Finding Common Ground at the Fair

A Tine to Live A Tine to DieHi. Barb here. Edith Maxwell’s new mystery, A Tine to Live, A Tine to Die is getting great reviews. Edith wrote the book based on her experience as an organic farmer–and she’s hoping to make it to Maine’s Common Grounds Fair–someday.

Welcome, Edith!

Edith Maxwell

Edith Maxwell

Thanks so much for having me over, Barb and the rest of the awesome Maine Crime Writers!

It’s the start of the growing season in Westbury, Massachusetts, and in A Tine to Live, a Tine to Die, novice farmer Cameron Flaherty hopes to make a killing selling organic produce. A colorful Locavore Club belongs to Cam’s farm-share program. But when a killer strikes on her property, her first foray into the world of organic farming yields a bumper crop of locally sourced murder.

To clear her name, Cam has to dig up secrets buried deep beneath the soil of Produce Plus Plus Farm. And when the police don’t make progress in the case, she has to catch a murderer whose motto seems to be, “Eat Local. Kill Local.”

By the time fall comes along, Cam has settled into a routine. She has a good group of customers and she’s a member of the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA), on whose board I served when I was an organic farmer twenty years ago. But a friend has mentioned the Common Ground Fair in Maine to Cam, and she wonders if she should make the trip. MOFGA, the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, runs the fair.

Common Ground FairI have wanted to make the trip north to Common Ground for many years but have never pulled it off. It looks like a three-day grand festival of local foods, local growers, artisanship, and fun. Workshops range from “Who Eats Whom: Exploring Relationships in Nature,” “Making a Wooden Spatula,” “Goat-Hoof Trimming,” “Garlic Cultivation,” to “Lactofermentation: Sauerkraut and Beyond” and beyond! Every day there is a Dress for Garden parade, animal demonstrations, keynote speakers, and much more.

The NOFA summer conference is a similar festival, and I will be attending that in Amherst, MA in August this year, along with my 24-year old farmer son, it looks like.

But unfortunately, this year I’m already committed to attend the big mystery conference, Bouchercon, in Albany the weekend of the Common Ground Fair. Who knows, maybe Cam will head up there without me and report back in the second Local Foods mystery, ‘Til Dirt Do Us Part.

Have you been to the Common Ground Fair? Do you feel strongly about locally sourced food or is the supermarket local enough for you?

Locavore Edith Maxwell’s Local Foods mysteries published by Kensington let her relive her days as an organic farmer in Massachusetts, although murder in the greenhouse is new. A fourth-generation Californian, she has also published short stories of murderous revenge, most recently in the Fish Nets and Thin Ice anthologies.

Edith Maxwell’s pseudonym Tace Baker authored Speaking of Murder, which features Quaker linguistics professor Lauren Rousseau and campus intrigue after her sexy star student is killed. Edith is a long-time Quaker and holds a long-unused doctorate in linguistics.

A mother and former technical writer, Edith lives north of Boston in an antique house with her beau and three cats. You can find her at @edithmaxwell, on facebook, and at

About Barbara Ross

Barbara Ross is the author of the Maine Clambake Mysteries. Her books have been nominated for multiple Agatha Awards for Best Contemporary Novel and have won the Maine Literary Award for Crime Fiction. She lives in Portland, Maine. Readers can visit her website at
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5 Responses to Finding Common Ground at the Fair

  1. Hi, Edith,
    Welcome! And you definitely must go to Common Ground one of these days. I haven’t been for awhile, but I have fond memories of watching the llama drill team perform (really!) and I still wear the handmade billed cap (similar to a trainman’s cap) I bought there 15+ years ago. Great for keeping both rain and sun out of the eyes.


  2. Deanna says:

    The book is on my t-b-r list at the local library. The fair sound like fun! Dee

  3. Pingback: Maine Coon Cats – American Originals | Maine Crime Writers

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