"Rhubarb Pie Before You Die" By Gin Jones: Review/Giveaway

Review by Kathleen Costa

Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win an ebook copy of the book and a link to purchase it.

Garlic Farm For Sale!

Mabel Skinner inherited her Aunt Peggy’s West Slocum, Massachusetts, garlic farm appropriately named “Stinkin’ Stuff Farm,” but she’s not a farmer or even outdoorsy; she develops apps, generally a solo project, and has no clue how to manage a farm, and without internet access, too! Sell it! That’s the best option, but keeping the farm going as a sustainable income is the best way to attract a buyer, so for now, with so many in the small community counting on her and the continued success of the farm and the desire to make her late aunt proud, she’s going to have to learn all she can about growing, harvesting, and marketing acres of prized garlic. She’s not alone in this endeavor since the town is eager to provide assistance along with her new friends: neighbor Emily Colter, Community Supported Agriculture organizer and wife of the local police officer Rory Hansen, and Rory’s right-hand woman Bettina Parker. Unfortunately, it’s been three months and not a buyer to be had, and Mable is running out of time...it’s time to plant!

Garlic Farm Mystery

Six Coves Under KRL review HERE

Rhubarb Pie Before You Die (2020)

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Image Source Lyrical Press
Rhubarb Pie Before You Die earns 5/5 Rhubarb Leaves....Clever & Engaging!

Farming, especially on a budget, takes initiative and creativity. Rory took Mabel out to a subdivision outside of town to pick up trash. Yes, better known as garden waste that the neighbors bag up for removal, but it is great “mulch” and just what garlic needs to grow. However, it’s not just Mabel who vies for this “free for the taking” deal. Graham Winthrop has a small farm, grows rhubarb for the CSA Co-op, and hopes his breeding program for rhubarb becomes a commercial standard. But, right now, in the very early morning hours, he’s causing quite a kerfuffle, demanding Mabel and Rory leave HIS mulch alone, and waking up some of the neighbors including a town councilman. They tentatively agree to split the waste evenly, but Winthrop has the last word: “You won for now, but this isn’t over.” Well, that’s sure right. The next day all the town is buzzing. Winthrop is stirring up lots of trouble, forcing some to take sides, and threatening a court battle. Mabel feels compelled to approach Winthrop with an apology for the misunderstanding hoping it will squelch his plans to lodge a criminal complaint. Instead, while searching Winthrop’s rhubarb farm, she finds his body, in his greenhouse, covered in the toxic rhubarb leaves...and with the police starting an investigation, Mabel is the number one person of interest.

‘Stinking’ Great! Gin Jones has penned another clever cozy murder mystery in her Garlic Farm Mystery series involving a delightful, yet soft-spoken introvert. Of course, Mabel is set to leave the area as soon as she can and return to Maine and her somewhat solitary existence as an app designer, but her new friends and a couple of ornery felines have begun to bring her out of her shell which is entertaining to witness. The murder mystery written from a third-person perspective had several engaging theories with suspects beyond our poor Mabel’s fight over “mulch” and incorporating a few interesting avenues from conflicts with HOA over the victim’s messy property to the victim’s work with rhubarb. I had the killer on my radar, but inconclusive specifics and misdirection gave me a fun trail to follow ending in a satisfying conclusion. Beyond the murder and fingers pointing at Mabel, she’s also dealing with an additional cat ready to deliver, crops needing to be planted, an offer on the farm seemingly too-good-to-be-true, and a boss pressuring her to return to work now, not later. All in the course of an engaging cozy with a challenging mystery, variety of characters from unique to quirky, and insights into farming, garlic, and rhubarb...Loved it!

Bonus Treat! A popular element of many cozy mystery books is the addition of recipes often connected to the theme or mentioned as a character’s favorite or signature dish. Gin gives readers three marvelous treats celebrating this often misunderstood veggie stalk. Each recipe has an informative intro, common kitchen ingredients, and easy to follow directions. Enjoy Rhubarb Crisp, Blueberry Rhubarb Jam, and Stewed Rhubarb.

Be a Big Gin Jones!

USA Today bestselling author Gin Jones writes several cozy mystery series. She is part of two multi-author series: the Danger Cove Farmer’s Market Mystery series with three books about the new manager of the Lighthouse Farmers' Market Maria Dolores and the Danger Cove Quilting Mysteries with four books featuring quilt-appraiser-turned-amateur sleuth Keely Fairchild. She also penned the six-book Helen Binney Mysteries. All well worth spending one’s time!

Website – Gin Jones


Rhubarb It...Your Way

Resource Evermine Blog

Courtesy of Food in Jars

Image source Evermine
Rhubarb Chutney

“Jars of rhubarb chutney can be processed in a water bath and stored at room temperature, making this an ideal gift for housewarming parties and ‘thinking of you’ occasions. Rhubarb chutney is delicious on crackers with a little chèvre, and makes a nice accompaniment when served with chicken, turkey or pork. I even enjoy it over a slice of toasted bread with butter.” —Lindsay, an Evermine writer/blogger from Oregon.

4 cups sliced rhubarb

3 cups sliced onion

1 cups raisins

Image Source Evermine
3-1/2 cups light brown sugar

2 cups apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoons salt

1 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoons ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Combine all ingredients in a heavy enamel-lined dutch oven. Bring to a boil and simmer gently for 45-60 minutes with the lid off, stirring frequently. Pour into sterilized pint jars, cover with sterile lids and bands, and process in a hot water bath for 10-15 minutes. Remove and set on a towel-lined countertop until jars have cooled to room temperature. Remove bands and check seals. Store in a cool dark place until ready to use. Once opened, store in the refrigerator. Makes 3 pints.

Check out these Saturday Sips: The Rhubarb Mojito and Strawberry Rhubarb Lemonade.  

To enter to win an ebook copy of Rhubarb Pie Before You Die, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "rhubard,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen January 9, 2021. 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.
You can use these links to purchase the book. If you have adblocker on you may not be able to see the Amazon link:

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 rhubarb pie - combine it with strawberries
    and I'm in heaven. We grew rhubarb at one
    time - just a small plot but it was fun. Sounds
    like a great read. thanks

  2. I would love to read this! Thanks for the opportunity! jeaniedannheim@ymail.com

  3. this sounds interesting. I have always wondered what a garlic farm looked and smelled like. I love garlic and now rhubarb if cooked right. My grandma used to make the most wonderful rhubarb/strawberry pies.

  4. Sounds like a book I would enjoy reading. Thanks for the chance.

  5. This looks like a book that I would enjoy reading.


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