A Berry Basket Mystery
by Sharon Farrow
About Hollyberry Homicide
A cold wind is blowing off Lake Michigan, and murder is scaring the dickens out of everyone . . .
Considering her name, Marlee Jacob is an obvious choice for the role of Jacob Marley in Oriole Point’s production of A Christmas Carol. It’s just sad that the role has opened up because of the death of the elderly actor who’d originally been cast.
But Marlee, the proprietor of The Berry Basket, will do her best to keep spirits high—that is, until clues start mounting that there’s danger behind the scenes. There are accidents on set, the tree in the village square topples over, and worst of all, a body is found with a sprig of holly draped over it. If Marlee can’t wrap up the case, she may not have a berry merry Christmas . . .
Includes Berry Recipes!
About Sharon Farrow
Sharon Farrow is the latest pen name of award-winning author Sharon Pisacreta. A freelance writer since her twenties, she has been published in mystery, fantasy, and romance. Sharon currently writes The Berry Basket cozy mystery series for Kensington. The series debuted in 2016 and is set along the beautiful Lake Michigan shoreline where she now lives. She is also one half of the writing team D.E. Ireland, who co-author the Agatha nominated Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins mysteries.
Hollyberry Homicide by Sharon Farrow has Marlee Jacob taking over the role of Jacob Marley when Everett Hostetter is found dead at the Historical Museum’s toy train exhibit. The Green Willow Players is putting on A Christmas Carol at the Calico Barn in one week, and they need Marlee to step right into the role. Gillian Kaminski would prefer that Marlee not take the role because she is sure the production is cursed. Gillian may be on to something when actors begin dropping out which is causing the director to panic. The Berry Basket is hopping with customers looking for holiday gifts and treats. Marlee whips up cookies, waits on customers, and works on memorizing her lines. Her home as well as the shop are festive with decorations and various tress. When a leftover sweet kills an innocent party, Marlee begins to wonder if Everett really died of natural causes. Then Everett’s lawyer is found dead with a sprig of holly over his heart, Marlee sets out to sniff out the killer. Hollyberry Homicide is the 5th A Berry Basket Mystery. It can be read as a standalone if you are new to the series. The author provides the relevant background information on Marlee Jacob. I thought Hollyberry Homicide was well-written with steady pacing. There is plenty going on in this book. Marlee is enjoying decorating for Christmas, The Berry Basket is doing a brisk business, she gets roped into playing Jacob Marley, and she has a variety of houseguests. Natasha is staying with Marlee while she waits for her new place to be finished. It sounds like it will be a long visit. Natasha is a show stealer with her over-the-top personality. The mystery was interesting. It becomes more of the focus in the second half of the book as the clues begin to mount along with the action and suspense. You begin to wonder if Everett’s death was suspicious (or did a ninety-five year old man just pass away on a bench). It all begins to come together and there is a great reveal scene. I enjoyed solving this whodunit. The ending will leave you smiling. Hollyberry Homicide is a jolly cozy mystery with holiday hot chocolate, learning lines, overload of ornamentation, a swaying spruce, and an amateur sleuth bent on sniffing out the suspects.
The Avid Reader