Thursday 22 October 2015

The Ginseng Conspiracy (A Kay Driscoll Mystery #1) by Susan Bernhardt

The Ginseng Conspiracy (A Kay Driscoll Mystery Book 1)

On her way to attend a Halloween Ball, Kay Driscoll, a newcomer to town, witnesses the murder of a local professor. When the official coroner's report rules the cause of death to be accidental and the community accepts the judgement, Kay decides to uncover the truth for herself. Through her personal investigations, Kay exposes a complex conspiracy, woven deep within the thriving local ginseng industry, that involves some of the more prominent figures and families of Sudbury Falls. 

With her new friends, the free-spirited herbalist Deirdre and the untamed modern woman Elizabeth, Kay discusses new clues over tea and pastries at Sweet Marissa's Patisserie, their crime-fighting headquarters. As Kay gets closer to the heart of the conspiracy, additional murders happen in quick succession. Before long, Kay learns that the villains are gunning for her, too. Phil, her musically talented but preoccupied husband, determined to keep her safe, withholds from her the one thing she needs most: the truth.  (summary via Goodreads)

This is the first book in a new series by Susan Bernhardt. It is a good start to a new series. It starts out giving you a lot of background information on each character and their lives in Sudbury Falls, Wisconsin. I loved the little town of Sudbury Falls with all the quaint little shops. I fell in love with Sweet Marissa's Patisserie and all of the yummy treats.
The main character Kay Driscoll is near and dear to my heart because she is a retired nurse same as myself. She and her husband Phil have recently moved to Sudbury Falls from Colorado after both retired. Although both are retired Kay still volunteers at the free clinic every week with Dr Anders and Phil is fulfilling a dream of Jazz music and guitars. Kay has some great quirky friends that she walks with everyday. Elizabeth who is very bubbly, divorced, and loves men and Deirdre who always is in deep though. She is a spiritualist like her husband Mike.
Everyone in town is excited for Halloween and the yearly Halloween Ball. A friend of Kay's, Margaret let's her go through some costumes for her and Phil to wear to the Ball and ends up stumbling onto a trunk with a strange white robe. She doesn't really give it too much thought until on the way to the Ball she sees the same robes and curiosity gets the better of her and she follows them to a vacant store. She is terrified when she enters the back of the building to find six people in these robes standing over the body of Professor Walters. She is in shock!! She runs out and goes to the Ball with so many questions and fears but tries to act normal.
The next day she and her buddies go on their daily walk only to find the Professor laying face down in the river dead!
Who can she trust? Will she and her friends be able to find his killer before someone else dies? Why the Professor? Everyone loved him. The small town of Sudbury Falls may not be the quiet little town she thought after all???
This book has adventure, intrigue, lies, betrayal, mystery and tons of twists and turns from beginning to the end. I will say that it is a bit slow at the beginning but keep reading and you won't be disappointed.

Review by Penny M.

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