"Penned In" A Farm-to-Fork Mystery By Lynn Cahoon: Review/Giveaway

Review by Kathleen Costa

Details on how to win an ebook copy of this book at the end of the review and links to purchase it.

Farm to Fork to...Murder? 

Angie Turner closed her San Francisco restaurant she ran with BFF Felicia Williams, and the two moved to River Vista, Idaho. Together, for the past year, they have transformed Angie’s late Nona’s farm into The County Seat, a farm-to-table restaurant showcasing a “farm” load of fresh ingredients. The kitchen crew has become like family from her partner, pastry chef, and marketing chief Felicia to her chef Nancy Gowan, from sous chef Estebe Blackstone to line chef Matt Young and culinary student now full-time prep cook Hope Anderson. Added to her friendly family is boyfriend Ian McNeal, manager of the River Vista Farmers’ Market, but it can be touchy when she runs afoul of Ian’s uncle Sheriff Brown when several pesky dead bodies show up. Her “fur” family includes a year-old St. Bernard named Dom, a white and black hen called Mabel, and black goat Precious. Although they’ve been plagued with murderous intrusions, the “family” all seem to be honing skills of amateur detectives to include in the restaurant’s reputation. 

Farm-to-Fork Mystery

Who Moved My Goat Cheese? (2018)

Killer Green Tomatoes  (2018)

One Potato, Two Potato, Dead (2019)

Have a Deadly New Year novella (2019) KRL Review HERE

Deep Fried Revenge (2020) KRL Review HERE

Penned In (2020)

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Image Source Lyrical Press

Penned In earns 5/5 Prison Gates & Ghosts...Entertaining Fun!

The County Seat’s “crew of chefs” enjoy participating in some unique team building activities which often bring some much desired bonding time. This quarter’s activity coincides with Halloween, so what better locale than the Old Idaho Penitentiary and what better situation than to be locked in for the night! Rumors that it’s haunted add to the excitement. They aren’t solo on their group excursion since a visiting uncle thought it a fun bonding experience with his niece and nephew and two honeymoon couples who seem more interested in a joint solitary confinement and, oddly, ghost hunting. The group is introduced to one of the jailers, “You can call me Officer Murphey,” who seems to be taking her role seriously barking the restrictions about cell phones, food, and water. But, as the tour begins, Angie has an uneasy feeling which, after historical facts shared, exhibits visited, and cells for the evening assigned, is made worse as she witnesses a heated argument between two of the role-playing guards: his ex is now his current. Then worse yet, a scream and a dead body of one of the arguing guards is found. The only cell phone and the main keys in his possession are missing. There’s not many places for the faux inmates and guards to be, but alibis can’t be confirmed for everyone. And...the story is the ghost of an infamous female inmate haunts the halls at Halloween seeking revenge! Without law enforcement readily available til dawn, Angie and her “chefs” seem the only ones to “locked down” the killer, corporeal or not.

Locked it Up! Lynn Cahoon has penned a delightful cozy for the Halloween season filled with a unique setting (Old Idaho State Penitentiary), tales of hauntings (Shows acast Unsolved Mysteries: The Haunted Old Idaho State Penitentiary-Part One), and eclectic characters from ex-cons to senior citizen, former MMA fighter to paranormal investigators, skeptics to true believers, and a plethora of chefs. The murder mystery cleverly links on the surface to a sad story from decades past and an accompanying ghost legend making it perfect to whet your Halloween whistle. This book is more a novella (4.5 in the series) easily enjoyed in one sitting, but despite its length, it’s full of fun, a few chills, and a satisfying “Wow!” ending. Lynn’s writing style has made me a fan with descriptive language to illustrate the setting and characters along with dialogue matching emotions and personalities. Angie’s “chefs” are all bold and brave with realistic dreams and ideas, and add well to the series. From one scream to another and one body to a hint of a vengeful ghost makes this a must read!  

Bonus! Muffins were the first thing she learned to bake in Mrs. Higgin’s Freshman Home Ec. Class. Enjoy this easy-to-follow recipe for Special Chocolate Chip Muffins along with a fun Halloween cozy!

Be a Big Lynn Cahoon Fan! First, a big shout out to this fellow spud, Lynn Cahoon! New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Lynn Cahoon pens the twelve-book Tourist Trap Mystery series. she has six novellas that highlight a particularly fun holiday or season. Along with the Tourist Trap Mystery, Lynn Cahoon writes two other cozy mystery series: the six-book Cat Latimer series set in small town Aspen Hills, Colorado, and my favorite the six-book Farm-to-Fork series set in River Vista, Idaho. Both have an entertaining writing style and delightful set of characters.

Facebook—Lynn Cahoon Author

Website—Lynn Cahoon Be sure to sign up for her newsletter.

To enter to win an ebook copy of Penned In, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "penned,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen October 3, 2020. US residents only and you must be 18 or older to enter. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section in Kings River Life and in our mystery category here on KRL News & Reviews. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. And check out our new mystery podcast which features mystery short stories and first chapters read by local actors! A new episode went up this week.

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Kathleen Costa is a long-time resident of the Central Valley, and although born in Idaho, she considers herself a “California Girl.” Graduating from CSU-Sacramento, she is a 35+ year veteran teacher having taught in grades 1-8 in schools from Sacramento to Los Angeles to Stockton to Lodi. Currently Kathleen is enjoying her retirement revitalizing hobbies along with exploring writing, reading for pleasure, and spending 24/7 with her husband.
Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. Love the cover! JL_Minter(at)hotmail(dot)com

  2. I like this series a lot. Thanks for the contest. ckmbeg (at) gmail (dot) com

  3. Sounds like a great read. Looking forward to reading the book.

  4. I cannot envision moving from San Francisco to Idaho, but the idea of farm to table sounds wonderful.

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  5. Looks Really Good Thanks for Sharing this Book With Us
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  6. Shared Post Today on Twitter 😍💗😍
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