About One Bad Apple
• Series: Orchard Mysteries (#1)
• Paperback: 262 pages
• Published: August 2008 by Berkley Prime Crime
• Source: Purchased
Goodreads Description: There’s a killer in the orchard, and he’s rotten to the core.
Meg Corey has come to the quaint New England town of Granford, Massachusetts, to sell her mother’s old colonial home and apple orchard. Instead, she becomes embroiled in development plans that include her land, and her former flame from Boston. When he’s found dead in the new septic tank on her property, the police immediately suspect Meg, whose only ally in town is the plumber Seth Chapin. Together, they’ll have to peel back the layers of secrecy that surround the deal in order to find the real murderer, and save the orchard.
I’m not sure that I’ll review every single cozy mystery I read, though we’ll see. But we’ve had a lot of “serious” books lately, and I don’t want you think I only read serious, heavy books. For every serious book I read, there’s at least three cozies. They’re my go-to genre, especially when I need something light or brainless or to make me feel good (for that reason they’ll almost always get a 3-star rating).
One Bad Apple is a slight departure from my usual cozy choices, since there aren’t any animals. Meg has moved into her mother’s former rental house with the grand idea to renovate and sell the property. Only, the house is in much worse shape than she ever imagined. The whole thing reminded me a bit of Wild by Cheryl Strayed, where she’s bitten off way more than she can chew but doesn’t seem to want to admit it. That said, Meg is plucky, and I found myself cheering for her as she scraped off wallpaper and dealt with plumbing issues.
The mystery was unremarkable, though that’s fine with me – having read so many cozies, most of the time I’m able to guess the bad guy. There’s a formula for a reason. Many of the classic cozy characters were present – the bumbling police force, the town know-it-all, and of course, the stud-muffin love interest. Throw in a wise old University Professor and a new-best-friend, and you’ve got a cast of characters I’m looking forward to getting to know.
Like many series starters, there wasn’t a ton of character development, and we didn’t get to see much of Granford, but I’m sure that’ll build as the series goes on. No real spoiler here, Meg decides to stay in Granford, fix up the house, and keep the orchard. I’ll definitely be picking up the next one eventually!