Golden MaliciousGolden Malicious by Sheila Connolly is the seventh book in the “Orchard” mystery series. Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime, October 2013

BEETLE MANIA

While orchard owner Meg Corey dreads the labor of manual irrigation to stave off a drought, her boyfriend, Seth, couldn’t be more excited about doing historic renovation on one of Granford’s oldest houses. Tagging along as he picks up supplies is supposed to give Meg a much-needed break, but the trip turns rotten when she almost trips over a dead body at an old saw mill’s forest reserve.

But the body isn’t the only frightening discovery she makes. A mysterious insect infestation seems to have migrated to the area—one that could bring serious harm to local woodlands. And it’s up to Meg to find out what’s behind this sudden swarm of trouble.

This series continues to get better each year and I love how the story evolved where the mystery and the aftermath were both exciting and intriguing. This fast-paced and action-filled drama had me quickly turning the pages, as I had to know what was happening next. The author did a good job in bringing attention to the Asian long-horned beetle; and how it affects the crop as well as how it played in this well-written whodunit. Meg Corey has come a long way and I like it. She’s a great heroine surrounded by a wonderful cast that includes Bree, Seth, Art and the many citizens of Granford. I can’t wait to see where the next chapter in Meg’s life takes us in this delightfully charming series.

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