Peaches and Scream (Georgia Peach Mystery #1) by Susan Furlong
Pub. Date: July 7, 2015
Source: ARC via publisher (Thank you, Berkley!!)
Summary: To help run the family peach farm during her parents’ absence, Nola Harper returns to her childhood home of Cays Mill, Georgia, and soon discovers that things back at the farm aren’t exactly peachy. A poor harvest and rising costs are threatening to ruin the Harpers’ livelihood, and small-town gossip is spreading like blight thanks to Nola’s juicy reputation as a wild teenager way back when. But Nola really finds herself in the pits when she stumbles upon a local businessman murdered among the peach trees.
With suspicions and family tensions heating up faster than a cobbler in the oven, this sweet Georgia peach will have to prune through a list of murder suspects—before she too becomes ripe for the killer’s picking…
Genre: Cozy Mystery, Contemporary
Recommended for: ♥ PEACH RECIPES ♥
Y’all know I love me a good cozy. Just a few days ago in fact I waxed poetic about Hannah Reed’s Scottish Highlands series. As much as I love Scottish men in kilts however, my favorite cozies involve food. …enter Peaches and Scream.
In order to help out while her parents are on vacation, Nola Harper returns home to the Georgia farm where she was raised, only things aren’t running as smoothly as they were when she was a child. A poor harvest and financial troubles have the farm’s future at stake. To make matters worse, Nola discovers a body…seemingly strangled with a scarf her sister had been wearing the night before.
There isn’t much more to say other than what’s already been said in the summary: it lays it all out in those few sentences and the ride was a joy. There are sibling woes, marital troubles, financial strains – the Harpers are going through a bit of a rough patch at the moment and a murder on their land only adds to the stress, particularly after one of their own is labeled a suspect. To keep things light, however, Ms. Furlong created a fantastic community full of great characters (and a love interest!) and I loved the time I spent in Cays Mill.
At the start of each chapter there’s a Georgia Belle fact: “down here, we can tell how classy a woman is by the height of her hair and the thinness of her brow” and “when life gives you lemons, put them in your sweet tea and take a nice long sip”, and “deep fat-fried chicken pairs perfectly with crispy gossip.” So fun! And, don’t you worry, I kept a running tally of the bless your hearts: seven!
My mouth was watering by the time I finished the book – and if you saw the pages of recipes at the end yours would be too! Peach cobbler, peach chutney, sweet tea, spiced peach preserves. I had read this book in the beginning of June and the reason I’ve waiting so long to discuss it is because I wanted to try some of the recipes first! I ended up making the peach scones and they were a huge letdown – completely bland and even a bit rubbery. Definitely not the kind of scone I’m used to.
Apart from one of the recipes being a big failure, Peaches and Scream was a – wait for it – absolute treat! A fun, quick mystery with a fantastic cast of characters and a good amount of humor to boot. This is an excellent start to a series I’ll definitely be continuing!