A Fatal Harvest

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It's October, and Liz Eckardt is pleased to fawn over another herd of guests at her bed-and-breakfast, the Olde Mansion Inn. They've arrived just in time for a harvest celebration at the Ringenberg farm. While hoofing through the corn maze, Liz spooks one of her lodgers, a handsome buck who turns tail and lopes off into the night. But it isn't long before that same fellow is found dead, camouflaged under a pile of hay on a wagon ride.

Liz is lured into the hunt when a friend begs for her help. As she delves deeper into the forest of deception surrounding the murder, she racks up several suspects with grudges that have lain fallow for years. Liz will need more than a jacklight to point her toward the trail of truth ... because this time the culprit is going the distance to hide his bad nature.

Meanwhile, someone may be trying to horn in on Liz's affections. Will her relationship with Jackson continue to stagnate? Or will one of them take a stand? With a murderer on the loose, Liz doesn't need distractions. She'll need to keep her wits about her and her quarry in sight.

When it's doe or die time, Liz, Beans, and the Material Girls will have one shot at bagging a killer -- before Liz becomes his next trophy.

The Characters

Liz always loved and admired her mother, Abigail. She was an amazing, hard-working woman and role model. It is no surprise Liz inherited Abigail's determination and strong work ethic, earning Liz a successful career as one of Boston's most prominent attorneys. But even so, at 40 and with Abigail's recent death, Liz is running on empty.

When she inherits an old diary from Abigail's childhood after her mother's passing, Liz is stunned to read about the life Abigail had growing up in an Amish community. She'd never mentioned any of it to Liz. Ever. Why would her mother keep such a big secret?

Determined to find out what caused Abigail to abandon her Amish life at the age of seventeen, Liz leaves Boston and moves to her mother's hometown of Pleasant Creek, Ind. While she settles into the quaint and friendly community as the new owner of the Olde Mansion Inn, Liz is careful to keep her connection to the Amish a secret ... at least for now.

Will Liz's journey bring her the answers she longs for about her mysterious heritage ... or send her straight into harm's way?

Liz didn't realize when she bought the inn that she was also "inheriting" the resident lazy-yet-lovable English bulldog, Beans. She doesn't have the heart to give him away, so she adopts him into her new life. Although he spends most of his time sleeping by the front door, Beans still manages to get mixed up in the mysteries of Pleasant Creek.

Known for her delicious home-baked apple pies and impressive quilting skills, Mary Ann is one of Pleasant Creek's most loved citizens. She is also the proud co-owner of Sew Welcome, the fabric shop located on the first floor of the Olde Mansion Inn. Having lived in Pleasant Creek all her life, can Mary Ann help Liz learn more about their Amish neighbors and track down the true identity of her mysterious family?

An accomplished and sometimes wildly creative quilter, Sadie co-owns Sew Welcome with Mary Ann. Shrewd, and salty-tongued, 70-year-old Sadie says exactly what she thinks, which sometimes lands her in hot water. Sadie takes a liking to Liz right away, often treating Liz like one of her own children. With a bit of a reputation for being a busybody, Sadie always seems to know everything going on in Pleasant Creek. It's nearly impossible to keep a secret around her, but Liz must be careful not to reveal her real reason for coming to Pleasant Creek until the time is right.

Jackson is the handsome mayor of Pleasant Creek who also owns Cross Furniture Co., a local business that employs many of the Amish men in the area to help handcraft high-end wood furniture. Jackson is well-liked in the community and stays very involved in everything that goes on in town. From the moment they meet, he is attracted to Liz, but senses there is more to her than meets the eye.