A Killer Crop by Sheila Connolly is the fourth book in the “Orchard” mystery series. Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime (Penguin), 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—who is an old friend of her mother—is found dead on the floor of a cider home, 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 professor a lesson. And the key to unlocking the mystery may lie with a poet who could not stop for death.

I adore this book. When Meg’s mother is questioned by the police for an old friend’s death, Meg fears her mother is the only suspect and both Meg and her mother set out to clear her mother. Between harvesting the apples, entertaining her mother, and her relationship with Seth, Meg has a lot on her hands. The well-written plot held my interest as history was intertwined with the present as Meg and her mother picked through the clues. The characters were more defined and I enjoyed the interaction between Meg and her mother. The dialogue between the main characters was very comfortable, and I felt I was a part of the conversation. I don’t know much about Emily Dickinson, but this story peak my interest in learning more about her life. This is, by far, the best book in this likable series. My rating: 5 stars

FTC Full Disclosure – The publisher sent me a copy of this book

previously posted on the Cozy Chicks blog

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