Hello, bookworms! Welcome to my blog stop for Apple Cider Slaying book blog tour organized by Great Escapes Virtual Blog Tours.
Today’s post has got plenty to offer – so scroll down to read my review and don’t forget to join a giveaway!
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 . .
Apple Cider Slaying (A Cider Shop Mystery)
1st in Series
Kensington (October 29, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
Digital ASIN: B07NCQPSVW
The introductory installment to A Cider Shop Mystery. A solid, strong start I should say.
I enjoyed this book from the very first moment I picked it up and have a positive impression overall.
The story kicks off with establishing the background – Smythe Orchard’s struggling business and how the heroine of this book, Winnie, has been trying to bring the business back on its track by coming up with new ideas. The character dynamics between Winnie and Granny, as well as other characters are nicely set up and easy to follow, and the warm, close-knit community feels won over my heart right off the bat.
Then, a dead body of Granny’s long-time nemesis, Mr. Cooper has been found in a press building in their orchard, Granny is immediately thrust to be a prime suspect. Sheriff’s antagonistic attitudes toward Granny and Winnie doesn’t work in their favor, Winnie literally creates a situation where the more determined she is to clear Granny’s name, the deeper trouble she finds herself in. Not only does it result in making Winnie look suspicious to Sheriff’s eye, Winnie’s little investigation and snooping somehow irates the killer, and she starts to get threats – light warnings at first but gets more and more serious as time goes on.
Now, I absolutely loved the tension and thrills this mystery plot generates. The basic plot isn’t necessarily novel or innovative, it pretty much follows and ticks all the boxes for cozy mysteries, but I liked how multiple threads are intertwined to make the plot strong and not so easy to predict. Hints and red herrings galore, and we go back and forth, sometimes meander round the complicated path to the killer. The strong writing served as a solid pillar to reinforce the story, making it a really unputdownable page-turner.
In addition to that, Winnie’s determined nature gelled with the mystery plot really well and her insights and flair as a young entrepreneur made the revitalization of the failing business convincing and engaging. The slow development in the dynamics between Winnie and Sheriff, Colton Wise also added to the intrigue, I particularly adored and swoon over the slow yet steady transition of their dynamics. I could easily tell how Colton’s impression toward Winnie changes and my heart danced around when I got glimpses of Colton’s feelings toward Winnie. A definite whiff of romance. How could I not have adored this? This is one of the things I loved the most about this story.
However, my niggle crept in at around the last 15% mark. I found the plot slowed and drag a teeny bit with pretty long descriptions on the last-stretch preparation for the Winter Festival, I found myself just along for the ride with not so much going on. It is perfectly understandable given how important the success of the festival is to Winnie, but I wish it were a bit shorter. The story did pick up a bit later and got engaging again, but my impression toward this book slightly dipped at the point.
As for the ending, this is the first book in the series, I kind of understand some loose ends.
Some thing are left unaddressed to save the fun for later, and of course I’m willing to check back on in the next book!
On the whole, Apple Cider Slaying is a delectable, engaging cozy mystery ebullient with fall-time charms that West Virginia offers. I’m sure it’ll make you have an itchy feet to actually go there and taste everything in this book just like it did to me!
4.5 stars go to this book and I thank the author and the publisher for generously provided me with a copy in exchange for my honest review.
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.
Click here to enter: a Rafflecopter giveaway
November 1 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
November 1 – I Read What You Write – GUEST POST
November 1 – That’s What She’s Reading – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE
November 1 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
November 2 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
November 2 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
November 2 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW
November 2 – Mysteries with Character – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE
November 3 – Diary of a Book Fiend – REVIEW
November 3 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW
November 3 – My Reading Journeys – GUEST POST
November 3 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
November 4 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
November 4 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
November 4 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
November 4 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
November 5 – Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder – REVIEW, RECIPE
November 5 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
November 5 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
November 5 – LibriAmoriMiei – REVIEW
November 6 – Carla Loves To Read – REVIEW
November 6 – FUONLYKNEW – REVIEW
November 6 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE
November 6 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
November 7 – This Is My Truth Now – CHARACTER GUEST POST
November 7 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT
November 7 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW
November 7 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW
November 8 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW, GUEST POST
November 8 – Sapphyria’s Books – REVIEW
November 8 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?
Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!