Twitter Tumblr FlickrFacebookContact me
Now Previous Articles Road Essays Author Title Source Age Genre Series Format Inclusivity LGBTA Portfolio

Recent posts


Month in review

Reviews
Alex & Eliza by Melissa de la Cruz
Amina's Voice by Hena Khan
Armstrong and Charlie by Steven B. Frank
Bad Housekeeping by Maia Chance
Black Hammer Volume 1: Secret Origins by Jeff Lemire
The Book of Mistakes by Corinna Luyken
Bow Wow by Spencer Quinn
A Boy Called Bat by Elana K. Arnold
Farm Fresh Murder by Paige Shelton
Field Trip by Gary Paulsen and Jim Paulsen
The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Pérez
Hereville: How Mirka Caught a Fish by Barry Deutsch
Ivy by Katherine Coville
The Lotterys Plus One by Emma Donoghue
Lumberjanes Volume 3: A Terrible Plan by Noelle Stevenson
Miles Morales by Jason Reynolds
Mrs. Saint and the Defectives by Julie Lawson Timmer
Murder Is Bad Manners by Robin Stevens
My Dirty Dumb Eyes by Lisa Hanawalt
Otis by Loren Long
Our Hero by Jennifer L. Holm
Outside In by Jennifer Bradbury
Queen and Country Volume 1 by Greg Rucka
Smarty Marty Steps Up Her Game by Amy Gutierrez
Through the Grinder by Cleo Coyle
We Are the Engineers by Angela Melick
Winnebago Graveyard #3 by Steve Niles
A Woman's World Tour in a Motor by Harriet White Fisher
Wrong Side of the Paw by Laurie Cass Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, and Deborah Biancotti

Miscellaneous
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (November 06)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (November 13)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (November 20)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (November 27)
October 2017 Sources
October 2017 Summary
Reading Goals for 2018

Previous month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



Farm Fresh Murder: 11/22/17

Farm Fresh Murder by Paige Shelton

Farm Fresh Murder by Paige Shelton is the first of the Farmers' Market mystery series. Becca Robins is an organic farmer who spends her time either on her land or at the farers' market. That is until she discovers the body of one of the other local farmers.

Becca makes the discovery in the first chapter, practically on the first page of the book. It's all rather sudden and jarring. There's no establishment of anything — just farmers' market, boom, murdered person.

Usually in a mystery — especially in the first of a new series, time is taken to introduce the main character, their occupation, their supporting group of either friends or family, or to give an explanation by they are somewhere new, cut off form kith and kin. Then the supporting characters for the particular book are introduced.

Next up a conflict is established — some reason for the person to be murdered. It could be that they are an unlikable person. Maybe they own something valuable. Maybe they've seen something they shouldn't. Maybe they were unfaithful.

I realize that the mystery — especially the cozy — sounds formulaic but the formula sets up a series of expectations — an unspoken contract that the reader and the book have. It's not that every piece of the formula has to be followed in a specific order or even at all, but they are good shortcuts, when establishing a new series.

Farm Fresh Market lacks most of these conventions. Sure some mysteries seem to take forever to get to the murder (using up a third of the book, or roughly one hundred pages of a three hundred page book) on side plots, the things that the main character is supposed to be doing before their life is once again interrupted by an untimely death. I know, I know, I've complained in the past about mysteries taking too long to get started. But this book is just the opposite. It jumps right into killing someone off, and I don't even know the person yet. He's just dead and I'm like, so?

The rest of the book suffers from the strange timing. There's a lot of time wasted on Becca going back and forth across the different farms to look at stuff and talk to people. Since none of them were established at the get-go, it's impossible to remember who everyone is, or even care how the were related to or associated with the deceased.

Having read reviews of the second book in the series, I see others complaining about continuing timing issues. With that in mind, I won't be pursuing the second book.

Two stars

Comments (0)


Name:
Email (won't be posted):
Blog URL:
Comment: