Apple Cider Slaying

Apple Cider Slaying

by Julie Anne Lindsey

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Overview

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
 
Includes Recipes!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781496723475
Publisher: Kensington
Publication date: 10/29/2019
Series: A Cider Shop Mystery Series , #1
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 32,888
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 0.90(d)

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. Visit her online at www.JulieAnneLindsey.com.

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Apple Cider Slaying 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 33 reviews.
Becka 2 days ago
Thanks go to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. It’s been a while since I’ve read a new cozy mystery series that didn’t feel like a variation on the same old thing. I’m happy to say that Apple Cider Slaying was a refreshing read! I enjoyed the West Virginia setting, since it isn’t often chosen by authors, and the twist on focusing on cider production over “another apple orchard” mystery made this book unique. I finished the book in early October, which is a perfect time for this story. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series.
Dollycas 3 days ago
Dollycas’s Thoughts Welcome to Smythe Orchards in Blossom Valley, West Virginia. The orchard has been struggling since Grandpa Smythe passed away but Winnie Montgomery has a few ideas to bring her grandparents orchards back into the black. The orchard has never been open year-round and Winnie thinks her plans will bring locals and tourists to the orchard well past Thanksgiving. She decides a “First Annual Christmas at the Orchard” festival is just the thing to kick off her future plans. She also needs the orchard to be full of customers when the loan officer, Mr. Sherman comes to talk about a loan for her future endeavors. On Mr. Sherman’s first visit to the orchard Winnie’s plans go horribly awry when her Granny’s neighbor and long-time nemesis is discovered squished in the apple press. Because of the ongoing conflicts between the woman, the sheriff quickly picks Granny as his prime suspect. Winnie is not going to stand for that. She is sure she can come up with a bushel basket full of people who could have pressed the cantankerous woman to death. The question is can she do it without getting herself killed in the process. _____________ This series is off to an excellent start. Ms. Lindsey has created a protagonist this is smart and persistent. She faces a lot of things that would shake most people’s resolve but she keeps pushing forward to save her family’s orchard. Finding a dead woman in the apple press is horrible but it doesn’t stop there, and yet she remains determined to catch a killer and pursue her dreams. She does have a vulnerable side she tries to keep under wraps but that just adds to the depth of her character. I loved the relationship she had with her grandmother and as we get to know Granny Smythe we see where Winnie gets her strength. That apple didn’t fall far from the tree. There is one truly rotten apple in the rest of the characters we meet. The author delivers plenty of twists and turns along with intrigue and humor making it very hard to pick the right culprit. As we get to know the people of Blossom Valley my focus was drawn to several suspects That final twist was suspenseful and took me completely by surprise. The person was not even on my list but they were rotten to the core! My heart rate really accelerated as the scene played out. The author got me and I love it when that happens. I enjoyed the holiday theme and life taking care of an apple orchard and making it profitable. Winnie has great ideas and I really want her to succeed. The author gives us wonderful descriptions, so much so apple cider was immediately added to my shopping list about 2 weeks earlier than normal. I wanted a nice warm taste as I finished reading this book. Thankfully, we have an awesome orchard near where we live, not quite as grand as Winnie’s plans but we love their cider, pies, apples, and other treats. I found the characters to be fresh and engaging and the mystery was stellar, one you can really take a big bite of and still be wrong. The setting was pure bliss, someplace I would visit often. Apple Cider Slaying is a great holiday mystery! Fast-paced and hard to put down. It comes with recipes too. Pick your copy up today and pick a bushel to share with your friends, Christmas is right around the corner and this cozy mystery would make an awesome gift. Pulp Friction, book two in this series will be released April 28. 2020.
lauralovesreviewingLT 5 days ago
In the three years since Winnie’s grandfather passed away, business has been declining. Her Granny Smythe supports her plans to expand the business to keep it open and profitable year round. So, she books several tours for the day the bank official is to come and assess her proposal. After a rocky start, he seems to be coming around, but that all changes when her big reveal ends up being a dead body in the apple press. Turns out the dead woman is someone that Granny Smythe has been at odds with, making her the prime suspect. The business isn’t the only thing in jeopardy now. I’m a huge fan of cozies. They have such fun titles and cover art. Apple Cider Slaying says fall and the cover is a perfect representation to the story. Including those two adorable kitties, which Winnie adopted. And they usually have homey settings. The town felt like home. We had a crab apple tree where I grew up. There was nothing I liked more than to climb it and settle on these two branches that made a perfect place to sit and read a book. I suffered many an upset tummy from munching the apples before they were ripe. LOL And the characters could be your family and neighbors. They are so genuine. Winnie was smart and brave. I thought she was awesome in how she handled the banker. Despite being nervous she really stepped up to the plate. Just like she did when her Granny was suspected of the murder. She dug in and sorted things out while also juggling other issues. And the mystery kept me guessing. I had two suspects in mind for the murder and didn’t know which one it was until right near the end. While cozy mysteries usually have a murder to solve, I found myself just as wrapped up in the characters everyday lives. Apple Cider Slaying is a great beginning to a wonderful series and I’d happily read more.
brookeblogs 6 days ago
So, I was already SUPER excited to have an ARC of Apple Cider Slaying by Julie Anne Lindsey. Then I happened to find out about a Kensington Cozy Con happening about 2 hours from me. You know who was going to be there? Yep! Julie Anne Lindsey. I met her and you guys…she is SO sweet. After meeting her, I was even more excited to read Apple Cider Slaying. My first visit to Blossom Valley, West Virginia did not disappoint. Winnie and Granny wriggled right inside my heart from the very first page. I loved the setting. Being from small-town, eastern Ohio, bordering West Virginia, it felt like home. Winnie was so easy to like. The story swept me up and I was on pins and needles wanting to see how this one turned out. Apple Cider Slaying is a thoughtful mystery perfect for curling up with on a crisp fall evening. You’ll find yourself loving the mystery…and craving some of Winnie’s apple cider! I’m ready to start a countdown for the release of book two…I can’t wait to read it!
SarkuraCherryBlossom 8 days ago
Title: Apple Cider Slayer Series: Cider Shop Mystery #1 Author: Julie Anne Lindsey Genre: Cozy Mystery Pages: 320 Kensington Publishing October 29,2019 Rating: 4.5 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 . . . My thoughts Would I recommend it? yes Will I read more of this series? yes Would I read more by this author ? yes A nice start to a new series that is cute and adorable and very sweet as well , and the characters are funny as well. And the story just seems to flow so well that you get lost in to and just want to see what happens next , and the story is a mixture mystery . hummer and twists that keep you guessing, with that said I want to thank Netgalley for letting me read and review it .
Anonymous 9 days ago
Winnie lives with her grandmother on a fruit farm in West Virginia, and they hope to keep the business running past the traditional harvest season by introducing a Winterfest. When someone is murdered and Granny is a suspect, Winnie is determined to clear her name, as well as to get financing for her idea to make their place a year round destination. But someone who doesn't want Winnie's plan to go forward seemingly will stop at nothing. I enjoyed the small town farm setting and the seasonal ambiance of this novel, and look forward to reading more cozy mysteries by this author. I'm grateful that the publisher and Netgalley provided my with this ARC.
Carstairs38 10 days ago
The apple orchard that Winnie Montgomery calls home, along with her Granny, is having financial issues, and she is looking for ideas to save it. The idea she is most excited about is turning a barn on the property into a cider shop. She just needs a loan from the bank to be able to do the renovations. However, the meeting with the loan officers doesn’t turn out well when they find the body of Nadine during their tour of the facilities. The police are looking at Granny as their prime suspect since she and Nadine fought on a regular basis. With Granny’s freedom and the fate of the family orchard on the line, can Winnie figure out what really happened? I always pick up the debut in a new series with hopes for a great read. I had more of a mixed reaction to this book. The plot was uneven, with what should have been sub-plots taking over for pages at a time and leaving me wondering when we’d get back to the mystery. The mystery was driven more by events than Winnie uncovering clues, but those events did draw me into the book, especially since I had come to care for the characters. I loved Winnie, Granny, and the rest of the cast. This was really driven home to me in the second half when an event made me gasp and read a little longer than I had intended that day. The timeline was fuzzy, which always bugs me. However, the book is set during the beginning of the Christmas season, and I loved how that season added to the coziness of the book. The four recipes at the end sound delicious, and yes, one of them is for cider. Julie Anne Lindsey also writes under the names Jacqueline Frost and Bree Baker, and I know she has a large fan base under all of those names. While I find this book uneven, I think this fantastic case of new characters will draw in many readers to this series.
LisaKsBooksReviews 10 days ago
I loved the thought of this book when I first heard about it. Everything from the cover to the setting had me sold. When I found out the author, using pennames, writes two of my other favorite series, I couldn’t get my hands on it fast enough! It lived up to everything I hoped for and more! APPLE CIDER SLAYING is the first book in the Cider Shop Mysteries. Having started and finished this book in October, it was exactly what the doctor ordered for cozy fall reading. Filled to bursting with mystery, great characters, a beautiful setting, and a bushel full of everything I look for in a book, I didn’t want it to end. Author Julie Anne Lindsey has delivered with APPLE CIDER SLAYING a delicious story (speaking of delicious, there are recipes included) that is one of my favorite picks of the year, and is sure to be just the beginning of a delightfully wonderful crop of books!
chefdt 11 days ago
Apple Cider Slaying is the first book in the A Cider Shop Mystery series. Some forty-seven years ago Winnie Montgomery’s grandparents purchased an apple orchard and had been moderately successful, but since Grandpa Smythe death almost three years the orchard has been losing money. Winnie who works days as a waitress and attends the local community college studying Business Management. Winnie decides that the orchard needs to stay open past the apple season and decides to, in addition to apple cider, gourmet apple ciders, food items, and other items. Winnie uses her business management courses to devise a business plan to take to her bank to secure a business loan. The loan officer finally agrees to come out take a look at what Winnie wants to do to rehab a barn, as they are passing an apple cider press the body of Nadine Cooper, Granny’s nemesis and neighbor, stuffed in the press. The newly appointed sheriff feels that Granny had reason to murder Nadine. When Winnie reports various vandalism events around the orchard and what she considers attempts on her life, he says that she is fabricating these events to clear her granny’s name. She now sets off to prove her granny’s innocence. The story is well-plotted and written and has interesting and believable characters. There were plenty of twists and turns that kept me guessing until the end. The story reads at a nice even pace. I’m looking forward to the next book in this interesting new series
diane92345 11 days ago
Set in a small town in the Blue Ridge Mountains of West Virginia, Apple Cider Slaying is the first book in the Cider Shop Mystery series. And it’s a great start! Winnie and her Granny Smythe are trying to save the family orchard by persuading a local banker to fund a loan to open a cider shop in their barn. But when Granny’s nearest, and definitely not dearest, neighbor, Nadine, is found dead in their cider press, the new, and hot, Sheriff Colton states that Granny is suspect number one. Immediately after arriving at the crime scene, the Sheriff says this to Granny, “You’re free to go, but I’d consider getting a good lawyer.” Worrying that the Sheriff won’t look further than her Granny, Winnie is determined to prove her Granny’s innocence by finding the real killer. This book is chockful of descriptions of small town life in rural America. The residents of Blossom Valley are gossipy but also kind and look after one another. You can picture the beautiful fall countryside in your mind easily. It is a wonderful and relaxing escape to a completely different lifestyle for this born and bred Southern Californian. Winnie is motivated. She is extending the selling season of the orchard by booking fall bus tours to taste samples and have a hay ride to see the property’s inner workings. She also sells her Granny’s jams and pies to the locals and the tourists from their existing fruit stand. To help with expenses, Winnie works as a part-time waitress while attending community college to acquire a business degree. She uses her business education to create a business plan to turn one barn into a cider shop. To do so, Winnie needs to convince local banker, Sherman, to give her a loan. Too bad he was touring the property with her when she found Nadine. I really enjoyed Apple Cider Slaying. It was a nice relaxing fall evening read visiting Winnie and her friends and family. The Sheriff and Winnie seem to have a mutual attraction that hopefully will grow in subsequent books. Winnie’s method of using local gossip to lead her investigation is innovative. The killer’s identity totally blind-sided me because the clues were carefully hidden among numerous red herrings. If you would like to spend a few hours, saving a family orchard, defending a Granny from murder, and visiting the residents of Blossom Valley, pick up this book. You won’t be disappointed. 5 stars! Thanks to Kensington Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.
diane92345 11 days ago
Set in a small town in the Blue Ridge Mountains of West Virginia, Apple Cider Slaying is the first book in the Cider Shop Mystery series. And it’s a great start! Winnie and her Granny Smythe are trying to save the family orchard by persuading a local banker to fund a loan to open a cider shop in their barn. But when Granny’s nearest, and definitely not dearest, neighbor, Nadine, is found dead in their cider press, the new, and hot, Sheriff Colton states that Granny is suspect number one. Immediately after arriving at the crime scene, the Sheriff says this to Granny, “You’re free to go, but I’d consider getting a good lawyer.” Worrying that the Sheriff won’t look further than her Granny, Winnie is determined to prove her Granny’s innocence by finding the real killer. This book is chockful of descriptions of small town life in rural America. The residents of Blossom Valley are gossipy but also kind and look after one another. You can picture the beautiful fall countryside in your mind easily. It is a wonderful and relaxing escape to a completely different lifestyle for this born and bred Southern Californian. Winnie is motivated. She is extending the selling season of the orchard by booking fall bus tours to taste samples and have a hay ride to see the property’s inner workings. She also sells her Granny’s jams and pies to the locals and the tourists from their existing fruit stand. To help with expenses, Winnie works as a part-time waitress while attending community college to acquire a business degree. She uses her business education to create a business plan to turn one barn into a cider shop. To do so, Winnie needs to convince local banker, Sherman, to give her a loan. Too bad he was touring the property with her when she found Nadine. I really enjoyed Apple Cider Slaying. It was a nice relaxing fall evening read visiting Winnie and her friends and family. The Sheriff and Winnie seem to have a mutual attraction that hopefully will grow in subsequent books. Winnie’s method of using local gossip to lead her investigation is innovative. The killer’s identity totally blind-sided me because the clues were carefully hidden among numerous red herrings. If you would like to spend a few hours, saving a family orchard, defending a Granny from murder, and visiting the residents of Blossom Valley, pick up this book. You won’t be disappointed. 5 stars! Thanks to Kensington Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.
CozyUpWithKathy 11 days ago
tart, sweet, and oh so satisfying APPLE CIDER SLAYING by Julie Anne Lindsey The First Cider Shop Mystery Winnie Montgomery is bound and determined to make Smythe Orchard a success. With her grandfather's death the orchard suffered some financial setbacks, but with her business plan in place, Winnie is primed to get a loan and get the family business back on track and more profitable than ever. No longer closing after the harvest, Winnie has plans to have special holiday events to bring even more customers in. But as she's showing the loan officer the intended space for her Cider Shop they discover the dead body of her grandma's arch rival! With the Sheriff believing Granny is the prime suspect and the chances of her bank loan diminishing with each hour Winnie knows she has to find the real killer, before it's too late! I love apple cider so I was immediately drawn to this series. And just like good apple cider APPLE CIDER SLAYING is tart, sweet, and oh so satisfying. Winnie is an immensely likeable protagonist. She's down to earth, has had some tough times, but struggles to do the best she can for herself and her grandma. Granny is a pistol and I love Dot, the Park Ranger best friend with a gift for helping animals. Of course there's the good looking Sheriff with a mysterious past and I'm glad Winnie didn't find him so appealing...at first. And then there are the two adorable kittens, whose names had me giggling.There is a unique flavor to this mystery, part Southern, part Appalachian, all West Virginian. APPLE CIDER SLAYING lays the groundwork for a fantastic new series. I enjoyed the setting, the characters, and the mystery...which I found to be be intricately plotted with enough surprises to keep me guessing about what was really going on. So grab a mug of apple cider and get ready to enjoy the first Cider Shop Mystery. FTC Disclosure – The publisher sent me a copy of this book in the hopes I would review it.
KrisAnderson_TAR 12 days ago
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.
Cozy Cat Reviews 12 days ago
This is the first in this wonderful new series by author Anne Lindsey. This is my first book by the author and I look forward to reading her other series . Thank you to the publisher and to Net Galley for the opportunity to review. My review opinions are my own. Review is cross posted across review platforms. I love cozies set on farms and this one is perfectly described by the author. I loved everything about this new series. We are welcome to the lovely Blossom Valley, West Virginia, home to Smythe Apple Orchards, Winnie and her Granny run this family farm. It is a long time family run beloved twenty-five-acre farm and family business. They are very close and have a unique close bond. It is struggling and Winnie is desperately trying to save the farm. Winnie makes a famous cider and Grandma helps with the day to day operation and products. Winnie decides to try to get a loan in order for them to stay open all year long and defray the cost of running an orchard. When the bank manager visits a body is found . Unfortunately her Grandma is top suspect so Winnie steps up to save her Grandma and find out who the killer is. I absolutely loved this book. Winnie and granny are likable and I love their close relationship . They are both devoted to the farm no matter what it takes. The description of the Apple farm is done to perfection and this reader could practically smell the apples having spent a lot of time on a apple farm in my youth. So I can attest that the farm is indeed written authentically . I loved the sleuth and all the twist and turns that kept me guessing. The supporting charcters add depth and are enjoyable additions to the series. I look forward to the next in series and revisiting the apple farm with Winnie and her Grandma. Very well done to the author.
Anonymous 12 days ago
I just finished Apple Cider Slaying and it is chockful of all things good about life in a small town. I can't wait to read the next book in the series. Congratulations Julie Anne Lindsay on the start of a very good series. I now want to run to the grocery store to get the ingredients for the Apple cider recipe
4GranJan 13 days ago
West Virginia Apple Orchard Cozy Mystery This is the first book in a new cozy mystery series. The story is set in a West Virginia apple orchard than is struggling financially. The story has all of the good feels with a small town, rescued animals, and a good looking sheriff who is also a Marine Vet. The plot is done well and has good twists in the story. I can't wait for the next book to come out. I received this ARC book for free from Net Galley and this is my honest review.
McMary 13 days ago
This is the first in a brand new cozy series set in West Virginia. Winona Mae (Winnie) Montgomery is trying to help her Grandmother (Granny Smythe) save the Smythe Family Orchards. Winnie’s Granny and Grampy ran the orchards and Grampy was the business behind the Orchards and Granny was the cook etc. Grampy passed away three years ago and Winnie has learned the Orchards are in trouble as Granny is not strong on the business side of things. Winnie has been working on her business degree while waitressing and helping Granny run the orchards. She has started some new events that she is hoping to keep the orchard open longer in the off season and open her own Cider shop. Winnie and Granny are running tours on Black Friday and she has invited Mr. Sherman from the bank to see how successful this event is while asking for a loan to set up the new cider shop. Unfortunately what Winnie and the banker find is the dead body of Granny’s neighbor in the cider press. Since Granny and Nadine Cooper never got along (turns out no one got along with Nadine), the new sheriff automatically makes Granny his number one suspect. Well this does not sit well with Winnie and she begins investigating on her own. Well she immediately begins to get threats and soon she and Sheriff Wise (Colton) begin to kind of work together to find a killer. This is a solid mystery and I love the way the town comes together to help Winnie and Granny at Winterfest. Looking forward to the next installment.
MysteryluvrOK 13 days ago
I just made a new "book" friend - Winnie Montgomery is one the best main characters I've met in a long time. Smart, determined, vulnerable, kind and fiercely loyal to her grandmother, she is a very relatable character. When a neighbor, that has a long history of feuding with her grandmother, is murdered, Winnie must prove her innocence. I loved everything about the book - the mystery (which was fast-paced and kept me reading late into the night), the small town setting, the charm of the apple orchard farm, the romantic storyline which was perfect and the fact the mystery took place during the Christmas season all made for a wonderful book! I can't forget the kittens and you won't either! I wish I could give the book more than five stars! I'll definitely be visiting the orchard again! I received an ARC from NetGalley for a fair and honest review of this book.
arkieclown 14 days ago
APPLE CIDER SLAYING by Julie Anne Lindsey is the first book in the A Cider Shop Mystery series. It’s the story of Winona “Winnie” Mae Montgomery, Granny Smythe and the fate of Smythe Orchard in the quaint little town of Blossom Valley. Winnie has been trying to keep the family orchard out of the red after her Granny’s unsuccessful attempt to run everything after Grampy’s death. Plans for a cider shop have always been a dream of Winnie’s. She’d even used her collection of idea and photos as one of her college projects. Figuring it was now or never and a good way to pull the orchard into the profit column, she prepares a presentation for the local bank to enquire about a loan to make the necessary improvements to make her dream become a reality. It seems from day one that bad luck is on Winnie’s heels. Winnie and Mr. Sherman, the bank loan manager, find Nadine Cooper, an obstinate neighbor of the Smythe’s, murdered inside the historical Mail Pouch barn where the cider shop is to be. Nadine and Granny have had a running feud for years making Granny the number one suspect. Sheriff Colton Wise, in Winnie’s eyes, isn’t much help and seems determined to prove Granny guilty. His attitude leaves Winnie no choice but to prove Granny is innocent by finding clues to the real culprit. The problem is every time she makes a tiny step forward, someone is pushing her back two. Things go from bad to worse when Winnie starts getting threats to herself, innocent people are killed, harm comes to her property and then as injury to Granny that lands her in the hospital unconscious. On top of everything else, Winnie has to deal with her ex-boyfriend, Hank Donovan, showing back in town for the Christmas holidays. She knows there’s little chance to avoid seeing him in their small town. When she does, can she put the past behind her and find closure? Can he help or is he part of the problem? If not for her loyal best friend, Dorothy “Dot” Summers, she wouldn’t be able to keep going or think straight at times. Even the two cute rescue kittens she has Winnie take care of are a welcome distraction. Will Granny regain consciousness in time to attend the big event? Can they find out who killed Nadine before they strike again? When you’re down and out and living in a small town like Blossom Valley, the townsfolk rally for one of their own. Can all their work and support be enough to pull off the first Winterfest at the Orchard unveiling the new Cider Store and bringing new life to Smythe Orchard? Will Winnie see the real side of Sheriff Colin Wise to be friends – or maybe even a little bit more? If Julie Anne Lindsey’s first book in the series is an indication, this is going to be an absolutely amazing series. APPLE CIDER SLAYING is a well-written story that has you following the clues leading you on a few different paths only to still leave you surprised with the reveal. I loved every page-turning minute of this book and can’t wait for the next installment. There are many characters that I can see being further developed in the coming books. I can’t wait to see how the relationship between Winnie and Colton develops. I definitely, wholeheartedly recommend this book and give it a five stars plus some!
blonde_betty 14 days ago
This is a must read for cozy mystery fans. The story is well-developed and readers can play along as they try to figure out who-done-it. This is a great new series; I can’t wait for more.
Karen-Hollins 14 days ago
“Apple Cider Slaying” by Julie Anne Lindsey is the first in the “A Cider Shop Mystery” set in Blossom Valley, WV. What a great start to a new series! This will be another series in my favourite list. 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 . . . Protagonist Winnie Montgomery is relatable, smart and very likeable she lives with her grandmother (Granny Smythe) on Smythe Orchard. I loved the assortment of characters like Granny, Dot her bff and who can resist a couple of orange rescue kittens. I also loved the chemistry between Winnie and Colton. The mystery is interesting and well plotted, and there are plenty of twists and turns in this story. Kept me guessing till the very end. I highly recommend this book to all my cozy mystery loving friends! I requested and received an Advanced Readers Copy from Kensington Books, the Author and NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Chatting-About-Cozies 14 days ago
Who likes apple cider? Me, too! One of the first things that attracted me to this book was the cheery red Christmas cover, and the thought of hot cider on a cold winter day. Winnie Montgomery’s passion is creating savory homemade apple ciders! Her cider is sold at her Granny Smythe’s Orchard in gorgeous Blossom Valley, West Virginia. Winnie’s dream is to renovate an old barn on the property into a cider shop and for that, she needs a bank loan. When Mr. Sherman, the banker, comes for a tour and they stumble across a corpse; Winnie fears that’s killed her chances for loan approval, however; she’s a determined protagonist and isn’t going to let a murderer ruin her project. She decides if she solves the murder and can get the bank officer to come back, then maybe she can still get a loan. Full of home, hearth, and love of family, friends, and community; I constantly felt the coziness as I savored this story. Winnie and her Granny have such wonderful memories that crop up throughout the fast-paced storyline. As the mystery and suspense build, there’s so much more to this story than picking apples and sipping cider. The author led me on such a merry chase that the killer snuck up on me! Scrumptious sounding recipes round out the ending of this delicious read. Grab a warm beverage and enjoy this cozy! I reviewed a digital arc provided by NetGalley and Kensington Publishing with an honest, unbiased opinion. Thank you.
bluegreen91 14 days ago
Apple Cider Slayer, the first book in the Cider Shop Mysteries, is the perfect cozy mystery to read when you feel like dropping in on an apple orchard in that magical time between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Trying to revive their struggling orchard by creating new events, staying open year-round, and opening a cider cafe, Winnie and her granny have their hands full when their argumentative neighbor is found dead in their own cider press. Granny becomes the main suspect, and Winnie has to work hard to clear Granny's name, while keeping the orchard afloat. This is a wonderfully enjoyable read that kept me guessing right to the surprising end. And had me heading to find a jug of apple cider! I liked the characters and look forward to getting to know them better in future books. I'm so glad I got a chance to read this book and eagerly await book two! I received an advance copy of this book. This review contains my honest thoughts and opinions.
kimdavishb 14 days ago
APPLE CIDER SLAYING, the first book in the brand new Apple Cider Shop Mystery series by Julie Anne Lindsey, is as cozy as books come. I was instantly transported to the orchards as protagonist, Winnie Mae Montgomery, helps her Granny Smythe prepare for the first Annual Christmas at the Orchard. Winnie is determine to save the orchard from financial ruin and uses all her marketing savvy to bring in customers year round. I couldn’t help but become invested in seeing how she was going to accomplish it nor could I help becoming anxious when it seemed they would lose everything. Ms. Lindsey does a commendable job creating lovable characters and adorable felines. Who can resist the rescue kittens named Kenny and Dolly? Or the handsome new Sheriff in town? Winnie is especially admirable. She is kind and loving, and her work ethic should be a standard to hold in high regard. Not only did she attend community college to finish her marketing degree, she works as a waitress at the Sip N Sup, plus works at the orchard to help her granny. Winnie also dreams of opening her own cider shop at the orchard, which takes planning and tenacious determination to find a way to make it happen. The author’s descriptive voice captures the sights, sounds, and flavors of not only the orchard, but the locals who live in the Blue Ridge Mountains of West Virginia. She peppers the pages with humor while creating a tightknit community of folk in Blossom Valley. They epitomize what a community should be. The story had a good pace with lots of action and the murder mystery held twists and turns that kept my attention. I didn’t even have the villain on my suspects list but the clues are there and it was fun to go back and see how I missed it. A suspenseful reveal had me turning pages faster and faster until I read the very last page. A well-done first in a new series that is one of my new favorites this year! I was provided an advance copy. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
BobbieLCLA 14 days ago
I received a free copy of APPLE CIDER SLAYING (Cider Shop Mystery, Book 1) by Julie Anne Lindsey in exchange for an honest review. Winnie’s family business, Smythe Orchards, is in serious financial trouble. Winnie has some ideas on how to save the business, but she’ll need a loan from the local bank. Winnie’s plans to impress the loan officer with a tour of the farm are upset when they find a body in apple press. The sheriff, new to town, focuses on Granny Smythe as the primary suspect since the victim was Granny’s longtime rival. With the sheriff seeming to focus only on Granny Smythe and accusing Winnie of fabricating vandalism at the farm to create reasonable doubt, Winnie knows she must now save her grandmother and her family reputation as well as the farm. I liked this book. I thought it was a good start to a new series. The characters were engaging, and the setting was enchanting. I recommend this book to fans of cozy mysteries set in rural farm towns. #AppleCiderSlaying #NetGalley