Lindsey (A Geek Girl’s Guide to Justice, 2019, etc.) shows how a West Virginia dynamo’s scheme to save her family orchard hits a bump in the road when a special event draws a killer.
Brimming with youthful optimism, Winona Mae Montgomery has big plans for saving her family’s home and business. Smythe Orchard has long been a staple of Blossom Valley, West Virginia, and Winnie’s determined to market the orchard as a year-round destination and venue, with events like “Christmas at the Orchard.” Much as she loves her grandmother, the aptly named Granny Smythe, Winnie’s determined to show the bank that her own business-sense apple has fallen far from her grandmother’s overdrawn tree. In the midst of her marketing blitz, however, Winnie’s plans go awry when her latest tour group stumbles on a body in the barn. And this isn’t just any body. Nadine Cooper might’ve just been the one person in Blossom Valley who wasn’t enamored of Granny Smythe. Not only is a corpse bad for business, but Sheriff Colton Wise, who’s too new to town to know better, thinks that either Winnie or Granny Smythe was involved in Nadine’s death. Since everyone knows Nadine was a bit of a pill, Winnie can’t believe the sheriff’s nerve, and she resolves to flush out other viable suspects no matter how many times he insists that she stop her informal investigation. All this investigating leads Winnie and Colton to enough intimacy to put them on a first-name basis. Who knows? Maybe Colton will be the guy who can help Winnie forget being left abruptly by her ex, Hank Donovan, and clear Granny Smythe’s name.
Readers will appreciate the good will of Lindsey’s characters in this warmly written, cider-centric cozy series launch.