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“Create, then sell” are common author goals, but what to do when a book launch fails?Kami Schmidt created a clever novel, but she followed this with an epic faceplant in sales. Trained as a scientist, Kami can correlate her poor book launch with the heartbreak of her parents’ deaths, but that insight doesn’t lift her gloom and exhaustion. Not when she’s now knee-deep in “collectibles” from her parents’ estate.Is there gold in them-thar knick-knacks? There’s definitely dust on the vintage jackalope.Kami finds snatches of serenity while walking a woodland trail that borders her rural road. She’s astonished by the beauty and lethality of small species living just feet from her back door, but the complexities of the forest community pale in comparison to the toxicity exuded by some of her neighbors. The ardent vegans disapprove of the local llama and free-range chicken farm, a birder is furious at a cat lover who wants to install a feral cat colony, and Kami is asked to host a multi-level marketing expert with an eager appetite for money-making.When a swindler arrives in the neighborhood to manipulate the animal-rights activists, Kami must blend science, logic and story-telling to navigate through the nuances of diets and passions. With collectibles and essential oils stacked high and emotions running even higher, how can Kami separate the hype from the truth?Are the neighbors truly deadlier than the poisonous residents of the woods?Winner of a 2019 IPPY Gold Medal for Best Regional Fiction (Lichenwald) and a 2018 IPPY Silver for Best Regional Fiction (Undergrowth), Ellen King Rice knows how to bring the secrets of the forest to the reader with clarity and joy.Duncan Sheffels returns as a seasoned illustrator with twenty new pen-and-ink drawings of plants, animals and fungi.In this fifth book of the Mushroom Thriller adventures, Rice highlights cryptic species that emerge in late spring. Treat yourself to a story of resilience in the season of new growth.Enjoy The Forest of Mayhem today!Praise for The Slime Mold Murder: Kirkus Reviews says, “Characterization is Rice’s strength; she’s packed this volume with memorable characters, including a sexy sculptress, an elusive nature photographer, and a prickly visiting professor. As with her earlier works set in the Pacific Northwest, she effectively shines a spotlight on nature, in this case, slime molds. Helping to bring these little-known organisms to life are the striking illustrations by Sheffels. . . A whimsical whodunit both educational and entertaining.”Praise for Undergrowth: "Nothing says Pacific Northwest better than mushrooms, lush forests and gray, rainy days . . . Rice's multi-generational story combines a murder, mushroom research and disturbing backwoods encounters.Praise for The EvoAngel : ''Compelling characters and a plot with a little fungi thrown in. A Finalist, and highly recommended." The Wishing Shelf Book Awards.