open the window and took a deep breath, trying to wash away a building sense of unease. The earthy smells of rain and dirt mingled with the scent of her grandmother's baking bread wafting from the kitchen. Cinnamon-raisin swirl today. Her stomach rumbled. Despite everything, she loved this place. She loved the old shadowy stone farmhouse with its low ceilings, wide-planked pine floors, and deep window sills. She loved the massive stone barn, with its cool, packed earth and sense of history. She loved the shady spots under old-growth oaks that allowed for stolen moments of solitude with the latest mystery novel. She loved the feel of the earth in her fingers and the sound of her goats bleating in the distance.
Goats ... bleating? Megan cocked her head, listening. Was that Bibi's voice coming from outside?
Megan slipped on her galoshes and grabbed a raincoat from a hook on the den wall. The Pygmy goats were adorable, but also a constant source of mischief. What had they done this time? She hustled through the hallway that led to the kitchen, certain that it was some minor mishap, and nearly tripped over the stray cat who was now a permanent resident of the farm. The cat, barely out of kitten-hood, was batting around what appeared to be a crumpled letter.
Megan reached for the paper. Spreading it flat, she quickly scanned the words on the page, color slowly rising to her cheeks. It was a failed inspection notice for the work that had been done on the barn and café. The inspections needed to be complete in order for Megan to start selling produce in a few weeks. And despite the work of competent contractors, the town's zoning commissioner, Simon Duvall, always seem to find something wrong.
Megan scanned the rest of the letter. At the bottom was a line with the next appointment date. Simon would be at the café. Today. At eight o'clock. Megan glanced at the kitchen clock, blood pressure rising. That didn't give her much time to get ready — or inspect the café before Simon arrived. Damn.
Bibi shouted again, this time louder. Megan glanced at the wrinkled paper before tossing it on the table next to the cat. She sprinted outside.
The rain had slowed, but the wind still whipped through the hilly courtyard between the old farmhouse and the barn. Megan pulled her raincoat tighter around her body and lowered her head against the drops. It was mid-May. Spring had been slow in coming to Winsome this year, and temperatures were well below normal. Megan followed the sound of her grandmother's voice through the courtyard and down toward the barn and the attached heated shed where the goats lived.
It didn't take long to discover the source of her grandmother's excitement. Heidi the goat was at the edge of the shed roof pawing at a gutter with one tiny hoof. A black leather glove dangled from her mouth. And Bibi, her petite body dwarfed by a man's raincoat, was dragging a ladder from the barn.
"Bibi!" Megan raced to her grandmother and took the wooden ladder gently from her grasp. Her grandmother had been "Bibi" since Megan was little, back when "Bonnie Birch" was too much of a mouthful. "Here, I'll get her down."
"That goat," Bibi paused to catch her breath, "is one stubborn animal."
Hmm, Megan thought to herself ... who was calling whom stubborn? Megan knew better than to tell her grandmother the myriad of reasons she shouldn't be climbing up ladders or lifting ornery goats. Bibi wouldn't listen anyway, and, at some future point, she might do it simply to prove she could.
Megan shook her head, both admiring her grandmother's independence and cursing her stubbornness. The latter trait was a Birch family staple.
Megan was getting ready to put the ladder against the shed when she noticed the goat had opened the shed gate this time — a first for the industrious animal — and the gate was dangling from two hinges. Normally Heidi simply squeezed Houdini-like around or under the bars. Megan looked into the covered shed. Heidi's sister Dimples was nowhere to be found.
"Bibi, can you call Dimples while I get Heidi down?" Megan asked, worried. She climbed the ladder and, taking a deep breath, hauled a squirming Heidi off the roof. After doing another quick inspection of the inside of the shed, she put Heidi back inside and closed and locked the gate.
When a look around the perimeter of the large barn didn't turn up a goat, Megan sprinted down toward the greenhouses and rows of hoop houses. No goat.
Catching her breath, Megan paused to survey her surroundings, hoping to catch a glimpse of the animal. She needed to hurry. Her gaze shifted from the rain-soaked hoop houses to the stone outbuilding lined with stacks of firewood and bordered by chicken tractors, small enclosures on wheels that housed the chickens and could be moved around within the outdoor pastures. The tractors kept the chickens warm and safe at night, and by day the birds were free to roam. Heidi loved to chase the chickens; maybe her sister had picked up the habit too. But the tractors were closed up and quiet.
On the other side of the tractors, barely visible from this angle, was the neighboring property: the old Marshall house, a failed farm with an empty, dilapidated stone house. The Marshall house's fields, long overgrown with weeds and saplings, were empty except for a single crow, which perched atop a broken fence rail, its head cocked in Megan's direction. Megan pulled her gaze away from the crow, the bird's cold stare mirroring the sinking feeling in her gut.
Megan turned, looking up the hill from the chickens at a thick forested swath of land on the edge of the woods, which housed Barney Creek. Beyond the woods was the road. The thought of Dimples down near the street, maybe even hit by a car, twisted Megan's stomach into ropes.
"I see something!" Bibi shouted from the top of the small hill. She pointed toward the creek.
Megan joined her grandmother up by the house. If the goat was in the water, she'd drown. Though goats could swim, Pygmies were small — Dimples was barely eighteen inches high. With all the rain they'd had over the past weeks, the creek was a raging stream. The goat wouldn't have a chance.
Megan looked in the direction her grandmother was pointing. After a moment, she saw Dimples through the budding maple trees, her head barely visible on an elevated rock.
"Go inside, Bibi," Megan said. "I'll get her. You're soaking wet."
"I'm fine. Save the goat."
Megan ran alongside the house, away from the fields, and down the small embankment that led to Barney Creek, her feet slipping in the slurping mud. Dimples was near the brush that lined the creek bed, her head on the rock and her body partially submerged in the rising creek waters. She scooped the tiny goat into her arms. Dimples was alive, but barely. Her body was stiff and cold, her fur matted with what looked like mud and blood.
Back at the house, Bibi was already running a tepid bath. Megan lowered Dimples into the water. Blood-red circles fanned out in all directions from the goat's little body. "Call Dr. Finn," Megan said to her grandmother. She glanced at her watch and sighed. "Tell him it's an emergency."
"We need to stop meeting like this," Dr. Finn said in his Scottish brogue, an accent that became more pronounced when the vet was animated. The goat was on his lap, wrapped in a yellow blanket, and Megan's dog Sadie was under the table, her head on the veterinarian's foot. "Your animals seem to be going mad."
Megan smiled. She watched Dr. Daniel "Denver" Finn as he attended to her goat. Once the animal's body temperature was back to normal, he'd checked her from head to tiny tail and discovered only a few surface lacerations on her left rear leg and one gash across her side that required stitches. Now he was giving her a shot of antibiotics. The goat didn't flinch.
Nearly six foot four and somewhere in his mid-thirties, Dr. Finn had the musculature you'd expect from a large animal veterinarian used to handling horses and birthing cows. Megan, brought up on James Herriot novels, thought Dr. Finn possessed the characteristics she'd come to expect of a man in his position: patience, strength and a sense of humor born of acceptance of the cycles of life. His reddish-brown waves were always tousled, his smile was of the dimpled, crooked variety, and a pale jagged scar ran across the bridge of his nose. The result was a ruggedly handsome man with a wicked smile who seemed capable of handling any emergency. They'd been flirting — if you could call it that — for months, and friendly for longer than that, but Megan didn't have the nerve or time to make it more.
Dr. Finn patted the goat's head. "Your wee lassie will be perfectly fine." He smiled. "At least this time."
Megan leaned against the table, relieved. "Thank you."
"Happy to help."
Bibi was bustling around the big farm kitchen. She put a steaming cup of coffee in front of Dr. Finn and patted his shoulder. He threw her a grateful smile.
"Cinnamon bread?" she asked. "It's fresh."
"Oh, I wish, but I have appointments waiting." His warm response brought a smile to Bibi's face. To Megan, he said, "I'll come back tonight to check those stitches. In the meantime, the area will have to stay open to the air. Anything I put on there, the lassie will eat."
Megan nodded. This was the fifth time Dr. Finn had been called to the farm in the last two months alone. Usually his presence was required because one of the goats had eaten an inedible object — like shoestrings, electrical wire, or even a garden hose. Visits were so common, she had a line of credit with the clinic.
Dr. Finn ran a palm along the length of Dimples' body. Not for the first time, Megan noticed his big hands, surprisingly long, slender fingers bare of rings, and nails cut short, neatly squared-off.
"She must have slipped at the edge of the creek. Wedged herself down between the rocks. That's how she got cut." He stroked the goat's head again absentmindedly. "She's a lucky one to be alive." Dr. Finn looked up. "Do you know how she escaped her pen?"
Megan glanced at Bibi, who shrugged and said, "I looked outside while I was baking and happened to see Heidi up on that roof."
Megan frowned. "I wonder how she opened the gate."
"It should have been latched," Bibi said. "Maybe she kicked it in?"
"I don't think so. The gate looked fine." Megan glanced at Dr. Finn and said, "Heidi's clever, but she's not that clever. She's never been able to open the gate before."
"Maybe the other goat did it?"
Megan shook her head. "She's less likely to get out than Heidi."
Dr. Finn looked thoughtful. He took a sip of coffee, swallowed, and said, "I guess there's always a first time." He thanked Bibi again and stood, unfurling to his full height. "Goats are smart little buggers."
"But what about the cat?" Megan asked, remembering their newest family member and the balled-up letter. "Bibi, did you let the cat inside?"
"Not that I can recall."
Megan was still thinking about the cat when Dr. Finn looked at her and said, "Will you be okay for now, Megan?"
Megan nodded, still distracted.
The goat still nestled in the vet's arms, he said, "I'll get her settled back in her pen to make sure she's okay. Then I'll be back around six thirty tonight. Does that work?"
Megan agreed and thanked him. When the vet was gone, she grabbed her keys off the wall.
"I'll see you later."
Bibi looked startled. "Where are you going?"
"To the café." Megan grabbed the crumpled letter off the table and handed it to her grandmother. "Do you know when this letter arrived?"
"A few days ago." Her grandmother looked chagrined. "I forgot to give it to you. Those stupid letters. Permits, inspections, licenses ... this farm has been standing since 1764 and now this arrogant man can tell us what we can or can't do."
"I know, it feels unfair," Megan said, keeping her tone steady to mask her own annoyance at the commissioner. "But we have to play by the rules. The fact that my father didn't is what got us in this predicament."
"Bah." Bibi waved her hand. "Simon never liked the Birch family. His mother doesn't like us either. Simon's only making trouble. It's what he does these days, make trouble for simple folk who want to be left well enough —"
Megan shook her head. "He's simply doing his job. And right now, I need to do mine by meeting him at the cafÃ©." She looked down at her jeans and sweatshirt — now soiled by mud and pinprick spots of goat blood — and thought about changing. There was no time.
"Well, tell him we don't need his stupid inspection," Bibi said, but she looked worried. "We can get along perfectly fine without his blessing, right?"
Megan's lips twisted into the semblance of a smile. If only it were that simple. She kissed her grandmother on the forehead and thanked her for her help. "Don't worry, Bibi. I'll handle it. The farm will be up and running in no time, just as we planned."CHAPTER 2
Megan drove through Winsome at a greyhound's pace, her truck striving to cradle the backcountry curves. Winsome was a quintessential rural Pennsylvania town, the kind of place where family trees were deeply rooted and neighborly alliances — and grudges — measured their ages in decades, not months. Only forty miles outside of Philadelphia, it felt like a different world. The landscape was notable for its old stone farmhouses, cobbled streets, and tiny, iron-fenced graveyards, a favorite with history buffs. Tourists loved Winsome in the fall, when the horizon was ablaze with the burnt orange, crimson red and molten yellow leaves of birch, mountain maples, ash, and oak trees, but they especially loved Winsome in the summer, when the Bucks County farms bloomed and the wildflowers lining Winsome's main streets painted the town in a kaleidoscope of vibrant colors.
Now, with spring slow to come and summer seemingly far off, Winsome's muddied landscape didn't seem all that endearing to Megan. She drove her pickup truck straight through what served as a downtown, navigating around pond-size puddles of standing water, and made a left onto Canal Street, Winsome's main thoroughfare. She pulled right in front of the sign for Washington Acres Farm Café & Larder.
Excerpted from A Muddied Murder by Wendy Tyson. Copyright © 2016 Wendy Tyson. Excerpted by permission of Henery Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A new mystery series set in rural Pennsylvania, and very enjoyable. Megan Sawyer, a corporate lawyer, has left Chicago, to grow organic vegetables on her family's farm. Megan, a widow, lives on the historic farm with her grandmother, Bibi, and a motley group of animals. Simon Duvall, a disagreeable zoning commissioner, is found murdered on the farm and all fingers point to Megan and Bibi as the most likely to kill Simon. Megan does not let murder slow her down as she races to open an organic café and jump start her organic grocery. In spite of the grueling hours of hard labor on the farm, Megan has time for a little romance with the local veterinarian. The novel displays interesting and real characters, and the story moves briskly to the conclusion.
Megan Sawyer left her job as a lawyer in the city to go back to her family home to help her grandmother, Bibi. Her plan was to get the farm going again and open a store and café where she'd use things grown on her family's organic farm. The Zoning Commissioner, Simon Duvall kept failing every inspection and holding up her permits preventing her from opening. Lots of other things went wrong for her like too much rain and her goats getting out. Those things she could handle but the permits she couldn't. When Simon was found dead in her barn she's the prime suspect. Megan took on the job of finding out who really killed him. This cozy mystery was easy to read and a very enjoyable story to get lost in. Even with the detailed descriptions of Megan's farm and business slowing it down a bit, I liked this story. The characters in this small town were very likeable and several had unusual backgrounds. Then there were the dogs and pygmy goats keeping things lively. Megan had a big but welcome change in both her profession and accommodation but she handled everything well. Even when she was suspected of murder she kept going. The only time I found her annoying was when she went out - to the barn or check something outside - when there was a murderer on the loose. That seemed pretty foolish to me. And she was wonderful to her grandmother. I loved Bibi! It did have a pretty exciting ending and I was surprised when I found out who the bad guys were. I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
This is a solid beginning to the Greenhouse Mystery series. There was a mystery, some quirky characters, a love interest, healthy eating and animals, what more could you want. I really enjoyed the realistic storyline and how it meshed with history. Megan Sawyer was a successful lawyer in Chicago who had recently lost her husband in Afghanistan. Her grandmother, Bonnie Birch to everyone but Megan who calls her Bibi, is in her mid-eighties and when her son leaves to go to Paris with his new love she either has to sell the farm or find someone to move in to help her. As it turns out that was just what Megan needed. She returns to her roots in Winsome Pennsylvania to turn the family farm, Washington Acres, into a successful organic business. With the organic farm and the empty family store being converted into a cafe and grocery she should be able to make a go of it, but someone in town is sabotaging her everytime she turns around. Her help at both the cafe and farm are a wonderful brother/sister team who used to live in a commune. Megan was expecting to sell her organic vegetables at a local farmer's market and open her restaurant in a few days until she is told by the local zoning commissioner that neither her barn renovations or the cafe is up to code. Unfortunately, this resulted in a heated discussion with him. When he is found murdered in her barn that night, Megan is the main suspect. The story has many wonderful characters. Even though Megan is the main character in the story, there are many intriguing secondary characters. Their stories were very entertaining and enlightening (PTSD, veteranarian who lived with an abusive father, members of the now defunct commune and more) I must mention the budding romance with the local veterinarian. Dr. Denver Finn was born in Scotland but had travelled the world before settling in Winsome. He and Megan had many encounters due to the miniature goats, dogs, chickens etc. I really enjoyed their storyline as well. And I loved reading about the baby goats, chickens, horses and dogs. I must say that I did not figure out who the murderer was until the end of the story and the mystery of why the Historical Society wanted her farm so badly was also interesting right up until the end. I definitely recommend this story to anyone who loves cozies, animals and a little romance. I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
This is the first book I have read by Wendy Tyson. It is also the start of a new Greenhouse Mystery series. In the book, Megan has returned home to the family farm after a stint as a high powered lawyer. She is there to get back to her roots and to take care of her grandmother, Bibi. Megan goes through a lot of trials and tribulation getting the farm up and running and setting up a diner/farmer's market store in town. Not the least of these is getting the town's approval on the various stages of construction and sales. When a murder occurs, Megan is briefly considered a suspect. She then gets involved in trying to solve the crime. The plot was well thought out and the characters were believable. I liked that the answer to whodunnit could be figured out by clues rather than a surprise ending. I'm looking forward to new books in this series. I was provided a digital advance reader copy of this book by the publisher via Netgalley.
Loved this book! Very interesting cast of characters. Mystery kept me guessing until the end. Looking forward to the next one.
Pages Turn as the Muddied Becomes Clear Since one of my non-book related hobbies is mud runs, the title of A Muddied Murder caught my interest. I quickly realized that this is a series set on a farm, but I also started to hear great things about it, so I knew I had to give it a try. Megan Sawyer has returned to her home town of Winsome, Pennsylvania, to run the family farm. It’s actually been neglected for years, so it has taken some work to get things going again. She’s also hoping to open a combined store and restaurant in town that features produce from the farm. Of course, before any of that opens, she needs to have the store pass the building inspection, and Simon Duvall, the local zoning commissioner, continues to find reasons to deny her the permits she needs to open. The night after the store has failed the latest inspection, Megan finds Simon dead in her barn. Naturally, the police think she is the best suspect. Megan sets out to clear her name, but she keeps coming back to one question – why was Simon killed in her barn? While the mystery of who done it is strong, this book has the added twist of secrets in Megan’s past coming to light. I really enjoyed this because it added some depth to the plot. While the author resolved the bit of that family history introduced here, it leaves the door open for many further stories, and I am very hooked. I need to know what happens next to Megan. Which obviously means the characters are strong. There were a couple of the supporting cast that felt a little weak to me, but that’s a minor issue since the rest of the characters were great, and I’m sure they will be further developed in future books. I sympathized with Megan, I love her grandmother, the love interest is a great guy, and the suspects are viable. None of this distracts from the mystery, however. There are enough clues and red herrings to keep us interested and guessing until the climax, when everything is successfully tied up. For much of the book, it is cloudy or raining, which makes for a very atmospheric read. Despite the sun we were having here in Southern California while I was reading, it really helped pull me into this book. Of course, that does create some of the mud in the title of the book as well. Since growing or selling food plays such a large part in the book, it’s no surprise that there is a recipe at the end. It’s a vegetable rich pasta primavera that sounds wonderful. These characters are great, and I can hardly wait to see what grows out of this rich debut. If you haven’t read A Muddied Murder yet, pick it up today and enjoy.
A Muddied Murder by Wendy Tyson is the first book in A Greenhouse Mystery series. Megan Sawyer has returned to Winsome, Pennsylvania to stay with her grandmother, Bibi. Megan did live in Chicago and worked as a lawyer but came home when Bibi needed her. Megan is helping with the family farm, Washington Acres, and is opening a combination store and café in town. Megan is also turning the Washington Acres into an organic farm. But Megan has been encountering difficulties in opening the store/café. She keeps getting denied the appropriate permits (methinks someone is against her new venture). Simon Duvall is the person behind it (and he is one nasty man). Then Simon Duvall ends up dead in her barn. When Bibi ends up being a suspect, Megan sets out to clear her with help from the local vet, Dr. Daniel Finn (there is a romantic spark between them). Then the sabotage starts. Will Megan be able to find the culprit and open her new store/cafe? I enjoyed A Muddied Murder. It has good characters, a lovely setting (sounds like a beautiful town and farm), and a good mystery. The mystery was complicated (just the way I like them), but there are few clues provided (you can solve the mystery without them). One thing I did not like was Megan’s impatience. She wanted answers NOW (became frustrating). The romance in the book was a little rushed. It was too much for the first book. I give A Muddied Murder 4.25 out of 5 stars (since I was able to solve it). I think this is the beginning of a good series. I look forward to reading the next book in the series next spring. I received a complimentary copy of A Muddied Murder from NetGalley in exchange for an honest evaluation of the novel.
This well-written mystery makes me want to read more by this author. Great literature it is not, nor does it pretend to be more than a good story well told. The heroine Megan Sawyer, newly widowed, retires from an urban environment as an attorney to a start-up organic farm and café in rural Pennsylvania. Here we meet a collection of well-developed characters involved both in small town life and the lives of small towners. From Bibi, her indestructible grandmother/mother figure to the Scottish veterinarian, the intense police chief King and her ex-hippie friends, Megan finds herself taking on the town of Winsome’s historical society as well as a team of re-enactors bent and determined to turn her farm (where once George Washington reputedly slept) into an historical site. When the body of the town’s chief planner is found in Megan’s barn, a mystery involving almost everyone in he town evolves. The author cleverly casts doubt on almost each person when old secrets, resentments and even long-buried romances emerge as Megan attempts to earn her place in the town and establish a viable business. Every so often it’s a relief to get involved in such a story: like a good comedian, it holds one’s interest and is entertaining without the need for gratuitous off-color language or insulting comments. Sufficient interest to keep the pages turning and yet not so contrived that one guesses the ending from the beginning. The town of Winsome is as much as character as the people, and one can learn a lot about organic gardening and recipes as well. These comments are based on a copy of the book supplied to me by the publisher, in return for an honest review.
There is so much to love about this new cozy series. It was the perfect time for me to read this, since Spring is trying to let itself be known here in Wisconsin. I am looking forward to the farmer’s markets in the area, as well as the pizza farm we try to go to at least once a month in the summer. And I was super excited when it was mentioned in the book that they might try to make their farm into a pizza farm in the future. I know they are just characters in a book, but I quickly fell in love with the community, and want the farm/shop to succeed! While the mystery was done very well, and part of it even had me guessing until the end, it was the characters that make this book so amazing. Megan has the perfect amount of tenaciousness about her, and the way she loves/cares for her farm, friends, and family is wonderful. Then the romantic lead, who is hot, Scottish, and a veterinarian…. What more could a woman (or man) ask for! I really appreciated that although Megan is a widow, she isn’t full of angst when meeting and falling for Denver. There was barely any will they/won’t they, which was so refreshing. I’ve had to stop reading books/series because I couldn’t handle all the guilt that one or both of the romantic leads were feeling. There is also Megan’s grandma, Bibi, who is a farmer through and through. Her body may be slowing down a bit, but her mind is still sharp, and she is full of useful knowledge. We also get to meet various townspeople, which Wendy Tyson does great character development in a short amount of time. I’m looking forward to getting to know the characters even more, and seeing if Tyson can write more mysteries that have me guessing until the end.
A good mystery enjoyable reading
Dollycas’s Thoughts Like our author, Megan Sawyer is a lawyer. Megan feels like she is leaving the rat race behind when she returns to Winsome to help her grandmother and open a store and café featuring things grown on her family’s organic farm. But Winsome has its own share of rats, namely Zoning Commissioner, Simon Duvall. He is holding up her permits and keeping her from her grand opening. She can handle the rain and her goats wandering but she can’t let one man keep her from her livelihood. With the goats getting loose a lot, she has the veterinarian on speed dial. Dr. Denver Finn, is easy on the eyes and has a delicious accent and he would like to get to know Megan even better. Romance takes a back seat when she and the good doctor find Simon Duvall dead in her barn. Her grievance with the man was public knowledge making her the prime suspect in his murder. She may live in Winsome but she could lose some if she doesn’t dig deep and figure out who really killed the rat, I mean Mr. Duvall. I was already a fan of this author and her Allison Campbell Mysteries so I was anxious to read this story. She has started off this series wonderfully. First she gives us great realistic characters with depth. Megan is a strong woman with a dream. I think it will be a great success and she is definitely going to need more help. Especially if she keeps tracking down murders. Her grandmother, Bibi, will find her way right into your heart. Another strong woman who hates to slow down. She is excited about the new family venture and will do anything she can to help. Dr. Denver Finn is an interesting man and has a way with both people and animals. He is watching over a veteran with some issues due to his time overseas. He also rescues animals. He had me in his corner immediately. We also have a few 4 legged characters as well to add to the fun. Wendy Tyson wraps these characters in a story that meshes history, politics, and general small time life. She also blends in a murder mystery with more twists than a tornado. Each time I thought I had it figured out there was another clue that wrecked my theory. She added an element I never even thought about that turned the story on its ear. The ending was just fabulous! I hope this series lasts a good long time. I will tramp through the mud, the rain, the snow with Megan anytime. I want to get to know all the characters better. I can hardly wait for the second book.
Title: A Muddied Murder - Greenhouse Mystery 1 Author: Wendy Tyson Published: 3-29-2016 Publisher: Henery Press Pages: 288 Genre: Mystery, Thrillers & Suspense Sub Genre: Crafts & Hobbies; Women Sleuths; ISBN: 9781635110050 ASIN: B01A1I8J6W Reviewer: DelAnne Reviewed For: NetGalley My Rating: 5 Stars . Following the death of her husband Mitch, Maggie Sawyer left her big city law career and stress filled life to returned to her hometown of Winsome, Pennsylvania. With plans for a quieter life taking care of her grandmother Bibi Birch, help run the family's organic farm, Washington Acres and start up the Washington Acres Farm Café and Larder in town. Instead of the inner peace and tranquility she was looking forward to even more stress with denied permits and waterlogged fields and the drain on her finances. When she is ready to admit defeat and give up she and the gorgeous local vet, Denver find the battered dead body of Simon Duvall, the zoning commissioner in her barn. Now to clear her name she must find the real killer before she is arrested and convicted of the crime. This is a great start to Wendy Tyson's new series. With interesting characters both human and animals a town full of supporting cast lay the groundwork for the characters to charm and captivate the reader. With a fast paced plot and twist and turns to keep you involved until the end and humor thrown in to spice things up. You will fall in love with Winsome, Pennsylvania as well as Maggie and her family. I cannot wait to see what happens in the next book, Bitter Harvest due out in the Spring of 2017. My rating is 5 stars out of 5. If you do not want to wait until next year to read more of Wendy Tyson's humorous style check out her Allison Campbell Mystery series.
I have loved Wendy's other books, and I had this one pre-ordered so I would be sure to get it as soon as it was released. I was not disappointed. It is a delightful combination of wonderful characters, romance and murder to investigate that I thoroughly enjoyed from the first page to the end. There are twists and turns that kept me reading to see what was going to happen next. I am definitely looking forward to the next book in this series.
Wendy Tyson's new the Greenhouse Series is sure to be another of Wendy's wins. Megan Sawyer has moved back to the town and house where she had grown up. The family business and the old homestead is in danger of collapsing, thanks to Megan's fathers grandiose plans. Megan tries to juggle the greenhouse, the farm, the cafe in town, the farm animals and the farm market stand. Quite a responsibility for one young lady to handle. With her grandmother and handsome vet Dr. Finn by her side she just might pull it off. FTC Full Disclosure - A copy of this book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.
In A Muddied Murder, the first book in the Greenhouse Mystery series, author Wendy Tyson weaves a riveting cozy mystery that follows the trials and tribulations of ex-corporate attorney turned organic farmer / cafe owner Megan Sawyer. Set in the small rural town of Winsome, Pennsylvania, this fast paced tale follows Megan Sawyer as she returns to her hometown to help her Grandmother Bonnie "Bibi" Birch run their family owned organic farm and cafe. Megan's struggles to restore the farm and run the cafe takes a turn for the worse when she finds the body of Simon Duvall, the town zoning commissioner in her barn. Megan and Commissioner Duvall had an argument over the denial of her business permits, and suddenly she finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation as the primary suspect! Determined to clear her name and save her family's property, Megan decides to investigate the murder on her own with the help of handsome local veterinarian Dr. Daniel "Denver" Fin, and her two employees, brother and sister Clay and Clover Hand. Can Megan and friends solve the murder mystery before the killer strikes again? A Muddied Murder is a wonderful cozy mystery that has an intriguing cast of characters who all have skeletons in their closets and long held past secrets, plenty of town gossip and family drama, a subtle romance, and enough suspenseful twists and turns that will easily keep the reader engaged and guessing how Megan and her friends will solve the murder mystery. A Muddied Murder is an entertaining cozy mystery that is hard to put down, and will leave the reader wanting to follow Megan's next adventure. A Muddied Murder is the first book in the Greenhouse Mystery Series. Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the publisher / author in exchange for my honest review.
This is a great book; this is the first book in the A Greenhouse Mystery series by Wendy Tyson. Megan Sawyer has given up her big city law career to care for her grandmother and run the family’s organic farm and café. Megan can’t catch a break since she has been back, between her fields getting soaked from the rain, her goat goes missing and now the town denies her business permits. When the local zoning commissioner’s body is found in her barn, she becomes the primary suspect. Megan is determined to find the real killer before she gets arrested for a crime she didn’t commit. If you are looking for a great mystery, that will keep you guessing until the end. Then you need to read this one. I am looking forward to the next book by this author. A Review copy was provided to me in exchange for a fair and honest review. The free book held no determination on my personal review.
I really like this new series. The characters were personable, well most of them, and there was a good mix of quirky thrown in. This story was not short of suspects as well. I had absolutely no idea who "did it". I was astonished when I found out why there had been so many strange things going on. I look forward to the next book in the series when, I presume, the author will tell us about the part Megan left out of the letter. Don't understand that last part? Pick up the book and see what I'm talking about. It's a great cozy mystery that I'm sure you will definitely enjoy. Thanks Henery Press for approving my request and to Net Galley for providing a free e-galley in exchange for an honest review. 3 likes ·
A Muddied Murder is the first book in Wendy Tyson's new Greenhouse Mystery series. Environmental lawyer and widow of Afghanistan war soldier, Megan Sawyer, has returned to her small hometown to run the family's organic farm and store and be there for her eighty-something grandmother, Bibi. Megan is sinking her own funds into many restoration projects and the hold ups from the zoning commissioner are sending her into the red. With opening day quickly approaching and repeated deluges, Megan is getting further away from her goals on a daily basis. Then one of her Pygmy goats escapes its pen and is injured, requiring stitches. When local vet Dr. Daniel "Denver" Finn comes one evening to check the goat's progress, they hear strange noises in the adjacent barn. They investigate only to find the lifeless body of her project nemesis. In the days that follow, Megan becomes the main person of interest in the murder. But then, other crimes that seem to be connected begin to occur. While Megan may not be the prime suspect anymore, she just might be the main target. Well written with endearing characters, this first book in a new series will leave you wanting to know more about the little hamlet of Winsome, PA, and it's assortment of residents. I very much enjoyed this book and look forward to the next in the series.
A Muddied Murder by Wendy Tyson is the first book in her new cozy mystery series. Megan Sawyer has returned to her home town of Winsome to help her grandmother, Bibi. She has a strong and loving relationship with her grandmother so she is determined to do whatever is necessary to make the organic farm a success. I liked and admired Megan. She was a successful attorney in Chicago and has already experienced the grief and sorrow of losing her husband. This added depth to her character that I appreciated. Ms. Tyson provided a story that was fast paced and richly detailed. Her characters are well developed and I really enjoyed getting to know all of them. The history of Bibi's home was an integral part of the story and I enjoyed reading about this history. Ms. Tyson's vivid descriptions of the town and countryside made Winsome come alive while I was reading. There are a lot of twists to the story that encouraged me to keep turning the pages. Murder, returning home to start a new life,a little romance, and a few distinctive and quirky secondary characters that enriched this story all made a perfect blend for a story that I enjoyed from beginning to end. I received an ARC from Henery Press via NetGally in exchange for an honest review.
A Great start to a new series. I was lucky enough to have gotten a copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for a review which I am happy to provide. I really enjoyed this cozy Murder Mystery, it had interesting characters that I could relate to, plenty of mystery a great storyline, a budding romance, all sorts of animal and it held my interest right from the beginning. As usual I read way passed my bedtime because I just needed to find out what would happen next. I can't wait what will happen next, great start to a new series.
A fabulous start to what I hope will be a long running series! This first book in the Greenhouse Mysteries by author Wendy Tyson had everything I look for in a great mystery. A perfect setting, an interesting profession for the protagonist, and characters I would love to know in real life. By the end of chapter one of A MUDDIED MURDER I was besotted with character Megan Sawyer, an attorney turned farmer/café owner, her grandmother Bibi, and local vet Dr. Finn. As I read more of the story I was laughing hysterically thanks to Megan’s store manager Clover Hand, and her boyfriend Police Chief Bob King. Quick witted and intelligent writing drew me into this book from the beginning, and held me captive through the thrilling reveal, and delightful ending. Wonderful storytelling at its best. Wendy Tyson has a sure bet of a hit series on her hands. I’m looking forward to book two, BITTER HARVEST. Come on 2017!