Penned In (Farm-to-Fork Mystery #4.5) by Lynn Cahoon #bookreview #mystery


Title: Penned In

Author: Lynn Cahoon

Publisher: Lyrical Press

Publication Date: August 4, 2020

Page Count: 92

My rating:  5 stars

About the book:

Angie Turner, chef at Idaho’s finest farm-to-table restaurant, has organized a team-building event at a haunted prison, only to find a real-life murderer in their midst. . . .

Contented employees make for a successful restaurant, which is why the County Seat’s crew goes on a quarterly out-of-office meeting. This time, the location is the Old Idaho Penitentiary near the Boise Foothills, a prison brimming with ghostly lore. The lock-in features actors role-playing as guards, fascinating prison stories . . . and an unscripted murder.

Who sentenced one of the faux guards to a very authentic death? Angie, her boyfriend, and the County Seat gang are locked in with a killer—excellent motivation for a little sleuthing. Between ghostly apparitions and flesh-and-blood suspects, Angie’s plate is full, but will her luck, and her life, hold out until the gates reopen at dawn?

Penned In by Lynn Cahoon is the second companion novella in the cozy Farm-to-Fork Mystery series. There are also four full length books in the series in addition to the two novellas with this second novella coming after the fourth full length book. Each of the books in the series however could be read as a standalone or in any order if choosing to do so with all containing their own mystery that is solved within. There is always a bit of character building carrying over from book to book though for those who follow from the beginning.

In this series Angie Turner has moved back to her hometown in rural Idaho after her grandmother’s passing and opened up a new restaurant, the County Seat. Angie’s restaurant has really taken off in the small town offering fresh ingredients straight from the surrounding farms. Angie has also gotten pretty good at solving the murders that keep turning up in the area although she keeps hoping to be done with her crime solving.

This time around Angie and her employees of the County Seat restaurant have planned to have their quarterly out of office meeting at the Old Idaho Penitentiary near the Boise Foothills. This team building excursion was said to be full of fun with a lock-in featuring actors role-playing as guards and lots of prison stories. However, what the team did not expect was one of the fake guards to end up really dead by the way of murder so of course being locked in with the latest corpse Angie needs to find the killer fast before they find her or her friends.

I have followed the Farm-to-Fork Mystery series from the very beginning so with that being said it’s probably pretty obvious that I do enjoy these characters and stories. The series is one that has that great combination of quirky fun and small town charm that I like to find in a cozy read. This latest novella also has some eerie scares being set in the old jail while telling some scary tales to bring on a nice fall Halloween feel to it which I loved. I’ll definitely be back for more as long as the series continues too.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

Find this book online: 

Goodreads  / Amazon

nullAbout the author:

Lynn Cahoon is the author of the NYT and USA Today best-selling Tourist Trap cozy mystery series. She also pens the Cat Latimer series available in mass market paperback. And, because she can’t help telling stories, she also writes the Farm to Fork series. Romance novels are published under the pen name, Lynn Collins. She lives in a small town like the ones she loves to write about with her husband and three fur kids. Sign up for her newsletter at

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