Today we welcome Elle Brooke White to the blog. Her debut mystery Dead on the Vine was published by Crooked Lane on April 7. I had the pleasure of reading an Advance Reader Copy. Here’s what I said about it.
“Buckle up for a crazy ride when Charlotte Finn inherits the family farm—and her family’s darkest secrets. Did these secrets spawn a murder? Author Elle Brook Finn kept me in my seat around every curve to the very last page.”
Take it way, Elle!
It all started with my annual, exuberant welcoming of spring on social media.
When the first strawberries begin showing their green, cone-shaped heads I begin concocting their life stories. The first year the berries luxuriated by the pool. The next they were invited to Harry and Meghan’s royal wedding, and then last year they were introduced to creatures of the two and four-legged variety.
So it was only natural that a book about a farm would blossom from my imagination. Enter Dead on the Vine, a Finn Family Farm mystery. The Santa Barbara Mountains presented the perfect backdrop for this story due to their natural beauty, their elixir of both sea breezes and the smell of rich, ripening vegetation, and, conveniently their proximity to the author.
Dead on the Vine is the first book in the NEW “Finn Family Farm” cozy mystery series.
Reluctant farmer Charlotte Finn needs the help of the livestock to sleuth a mysterious death.
Charlotte Finn never wanted to inherit the family’s produce farm–much less plow a heap of money into it. Her plan is to hammer a great big FOR SALE sign into the farm’s fallow furrows–but Charlotte’s sunny hopes of a quick sale succumb to a killing frost when she finds a dead body entwined supine in the tomato vines. The poor man, it seems, was run through…with a pitchfork?
Now, Charlotte is stuck with running the farm in the midst of a murder investigation. Charlotte’s knowledge of farming is smaller than her bank balance, so she relies on caretakers Joe and Alice Wong and their farmhands. Can she trust them? She doesn’t know them. There’s also farmer Samuel Brown, who still carries a childhood grudge. But the case gets personal when Charlotte learns that the victim might have been her own kin–and seeds of suspicion grow into a fertile field of suspects.
Charlotte turns to the farm’s baby pig to help root out the killer. Soon, the goats, geese, and horse join in, but will Charlotte harvest a murderer–or buy the farm?
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About Elle: Born in Shaker Heights, Ohio, Elle Brooke White became a world traveler at a young age when her family moved to Europe. She grew up in Paris, Brussels and London until returning to the US to attend Vassar College. She then moved to New York City and took a job in advertising– a career that spanned two coasts and a number of years. But writing was always her passion because it took her to “a world of pure imagination”.
Reader Question: Do you believe that your pets dream in the language you’ve taught them or their native species tongue?
Welcome to the blog, Elle! I love Santa Barbara – fact, my next release is set there (when my protag takes a trip). And I used to own a small organic farm. All the best with your new series.
Koda often makes little noises and twitches in his sleep. He is certainly dreaming of running. At the track or is he chasing rabbits? I do not know. But I think he’s having fun.
Congrats on the book, Elle!
Absolutely LOVED ” Dead on the Vine”! I’ve been recommending it to everyone. Can’t wait for the next book in the series.
What an interesting question. I would hope that Snickerdoodle would dream in English instead of dog. He does mumble and make noise as his little eyes flutter. So I would hope if he dreamed in English and talked out loud, that I might be able to finally know what he was dreaming about. However, since I can never make out anything he must most definitely be dreaming in dog. 🙂
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Welcome to the blog, Elle and congratulations on your book!
Dead on the Vine sounds great! I don’t know what my cats dream of exactly, but I suspect they’re often hunting things. I definitely haven’t taught them that!
Dead on the Vine sounds absolutely wonderful. I just imagine talking to a little pig and asking her to help find a murderer.
We have always talked to our various cats in plain English, assuming they understand. Some of them have been brighter than others! But I suspect they dream in cat because it is their first language.
Welcome to the blog. Your book sounds like fun.
Personally, I assume everyone, pets included, dream in English. I’ve watched enough 80’s dramas to know that even foreign agents speak in heavily accented English when they are alone. 😉
Thanks for visiting the Wickeds, Elle! I love this question! I think my dog, Sam, dreams in scents and images rather than language but I know that he is an enthusiastic dreamer however he does it! In fact, he is napping right now and his paws are twitching away!
There are times when my dog, Bardot, reenacts full length feature films during the night. She plays all the roles and I’m pretty sure plays out the story in several languages.
Mine dreams and makes noises. Until I say are you ok ? Don’t know what she’s thinking. Your book sounds interesting and fun to read.
Congratulations, Elle! The book sounds absolutely delightful Looking forward to celebrating with you in person sometime.
Congratulations on your new book coming out. Sounds interesting. To answer your questions ince I have watch both my cats and dog sleep I would say it is in their own language. You can often see a dog looks like he is running. A cat will twitch his whiskers. Sometimes they even look like they smile.
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