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The Ginseng Conspiracy

(A Kay Driscoll Mystery #1)

by
4.09  ·  Rating details ·  101 ratings  ·  45 reviews
On her way to attend a Halloween Ball, Kay Driscoll, a newcomer to town, witnesses the murder of a local professor. When the official coroner's report rules the cause of death to be accidental and the community accepts the judgement, Kay decides to uncover the truth for herself. Through her personal investigations, Kay exposes a complex conspiracy, woven deep within the th ...more
Kindle Edition, 267 pages
Published November 11th 2018 by Northwoods Books (first published January 1st 2014)
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Average rating 4.09  · 
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 ·  101 ratings  ·  45 reviews


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Suzanne
Jan 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a re-read for me, as one of my favorites I have a tendency to do this and since I figured out that I can link Amazon to goodreads I am in Heaven. Susan Bernhardt has brought all here characters to life in a story that has not only mystery but humor to it. I know cozies are noted for that, except in this case you have Kay, Deidre and Elizabeth who taken separately are very different yet put together they completely work. Kay being nosy veers off her walking course to the Halloween Ball a ...more
Doward Wilson
Aug 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Meet Kay and Phil Driscoll. They have both taken early retirements and moved to the small college town of Sudbury Falls, Wisconsin. On her way to annual Halloween Ball, Kay witnesses what she thinks is the murder of a local college professor. The next day while Kay and her friends Deirdre and Elizabeth are on their daily exercise walk they discover the professor's body. The official police and medical report make it out to be an accidental drowning but Kay doesn't believe that to be the real tru ...more
Lisa Ks Book Reviews
THE GINSENG CONSPIRACY is my first book by author Susan Bernhardt, but won't be my last.

I instantly liked lead character, Kay Driscoll. I found her very likable. Her friends Elizabeth and Deidre are great opposites that were perfect companions for Kay. As was Marissa who is owner of Sweet Marissa's Patisserie, where the women can often be found.

The mystery starts soon into the story and just continued to grow and build until at last all was made known.

Ms. Bernhardt has a fluid way with descript
...more
Mary Brown
Jul 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Synopsis:

On her way to attend a Halloween Ball, Kay Driscoll, a newcomer to town, witnesses the murder of a local professor. When the official coroner's report rules the cause of death to be accidental and the community accepts the judgement, Kay decides to uncover the truth for herself. Through her personal investigations, Kay exposes a complex conspiracy, woven deep within the thriving local ginseng industry, that involves some of the more prominent figures and families of Sudbury Falls.

With
...more
Matthew Peters
Jul 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you like cozy mysteries, you’ll love The Ginseng Conspiracy by Susan Bernhardt.

Set in fictional Sudbury Falls, Wisconsin, the book starts off with the murder of a professor, and an increasingly large number of possible suspects. Kay Driscoll, the protagonist, along with her two best friends, Deirdre and Elizabeth, attempt to solve the murder without becoming the next victims.

As Kay Driscoll observes, at an exhibit of Impressionist art, “Like in a painting, the clues had come together in dif
...more
Lisa Morin
Sep 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Exciting, will get your heart racing!

This is the first in a new series by Susan Bernhardt.
I was captivated from the beginning and as the story unfolded, I found myself in shock at the turn of events.
If you enjoy a cozy mystery that is full of suspects, secrets and murder, then this is the book for you.
When Kay Driscoll sees something out of the ordinary on her way to a Halloween party, she has no idea what she is in for.
Kay isn't sure who is involved or what it's really about, but she refuses to
...more
Karen
Sep 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was recommended to me by two friends and I'm glad I listened to them.
This was a really enjoyable first in a series. I will certainly read the next ones.
The characters were interesting and engaging. The patisserie is a place I wish I could visit.
The whodunit was well paced and kept me guessing.
I highly recommend this book!
...more
FictionForesight
Feb 28, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kim-f
It’s the Halloween Ball, and Kay Driscoll lets curiosity get the best of her when she hears a noise in a vacant shop. Seeing something sinister which she can’t ignore, Kay gets dragged into a secret conspiracy involving multiple murders. Will she be able to figure out who is involved, or will she be silenced like the others?

When a book promises a conspiracy, I want to be shocked and left doubting everything I thought I knew. Unfortunately, Bernhardt fails to give me that paranoid feeling I crave
...more
Lin Holmes
Jan 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love books...all my life I've had an ongoing love affair with books. My love affair is eclectic. Give me a good autobiography about...oh, Catherine the Great, or a spine-tingling thriller about Goddess manipulated vampires and I morph into contented Ladybug Lin mode. (I LOVE my job...getting to read the best of the newest talents and then in my reviews sharing my reactions with the rest of you.)

THE GINSENG CONSPIRACY came to me before it actually released...can't get much better than that can
...more
Lisa
Apr 04, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
I was eager to read and review Bernhardt’s new cozy from my publisher, MuseItUp. The Ginseng Conspiracy is set in the fictional town in Wisconsin near where I set my own—I think I recognized a couple of characters, too. Big Smile.

Unlike the typical cozy, Bernhardt’s story unravels much like Columbo. The crime of murder appears after the stage was set, readers know who dun it, and we follow the amateur sleuth as she and her sidekicks dig up clues. We want to scream “duck” or “don’t go there!” as
...more
Heather Brainerd
The peaceful town of Sudbury Falls seems idyllic to retired nurse Kay Driscoll. At least, until she witnesses something sinister on her way to the annual Halloween Ball. Kay would normally report what she saw to the authorities, but (for spoiler-related reasons I won’t go into) knows that this would be a very bad idea. She can’t just let it go; that could lead to even worse things happening. So, with the help of her close friends, she starts her own investigation.

Kay is a great character, brave
...more
Mikki Sadil
Dec 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not someone who reads cozies. I like the mysteries by James Patterson, Jonathan Kellerman, and the like. I started out reading this book as a favor to the author, a friend of mine. By the end of the first chapter, I realized I was not reading "as a favor" but because I was caught up in the story.

Kay Driscoll, the main character, is a smart, down-to-earth woman, the kind you would like to meet in person, the kind you would refer to as "what you see is what you get." I think I would like her i
...more
Teresa Kander
Jun 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cozy-mysteries
A fabulous first novel and beginning to a mystery series. Kay and her friends Deirdre and Elizabeth are fascinating characters. The three of them have very different personalities, and they balance each other out well. All of the other characters in the story were also well-written and fleshed out, so that all of their actions seemed to make sense and fit their personalities.

The mystery starts almost immediately, and it twists and turns all the way through the book. There is constant action, an
...more
Marcia Trotter
Mar 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What did I think of this book? SUPERB!! A wonderful cozy author, Susan Bernhardt, will be added to my "must read" list. This book is wonderfully written! I love the main character, Kay Driscoll. The storyline begins with the celebrations of Halloween. Kay witnesses what she feels is the murder of a local professor. The next morning on her daily walk with friends, they stumble upon the professor's body. She does not agree with the local coroner that the professor's death was accidental and decide ...more
Marsha West
Feb 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a delightful cozy mystery, with the requisite quirky characters. The way Ms. Bernhardt describes the town, I’d love to visit. The story of how the various characters became involved made lots of sense as did Kay Driscoll’s amateur sleuthing. Frankly, one of the parts I loved best was the mystery surrounding the her husband. I won’t say anything else about that. You’ll have to read for yourself to find what the mystery is and how it’s resolved. I look forward to Ms. Bernhardt’s next foray ...more
Betty
Jul 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wrong Doing

A new author for me and the first in series. I had trouble getting into the series but by the end I couldn't put it. Kay and Phil Driscoll have moved Suldbury Falls. She has made new friends and her favorite place is Marissa's Patisserie. The town is known for ginseng farms. Halloween time and a masked ball Kay arrives at the ball just after has seen 6 men in hooded gowns with an man on the ground. Kay recognizes 4 of the town officials in the group. Kay and friends investigate as the
...more
MaryJo Dawson
May 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a solid beginning to a cozy mystery series in the current,
popular marketplace for this genre.
The author writes about an idyllic small town in Wisconsin that has
a dangerous secret. The main character, Kay Driscoll, stumbles upon it
quite by chance.
If you enjoy Joanna Fluke, this is an author you will want to sample - and I use that word deliberately. This touristy little haven has some wonderful eateries and cooks.
Suzanne
Dec 09, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved the setting for this cozy mystery and wish I could step into Marissa's Patisserie! I thought the mystery was intriguing. Sometimes the relationships between Kay and Phil, and Kay and Elizabeth were a bit awkward, as in I couldn't figure out the trueness of the bonds. But, could be I just don't know the characters yet. I certainly read the next book when it comes out! ...more
Bill
Dec 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Perfect Formula - Murder + Humor
The Ginseng Conspiracy kept my interest from start to finish. Take a suspenseful mystery, add plenty of red herrings, season with plot twists and you get Susan Bernhardt's debut novel.

I couldn't put this book down. And you won't be able to either, if you like murder mysteries laced with quirky characters and witty humor.
...more
Lin
Aug 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kay Driscoll seems to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. With everyone dressed up for the Halloween Ball, how will she find the murderers?

Ginseng is a thriving industry in Sudbury Falls, Wil. Will Kay and her two female detectives be able to find out how the tea fits into the murders?

Who can you trust? A Great Read!
Tari
Jun 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Could barely put it down!

When the action started there was no stopping it! I had to keep reading. It was edge of your seat at times. A little different since readers know from the beginning who was involved but there were still suspicions cast on others and one that I didn't guess. Very exciting!
...more
Sharon
Jul 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The other day me and my best friends, Kay, Elizabeth, and Deirdre were on our way to Marissa’s Patisserie to partake in some of her delicious baked goods. Who’s afraid of calories? Not us. We walk everyday but go to Marissa’s only two or three times a week. Hey, a girl’s gotta eat. As we were walking Kay was telling us about what happened to her just before the big Halloween party in our town, Sudbury Falls. Her adventure had Elizabeth, Deirdre, and I speechless which is saying a lot.

Here’s what
...more
Penny Marks
Oct 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book in a new series by Susan Bernhardt. It is a good start to a new series. It starts out giving you a lot of background information on each character and their lives in Sudbury Falls, Wisconsin. I loved the little town of Sudbury Falls with all the quaint little shops. I fell in love with Sweet Marissa's Patisserie and all of the yummy treats.
The main character Kay Driscoll is near and dear to my heart because she is a retired nurse same as myself. She and her husband Phil h
...more
Kenneth Hicks
Feb 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In this cozy mystery, Kay Driscoll is an ordinary wife and mother who lives in a fairly ordinary college town. She has two not-so-ordinary friends who share her love of delicious pastries of all kinds and descriptions. Kay’s husband is a jazz musician and a teacher and she (a retired nurse) spends part of her time volunteering in the town’s free clinic. Then, one day, because her curiosity gets the better of her, she stumbles upon a bit of wrongdoing by her fellow citizens, some of whom she rec ...more
Jerri Cachero
Nov 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When Kay and Phil Driscoll move from Colorado to picturesque Sudberry Falls, Wisconsin, they expect to enjoy the quaint town and spend their retirement enjoying their hobbies and each other - solving a murder was never in the plan!

Kay is a wonderful cozy character - smart, witty, romantic, volunteers at a clinic and loves to cook and eat and is not going to accept answers about a murder in town if they don't make sense to her- she's got "moxie"! Being a retired nurse, who consulted with the poli
...more
Robbi Perna
May 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Susan Bernhardt's cozy mystery is an excellent story presentation that provides an entertaining read for evenings when you want to curl up with a good mystery and a cup of tea without facing pages of grisly or gory details. The cast of characters in Kay's story will put the reader in mind of the personalities of women of a certain age popularized by "The Golden Girls" and "Murder She Wrote." The small town setting is excellent. the main character, Kay Driscoll, one any woman of a certain age can ...more
Doug Burris
Aug 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful mystery.

The Ginseng Conspiracy is an amazing book, mostly due to the craftsmanship of the author. One might think at first that this book is chick lit, but hold on as the mystery builds and builds until this reader just has to know why all these murders are happening in this small town and who is responsible. Character development is amazing--I now know the three main characters personally. The setting descriptions are so good, it makes you feel as if you are actually there. If you wan
...more
Kathy
Oct 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A must read!!

Susan Bernhardt is a new author to me. I read this book from a recommendation from a Facebook reviewer. I'm glad I did. Unlike most Cozy Mysteries, this book has several murders and several murderers. I don't quite know why, but I had a little trouble with getting into the first bit of the book. I kept reading and am glad I did!! It had six murderers to uncover so it was a real mystery as to who would be next to be uncovered. I really like how the guilty parties captured at the end.
...more
PugMom
Jun 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book! Can't wait to read more in the series. ...more
P Bernhardt
Jan 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First, a disclaimer; I am not nor have I ever been related to the author. I am, however, glad I became acquainted with her writing. This cozy murder mystery takes place in a Sudbury, MN, a small town west of St. Paul. It is evident that Ms. Bernhardt loves where she lives. Her descriptive writing puts the reader in the middle of town. And in the middle of Marissa's Pastry Shop, wow! I almost wanted to pick up and move. Then I remembered the snow, but that's another story for another time.

Kay be
...more
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Author of The Ginseng Conspiracy

I'm an author living in northern Wisconsin. Like Kay Driscoll, in my cozy mystery series, I'm a retired public health nurse who volunteers at her local free clinic. An avid reader of mysteries, I'm a member of Sisters in Crime, Inc. and the Wisconsin Writers Association. My published works include: The Ginseng Conspiracy (A Kay Driscoll Mystery Book 1), Murder Under
...more

Other books in the series

A Kay Driscoll Mystery (5 books)
  • Murder Under the Tree (A Kay Driscoll Mystery #2)
  • Murder by Fireworks (A Kay Driscoll Mystery #3)
  • Paradise Can Be Murder (A Kay Driscoll Mystery #4)
  • Murder Misunderstood (A Kay Driscoll Mystery #5)

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18 likes · 4 comments
“In the quiet of the morning
You only have to rise
To feel something's wrong.
Uncontrollable circumstances
Tense the air and you know
Something's going to happen.

--Susan Bernhardt”
6 likes
“She had on a black, wide brimmed hat with a bit of a veil coming down over her face. Fluffy, black, chandelle feathers adorned the crown. My first thought was that Elizabeth and her hat would never fit in the back seat of Phil's Eos.” 3 likes
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