“How can something so ugly have happened here, in a place so full of peace and beauty.”
Published: October 29th, 2019
Publisher: Kensington Publishing
Pages: 313 (Mass Market)
Series: Cider Shop Mystery #1
“I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m just gathering information and hoping that eventually the truth will come out.”
Apples are at the core of the family business run by Winona Mae Montgomery and her Granny Smythe. But this year’s crop is unseasonably ripe with murder . . .
ONE ROTTEN APPLE
Blossom Valley, West Virginia, is home to Smythe Orchards, Winnie and her Granny’s beloved twenty-five-acre farm and family business. But any way you slice it, it’s struggling. That’s why they’re trying to drum up business with the “First Annual Christmas at the Orchard,” a good old-fashioned holiday festival with enough delicious draw to satisfy apple-picking locals and cider-loving tourists alike–until the whole endeavor takes a sour turn when the body of Nadine Cooper, Granny’s long-time, grudge-holding nemesis, is found lodged in the apple press. Now, with Granny the number one suspect, Winnie is hard-pressed to prove her innocence before the real killer delivers another murder . . .
Friends do I have a good one for you today! My sweet friends over at Kensington Publishing sent me an ARC of this wonderful new cozy debut and I think you’re going to love it! It’s set in the most picturesque place and has such a fun cast of characters, I really enjoyed it.
The novel opens with Winnie and her grandmother struggling to make ends meet with their family farm, which specializes in apples and cider. Winnie has an idea to open a cider shop in her family’s historic barn on the property, and needs to impress the local banker to be able to get a loan to start her shop. Unfortunately, her grandmother’s ‘arch nemesis’ ends up dead on the farm and suspicion and darkness befalls both Winnie and Granny, jeopardizing their lives and livelihoods. Romance, banter, hilarity, mystery, and thrills thus ensue!
I think this was such a great intro to a new cozy series. The setting was perfect for Fall and just what I was looking for; a cozy mountain setting with two little cats running around and apple cider galore. I even got myself some honeycrisp apple cider to sip with this book and I was instantly transported every time I opened the novel, it was a great reading experience. My fellow cozy lovers will know that when it comes to the opening novel, setting the stage of both the community and the mystery are vital, and this delivers both. We got to meet the main characters and all the local folks that will be popping up again in future books, and I really enjoyed them all. I was laughing out loud and swooning other moments, with both hilarious banter and romantic exchanges galore.
The mystery aspect of this novel is really well done, as well. I was so bewildered and confused the entire time (in a good way!) and the ending was a downright surprise. It was a juicy and well crafted mystery right up until the very end, and I’m excited to see what else the author has in store for this series. With an endearing and quirky cast of characters, a beautiful and vibrant setting, and an author with a strong grasp of plot and word crafting, I think this series is off to a damn good start!
The second novel, Pulp Friction, is slated for release in April of 2020. I did find a photo of the cover on the Penguin Random House website, but I can’t seem to find the same cover anywhere else, so I’m not sure if it’s the final or not, but it was too pretty not to share!
Thanks again to my friends at Kensington!
Cider Shop Mystery Series