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“Dead on the Vine” Charlotte Finn never wanted to inherit the family’s produce farm – much less plow a heap of money into it. Her plan is hammer a great big FOR SALE sign into the farm’s furrows – but Charlotte’s sunny hopes of a quick sale succumb to a killing frost when she finds a dead body entwined supine in the tomato vines. The poor man, it seems, was run through…with a pitchfork?
Now Charlotte is stuck with running the farm in the midst of a murder investigation. Charlotte’s knowledge of farming is smaller than her bank balance, so she relies on caretakers Joe and Alice Wong and their farmhands. Can she trust them? She doesn’t know them. There’s also farmer Samuel Brown, who still carries a childhood grudge. But the case gets personal when Charlotte learns that the victim might have been her own kin – and seeds of suspicion grow into a fertile field of suspects.
Charlotte turns to the farm’s pig to help root out the killer. Soon, the goats, geese, and a horse join in, but will Charlotte harvest a murderer – or but the farm?
“Strawberries and Crime” Things are finally growing smoothly on the Finn Family Farm. Charlotte Finn is starting to feel at home at the Santa Barbara County produce farm she inherited. But all is not strawberries and cream: A blight is destroying young berry plants. Worse, another mysterious death is shaking Little Acorn.
The victim is grizzled, cantankerous Linc Pierce, the only farmer in Little Acorn whose strawberry crop was fruitful. Charlotte and her old friend Beau Mason find him hanging from the rafter, an apparent suicide. But a cursory search turns up a half-eaten sandwich. Who eats before he kills himself?
Chief Goodacre suspects foul play. Little Acorn's farmers point accusing fingers at one another, recalling Linc's suggestion that someone sabotaged their strawberries. As Charlotte searches for clues she finds something on Linc's workbench not buried in dust. Could this be why Linc's strawberry plants are alive? And, perhaps, why Linc is dead?
Now, if Charlotte and Horse--the farm's baby pig with a bottomless stomach and an insatiable hunger for sleuthing--can't root out the murderer, they, too, may end up dead and berried.
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