Book Review: "Murder by Mushroom" by Virginia Smith
Jackie Hoffner thought she'd be helping out the church potluck by bringing in a mushroom casserole. Little did she know that her dish would end up killing the most hated woman in church! Jackie's on a mission to prove that she's innocent by trying to find the guilty party. The problem is that there are many people who wanted Alice Farmer dead. Secrets from church members arise as Jackie and the pastor's wife try to question those who have the biggest motive to kill.
This was a fun book to read (although don't attempt on an empty stomach!) I liked Jackie even though she's no Nancy Drew. Her character changed throughout the story as her original intentions were purely to clear her own name. Then as she found out what really happened to everyone else she changed for the better. What I found most interesting about the story was the attitude that other Christians had against Alice. It's tough to show love towards someone so spiteful. So I was glad that there was actual animosity towards the character. It would have been unrealistic for everyone to start crying and mourning her passing. Alice Farmer is a mean old woman who seems to take delight in hurting others. There are many people who suffered because of her. Unfortunately no reason is given for her cruelty which is kind of unsatisfying. It was sad reading that there are some Christians who believe that this is how Jesus wants them to act. Dennis seems like a really nice guy. A huge contrast compared to Detective Connor who doesn't seem to have a very high opinion about women. I was clueless about the murder's identity until the very end but it was very satisfying to find out who it was. I really enjoyed this book and am hoping for more adventures with Jackie. If you like cozy mysteries, you'll like this book. Just don't eat any mushrooms while reading it! Murder by Mushroom by Virginia Smith is published by Steeple Hill (2007)