Title: Apple Cider Slaying (A Cider Shop Mystery #1)
Author: Julie Anne Lindsey
Published on: 29th October 2019
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Almost heaven, West Virginia
Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah River
Life is old there, older than the trees
Younger than the mountains, blowing like a breeze…
I couldn’t stop humming this tune as I started to read this book. The story is set around the Blue Ridge Mountains, West Virginia. Delicious apples, snow, Christmas time, festival season in the air and… a murder!
Blossom Valley, West Virginia, is home to Winnie and her granny’s Smythe Orchards. But the Orchard is barely managing to stay open and functional. Winnie is trying her best to get a loan but alas! The grumpy bank manager has come over for a visit and Winnie is doing her best to make him happy. A group of tourists are also around, visiting the farm and cider tasting. Winnie takes him to the old barn – she’s planning to open her shop there – and is surprised to see her neighbour Mrs Cooper lying dead!
The cops are called in. It is no secret that Granny and Mrs Cooper were arch-enemies. The town’s Sheriff throws in a hint or two, suggesting that Granny is the number one suspect. So off goes Winnie, donning a detective hat and trying to prove her granny innocent. But the killer knows that Winnie’s on their trail so they take all the chances they get to threaten Winnie.
Apple Cider Slaying is the first book in Cider Shop Mystery series.
The story starts on a good note… or, should I say, murderous note? Mrs Cooper is found dead, almost ruining the Orchard’s reputation. Small towns are where gossips galore. The townspeople still have contradicting opinions about Winnie’s break-up with Hank. But they love Granny and would do anything to show their support – initially nobody turned up, as the story ended, they were all there, like one big, loving family.
Sheriff Colton Wise plays quite a role. Winnie googles him and ends up having a teeny-weeny crush on him. *Blush blush* Colton treats everybody as suspects until proven innocent. But this rule of his doesn’t go well with Winnie so off she goes to prove him wrong. The perp’s intentions are sinister. They would stop at nothing and if Winnie doesn’t stop poking her nose into their business, she might be the next victim!
As a debut in this series, Winnie’s past is well explained. Her mum’s ‘antics’, her breakup with Hank, Winnie reminiscing Grampy and much more. Also, the adorable ginger-colored darlings added quite a charm to the story. Meet Kenny Rogers and Dolly Smythe, the adorable kittens who save the day. 😀
Apple Cider Slaying has such great potential but… I cannot really point out what but as I read through, something seemed missing. The character portrayal is good and so is the plot. The mystery is good too and the identity of the perp was unexpected. Maybe there were too many things going on and that is what made this story a teeny-weeny bit less enjoyable??
As a debut in the cozy series, Apple Cider Slaying has managed to capture my attention and I am looking forward to reading the next book in this series. Hope to see some romance brewing between Colton and Winnie. 😉
With the festival season approaching, Apple Cider Slaying would make a good Christmas read. An interesting, entertaining and unique cozy debut by Julie Anne Lindsey.
There’s a giveaway for this tour. If you like to win a print copy of Apple Cider Slaying, then you can find details here. (US only)
Many thanks to Lori for the blog tour invite.