APPLE CIDER SLAYING
SERIES: A Cider Shop Mystery #1
GENRE: Cozy Mystery
RELEASE DATE: October 29, 2019
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 . . .
Every time I read a cozy mystery by Julie Anne Lindsey (or one of her alter egos), I’m left with a smile on my face and in my heart. I’m delighted to report that Apple Cider Slaying is no exception!
Winnie is a great main character! She’s sentimental , loves her grandparents dearly and is passionate about their legacy (aka the orchard). She won my heart by wearing one of her late grandfather’s coats & sniffing the sleeve to try and find the familiar scent she so cherished – and her friendship/relationship with her grandmother reminded me of mine. I loved that she creates new cider flavors and admired her determination to use that skill to rescue her grandparents’ orchard from financial distress – made my mouth water for some good cider though 😛 I’d be the first one in line at Winnie’s proposed Cider Shop, especially if those delicious baked goods make an appearance! Colton (aka Sheriff Wise) was a bit harder to figure out at first (I wasn’t even sure of his age range until Winnie stalked him on the internet lol) but it wasn’t long before he started to loosen up around her and Granny and I ended up really liking him as well!
The mystery is well-constructed – with plenty of twists and turns and the required red herrings to keep you on your amateur sleuthing toes! Poor Winnie is just trying to save the orchard, and the last thing she needs is her granny’s #1 enemy to wind up dead in the cider press. So of course that’s exactly what happens (no spoilers here – it’s right there in the bcc), and of course Winnie doesn’t like where the Sheriff’s evidence is taking him and feels compelled to solve this on her own. Typical formula for this genre, yes, but Lindsey keeps it fresh and engaging. Not to mention the cozy vibe of home and family and holiday that wraps the whole story in the homey scent of cinnamon and apples and general orchardy goodness.
Bottom Line: Delightful characters, a clever mystery, crisp settings and a dash of romantical possibilities make Apple Cider Slaying really fun to read. I loved Winnie & her granny… and of course Colton 😉 Each element of this story is well-defined and layered & I can’t wait to read more books in the series!
(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)
My Rating: 4.5 stars / loved it!
Julie Anne Lindsey is a multi-genre author who writes the stories that keep her up at night. When she’s not creating new worlds and organizing the epic adventures of fictional characters, Julie can be found carpooling her three kids around Northeastern Ohio and plotting with her shamelessly enabling friends. Today, she hopes to make someone smile. One day she plans to change the world. Julie is a member of the International Thriller Writers, Romance Writers of America, and Sisters in Crime.
Other Books by Julie Anne Lindsey
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What about you? What is your fave way to drink apple cider? Warm? Cold? Spiced? Straight up? With caramel? With whipped cream? Also, what interests you most about Apple Cider Slaying?