Killer Jam is a cozy mystery if there ever was one. Personally, I find it weird to call murder ‘cozy’. So I am skeptical of this whole mystery genre called cozy mystery. And I have mentioned this several times here on the blog before. I mean, just the recent Progressive Dinner Deadly will make a case in point for me. But Killer Jam gets very close to being all goody goody.
Rustic, pastoral settings can be peaceful. But in moderation, I think. I had read Country Loving, a book about farm life where things got a bit graphic about the cows. So when I realized there is a cow in this one, I was a bit weary. But the cow’s role is restricted to fun antics. Lucy is a hot shot Houston reporter who buys her grandmother’s old farm and decides to live a life on the homestead. She is ready to make gallons of jam, churn her own butter, grow vegetables and breathe in the pure country air.
Peace is what she is looking forward to. Until an oil drill threatens to dig up her vegetables. And the town nasty woman is found dead. People think Lucy’s jam maybe the culprit.
There are a couple of story lines here. Lucy’s friend, the café owner is an abused wife and we see Lucy supporting her. There are lots of dewberries – frankly, I don’t know what they are – an ancient mystery about an unsolved murder from years ago, a corrupt sheriff, friendly neighbors and so on. Lucy makes all kinds of jam, and her friend cooks gourmet food in her café. So we want to drool or just get hungry for it.
The whole concept of small town or rather village life not being what it is touted to be is as old as Agatha Christie’s books. Remember how Miss Marple says that village life is the most happening with its share of politics and undercurrents and vendettas? Maybe they just want to keep us city dwellers from moving to the villages?
Whatever the reason, Killer Jam is definitely a sweet, cozy treat. It will have you turning pages while dreaming of dollops of sweet jam on warm fresh baked bread.