With the weather getting warmer, Cam should be spending her days pruning blueberry bushes and taking care of the new batch of chicks that just hatched. But murder knows no season. So when her fellow fowl-raiser Wayne Laitinen is found dead at his breakfast table one morning, Cam must put down her trimming shears and put on her crime-solving hat.
The kind-hearted chicken farmer didn't have any enemies--or did he? A wealthy financier has been working hard to convince him to sell her his land, while a group of animal rights activists recently vandalized his property. Money troubles were threatening to sink his marriage. And a thirty-year-old scandal was driving a wedge between him and one of his oldest friends.
Murder, blackmail, cover-ups. There's a fox in the hen house. But where? With some help from her off-again, on-again flame, police detective Pete Pappas, Cam will have to crack this case before Wayne's killer flies the coop forever.
Praise For The Mysteries Of Edith Maxwell!
Farmed And Dangerous
"Quirky characters, lots of organic farming tips, and a well-developed mystery make this Cam's best outing yet."--Kirkus Reviews
"Enticing…Cozy fans will be able to relate to this spunky heroine." --Publishers Weekly
"Maxwell's feisty heroine and the interesting background detail on the realities of organic farming blend to deliver a clever, twisting mystery…Fans of other mysteries involving organic farming, or of foodie mysteries in general, will find plenty to enjoy here." --Booklist
"For all cozy readers, especially fans of Joanne Fluke and Diane Mott Davidson." --Library Journal
'Til Dirt Do Us Part
"There are plenty of farming-based cozies on the market today, but this one stands out." --Booklist
"Engaging…On top of the intriguing whodunit plot, Maxwell vividly portrays life on a small contemporary farm." --Publishers Weekly
"A most enjoyable look at organic farming with some charming characters and cooking suggestions thrown in." --Kirkus Reviews
A Tine To Live, A Tine To Die
"Another topically relevant cozy debut." --Library Journal
"With an insider's look at organic farming and a loyal, persistent heroine, Maxwell offers a series that cozy mystery fans will root for." --Lucy Burdette, author of Fatal Reservations
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Murder Most Fowl
By EDITH MAXWELL
KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP.Copyright © 2016 Edith Maxwell
All rights reserved.
"Beware the ides of March." Shakespeare might have been onto something, Cam Flaherty mused. She and half the registered voters of Westbury had been sitting in the March fifteenth town meeting for seven hours on the first warmish Saturday since October. Instead of perching on a hard wooden chair listening to desperate townies and intransigent newcomers slug it out over priorities for the small semirural town, Cam could have been on her organic farm pruning the grapevines, blueberry bushes, and her one apple tree.
But she was trying to be a good citizen, and these were important issues, particularly the questions of open space and affordable housing. The newbies, almost all highly educated men and women with families, commuted the hour into Boston or Burlington to earn the kind of income that enabled them not only to buy expensive McMansions near the Merrimack River but also to live on one salary while the children were young. The locals were almost all hardworking folks holding down at least one job apiece. Their families had lived in town for generations but now could barely afford to pay the property taxes on their homes, and there was little affordable rental property available, either.
The current topic to be voted on had been under discussion for two hours, and it was now past three o'clock. The question on the table was what to do with a newly acquired parcel of land: preserve it as open space for walkers and wildlife, build soccer and baseball fields, or erect low-cost apartments. The air inside the hall was way too warm, and smelled of wood over a century old. The gray-haired woman next to Cam snoozed quietly in her seat, head on her chest, hands folded neatly on her ample midsection.
Wayne Laitinen stood patiently in line for the public microphone, his plaid flannel shirt tucked neatly into clean blue jeans, his thin blond hair combed straight back from his forehead. The slender woman in front of him, who'd expressed her view that an extreme injustice would be done to the children of the town if new state-of-the art soccer fields were not created, finally sat down.
"Wayne Laitinen, eighty-five Stone Mill Road. Madam Moderator, Selectmen, my Westbury neighbors." He turned and waved behind him to the right, and did it again to the left. He returned his face toward the stage and the tables full of selectmen, school committee members, the town clerk and town counsel, and the petite moderator standing at the podium. "Most of you know I'm a farmer. My wife, Greta, and me own thirty-six acres for ourselves and our chickens. Lots of it is wooded, and the rest grows a new crop of rocks every spring."
Spots of laughter broke out throughout the audience, although a young couple in front of Cam turned to each other with quizzical looks. Cam knew the effect the winter frost heaves produced. In about a month her land would appear very much as though the soil she'd carefully cleared of any stone bigger than her fingertip the summer before suddenly sprouted a new harvest of rocks, golf-ball sized and up. Cam glanced around for Greta Laitinen and spied her across the hall, plump arms folded, frizzy strawberry blond hair barely tamed, mouth clamped in a grim line.
Wayne went on. "We work hard for our livin'. Haven't had a vacation away since our honeymoon twenty-eight years ago. We love Westbury. Our family's been here a few generations. But my son can't afford to buy a house for his wife and his family. My daughter's a teacher at the Page School, and she can't rent in town, because there ain't no decent rental properties. Me and Greta barely make our taxes, neither. I ain't complainin, 'but if we have the chance to help our long-time residents stay right here in town, I think we should do it. Let's build housin' stock our kids can afford. Hell, that we can afford. Thank you." He turned and made his way back to his seat amid a roar of applause. Not everyone clapped.
Why didn't Wayne offer a parcel of his own land to his son for building a house on? Cam assumed he had his reasons. Or maybe the son didn't want to live that close. Families were complicated.
The woman in line behind Wayne, a tall congenial real estate agent in her fifties, took the mike and identified herself. "Madam Moderator, I applaud Wayne's sentiment. But I feel strongly that open space should be left as just that. Our farmlands are being paved over and built on. Ball fields will require drainage work, constant lawn maintenance probably including herbicides and definitely power equipment, and will involve parking lots, trash removal, lights at night, and who knows what else? The natural habitat would be destroyed. Our bird population, our wild foxes and deer, all of it would be displaced. We need undeveloped open space so we can walk through it, ride along it, ski it in the winter, and appreciate what God gave us. I vote to keep the Danson parcel exactly as it is."
A different portion of audience clapped this time. Cam had seen the woman riding her horse on the trails behind Mill Pond. Cam herself loved to cross-country ski on fresh snow but was lucky enough to be able to head out behind her farm on her own land. She took a second glance when she saw who the next speaker was, a man she'd debated in the winter at a forum on the topic of using pesticides and herbicides in farming. She'd taken the position of organic farming, obviously, and he had staunchly defended his employer, an agro-chemical giant. As he had during the debate, he wore an expensive-looking suit and a neatly knotted tie.
"I'm Paul Underwood, two Riverview Circle. Wayne knows me." He glanced over at Wayne with an uneasy look, and then back to the front of the hall. He cleared his throat. "Most of you know me, since I also grew up right here in Westbury. I stayed here to raise my three sons, who are now four, six, and eight, and I work hard at what I do. I say our children need those ball fields."
A man behind Cam muttered, "Yeah, and he'll be sure they get sprayed with every chemical around."
"The few playing fields we have are in terrible condition and aren't anywhere near big enough," Paul continued. "You all know the high school has the best fields, but it's way down Main Street on the Groveland line. Our children should be able to ride their bikes to Little League practice or a Saturday morning soccer game. My vote is with ball fields." He garnered his own modicum of applause, almost all from folks in their twenties and thirties who likely were itching to get home, pay the babysitter, and use the rest of the sunny day to take their kids on a bike ride or start the spring yard cleanup.
Cam could see his side of the argument, but didn't think it had as much merit as the other two choices. She shifted on her seat. It could be hours before feeling returned to her butt. Checking the booklet, called a warrant, that included all the topics to be voted on, she groaned. This was only the eighteenth article. Nine more remained. They couldn't possibly try to finish it all today. Could they? The long-time moderator was a dean at a local college and knew how to control this group. She leaned over to speak with the lawyer who provided counsel to the town, and the murmur of conversation in the hall rose. The moderator straightened and rapped the gavel.
"Quiet, please. Does anyone have something new to offer? If not, I will entertain a motion to put this to a vote." She shaded her eyes with her hand and scanned the crowd, then audibly sighed when she saw who stood at the public mike. She addressed the woman. "Do you have something that hasn't already been said in the last two hours?"
Being tall, Cam easily saw over the heads of those in front of her that the speaker was an older woman. Albert had told her she was not known for being either short-winded or particularly articulate.
"I just wanted to say that I support the public housing idea. We'll always have birds, we'll always have children who want to play sports. But we won't always have our long-time families." Walking with a slow, painful-looking gait, the stocky woman returned to her seat. Cries and hoots of approval filled the hall until Cam expected the flaking paint on the arched ceiling to loosen and fall on their heads.
The moderator's eyebrows ascended nearly into her hairline. She opened her mouth to speak, but it took a couple of seconds before she smiled broadly. "Thank you for that brief message. Now, do I hear a motion?"
In short order, the move to vote was seconded and approved. The moderator took time to explain the mechanics of the unusual three-way vote, saying that voters would be approving or disapproving each option. "I'm quite sure we'll need a direct count."
Her appointed monitors handed voting cards to each person seated in the hall. Cam thought each argument had merit, but she'd decided to vote for the affordable housing option. The woman who'd spoken last had a good point.
After the vote resulted in a near three-way tie, a motion was made to continue the article and the meeting until the following Wednesday at seven o'clock in the evening. Cam groaned inwardly at the thought of a long, drawn-out evening meeting, but she knew she'd go. The ayes had it when the motion to continue was seconded and put to a vote, and everyone trooped out. Greta Laitinen strolled out with a younger man who resembled her. Several dozen people stayed in small clutches conferring with like-looking friends, although Cam knew the lines between the groups were not clearly drawn. Townies and parents alike loved to hike the fields with their dogs. Woodsie types had grandchildren playing sports. Justice-minded bankers approved of public housing.
Cam stretched her arms to the sky after she reached her old Ford truck near the far end of the parking lot behind Old Town Hall. The sunny day continued, rapidly melting the few remaining patches of snow and ice. Woods bordered the far edge of the lot, and white clumps remained on the north side of the larger trees. The relentless progress toward spring wouldn't leave them there for long.
She was about to open the creaky door of the Ford when she heard voices from beyond the enormous Escalade to her left. She paused to listen. One was definitely Wayne Laitinen. The other voice was of a forthright woman, but Cam couldn't place whose it was. Which was no surprise, really, since she'd only lived in town for a year and a half.
"I'm making you a good offer, Wayne. You and Greta would never want for money again."
"Ms. Patterson, how many times do I have to tell you? I'm not interested. It's my land. My family's land, my children's land. We'll figure out a way to pay for it. But I ain't sellin'."
"Look, we're neighbors, Wayne. Our land abuts. My daughter wants to stable her horse at home, but we need more room. I simply want the portion of your property that abuts mine."
"Nope. No deal." A car door slammed and a moment later a dusty station wagon rattled away from the other side of the Escalade in a spray of gravel. Cam was pretty sure that was Wayne. Anybody with enough money to buy a few dozen acres would own a Cadillac SUV, not an old Subaru.
Cam eased her truck's door open and slid onto the seat, not keen to be spotted eavesdropping on such a touchy topic. She breathed out her relief when the Escalade backed out behind her and drove away in the opposite direction. So Ms. Patterson was Wayne's neighbor, and she wanted horse land for her daughter. Cam had never met this Patterson woman, but she knew and liked Wayne. Tough that he was having trouble making ends meet. She thought most of his cash came from his egg and meat-bird business, which must not have that big of a profit margin.
She had her own collection of hens, plus now the troublesome rooster named Ruffles some anonymous city dweller had dropped off at her farm in January. But Cam's niche was smaller and even less profitable. She gave the birds organic feed and sold their eggs to the members of her CSA, a community supported agriculture farm-share program. She was amazed that anyone would pay seven dollars a dozen for fresh eggs even though a number of the local food enthusiasts calling themselves locavores did exactly that. She didn't feel quite the pull to eat exclusively local foods that they did, but she was happy to grow the produce so they could. With the local eggs, though, even though she charged a high price, she lost money because of the expensive organic feed. And speaking of birds, she'd better get back to check on her new batch of chicks, which had come in the mail only a few days before. The little puff balls lived together in a box under a heating bulb for the time being and made her smile every time she saw them.
Pete Pappas made her smile, too, and she had a date with him this very night. Time to get out of here.
As Cam pulled into the driveway of her farm, she spied Preston lounging in a sunny spot of the herb garden. Her Norwegian Forest cat, a constant in her life, loved to nestle on the mulch among the sage, thyme, and rosemary. He raised his head, regarded her with his Arctic eyes, and then laid his cheek on his front paws and returned to his catnap. Cam turned off the ignition and sat for a moment. Longer days and warmer temperatures were on their way. She'd been sprung from her civic responsibility, for today, at least. Life was good.
And she was most of all blessed by owning Attic Hill Farm, where she'd grown up spending summers with Great-Uncle Albert and Great-Aunt Marie. Albert was now happily ensconced in a nearby assisted living residence. While he missed Marie since her death several years earlier, he'd recently taken up with Marilyn, a smart and caring senior at the place, also in her eighties. He'd offered the farm to Cam when she was laid off her job as a software engineer almost two years ago, and she'd decided to move to the countryside north of Boston and take the plunge. She'd converted the farm to organic practices and was two years into the three-year certification process. The local foods fanatics were members of a Locavore Club, and were some of her regular customers. Ellie, a high school Girl Scout, was a regular volunteer. She'd gotten started helping on the farm while she earned her Locavore badge, and now she and Cam were friends.
The life of an introverted solo farmer wasn't a smooth one. Cam hadn't realized how much time she'd need to spend schmoozing with customers, but had gotten marginally better at it since she sold her first harvest almost a year ago. It was hard to be the person in charge of all the myriad responsibilities of the farm. Seeding, weeding, harvesting. Promoting, selling, collecting. Cleaning, packaging, planning. And so much more. The rewards were myriad, too, though. She spent time alone outdoors in all seasons, with no company but the crops, the birds, the wind, and her buddy Preston. She had loads of fresh organic produce to eat, even if as the farmer she got only the second-quality stuff. And she was doing work that stretched her abilities. She knew she was a pro at putting her head down in a cubicle and churning out high-quality software. But farming and schmoozing — they widened her horizons, and she'd come to realize this was good for her.
Ruffles' crowing pierced her quiet bubble. Oh, yeah. Life. Chicks. And all the other chores of a farmer. Cam laughed and climbed out of the truck. She started to head for the barn, then looked down at her good jeans, sweater, and black leather boots, fit more for public company than for interacting with her clutch of fowl.
"No, Flaherty. Change your clothes first." She headed for Albert and Marie's antique saltbox, now hers.
A few minutes later she reemerged, in suitably worn work pants, an old sweater, and work boots. A cloud scudded over the slanting sun and when the temperature dropped ten degrees in an instant, she shoved her hands in her pockets. Sure enough, this was March in New England. Striding toward the barn, she stopped and gazed up at a bald eagle circling high above, its white head contrasting with the dark, wide wingspan. Every year the eagles nested in several places along the broad Merrimack River, a major comeback from their former status as an endangered species. After the bird soared off toward the river a couple of miles away, Cam resumed walking.
Preston popped up and stretched, then trotted over to keep her company.
"Don't get any big ideas about those chicks, Mr. P. You've been excellent about leaving the ladies alone. I want to see you do the same with the little girls." At least she hoped they were all females. One overaggressive rooster was entirely too much as it was.
Excerpted from Murder Most Fowl by EDITH MAXWELL. Copyright © 2016 Edith Maxwell. 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
Good read. I enjoyed it very much and will buy other books by this author.
The beginning of this book was difficult for me to get passed but it was well worth reading beyond the town meeting. There is so much going on in this little town. The fight over land, animal rights activists and an old mystery all become part of the story as it progresses. This is not one of those stories that you can figure out the murderer and the motive from the beginning. Edith Maxwell gives enough twists and turns to this story to keep you on the edge of your seat wondering who did it. The main character, Cam Flaherty and her detective boyfriend’s dog become a crime investigating duo that you root for and hope all ends well. There are so many possibilities that you never see the ending coming. I am glad to have received this book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review. I look forward to reading more from this series.
Title: Murder Most Foul - Local Food Mystery Book 4 Author: Edith Maxwell Published: 5-31-2016 Publisher: Kensington Books Pages: 304 Genre: Mystery, Thrillers & Suspense Sub Genre: Women Sleuths; Cozy Mystery; Amateur Sleuths ISBN: 13: 9781496700254 ASIN: B01501H2PO Reviewer: DelAnne Reviewed For: NetGalley Rating: 4.5 Stars . I received a copy of "Murder Most Foul - Local Food Mystery Book 4" from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. Description: From the Publisher: Spring may be just around the corner, but a cold-blooded killer has put the big chill on the residents of Westbury, Massachusetts. It looks like organic farmer-turned-sleuth Cam Flaherty will have to set aside her seedlings for the time being as she tills the soil for clues in the mysterious death of a local poultry maven. With the weather getting warmer, Cam should be spending her days pruning blueberry bushes and taking care of the new batch of chicks that just hatched. But murder knows no season. So when her fellow fowl-raiser Wayne Laitinen is found dead at his breakfast table one morning, Cam must put down her trimming shears and put on her crime-solving hat. The kind-hearted chicken farmer didn't have any enemies--or did he? A wealthy financier has been working hard to convince him to sell her his land, while a group of animal rights activists recently vandalized his property. Money troubles were threatening to sink his marriage. And a thirty-year-old scandal was driving a wedge between him and one of his oldest friends. Murder, blackmail, cover-ups. There's a fox in the hen house. But where? With some help from her off-again, on-again flame, police detective Pete Pappas, Cam will have to crack this case before Wayne's killer flies the coop forever. My Review: Cam Flaherty owns an organic farm in Westbury, Massachusetts. She is a forward thinking, independent woman who seems to have a knack for becoming involved in some unusual murders. "Murder Most Fowl" a few sub plots running through it that slowly come together as the novel goes on. There are plenty of threads for Cam and the reader to follow. Start with a well laid out plot, add in a bit of humor, some romance and a few unique characters and you have the perfect escape from reality while visiting with soon to be good friends that you will want to visit often. My rating for Murder Most Fowl" is 4.5 out of 5 Stars. Even though it is the fourth book in the series it can be read as a stand alone. I warn you though it will leave you wanting to read the entire series.
Murder Most Fowl by Edith Maxwell Cam’s Attic Hill Farm is producing a bumper crop of healthy organic greens, eggs from amusing hens, and . . . suspects. Animal Rights activists (ARF) vandalizing farms and “freeing” chickens to the elements and predatory foxes and coyotes are bad enough, without the addition of the murder of a good and gentle man. Pruning of the orchard needs to be done before spring thaw, but how can Cam ignore requests for help in solving the case? As details surface about a long-ago missing exchange student, suspects and threats increase as Cam looks for the connection. Thank goodness for a cadre of loyal friends and a good dog! This book carried me on a wave of action and suspense, as I also found connections to my own life. Reading about the e-cigarettes, “They should be illegal,” I visited my doctor and saw a poster warning of the dangers. I went for supper with my CSA farmer, and we, like Cam, talked about the restaurant perhaps ordering some of her excellent produce. The business side, promotion and planning, is just as hard and important as the growing. Thanking my Terripin Farms CSA for my healthy reports, and thanking Edith Maxwell for rewarding reading.
This book was farmtastic!!! Cam , the main charater, owns and runs an organic farm. Not only do I adore the theme, but I learned somuch about farming! You can tell the author either has a good amount of knowledge on farming, or does her research. Because there were many informative facts about farming mixed into the story. But not so many that it distracts from the mystery or other aspects. The mystery was great. There were really two mysteries that may or may not be connected. I really like Cam and Pete's ( her boyfriend ) relationship. They have a wonderful dynamic. Overall a great read!
An easy yet intelligent read, author Edith Maxwell’s writing is as pure and organic as Cam’s food! The farming way of life certainly isn’t for me. But every time I read a Local Foods Mystery, I’m ready to climb the pages and help protagonist Cam Flaherty do the chores. Ms. Maxwell raises an interesting question at the beginning of MURDER MOST FOWL. If a large plot of land was donated to a town, what would be best for it . . . affordable housing, ball fields for the local children, or leave it as a natural green space for walking trials, and habitats for the wildlife. This very topic brings about death, and vandalism in this fourth installment of the Local Foods Mysteries. MURDER MOST FOWL is very much a cozy in every way but one. The heroine, Cam didn’t spend the entire book putting herself in harm’s way. She wants to know the why and the who, but she doesn’t try to solve everything single handedly. She has the good sense to keep the police in the loop when she finds out something, and then lets them handle things. In the best story of this series so far, author Maxwell really delivers the mystery. A fantastically flawless whodunit.
Local Food Mysteries is organic farming at it's best. A delightful series, it keeps you guessing until the end. I would be happy to have the acquaintance of many of these characters. 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.
Return to the Farm to catch a Chicken Hearted Killer Most of the culinary cozies I read revolve around desserts or other such treats, so it’s good to get a little healthy food into my reading diet every so often. I need a balanced reading diet, right? (If only it were that easy to have a healthy diet based on what you read.) In all seriousness, I do enjoy visiting Cam and her farm in the Local Food Mysteries. Murder Most Fowl is the latest in the series, and fans will enjoy it. Cam Flaherty. has taken over her great-uncle’s farm in a small town in Massachusetts. What she didn’t count on was the murders she would find. This is her fourth time being involved in a murder. The victim this time is Wayne Laitinen, who owns a poultry farm not too far from Cam’s own Attic Hill Farm. He’s nice and friendly and always willing to give Cam some advice on the few chickens she has herself. Wayne’s body is found just hours after his farm was attacked by a group of very radical animal rights activists. While the police suspect murder, they can’t find any proof of how Wayne died. Was it murder? Did the animal rights activists come back to make things personal? Or did someone else want Wayne dead? I’m an indoor person and always have been, but I must admit there is something appealing about Cam’s life. I get jealous of the description of her life on the farm, always out in the great outdoors. Of course, if I tried it, I’d probably be sun burned all over by the end of the first week. Still, it’s always fun to live vicariously through her. Working on the farm also gives Cam plenty of time to mull over the clues she’s found. While it does slow down the pace, she manages to find some good information, too, which gives us several good suspects and red herrings. Things build toward a logical murderer and a fantastic climax. Plus, there are seeds for the next book planted here, and I can’t wait to see what they grow into. I must admit I was disappointed to find a couple of the series regulars out of town for this book. One in particular, Ellie, the high schooler who helps Cam on the farm, is my favorite character in the series. I quickly got over that as the rest of the regulars are great, and I enjoyed spending time with them again. I am pleased to see that Cam’s romantic life seems to be growing nicely. And yes, there are three recipes in the back of the book. They are for Irish stew, carrot muffins, and lamb ragout. All three feature plenty of the vegetables that have been mentioned in the book. With spring turning into summer, it’s growing season, which means it is the perfect time to visit Cam in Murder Most Fowl. And if the book leaves you craving healthy food, all the better, right? It will certainly leave you anxious for her next crop of mystery. NOTE: I was sent an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.
This is a great book; this is the fourth book in the Local Foods Mystery series by Edith Maxwell. This book can be read as a standalone, but once you read this one you will want to go back and read the other books in this series. Cam Flaherty is an organic farmer turned sleuth living in Westbury, Massachusetts. When Cam’s fellow fowl-raiser Wayne Laitinen is found dead at this breakfast table one morning, she is determined to put her sleuthing skills to the test to find the real killer. This is a great book with a wonderful story and well developed characters. This book will keep you reading until way past your bedtime and leave you wanting more of this great story. If you are looking for a great book, then you need to read this book. I am looking forward to reading the next book by this great 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.
Murder Most Fowl by Edith Maxwell is the fourth book in A Local Foods Mystery series. It is March in Westbury. Cameron “Cam” Flaherty owns Attic Hill Farm. She used to visit her Great Uncle Albert and Great Aunt Marie when she was younger at Attic Hill Farm. When Albert was ready to retire (he now lives in a local assisted living facility), he offered the farm to Cam. She is two years into the three-year organic farm certification. Spring is a busy time on the farm. Cam is planting new seedlings, pruning trees, and taking care of a new batch of baby chicks. Then she hears that neighbor, Wayne Laitinen had his farm vandalized by a local animal rights group called ARF (Animal Rights Front). They painted a saying on the side of his barn in red paint and opened up his barn where his chickens live (he is a chicken farmer). Thankfully, the chickens know to stay inside where it is warm. Wayne is also having trouble with a neighbor. Judith Patterson wants to buy some of Wayne’s land for a stable (her daughter is wild about horses). Unfortunately for Judith, Wayne does not wish to sell. On Sunday, Wayne is found dead at his breakfast table. Cam’s fiancé, Detective Peter Pappas is assigned the case. He knows Cam will not keep her nose out of the investigation (she just cannot help herself). Will Cam be able to find the killer and avoid getting herself in the line of fire? In addition, Cam has to contend with ARF (unfortunate acronym). They visited her farm during the night and set loose her baby chicks (into the cold barn) as well as vandalism to the barn (red paint). Will they be able to find the culprit (ringleader) behind ARF before he does more damage? Is the same person responsible for Wayne’s death? You will have to read Murder Most Fowl to find out! Murder Most Fowl was an enjoyable cozy mystery. The characters are appealing, friendly, and likeable. The information provided about the farm is interesting and engaging (planting seedlings, farm animals, perils of foxes on chickens, composting). Murder Most Fowl is easy to read and can be finished in just a few hours. The mystery was easy to solve (pay attention to the small clues), but Ms. Maxwell did a good job at misdirection (she had me doubting myself). After I read about the murder (unique method of killing), I decided upon the killer and wrote it down. When the killer was revealed, I was right (can you tell I enjoy puzzles). Though the writer could have taken it into two other directions (her misdirection). There is one sad part with the baby chicks (poor little things). I give Murder Most Fowl 4 out of 5 stars (I liked it). I look forward to reading the next book in A Local Foods Mystery series. I received a complimentary copy of Murder Most Fowl from NetGalley in exchange for an honest evaluation of the novel.
This is a great addition to the Cam Flaherty series. I've read all the books in this series and this one is my favorite. Spring is fast approaching on the organic farm and instead of doing her farm prep, Cam is searching for clues to who killed kindhearted farmer, Wayne As the clues stack up, Cam finds herself uncovering decades old secrets, a blackmailing scheme, an unhappy wife and much more. This is a good, clean series, with just the right touch of romance. I look forward to reading more in this series. I will be recommending this book to other cozy mystery readers. I received an ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my fair and honest review.