Blackberry Burial by Sharon Farrow

Whether you are off to the beach or relaxing in your own backyard, is there a better way to spend a lazy summer day than with a good cozy mystery?  I think “not!”  So grab yourself some strawberry lemonade and a copy of Sharon Farrow’s Blackberry Burial and comfortably collapse on the nearest chaise lounge!  In fact, you may want to also grab some raspberry pastries or a slice of blackberry pie because this charming cozy will have you craving anything berry!

It’s late June heading into July at Oriole Point in Michigan.  Marlee Jacob is the owner of The Berry Basket featuring everything berries!  From berry baked goods to syrups to wine – her unique shop has it all!  The town is abuzz with all the tourists descending on this quaint little town known for its Blackberry Arts School.  Her shop’s staff is getting ready for the swell of tourists.  Her baker, Theo, is whipping up mouthwatering berry pastries, pies and desserts to fully stock up their display case, while Marlee is out with her friend, Piper, nailing down the final plans for the annual road rally.

Things seemed to be going well for the planning of the road rally, until Piper and Marlee are suddenly forced to find a last minute new location to hold this event.  But no worries, the Sanderling farm will do just fine – or so they thought!  While checking out the farm layout, Piper’s new dog, Charlie, decides to do some serious digging.  He’s elated with his new find – but Piper and Marlee are not!

Charlie’s found himself some old skeletal remains – and they are human!  Oops, there goes yet another potential place to hold the road rally!  Things heat up faster than you can say “fireworks,” when the newly discovered remains turn out to be old remains from a nearly 20 year old secret.  Local law enforcement is quick to cast suspicion on Theo, Marlee’s gentle baker – but Marlee has a nagging feeling this has something to do with a group of art students from a long time ago.

This time it isn’t the dog doing the digging — it’s Marlee — out to clear her baker’s reputation. Much to the dismay of her fiancé and the local sheriff, she has no choice but to jump in head first and launch her own private investigation.  Now there’s a crazed killer hot on her trail – and it isn’t for one of her berry pies!

I enjoyed the setting in this well-rounded cozy.  I loved the romance between Marlee and her fiancé, Ryan, and the potential of another suitor coming between them.  And I loved the “keep you guessing” plot that had me ramping up my reading to find out what really happened over 20 years ago.

This is the second book in The Berry Basket Mysteries and I look forward to checking out the followups, Killed on Blueberry Hill and Mulberry Mischief — I’m sure you will too!

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