Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Fruit of All Evil by Paige Shelton

This week, the Carolinas are the scene of the crime. First, Joyce and Jim Lavene took us to Duck, North Carolina in A Touch of Gold. Later this week, Ellery Adams will return readers to North Carolina in A Deadly Cliché. Today, Paige Shelton takes us to South Carolina in her second Farmers' Market mystery, Fruit of All Evil. Are the Carolinas really as deadly as they appear?

Becca Robins helped solve one case, but she's actually happiest either in her garden or working at the Farmers' Market where she sells her jams and preserves. And, her own two marriages were short-lived, so she isn't comfortable making arrangements for her friend's wedding. Fortunately, Linda wants a wedding in just five days since the husband-to-be is a Navy Seal who has been called up. And, she wants that wedding at Bailey's Farmers' Market. Since Becca's sister, Allison is the manager of Bailey's, and so many friends are willing to pitch in with flowers and pastries and music, Becca thinks she can handle anything that comes up.  She just didn't expect the groom's mother to be killed.

Madeline Forsyth was a formidable figure in town, president of Central Savings and Loan. Since the bank was foreclosing on some of the local farms, she wasn't very popular lately. But, Becca didn't think any of her friends killed her. As the person in charge of the wedding, Becca was determined to see that Linda had a chance to marry her Navy Seal, Drew, before he left. If she had to endanger herself and solve the case in order to save the wedding, so be it.

Paige Shelton is another author who presents readers with a unique setting and interesting characters. Although some of the characters only have small roles, Shelton describes them in enough detail to bring them to life. I have a problem with some of Becca's actions, but even Becca knows she behaves irresponsibly at times. When she decides to walk on a ledge, she admits, "At that point, my common sense flew right out the window." But, she shows enough common sense to work with the local police chief. I like Becca, her boyfriend, her sister, and so many of the characters in this book.

Shelton also has a knack for humor. Becca has a fun scene with a calf, but the highlight of the book is a scene with Becca, two cops, and a cat. You can enjoy Paige Shelton's Farmers' Market mysteries for the stories, the characters, the humor. Fruit of All Evil beautifully blends all of those elements in a delightful mystery.

Paige Shelton's website is www.paigeshelton.com

Fruit of All Evil by Paige Shelton. Berkley Prime Crime, ©2011. ISBN 9780425240229 (paperback), 290p.

FTC Full Disclosure - The publisher sent me a copy of the book in hopes I would review it.


Kris said...

The scene with the calf and the cops with the cat were rather fun. Glad to see you enjoyed this one.

kourtneyheintz said...

I held my breath the entire scene on the ledge mentally screaming, "Get Back Inside Becca!"

The cat and cop scene had me LMAO. Thanks Paige for another deliciously funny and heart stopping mystery!

Lesa said...

I did enjoy it, Kris, and I'm passing it on to my sister. Those scenes were funny.

Lesa said...

I agree with you Kourtney. I really wanted her inside safely, off that ledge.