Monday, February 6, 2012

Plan Bee - a Queen Bee Mystery by Hannah Reed

Published by Berkeley Prime Crime, New York

There is always a lot of action in the small town of Moraine, but the annual Harmony Festival is anything but harmonious. Between the usual squabbles and vendor problems, some impromptu explosions are keeping the townspeople frazzled. This book was well-written as expected, but the storyline was quite different from previous books in the series. Written in Hannah Reed's wry and witty way, some of the characters undergo surprising changes, a metamorphosis so to speak, adding an interesting and unexpected factor to the mix.

I really enjoy this series of quirky characters in a small town. A small part of that enjoyment is because I was once a beekeeper, but the author does spice her book up with some interesting honeybee facts and lore, as well as including recipes using honey. This series may come under the classification of cozy, but don't be fooled, they always have a good and surprising mystery to solve and this book was no stranger to the theme. When our heroine, Story, trips over a body in the cemetery, only to have it disappear, no one believes her. Was there a body? Was it overactive imagination in the dark? If there was a body, where did it go? The challenge is to discover if another body found elsewhere is in fact the same one, and if the perpetrator of the crime is a local, a stranger, or a team. Whose body is missing? Why are some townspeople being attacked? And what in the world do hickory nuts have to do with anything?

This is the kind of book where you can recognize some characters, relax and enjoy them, learn something new, but remain on high alert for the chase to find answers and solve the mystery. A very enjoyable book, #3 in the series, it gets better all the time.

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