Monday, October 17, 2016

"The Murder of a Queen Bee"

Meera Lester is the author of nearly two dozen nonfiction books and the proprietress of the real Henny Penny Farmette, located in the San Francisco Bay area. Raising chickens and honeybees, she draws on her life at her farmette as the basis of her Henny Penny Farmette mysteries.

Lester applied the Page 69 Test to her second Henny Penny Farmette mystery, The Murder of a Queen Bee, and reported the following:
On page 69 in The Murder of a Queen Bee, a recipe is featured (each chapter opens with a quote and ends with a farming tip, recipe, or craft). So, if readers are interested in recipes, they might read on, but I think it’s fair to go back one page in The Murder of a Queen Bee, where the text of the mystery continues. My heroine-sleuth Abigail Mackenzie, once besotted by old boyfriend Clay Calhoun who abruptly left her on Valentine’s Day to run her farm alone, now questions why he’s returned, if she can ever trust him again, and why she would want to.

During his absence, she’s increasingly come to trust one voice—her own. And now that she’s deep into solving the murder of her herbalist friend Fiona Mary Ryan—with the help of the deceased’s brother—Abby doesn’t need Clay making demands on her time, confusing her emotionally, or complicating her life. For his part, Clay professes he wants to rekindle the connection and tries to smooth-talk his way back into Abby’s life.

She wants to believe him but knows that it means creating a new paradigm. The culmination of these moments begins to spin the story off in a new direction for both the B plot line (the romance) and the A plot (the murder mystery). I believe the pull exerted by these two lines on page 68 will keep the reader glued to the book until the payoff at the end.
Visit Meera Lester's website.

My Book, The Movie: The Murder of a Queen Bee.

--Marshal Zeringue