The Third Barks and Beans Cafe Mystery
The state fair brings to mind special fried foods, live music, and lots and lots of people. Another draw to this year's fair is Carolina Crush, a hot new country band, whose star grew up in Lewisburg. Reconnecting with her childhood friend, Carolina invites Macy to a private buffet with the band. What's served up is primarily tension and Macy leaves with a bad taste in her mouth. When Carolina becomes sick afterward, yet no one else suffers any ill effects, Macy suspects someone tried to poison her old friend. Who would want the rising star dead? The back up singer? The husband? Or maybe her stalker.
When I think of state fairs I think of fair food, midway rides, and prize winning animals. There's also a somewhat seedy side to fairs, whether it's the transient nature of it, the hucksters, or the glittery nature of everything that seems to quickly fade away. That aura of something unsettling, something not quite right permeates FAIR TRADE. Carolina Crush may be successful, but the undercurrents show that all is not golden.
I enjoy the characters and seeing their developing relationships grow in this third Barks and Beans Cafe mystery. I especially like the addition of Macy's new neighbor, Vera. I was also thrilled to see Waffles make an appearance and am confident someday she will find someone who will appreciate her. I love the fact that the third Barks and Beans Mystery continues to build on a longer story arc with nefarious characters popping up when least expected participating in an ongoing mystery that's slowly being revealed.
FAIR TRADE is a mystery of subtleties. It's quiet, more strategic mystery that looks at trust, memories, and friendships.
Fair Trade (Barks & Beans Cafe Cozy Mystery) by Heather Day Gilbert
About Fair Trade
Cozy Mystery 3rd in Series
Publisher: WoodHaven Press (October 27, 2020)
Number of Pages: ~215
Welcome to the Barks & Beans Cafe, a quaint place where folks pet shelter dogs while enjoying a cup of java...and where murder sometimes pays a visit.
With the one-year anniversary of the now-successful Barks & Beans Cafe approaching, siblings Macy and Bo Hatfield set up an iced coffee booth at the state fair. Taking a break from brewing, Macy bumps into Carolina, a long-lost childhood friend who's now sitting pretty as a country superstar. Macy tries not to fangirl too hard when her old friend extends an invitation to meet the rest of the Carolina Crush band before their opening show.
But when Carolina falls victim to not one, but two near-death experiences, Macy takes it upon herself to find out who has it in for her old friend. Fortified with plenty of roasted corn, cinnamon rolls, and her brother's signature iced maple latte, Macy takes to the Ferris wheel to get the lay of the land from the air. She discovers too late that this year's fair isn't all fun and games...but she's already locked in for the ride.
Join siblings Macy and Bo Hatfield as they sniff out crimes in their hometown...with plenty of dogs along for the ride! The Barks & Beans Cafe cozy mystery series features a small town, an amateur sleuth, and no swearing or graphic scenes.The Barks & Beans Cafe cozy mystery series in order: Book 1: No Filter Book 2: Iced Over Book 3: Fair Trade
About Heather Day Gilbert
HEATHER DAY GILBERT, an ECPA Christy award finalist and Grace award winner, enjoys writing contemporary mysteries set in her home state of West Virginia. Her novels feature small towns, family relationships, and women who aren't afraid to protect what they love. You can find all her books at heatherdaygilbert.com.
Purchase Link - Amazon