Buzz Off by Hannah Reed
Format: Paperback, 336 pages
First line: If I hadn't been drinking champagne at noon on Friday, I would have been over at the honey house with Manny Chapman, my beekeeping mentor and owner of Queen Bee Honey, and possibly, just possibly, I might have saved him from what must have been a very painful death.
From the back cover: When beekeeper Story Fischer is on the case, you can run - but you can't hive...
It's September - National Honey Month - in Moraine, Wisconsin, and things are looking up for Story Fischer. Her messy divorce is final, the honey from her beekeeping business has been harvested, and the market she owns is thriving. Life seems pretty sweet...until Manny, her mentor in the honey business, is found stung to death in his apiary.
Story is still trying to explain to the panicked locals that her honeybees had nothing to do with Manny's death, when another body is found floating in the Oconomowoc River. This time the evidence points to Story's ex. Sure, he's a womanizer and a buzzkill - but a murderer? Desperate to save her bees and her business (and, okay, her ex), it's up to Story to find a way out of a very sticky situation.
My thoughts: This is the first book in Hannah Reed's Queen Bee Mystery series and it was a fun, quick read. Falling into the cozy mystery genre, it's centered around a beekeeper and gave lots of interesting facts and tidbits about bees and honey.
Story is the owner of a small market and an apprentice to master beekeeper, Manny. When he is found apparently stung to death, Story finds herself not only trying to get to the bottom of things, but also defending the honeybees she loves. Story is definitely my kind of gal - using "bullet points" to educate the town as to why it couldn't have been honeybees that stung Manny. She uses bullet points quite frequently - something that I find myself using whenever possible (just not in my reviews!).
This seems like a good start to what looks to be a fun series. We get to know Story a little bit, and we meet some of her family members and friends. I loved the small-town feel you get as you the story progresses, including the gossip mill - all reminiscent of growing up in a small-town and living in one now. I am looking forward to reading more of this series.
(I got this book from a friend.)
Books in this series:
- Buzz Off
- Mind Your Won Beeswax
- Plan Bee
- Beeline to Trouble