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 . . .
“The characters are delightful . . . Plenty of action and suspense.”
—RT Book Reviews on Murder in Real Time
Customer ReviewsSee All
Julie Anne Lindsey’s Apple Cider Slaying
Winnie (Winona Mae) Montgomery lives with
her Grandma in Blossom Valley, West Virginia.
They run the Smythe Orchards which is a
twenty-five acre farm. It has been the family
business for years only since Grandpa Smythe’s
death has the bottom line suffer.
So Winnie comes up with an idea to keep the
Smythe Orchard open all year round. Her first
endeavor is to present to the community and
tourists the “First Annual Christmas at the
Orchard”. This would be an old fashion festival
with a variety of games, various homemade
jams, various types of apple ciders. Winnie’s
second idea is to open an Apple cider shop
in their barn which would provide a variety of
her homemade ciders.
But her good intentions seem to be meeting
all sorts of detours......a neighbor is murdered
in the barn, Winnie gets attacked in the barn,
Winnie has a threatening note put on the
windshield of her car, someone tries to run
her off the road plus try to set fire to where
she lives ending up running her Grandma down.
When the new Sheriff believes her Grandma
guilty of murder, Winnie decides to investigate
on her own to prove her Grandma’s innocence.
An uniquely, well plotted murder mystery with
plenty of twists and turns to keep the reader
busy with suspects and motives.
The characters are regular, down on the farm,
well educated, realistic, relatable, well defined
persons. The reader will feel as if they are part
of the Blossom Valley community except for
one “Rotten Apple”.
Two orange fur babies, Kenny and Dolly are
essential to the story.
Besides suspense, the challenge of solving
a crime, humor and a touch of romance make
this an enjoyable read.
Winnie believes that if everyone does three
acts of kindness to others, kindness acts will
come back to the doer. Great idea to follow.
Recipes included at the end.
This is book # 1 in the Cider Shop Mystery
Series. I look forward to reading the next book.
I volunteered to read Apple Cider Slaying.
Thanks to the author via the Cozy Mystery
Review Crew. My opinion is voluntary and
A Cider Shop Mystery!
Apple Cider Slaying by Julie Anne Lindsey is the debut of A Cider Shop Mystery series. Winnie Montgomery and her Granny Smythe run Smythe Orchards in Blossom Valley, West Virginia. Winnie wants to add a cider shop in the Mail Pouch barn, but she needs a loan from the local bank. Winnie is showing around Mr. Sherman, the local loan manager, around the property when they discover Nadine Cooper, Granny’s longtime neighbor and nemesis, dead on the cider press. Sheriff Colton Wise quickly sets his sights on Granny which sends Winnie on the hunt for the real culprit. Apple Cider Slaying is a cute new cozy mystery that gets off to a solid start. We are introduced to Winona Mae Montgomery and her grandmother, Granny Smythe. They have a close relationship that I admired (so sweet together). I like that the author took the time to establish the main characters and introduce readers to their orchard. The descriptions of the orchard, Blossom Valley and the Blue Ridge Mountains were wonderful. It was interesting to learn about the different apple varieties and how cider is made. The mystery had a couple of suspects and there was plenty of action. While it is a snap to identify the killer, I enjoyed following the investigation. I was curious as to why Mrs. Cooper was killed which took longer come to light. I enjoyed the author’s conversational writing style which made Apple Cider Slaying a breeze to read. There are also two adorable kittens in the story. I could tell the author has experience with kittens from the scenes she wrote. Kittens sharp little claws and how it feels is accurately described (they love to climb up a person’s legs). Winnie also dreams up a Christmas festival for the orchard and spends time getting it organized. She has clever ideas and is a Martha Stewart wannabe. There is romance in the air for Winnie as well. I will definitely be reading Pulp Friction when it comes out next spring. Apple Cider Slaying is a charming new cozy mystery with a strong minded sheriff, cinnamon cider, classic cars, cute kittens, a polluted press and Christmas cheer.