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Buzz Off [Mass Market Paperback]

Hannah Reed
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Sept. 7 2010 A Queen Bee Mystery (Book 1)
After her mentor in the honey business is found suspiciously stung to death in his apiary, beekeeper Story Fischer must sort through a swarm of suspects, including her ex-husband.


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By D. Fowler TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Melissa "Story" Fischer had returned to Moraine, Wisconsin a couple of years ago and unlike her sister Holly, who had an M.R.S. degree, actually had to work for a living and started up a soon to be thriving grocery store, "The Wild Clover." Holly drove a Jag and Story drove a getcha where ya wanna go pickup, but what the heck, she was happy. Southeastern Wisconsin wasn't exactly "the" place to be, it was proving to be a place where Story could leave behind the past and start fresh again. Well, almost because her ex, Clay, whose only redeeming quality just happened to be his "gorgeous feet," lived next door and Pity-Party Patti Dwyre, who owned a telescope, lived on the other side. Nobody ever said it was a perfect world.

Cousin Carrie Ann thought Story should have called up Clay and invited him to join the festivities at The Wild Clover's "one-day sale," but who in their right mind would invite a two-timing twit to guzzle up all her free champagne? The champagne filled flutes and freebies were being scarfed up by everyone from the foodies to the frumps and he was the last thing on her mind. While everyone was getting a buzz, Story's "beekeeping mentor," Manny Chapman, who taught her in his beekeeping course, was lying out by his beehives, apparently dying a horrendous death after having been stung by his honeybees. Just when Story thought things were getting bad, things got soooo bad, her hair could have curled without even so much as walking by the Stone Bank beauty shop.

Faye Tilley, Clay's current paramour, just happened to be found "sprawled faceup" inside a kayak . . . HER kayak. And guess who found the corpse? Story wasn't exactly on the right side of the law.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fun Start To A Series! July 24 2013
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Just finished this fun novel and what a great book to start a series with. I loved the premiss of the story and the characters. The small town, family ties and information on bee's and bee keeping was outstanding. As a bonus there are great honey recipes at the end of the book. I am really glad I took a chance on this book and now can not wait to read the rest of this series! Well written and engaging.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  46 reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buzz Off! a Pistil of a Tale Sept. 9 2010
By Librarian D.O.A. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is the first in a welcome new series "Queen Bee Mysteries" by author Hannah Reed. Story Fischer is learning the craft of beekeeping from her good friend Manny until he is found dead, stung to death. Story is heartbroken but knows immediately that he had to have been killed by yellowjackets rather than his own bees. His journal is missing and a suspicious man is out to take all of Manny's hives.

In addition to learning beekeeping, Story runs a grocery store in an old church. I loved the way local farmers sold their goods at her store, making it seem like a natural hub for activity and gossip.

Many mysteries set in small towns thrive on gossip as one of the main ways of revealing plot elements and motivations. Move over, gossip mongers, Pity-Party Patti has got you in her sights. Generally referred to as P.P. Patti, this telescope wielding snoop sees everything and she makes sure everyone knows her version of what she's got to share.

There is plenty of romance as Story keeps the town buzzing about her relationships with sleazy ex-husband Clay, old flame Hunter, grudge bearing police chief Johnny Jay and rumors that she was more than an apprentice to her mentor Manny.

Toss in a disapproving mother and a rockin' grandma and we're off to a great start!
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BUZZ BUZZZ BUZZZZZZ Sept. 10 2010
By Lori Caswell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
A Queen Bee Mystery
FIRST IN A NEW SERIES
Release Date September 7, 2010
Berkley Prime Crime

Set in the fictional town of Moraine, Wisconsin, Story Fischer is gearing up for National Honey Month (September). Her messy divorce is final. Her store, The Wild Clover, is very successful and is the only local grocery. It is a truly unique mercantile, as the building was formerly a church, complete with stained glass windows. She also works with her friend and mentor, Manny, who is teaching her all he knows about the honey business. They have harvested their honey and stock various honey products on The Wild Clover's shelves and on shelves in stores throughout the county. Everything seems pretty sunny in Story's life.

But it doesn't take long before things start to get sticky.

Her mentor is found dead, in front of his beehives, totally covered in bees and honey. The police and the entire town believes Manny was killed by his bees. Story tries to explain the difference between honeybee stings and wasp or yellow jacket stings, but no one will listen. The local Realtor, a crazy woman named Lori, wants all the bees killed including Story's bees.

While Story is working hard to save all the bees, another body is found in the Oconomowoc River, and this time the evidence points directly at Story's ex-husband. Yes, he is a jerk, thinks he's God's gift to women, and a "buzzkill," but not a murderer. Story shifts into high gear to save her bees, her business and even her ex. Honey may be sweet, but this mystery is anything but sweet. Story will be busy as a bee to untangle this mess and trying to keep herself from getting stung in the process.

I loved this book for so many reasons:

* The subject matter is truly unique. I have never read a mystery with bees as the theme.
* The characters are a hoot, or should I say a buzz since we are dealing will bees. Their humorous quips can be a sharp as a sting, and P.P. Patty will have you laughing out loud. You will come to love the entire hive.
* The mystery is solidly written, many twists and turns and will keep you guessing until the very end.
* This book is set in Wisconsin, my home territory. If Moraine was a real town, I could be shopping in Story's store or canoeing on the Oconomowoc River in about 45 minutes.
* Included in the book are some wonderful recipes.
* Why is my review written using bullet points, you will have to read the book to find out.

Seriously though Hannah Reed has written a truly extraordinary debut to start this brand new series. It is one guilty pleasure I am honored to have. I love to read what she writes and cannot wait to the next installment to this honey of a series.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Royal Honey of a Mystery Sept. 20 2010
By Allan E. Ansorge - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Hannah Reed may have surpassed her efforts of a past incarnation with BUZZ OFF, the first of a brand new series from Berkley. With characters you not only can believe in, but want to get to know, she weaves a small town mystery to challenge a current day Miss Marple, who just happens to be a bee keeper. As if an ex moving in next door isn't enough of a problem, half the town thinks she did in her mentor. Wacky relatives and neighbors lighten the load as she works to exonerate herself by seeking out the real culprit.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Why does she talk/think in bullet points? Oct. 15 2010
By BaroqueCat - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
-They are intrusive.
-And annoying.
-And Oh Em Gee, if someone spoke 'text-speak' out loud, you would hear LETTERS!

The story was okay, but if a second book is physically written like this one, I won't be seeing a third.

Really, it didn't need the gimmicks.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well written June 24 2011
By Heather Lynn Anderson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I can clearly see that this author has major potential. She's a good writer. But I just couldn't get into this book at all. Frankly, I learned way too much about Wisconsin agriculture through this book, and all the bulletpoints are distracting.
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