By: Hannah Reed
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Publication Date: January 2012
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: January 4, 2011
The Harmony Festival in Moraine, Wisconsin was up and running, but unfortunately harmony would not prevail for long. It all started when young Noel, a “skinny, pimply, geeky sort of kid” decided to launch one of his chemistry concoctions to liven up the festivities and save Story Fischer from her mother’s prying. One little innocuous kaboom and the whole town seemed to be off and running, remembering every injustice anyone ever committed against them. Even Story’s own sister, Holly, claimed she was “passive aggressive.” Stu’s Bar and Grill would soon be the place in town where everyone would be trading stories about Story, the loosest cannon Moraine had seen since the Civil War.
Story had to try to be nice to everyone because she owned the Wild Clover and if she wanted to stay in business it was a must. She even had to be nice to the likes of klepto DeeDee Becker and her aggravating sister, Lori Spandle. DeeDee was the festival’s first Honey Queen and Lori was just plain old annoying. Lori, who was a real estate agent, had recently rented Story’s ex-husband Clay’s house out to some mental case named Ford. It wouldn’t be much trouble looking out after him because Patti Dwyre led the neighborhood watch with her telescope. Patti also had set her sights on being Story’s new best friend. Huh?
Something really was amiss in Moraine because Story’s mom was as sweet as honey toward her instead of her usual cranky self. The only person who managed to be on an even keel was Police Chief Johnny Jay who detested her ever since she turned him down for the prom in high school and still did. A little walk with Dinky, her Chihuahua mix, late that night after the festivities would really cement her recent reputation as a loose cannon. When Dinky led her through the cemetery she accidentally stumbled over a corpse, a corpse that would disappear and wind up a lot closer to home than Story ever could have imagined. It looked like she was going to need Hunter Wallace big time. Who moved that corpse and why? And, more importantly, why was some of the evidence pointing in her direction?
Moraine once again is abuzz with rumors of whodunit when yet another corpse shows up on Story’s watch. This series is coming together quite nicely and once again I was delighted with Hannah Reed’s sparkling sense of humor. Plan Bee’s endearing, slightly zany quality makes for a relaxing read that will leave every cozy mystery lover humming for more. This unusual murder on Willow Street kept me turning the pages when Story did everything from trying to dig up a corpse to engaging in a cat fight in the middle of the street. A hint of love in the air and Story’s wacky new “friendship” with Pity Party Dwyre will definitely keep me waiting for the next in the series!
Quill says: This honey of a mystery will keep you on the edge of your seat waiting for the latest faux pas by Moraine, Wisconsin's murder magnet, Story Fischer.