Murder and vegetables—what more could you ask?
Sophie Mae Reynolds and her bridegroom, police detective Barr Ambrose, are living upstairs in her best friend Meghan Bly’s house, where Sophie Mae makes handcrafted soap in the basement. Both are delighted to be helping out at a community-supported farm until Meghan discovers a body in the compost pile. The police learn that the unidentified young woman was stunned, probably by a shovel, and buried alive in the compost. Farm owners Tom and Allie Turner, Allie’s sister Hallie, and their apprentice, Nate Snow, all deny any knowledge of the crime. But Sophie Mae, who seems to discover more than her share of dead bodies (Something Borrowed, Something Bleu, 2010, etc.), resolves to identify the dead woman. She enlists the help of a clay artist specializing in masks to enhance a police photo to a more lifelike state. The new photo, careful questioning and time spent on the Internet pay off when the victim is identified as ornithologist Darla Klick. As it turns out, the pregnant Darla had ties to a commune the farm family and Nate had lived on years before. Sophie Mae’s nosiness may help to find a killer if it doesn’t get her killed.
McRae, whose home-crafting mysteries always offer tips in mastering some new area of domestic expertise, spices her juicy mystery with some intriguing veggie lore.