Saturday, February 8, 2014

Poisoned Ground

Poisoned Ground
Sandra Parshal
Poisoned Pen Press
Scottsdale, AZ
ISBN: 978-1-4642-0224-7
March 2014
$ 24.95
250 pages

New developments offer economic revivals for small communities.   The possibility of new jobs is exciting for most small towns even for Mason County, Virginia. Who wouldn't want a new development in a small town?   This would offer new jobs and opportunities to a diminishing community.  
However, not all is as it seems.   Most of these new jobs would be at minimum wage with no to little chance of advancement.  Added to that, this new development would likely pollute the land and the water as they take over this community, not to mention the loss of family homes and lifestyle of many local farmers who for years have lived off the land.  
Is this opportunity to cater for the wealthy patrons of this new adventure with a spa worth it or is it destroying the community?  What is the cost of progress?
Rachel Goddard enjoys her life in the Blue Ridge Mountains as a veterinarian and recently married  Sheriff Tom Bridger.  Supporting  her best friend, Joanna who is being offered money for her horse ranch, Rachel is drawn into the conflict within the community especially since the slick developers seem to be forcing people to sell their land. 
When Joanna's neighbors, Marie and Lincoln Kelly are shot, people are beginning to wonder about the actual cost of this development in terms of people's lives.   It was well-known that Marie and Linc were against selling their land.   Could someone be tipping the scales to favor the development?  Why would anyone want to murder two elderly farmers?
To author Sandra Parshall she truly understands these changes that are happening to her communities throughout Blue Ridge Mountain area.   She  lives in Northern Virginia with her husband who is a Washington journalist.   This is a challenge to numerous rural communities.
Poisoned Ground perfectly envisions both viewpoints of community development surrounding an intriguing mystery.   As Rachel supports her friends and clients in her animal care business, she is drawn into the situation of conflict while also being privileged to discover clues to assist her husband with solving the murder. 
This is a fast-paced mystery which keeps your interest through the last page.   With well-developed characters who are realistic within a logical mystery that continues to unravel with each page.   Even though this is part of a series which has won an Agatha Award, Poisoned Ground does not require knowledge from previous books in order to understand the story.
Anyone who enjoys a good mystery would like Poisoned Ground.  I would categorize this book as a cozy since the story is straight-forward in direction.
Curl up with Poisoned Ground and enjoy a good book to read.

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