Friday, March 20, 2020

Berried in the Past by Peg Cochran

Berried in the Past (Cranberry Cove #5
Welcome!  I hope everyone is managing to stay safe and sane during this pandemic.  The Sisters Grimm by Menna van Praag releases on March 31.  I received a hard copy this week and I find it riveting so far.  If you like books by Sarah Addison Allen, you will enjoy Menna van PraagLight Shines on Promise Lodge by Charlotte Hubbard is also out on March 31 along with Silent Shadows by Natalie Walters, Dead in the Doorway by Diane Kelly and A Fatal Yarn by Peggy Ehrhart.
Winterizing the farm: your home, barn, livestock and equipment with this advice. Come the first storm of the season, and you’ll be glad you did
My Summary

Berried in the Past by Peg Cochran has Monica and Greg snuggling in front of the fire on a cold, snowy night in Cranberry Cove.  There is a knock at the door.  Monica answers to find a nervous, confused woman who says that someone is trying to kill her.  Greg and Monica settle her in for the night (not what I would do, but go with it since it is fiction).  Dana is suffering from amnesia after an auto accident where she believes someone was chasing her.  The next morning, Dana remembers a home with a red door.  Monica helps her find the correct house and inside they find Dana’s sister, Marta dead.  Since Marta suffered from a heart condition, the ME is quick to rule her death as natural.  As time passes, Dana finds evidence that Marta may have been killed and requests Monica’s assistance.  When not whipping up cranberry delights for the farm shop, Monica searches for information.  Monica involves Detective Stevens when the clues begin to add up to murder.  Who would have wanted to kill the reclusive Marta?
Photo of Johnston's Cranberry Marsh
My Thoughts

Berried in the Past by Peg Cochran is the fifth A Cranberry Cove Mystery.  New readers will have no problem reading this story.  We get to return to the cozy town of Cranberry Cove with its charming shops and friendly citizens.  Monica and Greg are newlyweds who live a cottage on Sassamanash Farm.  Monica creates baked treats featuring cranberries which are sold in the farm store plus does the accounting for the farm and Greg owns Book ‘Em in town which sells used plus new books.  It is after nine p.m. on a winter night when someone knocks on their door.  Dana Bakker’s car skidded off the road after she escaped from the hospital.  She believes someone is trying to kill her, but Dana is unable to recall more details.  Dana was in the hospital from where she hit a tree and is now suffering from amnesia.  She recalls a house with a red door (a common thing in Cranberry Cove).  Monica takes her hunting for the red doored house and they find a dilapidated farmhouse with Dana’s sister dead inside.  At first blush, it looks like the woman died of natural causes.  Soon evidence points to murder. I thought the whodunit was straightforward and can easily be solved early in the book.  Dana’s amnesia does not slow down our amateur sleuth.  There are less than a handful of suspects for Monica to consider.  There are good clues along with misdirection.  I kept hoping the author would throw in a twist to surprise me at the end (one can dream).  I did enjoy the action-packed reveal scene at the end and the clever way the guilty party is captured.  There is further intrigue when Jeff considers selling Sassamanash Farm to pay for an experimental surgery on his arm.  The town is up in arms and someone leaves threats at the farm and has notes delivered to Monica.  There are warm, cozy moments in the story between Monica and Greg (newlyweds are lovey dovey).  Kit, Monica’s assistant, is having some relationship and housing issues, another farm employee has happy news, plenty of baking with mouthwatering descriptions plus time spent with friends and family.  Gina provides some lighthearted moments with her search for Mister Right.  There are recipes at the end of the book.  Berried in the Past is a warmhearted cozy mystery with a body in a bed, auto accident amnesia, cranberry cookery, troubling threats, a determined developer, nuzzling newlyweds and a mysterious murder. 
Sparkling Cranberry White Chocolate Cupcakes! A moist vanilla cupcake with cranberry mascarpone filling and a white chocolate buttercream! Perfect dessert for Christmas!
Berried in the Past will be out on March 24.  It is available in ebook and paperback from Amazon*. You can find the other four books in A Cranberry Cove Mystery series here.  Thank you for reading my review today.  I wanted to explain why information from the summary is repeated in "My Thoughts" paragraph.  The summary of the book is only posted here on my blog while the paragraph on my thoughts is posted on Goodreads, Amazon, and other similar places.  I am showcasing Woman on the Edge by Samantha M. Bailey tomorrow.  Before I depart, I want to leave you with a book joke.  What is a flea's favorite book?  The Itch Hike's Guide to the Galaxy! I never claimed they were good jokes!  Remember to keep a safe distance from others if you go out, wash your hands when you return home (I change my clothes too--just to be on the safe side since I do want to keep my mother safe), and clean your phone (and e-reader if you take it with you like I do).  Take care of yourself, stay safe and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader
Woman reading in front of fire
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