It’s peak tourist season in Oriole Point, Michigan—the blueberry buckle of the fruit belt. Nothing draws the crowds quite like their annual carnival. And nothing turns it sour faster than murder . . .
The Blueberry Blow Out festival has begun and it’s time for Marlee Jacob, owner of The Berry Basket, to shine. Unfortunately it’s also bringing out the worst in her fiancé Ryan Zeller. Ryan’s rivalry with Porter Gale, owner of Blueberry Hill Farm, spills over into a very public and very ugly fight. And after they compete in the pie-eating contest and a raucous tug of war, their orchard blood feud takes a deadly turn . . .
The death of the king of Blueberry Hill is a shock but not too surprising—he was a diabetic whose last pig out meal was deliciously fatal. But when authorities discover that someone tampered with Porter’s insulin, a tragic accident is looking like murder—and Ryan is the key ingredient. Now Marlee’s investigation to clear his name is taking her deep into the Gale family secrets, and she’s being shadowed every step of the way by a killer whose sweet revenge is just beginning . . .
Marlee is making the most of the Blueberry Blow Out to bring in business to The Berry Basket. Between her two young helpers, the shy baker, and herself the store and the booth at the festival are going strong. What should be a great and fun time is marred by the competition between the Zellers and Gales, with both families determined to win every competition. Engaged to Ryan Zeller, Marlee is volunteered for the women's blueberry pie eating contest. Only it seems, Ryan wants to make a lot of decisions for Marlee and that's an added layer of conflict. Add to that the ugly fight between Ryan and Porter, a less than heartfelt apology, and then Porter is dead.
Many of the towns people talk about the hostility and the tug of war incident, only Ryan has conveniently left to go fishing with his buddy. In between finishing out the festival, Marlee is busy trying to prove that Ryan didn't kill Porter. The more she tries to understand, the more secrets she uncovers and the more comfortable she is about the whole situation. Unfortunately, uncovering secrets is not always good for one's health, Marlee's or Ryan's included.
The story is well-paced and the ending isn't obvious, though believable. I liked Marlee and the Berry Basket crew. The story has a small town feel with feuding families, yet not immune to more big city problems. Although this is the third in the series, it's the first I've read. It can be easily read as a stand alone. If you enjoy a cozy mystery, you'll enjoy Killed on Blueberry Hill.
Dying for Strawberries (A Berry Basket Mystery #1)
Blackberry Burial (A Berry Basket Mystery #2)
Killed on Blueberry Hill (A Berry Basket Mystery #3)
About the Author
Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, Sharon began submitting articles and short stories to magazines when she was just fourteen years old. Her award winning first novel was released in 1998. Published in mystery, fantasy, and romance, Sharon has written under various pen names. As Sharon Farrow, she writes the Berry Basket cozy mystery series, which was inspired by the beautiful village she lives in along Lake Michigan. With her college best friend and fellow writer, Sharon is also one half of the writing team D.E. Ireland, who co-author the two time Agatha nominated Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins mysteries.