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A Killer Maize
Farmer’s Market Mystery #4
Paige Shelton

Berkley Prime Crime
Dec 2012/ 978-0-425-25174-4
Mystery/Cozy/Amateur Sleuth

Reviewed by Laura Hinds

There’s a seasonal event called the Swayton County Fall Festival and Becca Robbins is there to sell her preserves and jams. It’s a change of venue for her, but not a change of pace when it comes to a murder occurring in Becca’s vicinity.
With Halloween around the corner, the festival features a spooky corn maze, rides for the family, a plethora of baked goods, and an assortment of animals.

Circumstances have brought Becca’s ex-husband Scott Triplet to the festival too. He’s running a shooting gallery and acting mightily suspicious. Virgil, the Ferris wheel operator, is the murder victim. He’s been shot and left swinging from the ride. Is it possible that Scott had something to do with it? Does Becca even want to know? Between the murder, the scary corn maze and rumors of a curse, the hair on the back of Becca’s neck is standing up constantly.

The town I live in happens to be the one in which a couple got lost in a corn maze in October of 2011, and it made national news. I decided to take a walk through that corn maze myself to see how this could be possible. What I came away thinking was that a corn maze would be an interesting place to hide something you didn’t want anyone to find.

What I found in the “maze” of this book was a darn good murder mystery in which the heroine is not stupid and harbors a healthy fear of the unknown. The characters are small-town quirky, and the atmosphere appropriately edgy.

Fans of Paige Shelton will enjoy this book, although it does help to have read the others in the series so you can follow the character development. Kudos to Shelton for continuing to come up with fresh ideas for her Farmers’ Market Mystery Series.

Reviewed 2013