Deadly Row to Hoe (A Home Crafting Mystery)

Image of Deadly Row to Hoe (A Home Crafting Mystery)
Author(s): 
Release Date: 
November 9, 2012
Publisher/Imprint: 
Midnight Ink
Pages: 
264
Reviewed by: 

“. . . a good story that keeps the reader in suspense until the killer is finally revealed.”

Sophie Mae is a multitalented woman. She can run her candle making business, volunteer to help harvest vegetables on a local cooperative farm, wrangle angry adolescent girls, and solve murders—all while remaining everyone’s best friend. Even the police ask her to step in and help them because she’s so clever. Hmm, really?

Sophie Mae Ambrose lives in Cadyville with her police detective husband Barr in a house they share with Sophie’s best friend Meghan and Meghan’s daughter Erin. Even though Cadyville is a small town there seems to be more crime than the police can handle. When an unidentified body of a 25-year-old female is found on a local cooperative farm, the task of tracking down the victim’s ID is handed to Sophie Mae by Sergeant Zahn, her husband’s boss.

Reluctant at first to help, Sophie Mae relents and begins an earnest search for the victim’s identity. From this point on the story becomes more believable. Someone thinks they recognize the victim from years before, so Sophie enlists the help of an artist friend to create a computer drawing of what the victim might have looked like as a teenage girl.

Armed with the before and after photos, Sophie asks everyone around if they recognize the victim. No one claims at first to know who the girl was—but several people are lying. People who are Sophie Mae’s friends.

Then another victim is discovered barely alive, and the lies start to crumble. Sophie Mae uncovers buried secrets and hidden connections between people she only thought she knew.

Sophie Mae’s investigation is complicated by the fact that she and Barr are trying to get pregnant, a teenaged neighbor girl in full adolescent rebellion temporarily moves in with twelve-year-old Erin, and a crazy woman is stalking everyone.

Ms. McRae ‘s writing is polished and can be very witty. Her descriptions are so vivid the reader can smell the fragrant candles and taste the colorful fresh dishes made with vegetables from the coop. Although the first couple of chapters might strain belief, the author does succeed in telling a good story that keeps the reader in suspense until the killer is finally revealed.

Deadly Row to Hoe is a light read perfect with a cup of organic tea on a rainy afternoon.