by: Staci McLaughlin              

Publisher: Kensington  

Published: July 3, 2012        

Format: Paperback (311 pages)      

ISBN: 9780758275004            

Series: Blossom Valley Mysteries      

Origin: Publisher

***Though the publisher provides the free book, I offer the opinion.***

My Look:

Extensive unemployment, empty back accounts, and a mournful mother had brought Dana Lewis back to Blossom Valley, but she never expected the black bunting of murder to drape her small town.

It all started once Dana rejoins her widowed mother and sister at the family home . . .  

Dana’s under contract to make up promotional brochures for the O’Connell Organic Farm and Spa.  Her mother’s relationship with the owner, Esther O’Connell, is the reason Dana was given this job, but she hopes it will be her skills that will keep her employed.  Dana needs this job, especially with mother’s defensiveness about the house payment notice.  After going through her savings to survive a job drought, Dana’s only hope to help her mother is to see her role at the spa expand.  Not to mention, this marketing consultant wants to help the owner achieve success. Esther’s life circumstances touches Dana’s heart.  Like her mother, Esther is recently a widow, in tough times, and she’s poured everything into growing the business. 

Everyone on the farm realizes this spa could be an enormous opportunity for all of Blossom Valley.  Without a real tourist trade, Blossom Valley was feeling the steep effects of this recession, but future guests would mean more dollars for the whole town. This first group of spa residents includes a few Hollywood types and a film crew and if everything goes well word-of-mouth alone could make O’Connell Organic Farm and Spa a premier destination.  

It didn’t take long before things went bad—real bad. 

A producer, Maxwell Mendelsohn, is murdered and the bad press hits the wires quick.   Poor Esther was reeling from thoughts of losing everything, until the reservations started flying in faster than they could book them. Apparently, someone semi-famous being murdered on the property had an endearing morbid effect on people instead of a fleeing fearful one.  Although the film crew left, minus their producer, many of the guests stayed on but who did kill the man?

In between chasing wayward pigs, setting up cricket races, collecting eggs, serving food she wouldn’t eat, Dana is working on a blog, a website, promotions, and solving a crime which brings her an assault before she stumbles onto another body.  

My Take:

GOING ORGANIC CAN KILL YOU by Staci McLaughlin is a surefire hit for cozy readers.  

This author’s sleuth, Dana Lewis, combines humor with deadly determination to find out the whodunit, and Staci McLaughlin gives Dana’s family and a full ranging cast of characters their own quirks and personalities too.   You’ll get know some of the Blossom Valley residents, spa staff, and visitors all while trying to solve the crime along with Dana.  

With tips ranging from growing Arugula to treating poison oak, the back of the book comes loaded with extras including a sneak peek of Dana’s next mystery—with family ties. 


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