Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Going Organic Can Kill You by Staci McLaughlin

Dana moves back home both because of economy & to take care of her mother (emotionally as well as helping financially) after the death of her father. Even when Dana gets a better job offer, she opts to stick around and help out family. She works at a local organic farm and spa, first by doing PR for the place but later as a kind of jack of all trades.
There were many things I liked about this cozy mystery. Dana and her family were realistic and likable. This could be a very unpleasant situation for Dana if her mom was a harridan or her sister was a jerk. Luckily her mom is a good person who tries to get the family all eating healthier in an attempt to avoid the heart problems that led to her husband's death. Her younger sister can be a little self-absorbed and goofy, but she tries to help out & she encourages Dana's blossoming love interest with Jason, the local reporter. And Dana herself is very likable and easy to relate to, not given to flakiness or wild changes in mood. I also like that, while she may work in a healthy environment, she's a woman after my own heart and cannot find a thing to eat that she finds palatable in the sea of healthiness. She's a good sport though and doesn't make snide remarks about the food and will usually give the stuff a try.
I liked the set-up of a guest at the spa being the murder victim. It gave Dana a realistic reason for trying to find out what happened - lingering unease about the farm/spa equals the place closing down and she loses her job. The mystery kept me interested and guessing until the end. I would be interested in more mysteries in this series.

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