Monday, June 3, 2013

A Tine To Live, A Tine To Die-Edith Maxwell

A Tine To Live, A Tine To Die

Edith Maxwell

Kensington, May 28 2013, $24.00

ISBN: 9780758284617

In Millsbury, Massachusetts, new farmer Cameron Flaherty fires worker Mike Montgomery for planning to use pesticide, a major taboo amidst organic farming, to rid the asparagus and potato crops of beetles. Not long after she canned Mike, she finds his corpse with her pitchfork buried into his throat.

Police Chief George Frost interrogates her as to where she was, has she been drinking, and how she cut her hand in a hostile tome that makes it clear he believes she is the killer. Even her childhood friend police officer Ruth Dodge appears unfriendly. Her friend and customer Lucinda the Brazilian émigré replaces her as the prime suspect as Mike was a member of the anti-immigration Patriotic League. Heeding the advice of her late Great-Aunt Marie who insisted Cam could do anything, she investigates the homicide with help from the organic farming community and serendipitously Ruthie.

The amateur sleuthing is well done and fun to follow; but it is the deep look at immigration, militias, and the organic and local foods farm industry that makes for a fascinating opening act. Cam is a strong protagonist who keeps the exciting storyline focused as the first Local Foods mystery is an entertaining whodunit.

Harriet Klausner

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