Apple Cider Slaying (A Cider Shop Mystery) by Julie Anne Lindsey, Narrated by Amy Melissa Bentley
Published October 29, 2019 by Kensington, Tantor Audio
Cozy Mystery, 1st in Series
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
About the Book: 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 . . .
This is the first book in a new series and it started off wonderfully. I loved the premise of an apple orchard that is struggling to survive. Winona Mae Montgomery, aka Winnie, and her Granny Smythe are hoping to expand their retail side by opening a cider barn that would be open year round as well as being available to hold events. The catch is that they need a loan and the business is already in financial difficulties. When Winnie sets up a visit by the loan officer of the bank, she is set to show off everything they have to offer, not stumble on a dead body in their barn. When Granny is the prime suspect due to the fact that she and the victim did not get along, Winnie sharpens her investigation talents to make sure that the Sheriff doesn’t shut down the investigation thinking he has found his culprit.
Winnie and Granny are great characters. They have worked hard to get over their grief after the death of Grampy. They are trying to revive interest in Smythe Orchards, but after a dead body is found, customers seem to be staying away. They support each other constantly and when Granny has to use her shotgun, I was holding my breath. Winnie is still dealing with her breakup the previous year and is not dating, in fact, she doesn’t socialize much at all. She is a very busy lady, working at the diner, making cider for the orchard, and helping Granny that is is amazing she has time for anything. I love the addition of the two orphaned kittens that she takes in and nurses. They are adorable and show another side of Winnie. As the story ramps up and Winnie is threatened, I was quickly reading to find out what was going to happen. When Sheriff Wise becomes Colton, I knew that there would be some romance sneaking in. Julie Anne Lindsey does a very good job developing the characters and the romance. I enjoyed this well-written story and the mystery was well done. I followed along with Winnie’s investigation and had many different culprits in mind. When the reveal came, I was not surprised as the clues fit, but it was not someone I had on my radar. Overall, a very enjoyable mystery with great characters, a wonderful setting and an interesting mystery. I will definitely be looking for more in this series.
This is another book that I read and listened to. I have listened to other books narrated by Amy Melissa Bentley and I really enjoy her books. She has a pleasant voice with great expression. Her male voices are not too bad and she has given a great voice to Winnie. I will definitely look for more books narrated by this talented voice actress. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book upon request. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.
About the Author: 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.