Peaches And Scream
Georgia Peach Mystery, Book #1
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…
INCLUDES RECIPES (Goodreads)
If you look up “cozy mystery” in the dictionary, I do believe you will see a picture of Peaches and Scream next to the definition. The author blended Southern charm, suspense, humor and fantastic characters perfectly when she wrote this book.
Cays Mill, Georgia, has as much Southern charm as anywhere you may visit. I loved the fact that at the beginning of each chapter there were Georgia Belle Facts that were informative and amusing. The small town feel and attitude shine through and, as in all small towns, neighbors are in each other’s business and gossip spreads faster than a grease fire. But family and neighbors are always ready to pitch in and help when that is needed. I want to plan my next vacation to Cays Mill.
The mystery is well plotted and carried on throughout the book. There were many suspects to consider and enough red herrings to keep the reader guessing. I did not figure out the killer until it was revealed at the end. That is always a plus for me.
I thought the book was very funny and I had a lot of laugh out loud moments. Things that happen and the thoughts and conversations that Nola has made the book very humorous. One example is when Nola is talking to her friend Hattie about dancing at the Honky Tonk Bar. “Me? I was willing to kick back and wait it out. It was your idea to head out on the dance floor with Mr. Cotton-Eyed Joe”.
The characters are well developed, well rounded and three dimensional. I enjoyed meeting all of the residents of Cays Mill, the likable ones and the not so likable ones. Nola and her family are a very close knit family and have each other’s backs at all times. They did not always agree with each other but they would never leave each other alone in times of trouble. I really enjoyed reading about this family closeness and the family dynamics. Nola also has a few close childhood friends and they added a lot to the story.
The author is very talented in her descriptive writing and brought the pages to life for me. I could smell all the delicious peachy food, see the peach orchards and see Roscoe tripping over his ears while I was reading.
I would recommend Peaches and Scream to anyone who enjoys a well crafted cozy mystery. I am so glad that I read this book and cannot wait to read the next one. I hope this is the start of a very long series. Susan Furlong has a place on my favorite author list. Check out this book, I think you will agree.