Friday, May 13, 2011

Mind Your Own Beeswax - Hannah Reed


Mind Your Own Beeswax
A Queen Bee Mystery
Hannah Reed
Berkley Prime Crime

Mystery

It all starts with a Great Escape, Bee-Style. Well, that’s not exactly true. Sixteen years before Story Fischer’s honeybees swarmed off to find a bigger spot (she got them back and everyone is living happily) there was a tragedy in town. Since Moraine, WI is so small, absolutely everyone knew about, and they still talk about it today. A group of teenagers, including Story, were off the in woods, drinking. One of the kids, Lauren Kerrigan, left the group early and ended up driving her car over the town’s police chief. That first hit didn’t kill him, though. She backed up and finished the job. Lauren always claimed she was black-out drunk when it happened, and she’s spent the intervening years in prison, paying for it.

Cut to present-day Moraine, where Story runs her own grocery store, stocked with local items and her own honey products. She’s running a beeswax candle-making class when Rita Kerrigan (mother of Lauren) and a stranger appear. After the class, Story is shocked to hear that the stranger was Lauren, out on a medical parole with terminal cancer. Later that day, Lauren and the family’s gun go missing. The current police chief isn’t too interested in mounting a search party. Possibly because he’s got some issues with Lauren killing his dad with her car. When all is said and done, Lauren and another woman lie dead in the woods, murdered. The current police chief is an obvious suspect with some serious anger issues, but why now? And why would anyone want to kill both women?

This is the second in a series that began with BUZZ OFF. I admit, I’m not partial to bees. At all. But in this installment, bees are mainly in the background. The real mystery concerns the deaths of the two women, and how the past can shape the present. In such a small town, where almost everyone grew up together, memories are long, and gossip rules. That can be a plus when you’re trying to ferret out information, or a drawback when you’re the object of speculation. There’s no sophomore slump here. MIND YOUR OWN BEESWAX is a winning entry in an entertaining series. And for those who are so inclined, there are recipes and tips on growing bee-attracting flowers included.

Rating: 7 ½
May 2011
ISBN# 978-0-425-24159-2 (paperback

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