Autumn on the Sonoma Coast. A welcome chill is whipping through the crisp Pacific air, but something else is stirring in this rural California town…
Witty and down-to-earth Claudia Simcoe is sure that the gourmet harvest dinner being held at her artisan marketplace will wipe away any memories of the unpleasantness last summer. Not to mention give her a chance to figure out the bewildering relationship budding with her craft-beer-brewing neighbor, Nathan. But rather than dealing with carefully curated food and cautious flirting, Claudia finds herself thrown into the center of a murder investigation when a secret compartment in her market is tied to the death of a local lawyer.
At least this time she isn’t the prime suspect. Instead, it’s one of Claudia’s marketplace tenants who is wanted by the police: the locally-famed cheesemaker, Julie Muller. Determined to help clear her friend’s name—and to discover the history connecting her market to the murder victim—Claudia is forced to test her mettle as a detective once more. As she starts digging into San Elmo’s long-buried past, she is confronted with Prohibition-era mysteries, shady land deals, and a small town bursting with motives to kill the crooked lawyer. But just as she thinks she’s getting a handle on this investigating thing, another gruesome death brings Claudia dangerously close to the killer.
The second installment in Daisy Bateman’s Marketplace series delivers cozy mystery and charming humor as Claudia works to uncover the truth about the murders, her marketplace, and her feelings for her ruggedly attractive neighbor.
“Wine and cheese have never been so deadly delicious as in Daisy Bateman’s A Dismal Harvest. Claudia Simcoe is a wry and introspective sleuth, determined to discover who killed the thief who disrupted her harvest dinner by sneaking a mysterious package out of her farm-to-table marketplace on the edge of California’s wine country—though it might prove easier to figure out who didn’t want the man dead. A dash of history, a splash of romance, and an intriguing hint of what’s to come make A Dismal Harvest a gourmet treat for lovers of cozy mysteries and foodie fiction.”
—Leslie Budewitz, three-time Agatha Award-winning author of the Spice Shop Mysteries