The Orchard Series
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Berkley Prime Crime, August 2012
Now a New York Times Bestseller!
Apple orchard owner Meg Corey is finally feeling settled into her new life in Granford—she's made friends, and her relationship with Seth Chapin is heating up—when her old Boston coworker Lauren Converse comes barreling into town, running the Congressional campaign for a former hometown football hero. But Meg doesn’t have time to worry about why Seth seems reluctant to back Lauren’s campaign when her neighbor, local dairy farmer Joyce Truesdell, is found dead from an apparent kick to the head from one of her cows.
When an autopsy shows that the fatal blow actually came from a weapon, Meg is even more troubled. Popular opinion points to Joyce’s husband as the culprit, but Meg can’t help wondering if someone wanted the outspoken dairy farmer out of the way … but why? She’ll have to find out who had a beef with the victim, before she’s the next one to get creamed …
Berkley Prime Crime, August 2011
Where do Meg's troubles stem from?
Now that Meg Corey’s first apple crop has been harvested and sold, she’s enjoying some free time. Especially since she’s snowed in without power or heat. Luckily, her maybe-boyfriend Seth Chapin is keeping her company, and has agreed to help her clean out her house.
In a dusty corner Meg finds an early 19th-century silk sampler
embroidered with apple trees, but she doesn’t recognize the names on it as any of the earlier owners of her house. Then she starts being plagued by a series of small but annoying mishaps. Meg doesn’t want to appear paranoid, but when she finds herself locked in the unheated barn overnight, and Seth’s van window is shot out in her driveway, she can’t ignore the problem any longer. And if she doesn’t figure out how the sampler she found is connected to the motive of her modern-day tormentor, her first harvest could be her last….
A Killer Crop
Berkley Prime Crime, December 2010
A suspicious death is ripe for rumor…
When Meg Corey’s mother arrives unannounced in Granford, Massachusetts, Meg’s sure it’s not just to pay a surprise visit to the apple of her eye. The timing is terrible—it’s harvest season and Meg is understaffed in the orchard. Plus Elizabeth Corey is clearly hiding the real purpose of her trip from her daughter.
After an English professor from Amherst—and an old friend of her mother—is found dead on the floor of a cider house, Elizabeth is interrogated by the police, and then grilled by her daughter. She is indeed keeping a secret—but could Meg’s own mother really have committed murder? One thing is clear: someone decided to teach the prof a lesson. And the key to unlocking the mystery may lie with a poet who could not stop for Death…
Red Delicious Death
Berkley Prime Crime, March 2010
So much for apple-y ever after...
Granford newcomer Meg Corey has
more than enough to do, between restoring the colonial house she's
inherited and trying to manage her orchard. Then a trio of young chefs
fresh out of cooking school arrive in town to open a restaurant using
local foods, and Meg volunteers to help them out.
Rotten to the Core
Berkley Prime Crime, July 2009
Not everything is blooming this spring …
One Bad Apple
Berkley Prime Crime, August 2008
When Boston investment banker Meg Corey
moves to Granford, Massachusetts, things don't go exactly smoothly. She
has left behind a Boston job that was swallowed up in a bank merger, and
ex boyfriend Chandler Hale, in exchange for a crumbling colonial house
and an orchard. She figures she'll spend a little time fixing up the
house to sell while she looks for a new job and licks her wounds. Things
take a turn for the worse when Chandler shows up in town to manage a
proposed commercial development project, but Meg can handle that. But
then Chandler is found dead by next-door neighbor, plumber Seth Chapin,
in her septic tank, and Meg is the sheriff's favorite suspect. With
Seth's help she identifies the killer, but by then she has discovered
that she doesn't want to leave Granford and her orchard.
Reviews for One Bad Apple:
Publishers Weekly, July 2008: "The premise and plot are solid, and Meg seems a perfect fit for her role."
RT Reviews, July 2008 -- Four Stars: "Connolly's cozy has sympathetic characters, who are not stereotypes, nice details about life in a small town and information about a heritage orchard–all of which make this a warm, very satisfying read."
Harriet Klausner, June 2008: "There is a delightful charm to this small town regional cozy. ... Sheila Connolly provides a fascinating whodunit filled with surprises especially red herrings as the amateur competes with the cop to prove she is innocent by uncovering the identity of the guilty person."
Lesa Holstine, August 2008: "Some people snidely refer to a book as a cozy mystery. Sheila Connolly's One Bad Apple is an example of everything that is right with the cozy mystery. Her book has a likable heroine, an attractive small town setting, a slimy victim, and fascinating side elements. ...
There's depth to the
characters in this book that isn't always found in crime
fiction. Meg, Seth, and some of the women in this book are
well-developed. Meg's opinion of Granford and her house changes
as she learns more about them, and becomes a little more
comfortable with small town life. The information about apple
orchards is interesting, and the requisite recipes in recent
mysteries is an added bonus. No, One Bad Apple won't make
the bestseller lists where every other book seems to be a
thriller. However, for all of us who like an interesting
mystery, nice people, development as a relevant issue, along
with a background that's a little different, One Bad Apple is
just what we're looking for. Sheila Connolly has written a
winner for cozy mystery fans."