Wednesday, August 5, 2015

#Review/#Giveaway: Give 'Em Pumpkin to Talk About by Joyce & Jim Lavene

Richmond attorney Sarah Tucker returns to sell her family’s abandoned farm in Misty River, Virginia despite unanswered questions about her grandparents’ disappearance sixteen years earlier. Sarah was only twelve when she went to visit and found her grandparents had vanished. No amount of searching has brought answers.

Now Sarah is faced with other issues when a man is killed who claimed to have information about what happened to her grandparents. She learns of a Confederate chest of gold that is said to be buried on the property, and treasure hunters who are willing to do anything to get their hands on it.

Were her grandparents murdered for the gold? Sarah can’t sell the land and go back to her life until she has answers. But the cost of the answers may be her life.

Includes farm-fresh recipes!



When my husband's paternal grandmother passed a couple of years ago, there was talk of what to do with the house.  It wasn't in the best of shape, as she was over 90 and the two of her remaining sons who felt honor-bound to look after her were well into their 60s, one with a heart condition and asthma, and the other (my FIL) with a right leg amputated just above the knee, and every one of them in wheelchairs. 

But it was on land that had been in the family for generations, at least since an ancestor came down from West Virginia (to Kentucky) under...'cloudy'...circumstances.  So it was important to my husband to keep it in the family if at all possible.  And we were blessed to be able to buy it and this is where we are living now.

I never claimed to be economical with words. ;)

So, part of me doesn't understand Sarah Tucker.  She's coming back to a small town where her maternal grandparents lived to sell their house, which had stood vacant since their disappearance some years ago.  Nothing.  No bodies.  No 'love ya but we're running off to Tahiti' note.  Nada.  But I would think that it would have to be something pretty awful to not have emotional ties to the house.

But then, that's how Sarah arrives in town.  She just wanted to sell the place and was acting on her family's behalf.  But then, the grandparents' place is not run down.  You see, Jack has been living there and taking care of the place.  But he stayed in the barn because he didn't feel right staying in the house.  Even though the older couple had employed him.  Even though it had been years and years since their disappearance.  

I'd say, "Ladies, line up for this guy, because he's a keeper!"  I mean, where do you find loyalty like that any more? *sigh*  Alas, alack, I fear Jack is taken.  Not that Sarah would admit it, of course.  She thought he was scruffy, not a good fit for a city gal like her.  She wanted to sell the farm, and he wanted her to move in (to the house, not the barn - this is a cozy mystery, but not THAT cozy).  Sorry, I'll behave.

It was heart-warming watching Sarah change over the course of the book.  When she got there, she was all business and citified and get-as-much-but-give-as-little-as-I-can.  Slowly, she learned that sometimes you do for other people, regardless of what you get out of it...just because it's the right thing to do.  Not because you get an immediate reward.  Not just because karma will reward you at some point in the future.

I was also intrigued by the 'Civil War gold' angle.  Jack had been chasing treasure hunters off the property for years.  And then there are the people who are not just greedy, but feel they have a right to the gold for some reason - and that's all I'm going to say about that. ;)

We actually had some pumpkins in our garden this year, but the neighbors who mowed the adjoining field for hay might have accidentally rode over those few plants, or the fast-growing grasses might have choked them out.  I don't know.  But I would LOVE to see a pumpkin patch like I imagine there to be on the family farm in Give 'Em  Pumpkin to Talk About - the kind where you have to have a pickup truck to haul off more than one or two at a time.

Give 'Em Pumpkin is a superb beginning to a new series.  It's cozy mystery; and it's written by the Lavenes.  What else could it be but great?


Since I heard the title of this book, my mind started singing along with song sung by Bonnie Raitt (Something to Talk About).  Last week I made up words to the same tune.  Yes, a fan song! :O)  The lyrics follow the theme and story of the Lavene's new book.  If you have time before you click over to Goodreads (to add this to your TBR list) or Amazon etc (to purchase), check out my post from yesterday here!



Joyce and Jim Lavene write award-winning, bestselling mystery fiction as themselves, J.J. Cook, and Ellie Grant. They have written and published more than 70 novels for Harlequin, Berkley, Amazon, and Gallery Books along with hundreds of non-fiction articles for national and regional publications. They live in rural North Carolina with their family.



a Rafflecopter giveaway


Click on the logo just above to go to the tour page, where you will find links to more reviews, as well as guest posts and interviews!  You can also apply to become a reviewer for Great Escapes while you are there!

(Disclosure:  I received an e-copy of this book from the authors and publishers via Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.)


  1. Great blog! I love the Lavene's books...looking forward to this book!

  2. I like this blog...thanks. I love the Lavene's books, and I've been looking forward to this new book.

  3. Hi LuAnn! Thanks for hosting us on our blog tour today! Love the song!

  4. looking forward to reading your books

  5. Great review, LuAnn! I loved this book and w/b looking forward to the next one!

  6. The reviews I've read for this book are fabulous ... I'm looking forward to reading it!!

  7. Would love to start this series with the first one

  8. This sounds like such a fantastic read.

  9. I second that! I've been readin several different series by Joyce and Jim and will be reading their books as long as they keep writing. Now to catch up on ones waiting on my list! LOL

  10. I am glad that you were able to buy that house and keep it in the line of family! It must've been quite an event for you, and I can see how it would make it harder for you to understand the main characters thoughts after that!