Redwood Cove Bed and Breakfast manager Kelly Jackson is hosting a cooking class during the Week of the Mushroom festival to attract guests, not drama. But soon after she finishes foraging for an edible mushroom species on sacred Native American land, a local newspaper reporter gets shot dead at the same site. With suspicions spreading like fungi in the quaint Northern Californian community over the culprit's identity, Kelly and a savvy gang of sleuthing seniors known as the "Silver Sentinels" must uncover the truth about the secluded property before a tricky killer prepares another lethal surprise . . .
Read an Excerpt
Mushrooms of all shapes, sizes, and colors covered the top of the large table in the work area of Redwood Cove Bed-and-Breakfast. Each had been centered on a white piece of paper. Some looked like a person's sweet, peaceful dream of fluffy white clouds. Others were from someone's ghoulish nightmare. I reached toward a fascinating orange one with white dots.
"Stop!" the short, blond woman next to me shouted.
I quickly pulled my hand back.
The woman put her camera on the table. "I'm sorry to startle you. That one, as are some of the others, is poisonous, and you can absorb the toxins through your skin. Contrary to popular belief, you don't risk dying unless you ingest them, but you might have a nasty allergic reaction."
"You don't have to apologize for keeping me from getting sick," I told the photographer, Elise Jenkins.
She laughed. "Thanks for letting me do my mushroom class at your inn."
"I'm looking forward to learning about them as well as finding out more about the Mushroom Festival. As the new manager here, the more I know, the more I can inform my guests."
"It's a lot of fun. I've been going to the festival's events for years. Among other things, there are demonstrations, special menus at many of the restaurants, and a contest. I grew up here and the start of mushroom season is something I look forward to every year, along with many of the other locals."
"You said some of these are poisonous. I've heard eating wild mushrooms can be dangerous."
"It can be. You really need to know what you're doing and not take any chances if you're not sure. People still die, even though they know they need to be careful. There's a saying that goes, 'There are old mushroom hunters and bold mushroom hunters but rarely someone who is both.'"
Elise put on rubber gloves, began picking up certain mushrooms and double- bagging them in plastic bags. She placed them in an ice chest. "I'll take these home with me. I'll leave the others here to show at the lunch later. Those on that side of the table are safe to touch." She pointed to the left.
I picked up one that looked like a dozen miniature fans glued together in an overlapping pattern to form a mushroom tower. The fungus felt soft and rubbery.
"That's called the hen of the woods," Elise said.
I turned the tan cluster in a number of different directions, but couldn't see any resemblance to the chickens on my parents' ranch.
Elise put the chest in a corner and then pulled name cards out of her briefcase. She began placing them on a long, narrow display table next to the wall.
"I'm going to put the mushrooms over here and keep the display up for the identification portion of the class. We'll be needing the table for eating and food preparation."
I put the hen down above her name tag.
The sound of a car in the driveway drew my attention out the window of the inn's back door. A four-door sedan rolled to a stop. A silver-haired, nattily dressed gentleman in a tweed jacket and cap emerged from a classic gold Mercedes. Herbert Winthrop, better known as the Professor from his days at UC Berkeley, had arrived.
A white Prius and a green pickup with a camper shell drove in behind him and parked. The drivers of the other vehicles emerged, both wearing long- sleeved shirts, blue jeans, and hiking boots. One wore a bright red cap with a matching scarf around his neck. The Professor had informed the Silver Sentinels, a crime-solving group of senior citizens of which he was a member and I had honorary status, that his younger brother and one of his friends was coming to the Mushroom Festival and attending the class at the inn.
They walked up the back steps and knocked on the door.
"Hi," I greeted them as I opened it for them.
A breath of salty ocean air followed them in.
The Professor took off his cap and nodded at me. "Good to see you, my dear." He turned to the two who had followed him in. "I'd like to introduce you to my brother, Timothy." He pointed to a slim man with a strong family resemblance who had the Professor's same sparkling blue eyes.
Timothy extended his hand. "I've heard a lot about you. It's great to finally meet you."
"Same here," I said, and we did the customary handshake.
His hand was soft, but his grip was firm.
Indicating the rotund man next to Timothy, the Professor said, "And this is his friend, Clarence Norton."
He stepped forward. "Hi!" His neat mustache had the whisper of a curl at the ends and his full head of gray hair was brushed back.
I received a vigorous handshake.
"I'm so excited to be here! This class sounds like it'll be great." A laugh punctuated the sentence.
"Timothy and Clarence, this is Kelly Jackson, manager of Redwood Cove Bed-and-Breakfast," the Professor said.
"It's nice to meet you both. Welcome to the inn and please come in." I closed the door and joined them. "This is our multipurpose room. It contains a work space on the left, a kitchen on the right, and a living area at the far end." The spacious room was the hub of our activities and always had a welcoming feel about it.
Elise moved the last mushroom from the table.
"This is your instructor, Elise Jenkins." I nodded in her direction and introduced them.
"Hi, everyone," she said. "I look forward to working with you. I'm about ready to prepare lunch, so we'll talk more later."
The men said hi, and Clarence and Timothy told her how much they were looking forward to the class.
"Professor, I know you're not taking the class," Elise said, "but you're welcome to join us for lunch. I have plenty of food."
"I'd love to, Ms. Jenkins. That's a kind offer."
"Please, call me Elise."
"So I shall," he replied.
I led them to the living area where there was a couch and chairs. "Please, have a seat. Would anyone like some coffee or tea?"
"I'd like some coffee," Clarence said.
Timothy and the Professor responded in the negative.
"Would you like cream and sugar?" I asked Clarence.
"Yes, my sweet tooth just won't leave me alone," he chuckled.
I went to the kitchen and prepared Clarence's coffee, handed it to him, and sat down with the three men.
"We're really looking forward to the event," said Timothy. "We've spent two years learning about mushrooms."
I settled back into my chair. "That's a long time. What made you decide to do that?"
Clarence shifted his position, but it was almost more of a bounce up and down. "We compete every two years in an area we choose. We work to learn as much as we can and see who can be the best."
Timothy picked up the conversation. "We chose mushrooms this time. I knew about the festival and the contest, and it sounded like fun."
Clarence pulled his red wool scarf off and pointed to his matching cap. "Last time our area of expertise was knitting."
"Knitting?" I asked.
Timothy laughed. "Yes. The knitting club in Berkeley where I live didn't bat an eye."
Clarence grinned. "On the other hand, quite a few eyebrows shot up when I walked into a meeting of the Minnesota Knitters Guild. Once I explained, they were really good sports about it. I didn't realize I had ten thumbs."
"Who won?" I asked.
"Two ladies from each group judged our creations. We shipped them back and forth. They declared it a tie."
They both shrugged.
"We did it on a whim." Clarence chuckled. "We were looking through a class catalogue to get ideas. We saw a knitting class and decided that would be new and different."
Elise leaned over the counter that divided the kitchen and work area. "Gentlemen, you're welcome to look at the mushrooms on the table. They're all labeled."
While the three men went to check them out, I joined Elise in the kitchen, where she was beginning to prepare the welcome lunch. "Is there anything I can do to help?"
Savory smells had begun to fill the air.
"If you'd set the table, that would be wonderful. I'm not familiar with where the dishes and silverware are kept."
"Sure." I pulled out plates from the cupboard.
I knew from the paperwork I'd seen there were eight participants, six staying at the inn. Elise had asked me to join the class whenever possible, and I was attending today's session. I added three plates for Elise, myself, and the Professor.
Elise opened a black nylon case on the counter. It contained a variety of knives.
I took the plates to the table. "Whatever you're making smells divine."
"Mushroom quiche to help get us into the swing of things. The class is about identifying and finding mushrooms as well as cooking them. This is a recipe I created using a lot of local wild herbs. I prepared the quiches at home and only need to heat them." She selected one of the knives and put it on a cutting board. "Kelly, thank you again for hosting my class here at your inn. I lost my job as a chef, and it's a challenge to make ends meet."
"I'm sorry to hear that. I'm glad I can be of help."
Elise pulled a huge salad bowl of greens from the refrigerator as well as bags of produce. "My mother's in an assisted care home. My son, Joey, helps as much as he can with the bills. He's a woodworker with limited resources. Joey teaches part-time at a craft school and builds redwood tables he sells in a local art gallery."
I added silverware to the table settings.
"I've been working odd jobs here and there. I hope to get something soon." She began chopping a yellow bell pepper. "Roger Simmons, the sponsor of the mushroom contest, bought the restaurant I worked at. The property is adjacent to his estate. The owners hadn't planned on selling for a couple more years, but he just kept offering them more money. They eventually sold."
"Is it still a restaurant?" I asked.
"No. He just wanted the property. There's a spectacular ocean view. He gutted the building, put in an art studio for his work, and built an addition of a small warehouse. Roger works with wood and that takes a lot of equipment."
I was learning about another aspect of Redwood Cove. I'd seen some of the redwood items for sale but didn't know much about the process for creating them.
"He was very generous to all the employees. We had a lot of notice, and he gave us severance pay that was more than any of us expected. The owners are now very well set for their retirement. I'm unemployed right now, but I don't feel any ill will toward him." She tossed the pepper into the salad bowl.
I finished setting the table. "Mr. Simmons called and said he wanted to meet me. He's coming over in a little bit."
Elise wiped her hands on a dish towel. "He visits as many of the mushroom activities as he can."
She pulled appetizers from the refrigerator and uncovered them. I arranged them on the counter. The men joined us.
"Help yourself," she said as she placed them on the table. "The others should be arriving soon."
I picked up one of the stuffed mushrooms and bit into it. The filling melted in my mouth with a tangy cheese flavor and the taste of dill. I detected a hint of garlic and other spices I couldn't identify.
Clarence picked up an appetizer and beamed at Elise. "I can't wait to get into the woods and start the hunt."
"Me, too," Timothy said. "It's so gorgeous here. The combination of the redwood forests and the Pacific Ocean makes for stunning views. We have fun events planned as well as being in a breathtaking area."
Elise frowned. "The woods are indeed beautiful, but they can also be dangerous, a place of mystery and darkness." She put another plate of appetizers out. "People have been known to get killed in these woods."
The excitement in their faces slipped away and fear entered.
Clarence stepped toward Elise. "Killed? Why?"
"A number of reasons. There are people living deep in the woods who don't want to be found. They have their secrets to protect. Illegal drug activity is another. A keep-out sign means exactly that. And, of course, the mountain lions."
"Mountain lions?" Timothy's voice had taken on a high-pitched note.
Elise put pitchers of tea on the granite kitchen divider. "For the most part they stay away from people. But there have been some incidents. Especially if a lion's been injured or has cubs."
She left the kitchen and went to a pile of papers on the side table, where the mushrooms were, and returned with some stapled sheets. Elise handed one to Clarence and the other to Timothy.
"Here are maps of hunting locations. If you follow my directions and use the maps, you'll be fine and have a lot of fun. I didn't mean to scare you, but I did want to stress it's important to be careful. I can tell you're really excited, and I heard you mention a competition. I didn't want you to get carried away in the heat of the contest."
The Professor looked over Timothy's shoulder at the papers he held. "Who knew hunting fungi could be life threatening? My new piece of knowledge for the day."
A car drove by the side window of the work area. I didn't know much about types of vehicles, but I knew my animals and recognized another type of big cat in the hood ornament — a leaping jaguar. The black car parked, and a man with dark brown hair parted on the side got out. He headed along the walk toward the front of the inn.
I walked down the hallway to greet him, the sounds of my steps muffled by an oriental runner.
I opened the door before he had time to knock. "Welcome. I'm Kelly Jackson."
"Roger Simmons," he responded. "Pleased to meet you."
The sweet scent of the profusion of red, yellow, and blue flowers covering the vines climbing the porch railing drifted in.
"The mushroom class is being held in our multipurpose room in the back. Come this way."
Roger wore a light tan sports coat and neatly creased navy slacks. A silk scarf tucked in his breast pocket had a pattern with colors perfectly matching his attire. He was tall and substantial in size.
We joined the others and everyone exchanged names except for Elise, who gave the newcomer a wave.
Roger looked at me. "Thank you for participating in the Mushroom Festival. The more activities we can offer, the better for attracting people."
"I've been reading about it in the newspaper," I said. "There certainly is a variety of events to choose from."
Roger nodded. "You're right. People really get into it. It goes for two weeks. The chefs outdo themselves coming up with new recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner."
Elise chimed in. "Including dessert."
"Dessert? Mushroom dessert?" I laughed. "I don't know if I'm ready for that."
Elise smiled. "I wouldn't decide too fast. Wait until you try the candy cap mushroom ice cream."
"There's more," Roger said. "Locals lead hikes to find and identify mushrooms. A stable arranged a special horseback ride and a company called Paddler's Paradise has organized a canoe trip. You can walk, ride, or paddle to find fungi."
Elise pointed to the table with the mushrooms. "There are lists and flyers for the activities if you want to look at them over there." The Professor, Timothy, and Clarence went over to investigate and began picking up various papers.
"Any luck finding a job, Elise?" Roger asked.
Her back stiffened slightly. "Not yet. But something will come along."
"I'll let you know if I hear of anything," Roger said.
"Thanks." She sighed and returned to putting beverages on the counter. "Would you like to join us for lunch?"
"Thanks for the offer, but I'll have to pass. I have another appointment."
"Okay. I know this is a busy time for you," Elise replied.
He turned to me. "I understand you're new to the area. I'd love to have you come and see my art studio. I open it once a month to the public, and your guests might like to know about it. I'll give you a private tour."
"I'd like that. Elise said you create pieces using redwood. I know the trees are an important part of this area, and I'd like to learn more about what people do with them."
He pulled out his wallet, extracted a card, and handed it to me. "Excellent. I'll show you my woodworking equipment and walk you through the process. It's not a side of the craft I have many opportunities to talk about with people."
I examined the card — smooth black cardstock with his name and phone number in elegant, silver lettering. "I'll be in touch."
"I look forward to hearing from you," Roger said.
A battered yellow pickup truck drove by and parked.
"Oh, it's Peter Smith," Elise said. "I forgot to tell you about him, Kelly. I invited him to join us for lunch. He's won the contest for the last five years, and I think he can add some interesting information."
Elise had seen where the plates and utensils were kept and set another place at the table. A couple of class members wandered in and she went to greet them.
I opened the back door and called out, "Mr. Smith," as the man with sparse sandy hair locked his pickup. "This is where the class is meeting."
Excerpted from "Murder at the Mushroom Festival"
Copyright © 2018 Janet Finsilver.
Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Murder at the Mushroom Festival is the fourth in the Kelly Jackson series and my first experience with the series or the author. In this installment, Kelly Jackson has been named permanent manager of the rustic Redwood Cove B&B and is gearing up for the festivities by bringing in Elise Jenkins to host a cooking class featuring mushrooms. Among the town's guests are Ned Blaine, a reporter who is creating a lot of animosity as he noses into secret mushroom locations that he plans to disclose on the internet. Some of the locations are on reservation land and off limits. Also among the redwoods and on reservation land are "sinker logs," an extremely profitable result of old growth logged last century, some of which found their way into lakes and streams. Ned has a confrontation with Daniel Stevens, one of the local Native Americans and is found murdered on reservation land. Kelly gets the Senior Sentinels involved and I enjoyed the way they go about solving the mystery and the different personalities involved. While this book may function as a standalone, it's possible protagonist Kelly was more fully developed in previous episodes. The little redwood community sounds disarmingly quaint and the seaside location is described well enough to taste the salt air and feel the heavy mist. The well-plotted storyline keeps a steady and engaging pace introducing many interesting facts along the way regarding our beautiful northern California redwood coast. Kelly seems to be a missing manager for most of the activity, focusing on the whodunit and there seemed to be an abundance of character tension and a wide choice as to who might have done it. The dialogue flowed naturally and the well-crafted plot came to a satisfying conclusion, wrapping up loose ends, but the culprit was not a surprise having been a strong suspicion from introduction. I was allowed this ebook download by Kensington Publishing Corp and NetGalley and greatly appreciated the opportunity to read and review. Recommended for fans of cozy mysteries, those who love our northern California coastal area, or anyone who loves to learn about the unique assets of our beautiful country.
Such a good and fun mystery. I loved the delightful characters and the relationships that they had with each other. Some characters you loved and others you hated. But that made the story interesting. Great mushroom festival activities and I loved how they were varied and would have provided something for everyone to enjoy. This book was just a good read. I love the town where it took place, the people (at least those who aren't stealing or trying to kill someone), and the goodness that was demonstrated in many ways. The focus on trying to help vets and other individuals was a plus. You really didn't know who had committed all of the crimes until the end. You have lots of suspicions, but you don't know the truth until the very end. I love that in a book! One that keeps you guessing and trying to put the puzzle pieces together will draw me in every time! Thanks to NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for my unbiased review.
I just loved this book! Having a setting that is almost in my own backyard of the Bay Area made it that much more fun to read! The characters were fun and interesting and I loved all of the activities the characters participated in while attending the Mushroom Festival (horse back riding, hiking, canoeing!) And let's not forget to mention the tiny piece of the puzzle, a murder to solve - and a well thought out one that had me to the end! I found the mushroom facts to be interesting and the storyline fast paced. I don't usually start a series in the middle, but made the exception on this one and I can't wait to go back and catch up on the earlier escapades of these characters!
An over-load of characters making it hard to remember who's who. Mystery part was very weak and obvious from beginning. I guess if you want to know all about mushrooms and sinker logs then read this book. I found it like walking through quick sand. First book in series I've read, but last.
Her writing gets better and better. Good story.
I jumped into this series at book 4 and that was A o.k! Although I really enjoyed the characters and need to go back and read the rest just because I want to! My head was spinning though not in a bad way with all the villainous crimes! Murder, theft, blackmail, the Indian land being dishonored and just a few threats thrown in to make everyone a little nervous. The road is twisty and curving and will keep you a bit on the edge of your seat with all the action and mystery. I enjoyed meeting all the sleuthing seniors that help Kelly by snooping and solving the crime to clear her friends name. The addition of all the animals to the story made it especially fun for me! If you love cozy mysteries that have some great animal characters you'll enjoy this series. And one of my favorite parts was the cover. I would pick this one up for sure and check it out. I'd read the back and then Buy It! I do have to say I was a little disappointed there was one of the animal characters that sadly missed being on the cover! I am looking forward to reading much more! I received a complimentary copy.
I enjoy the contributions of senior sleuths, and this series has a wide variety of personalities. The staff for the hotels and touristy industry are well written and I appreciate their loyalty to each other. When one becomes a suspect, you know no one will rest until he is proven innocent and the case closed. An interesting mystery, some great animals, and even new possibilities for the veterans! This book proves that situations are not always strictly black and white, but some choices are better than others.
This is such a cute and cozy mystery! As the Mushroom Festival starts a reporter is murdered and it's up to B&B Manager Kelly Jackson and her friends to find the culprit. I have never read this author before but I am glad I had the opportunity to find a new author.
The annual Mushroom Festival is ready to kick off in Redwood Cove, CA and it looks to be an interesting weekend. for Kelly Jackson, manager of the Redwood Cove B&B, she’s looking forward to participating in the activities as one of the newest residents. Things kick off with a mushroom class hosted at the B&B where a local report seems to have raised the ire of several local participants. The next day as the festival kicks off, the day begins with the murder of the local reporter…and her friend Daniel, manager of Redwood Cove B&B sister Inn is the primary suspect. Knowing that Daniel could never harm someone, Kelly and the Silver Sentinels, a group of local seniors who solve crimes in Redwood Cove are hot on the case. Soon Kelly is a potential next target when she is warned to stop asking questions, is threatened by another suspect , and is pushed into the river. Will the Silver Sentinels and Kelly find the murdered before Daniel is taken away or Kelly comes to harm? This book kept me engaged and had me struggling to put the book down and go to sleep…I HAD to find out who did it and why. Well developed characters and well written. While it is the fourth in the series, I had not read any of the other books and was able to settle right in. I can’t wait to read the first three books in the series!
Dollycas’s Thoughts Mushrooms, Murder and a bit of Mayhem! It’s the Week of the Mushroom and many fun events have been planned. Cooking classes and various mushroom hunting tours. Kelly Jackson, manager of the Redwood Cove Bed and Breakfast is participating in everything she can but it is not completely for her pleasure. No, she is tracking a murderer to clear her friend Daniel off the suspect list and the “Silver Sentinels” are helping her. Kelly finds herself in a little cold water but she and her friends are not giving up until they find the killer. All my favorites were back for this new adventure but there was a new character that absolutely stole my heart. Priscilla, the mushroom/truffle-sniffing pig with a big pink bow. Seriously though, Ms. Finsilver has created a wonderful cast of characters. The recurring characters are a tightly knit bunch and the new characters added several dimensions to the story. Several holding high places on the Sentinels suspect list. I really do enjoy the way this active group of senior citizens gets involved in the community and solving murders. I wish I was as active as they are. The backdrop of the story is the illegal harvesting of Redwood trees and redwood sinker logs that have rested underwater for years. I found the information and description of the sculptures created from the redwood and sinker logs very interesting. The sinker logs are rare and there is a lot of red tape to obtain them legally. We also see how protective mushroom gatherers are of their foraging sites. In this story, one site is on sacred Indian land. I love learning new things while reading a cozy mystery. Plus the descriptions of the items and the places they were found created great imagery. The author has given readers a solid mystery with plenty of twists. The Silver Sentinels had their lists on the board but finding someone with motive, means and opportunity just wasn’t lining up. Kelly was pulling out all the stops to figure it out. Readers like me will figure it out right before Kelly has her “aha moment”. Thankfully the woman can think on her feet. At the end of Murder at the Fortune Teller’s Table, I thought there was a romance budding for Kelly, that part of her story is moving very slowly book wise but in the timeframe of the series is unfolding at the right pace. I have enjoyed this entire series and excited about where the characters are headed and eager to read about their next story.
Murder at the Mushroom Festival by Janet Finsilver is fourth installment in A Kelly Jackson Mystery series. Kelly Jackson, the manager of the Redwood Cove Bed-and-Breakfast, is looking forward to the Mushroom Festival in Redwood Cove, California. She has agreed to let Elise Jackson teach her mushroom class in the multipurpose room. Elise will be teaching the participants how to identify various mushrooms, how to cook with mushrooms and provide maps on where to find the fungi in the local area. One of the highlights of the festival is the mushroom hunting contest. Ned Blaine, reporter for the Redwood Cove Messenger, is attending Elise’s class and manages to anger a few people before it disperses. The next morning Deputy Sheriff Bill Stanton arrives to speak with Kelly. Ned Blaine was found shot dead (I’m so shocked) on sacred tribal land in Mallory National Park. When Daniel ends up the prime suspect, Kelly and the sleuthing seniors known as the Silver Sentinels dig into the case. Ned was investigating illegal redwood logging which included the stealing sinker logs and writing a book on places to locate mushrooms in Redwood Cove. Both items stirred up dark feelings and could have gotten Ned murdered. Someone is not happy with Kelly’s snooping and attempts to take her out of commission. It is up to Kelly and the Silver Sentinels to find the wrongdoer before they strike again. Murder at the Mushroom Festival can be read alone. Everything you need to know about Kelly is included in Murder at the Mushroom Festival. I thought the book contained good writing and had a steady pace. Janet Finsilver has a conversational writing style that makes the story easy to read. I thought the characters were well established. Kelly’s coworkers, friends and the Silver Sentinels are friendly, welcoming characters. They are the type of people I would like to know and have as my friends. I appreciate that there is a diverse group of people. I especially enjoy the younger characters as well as the dogs. They provide levity and humor to the story. Kelly is friendly, caring, smart and level headed. I like the setting of Redwood Cove. It sounds like a great place to live with the water and forests (I have always wanted to life in the Pacific Northwest). It was interesting to learn about mushrooms. I had no idea there were so many varieties and how easy it is to find them. People do need to be careful since there are numerous poisonous varieties (great weapon for a killer). I would never have thought of using mushrooms in a dessert. The mystery had a couple of different components that all come together in the end with the loose ends wrapped up. Identifying the guilty, though, is a piece of cake. I really like that Kelly actively investigates. She asks clever questions while being subtle. Kelly does not blindly dive into dangerous situations (hooray). There are many cozy moments in the book (cooking, chatting, mushroom hunting, cookie baking and decorating, horseback riding, traversing down the river in a canoe) that aid in making Murder at the Mushroom Festival a delight to read. My rating for Murder at the Mushroom Festival 4 out of 5 stars (I liked it). This is my favorite book so far in A Kelly Jackson Mystery series.
Murder at the Mushroom Festival is Janet Finsilver's very enjoyable fourth entry in her Kelly Jackson cozy mystery series, and it was a pleasant return to Redwood Cove. Kelly and the Silver Sentinels are investigating another murder, and also an attempted murder, during the annual Mushroom Festival, but they're drawn into the theft of a very rare piece of sunken redwood lumber as well. When Daniel, one of Kelly's closest friends, is suspected of the murder, she enlists the help of her boss, Michael Corrigan, who immediately swoops into town to help. One of the things that I enjoy most about cozy mysteries is the continuing and developing relationships between the main and recurring characters, and it was so nice to spend time again with them! All in all, a very pleasant and quick read, like a visit with dear friends. I recommend starting the series from the beginning, but this book works well as a standalone. A+
Murder at the Mushroom Festival by Janet Finsilver is the fourth book in this series and the best one yet. Kelly has settled into Redwood Cove now and loves joining into the local festivals and celebrations. Ms. Finsilver's writing is so descriptive that I always feel like I am right there with Kelly as she travels around Redwood Cove. I really appreciate the in-depth research of mushrooms. I learned a lot regarding the different types of mushrooms and all of the different ways to use them in food preparation. The Silver Sentinels are such a great group of quirky seniors. I really admire them as they strive to help within their community. The mystery was swiftly plotted with plenty of suspects and enough twists that I never guessed the identity of the murderer until the reveal and that was scary. I found myself on the edge of my seat as I read. I am already anticipating the next book in this series I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book from Lyrical Underground via NetGalley. All of the above opinions are my own.
I always enjoy visiting the regular characters in the Kelly Jackson mystery series. They have established a family-like closeness which contributes to the charm in each new book. Book 4 is a light mystery dealing with illegal redwood logging. A reporter’s life is cut short when he’s researching and planning to do an expose on mushroom patches. Is he killed because mushroom hunters want the locations of their private patches kept secret, or because he stumbles upon more high stakes secrets in his investigation? Kelly, Daniel, and the Silver Sentinels are on the hunt for clues! The book was a little slow-paced for me, and I admit I’m not a fan of mushrooms. I also thought it was obvious who the culprits were fairly early on in the book due to their actions. Nonetheless, MURDER AT THE MUSHROOM FESTIVAL is a pleasant addition to the series and fans should enjoy it. I reviewed a digital arc from NetGalley and Kensington.
I received a free copy of Murder at the Mushroom Festival by Janet Finsilver in exchange for an honest review. During the local mushroom festival, Kelly Jackson’s bed and breakfast hosts classes on mushrooms and where to find them. When an attendee is murdered, Kelly, guided by the Silver Sentinels, investigates and discovers the victim had been using his position as a reporter to cause lots and lots of trouble: blackmail, scaring children, challenging property rights, disrupting local livelihoods, and exposing illegal activity. With so much motive, who murdered the meddlesome man? The cover is adorable - I’m not a dog person, but I can still imagine that tail wagging a mile a minute while he’s sniffing his new smells. I have never read any of the Kelly Jackson books prior to this one, but I had no trouble catching up and making a connection with them despite the lack of background. It was a fun read, and the characters were either likeable or not as intended. The author did a good job of not revealing whodunit before the end. #MurderAtTheMushroomFestival #NetGalley