Apple Cider Slaying by Julie Anne Lindsay


Apple Cider Slaying (A Cider Shop Mystery)
by Julie Anne Lindsey

About Apple Cider Slaying

Apple Cider Slaying (A Cider Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Kensington (October 29, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1496723473
ISBN-13: 978-1496723475
Apples are at the core of the family business run by Winona Mae Montgomery and her Granny Smythe. But this year’s crop is unseasonably ripe with murder . . .
Blossom Valley, West Virginia, is home to Smythe Orchards, Winnie and her Granny’s beloved twenty-five-acre farm and family business. But any way you slice it, it’s struggling. That’s why they’re trying to drum up business with the “First Annual Christmas at the Orchard,” a good old-fashioned holiday festival with enough delicious draw to satisfy apple-picking locals and cider-loving tourists alike—until the whole endeavor takes a sour turn when the body of Nadine Cooper, Granny’s long-time, grudge-holding nemesis, is found lodged in the apple press. Now, with Granny the number one suspect, Winnie is hard-pressed to prove her innocence before the real killer delivers another murder . .
Includes Recipes!


“Miss Montgomery?” A slow southern drawlpoured under the closed door with such assured authority I nearly wept. “This is Sheriff Colton Wise. I’m going to need you to open up.”

I nodded, though no one could see me. I wasn’t sure how much time had passed since I’d first seen Mrs. Cooper in the cider press, but forever seemed roughly accurate. I’d slammed the door against the cluster of tourists headed my way when I saw the body and locked myself inside.

I’d shut the door in Mr. Sherman’s face.

The knot in my stomach tightened.

When Grampy installed the new locks to protect his equipment five years ago, I’d thought he was bonkers. Who would want to steal apple sorting or pressing machinery and paraphernalia? He’d said that I would understand some day, but I’d never dreamed I’d need the lock to protect tourists from seeing Nadine Cooper’s dead body.

I flipped the deadbolt and moved out of the way.

The door opened slowly, and a lean man with broad shoulders and kind eyes slipped inside. He wore jeans and boots with his sheriff’s jacket. His big hat was in his hands and pressed to his chest. “Winona Mae Montgomery?”

I nodded, my dry and swollen tongue stuck to the roof of my mouth.

“Have you touched anything in here?” he asked, throwing a pointed look at Mrs. Cooper.

I shook my head and tried uselessly to swallow the constricting lump in my throat. I’d seen the new sheriff a time or two since his election last fall, but we’d never officially met.

“Have you been right here since you locked the door?”

“Yes,” I managed to say.

The sheriff offered a small but compassionate smile.

“Do you know this woman?” he asked, glancing again at Mrs. Cooper.

“Yes.” I willed myself to elaborate, but my thoughts moved too quickly for my sticky mouth, and I wasn’t convinced I wouldn’t throw up if I parted my lips longer than necessary.

A rap came at the door, and Sheriff Wise pulled it open. He held it wide with his boot.

The blast of sunlight brought tears to my eyes.

“There.” He tipped his head toward the cider press, and a pair of EMTs charged in that direction with a yellow backboard and matching medical kits. Behind them, an elderly man shuffled along. The back of his black jacket had seven white block letters: CORONER. A woman with a toolbox fell into step at his side.

“Winnie!” Granny’s frantic voice echoed through the open door, laced with fear and worry. I hated the sound of it; I never wanted her to be alone or scared.

“I’m okay!” I yelled back. “I’m coming!”

The sheriff swung his face in my direction. “Just a minute now. Can you tell me what happened in here?”

“No. I opened the door, and Mrs. Cooper was there,” I said, finally finding my voice. “I was showing Mr. Sherman the property, and when I saw the door was closed, I opened it.” My heart pinched as a new thought emerged. Mr. Sherman will never give a small business loan to a failing orchard with a dead woman in the apple press.

I hated myself immediately for the selfish thought.

Against my will, more awful notions followed. Could the press even be cleaned after this? No way, right? We’d have to buy a new one, and presses cost a fortune. We couldn’t afford it. Maybe I could offset the cost of a new press by selling this one on eBay? I pressed my palms to the sides of my head and hoped lightning didn’t strike me on the spot.

About Julie Anne Lindsey

Julie Anne Lindsey is a multi-genre author who writes the stories that keep her up at night. When she’s not creating new worlds and organizing the epic adventures of fictional characters, Julie can be found carpooling her three kids around Northeastern Ohio and plotting with her shamelessly enabling friends. Today, she hopes to make someone smile. One day she plans to change the world. Julie is a member of the International Thriller Writers, Romance Writers of America, and Sisters in Crime.

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