Monday, October 19, 2015

Review & #Giveaway ~ A Beeline to Murder (A Henny Penny Farmette Mystery, Book 1) by Meera Lester

Beeline to Murder
by Meera Lester

New Cozy Mystery Series
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Kensington (September 29, 2015)
ISBN-13: 978-1617739095

About the Book:

From peacekeeper to beekeeper…

After an injury forced her to leave the police department, Abigail Mackenzie started a second career as a farmer. Raising chickens, harvesting honey from her bee colony, and growing heirloom vegetables on her farmette in the beautiful Bay Area town of Las Flores, Abby has embraced all the benefits of a peaceful life.

But when she attempts to deliver her trademark honey to local pastry chef Jean-Louis Bonheur and finds him dead in his shop, her old investigative instincts kick in. After the coroner rules the death a suicide, the chef’s handsome French-Canadian brother insists on hiring Abby to find out who really killed Jean-Louis.

With the patience of a farmer and the industriousness of a bee, Abby sorts through a swarm of suspects, including the chef’s landlord, his protégé, an eccentric homeless woman, loan sharks, and a brawny biker. But as she closes in on the truth, she’ll need more than her beekeeper suit to protect her from a killer’s sting…

Includes farming tips and delicious recipes!

My Review:

A Beeline to Murder follows life of police officer turned farmer, Abby Mackenzie.  When she stumbles across the dead body of Jean-Louis Bonhuer, the local French-Canadian pastry chef, she can't help by get involved in locating the killer - especially when the suspicious death is ruled a suicide and that doesn't sit right with Abby. She's also contacted by the deceased man's brother who offers her a large sum of money to help prove his death wasn't what the coroner claims it to be.  

Book one in The Henny Penny Farmette Mystey series was a great read that satisfied all of the requirements for a cozy mystery and more.  Being a former police officer gives Abby an edge that a lot of cozy mystery heroines often lack.  She doesn't really put herself into stupidly dangerous situations that scream at you long before they happen.  She and her cop bestie, Kat, know what to look for, how to investigate smartly, and look for clues without compromising anything.

The character development was done really well.  Abby isn't written as a helpless woman with a big heart that purposefully puts her life on the line.  Abby is solid and tough yet feminine and emotional.  Her character is likable and many people will be able to relate to her.  Kat is a great friend that helps Abby investigate the now-closed case without breaking the law or jeopardizing her own career on the police force.

I will admit that Phillipe Bonhuer, Jean-Louis's brother, was not a swoon-worthy character in my eyes.  He lacked a certain charisma that kept me from wanting Abby to fall for him.  He was written well as a brother longing to find the truth behind the death of Jean-Louis, but honestly I thought him to be a poor romantic hero.  Of course, that's just my opinion - one that Abby apparently doesn't share.

The writing is smooth and the plot is pretty solid.  The flow of the book is nice and even - it's not too slow nor is it rushed.  There is excitement around every corner, whether it's due to the murder, the antics of Sugar (Jean-Louis's dog that ends up living with Abby), or the bees who always choose the inopportune times to wreak havoc on the farmette.  

The cop turned farmer premise of this series is very interesting and I can't wait to see what happens next for Abby, Sugar (Jean-Louis' dog), and the rest of the characters.

Review copy courtesy of the publisher through NetGalley, at no cost, in exchange for an honest review.

My Rating:


With a tight plot, and a strong cast of characters, A BEELINE TO MURDER held my attention and captured my imagination.

I enjoy meeting a character for the first time who is strong and smart…Her strength shines throughout this story.

Lots of drama, romance, action and suspects.

A Beeline to Murder will have you buzzing with excitement as you open this debut story. The characters are charming , witty and fun and the story line is so strong that you will feel like you are part of it from the start.

This debut mystery novel has so many wonderful elements that keep cozy readers coming back for more.

This was an engaging read, giving us a realistic look at the day to day life of a farmer…

I loved Beeline to Murder. It was a very well written book and took me to Las Flores.

I think this is going to be an interesting new series. Abby is a former police officer turned farmer. When Abby finds her friend Chef Jean-Louis dead in his bakery, she can’t believe it is suicide and sets out to prove the police wrong.

A Beeline to Murder by Meera Lester was enjoyable from beginning to end. I’m already looking forward to the next book in the series.

About The Author:

Meera Lester is the author of nearly two dozen nonfiction books and the proprietress of the real Henny Penny Farmette, located in the San Francisco Bay area in Concord, California. Meera co-founded Writers Connection, a Bay Area organization of writers and publishing professional. Readers can visit her blog

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