Strawberries and Crime

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What to expect

Things are finally growing smoothly on the Finn Family Farm. With the help of caretakers Joe and Alice Wong and farmer Samuel Brown, 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. Her prime suspect is Beau, who exchanged words—and worse—with Linc earlier in the day. Meanwhile, Little Acorn’s farmers point accusing fingers at one another, recalling Linc’s suggestion that someone sabotaged their strawberries. As Charlotte searches for clues to exonerate Beau, 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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