Buying the Farm: Chad Darnell *Review*

Cover image of Chad Darnell's Buying the Farm is in the centre of a darkened image of a fabric featuring red, white and blue colours running diagonally across in large blocks. Added text says: There's money in dead bodies.

Genres: Gothic, Women’s Fiction, Contemporary Fiction | Release Date: 13 August 2022 | Standalone | Pages: 311 | Indie Author | Review

“We are not pullin’ Ruth Chambers out of her casket!”

Chad Darnell


A little while ago I was lucky enough to be given a copy of Buying the Farm, thanks to the generosity of the author and Book Sirens! I’ll be honest, Buying the Farm by Chad Darnell is a tricky book to try and pigeonhole into one category… But I’m going to describe it as a gothic tale, as it’s a rather macabre modern fiction.

In Buying the Farm, things all go terribly wrong one day, when Frances’ mother and two friends try to retrieve a pair of shoes off Ruth Chambers’ dead body. What ensues from there is an outright hilarious (and sometimes horrific) tale of what a bunch of women will get up to when an opportunity presents itself… Because who knew there was money in dead bodies?! To save the farm, Frances needs all the money she can get. But this new venture is gaining attention from the wrong people, and the ladies just might be out of their depth…

Image of Buying the Farm by Chad Darnell in the centre of an image of a slightly grungy American flag, with added text below saying: It all started over a pair of shoes... Now they're running a body business to save the farm.
Buying the Farm is a shocking and funny tale about a group of old ladies at their wit’s end…

Happiness Boost:

It’s been a while since a book has made me literally laugh out loud. But at a certain point in Buying the Farm, I was laughing so much I cried! It’s the humour in this gothic story that kept my attention, even when aspects of the novel had me second guessing my eventual 4 star rating. Have you ever watched Rowan Atkinson’s Mr. Bean show? If you have, you’ll understand what I mean when I say that it’s those horrified laughs that can sometimes give you some of the biggest joys.

Chad has given us a funny, quirky gothic tale. But he’s also given us an insight into what families may face over time. The hardships of dementia (which Birdie, Frances’ mother, is experiencing) is never easy to navigate. And just when the tale gets roaringly funny, we are pulled back thanks to such an insight. I really enjoyed having these moments, to ground the reader again in the *why*, regarding certain choices Frances makes.


Early on (when Chad introduces the characters to his readers), I found past and present tenses were often mingled together. It confused me, and I was a bit out of sorts with that. There were also a few other typos or ‘gremlins’ which were present in my copy of Buying the Farm. That’s easily fixed, but did drag some enjoyment out of the story for me. Full disclosure, I’m also a little nonplussed about how things are seemingly left between Frances and the Sheriff. Maybe I’m overthinking things?

Final Thoughts:

Buying the Farm by Chad Darnell is quite a funny, shocking and macabre gothic tale. It takes you on a rollercoaster of a journey, and surprises you in the best way possible. I think this book is also proof that those sweet little old ladies we all know? They are still immensely capable of mischief when necessary! It’s the perfect light read for anyone wanting to be shocked and amused in equal measure. Happy reading, glitterbugs!

You can order Buying the Farm via these links:

Amazon | Booktopia | Fishpond

2 Responses

  1. THANK YOU SO MUCH for your review! And those typos kill me every time too… but when it’s self-published and you don’t have the benefit of professional editors, alas, here we are…

    And don’t worry about Frances and the Sheriff! This is the first in a three-part series.

    I really appreciate you taking the time to review it.


    1. My pleasure, thank you for reaching out and letting me know about your book!
      Ah yes, it can be tricky when you’re the one having to go through the story line by line a number of times. I’m so glad to hear that there will be two more stories to come with this group of characters, I would’ve missed their antics!

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