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Book Review: Scene of the Brine by Mary Ellen Hughes


If you’re an avid reader and come to the end of a series, what do you do? Do you mourn the loss of it, or do you do cartwheels like I normally do?

Getting through this last installment was yet again a chore and I cursed myself for not being an Evelyn Wood graduate.

Anyway, Piper Lamb’s pickling business is doing well, mostly with the help of local caterer Sugar Heywood, who relies on Piper’s products.

The fly in Sugar’s ointment is her boyfriend‘s accountant, Dirk Unger. After finding out some dirt on her, he winds up dead and Sugar’s son Zach becomes the number one suspect in his death.

Zach is home on spring break and as he’s studying botanical sciences and has knowledge of poisonous plants. It doesn’t help that some bloodroot is found in one of his books.

On the day he’s supposed to meet with the local sheriff, he disappears as another resident is taken into the hospital after eating some of Piper’s brandied cherries.

But then, realtor Stan Yeager disappears and the town wonders if Sugar’s boyfriend mega realtor Jeremy Porter could have a hand in the disappearance since he’s trying to buy Stan’s office.

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Nothing really changes from the first installment and while I am keeping my promise to review the remaining series that I have, I tried to make a fair assessment of the book, but just couldn’t.

This series is just dull.

As I’ve said in the past, there are too many characters and even one sentence characters are given a name. They’re never heard from again. In one scene, the shop is crowded with so many characters that I wanted to throw the book across the room.

One other fault that I had with the book is when the characters are talking, they tend to use proper salutations and a few pages later, they’re referred by their first name. Thankfully I’m not bald, but I think I probably would be had there been more installments.

At this point, I’m glad that I (hopefully) won’t have to visit Cloverdale again.

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