Retro Reading: A Killer Crop by Sheila Connolly
Murder Seems to Follow Meg, Even while Picking Apples
When A Killer Crop begins it picks up immediately where Red Delicious Death ends with the unexpected arrival of Meg Corey's mother.
Throughout the first three installments of the Orchard Mysteries by Sheila Connolly, Meg's mother is mentioned but Connolly doesn't give any indication that Elizabeth Corey may make an appearance. And since the story begins at the ending Meg discovers that her mother may be the suspect in yet another murder which Meg has ties to.
Elizabeth's been in town for a few days and hasn't contacted Meg since she came up to visit an old friend, Daniel Weston, from her and her husband's college days. With her husband out of town on a "fishing trip" with his buddies, Elizabeth thought it would do her good to take a little vacation of her own.
She didn't know that Daniel would end up dead and she'd be the prime suspect. Even though Meg's concerned about her mother she's glad the body wasn't discovered on her property like previous bodies.
With the first apple season for Meg she spends more time in the orchard and she also has to find a way to tell her mother about her blossoming relationship with Seth. As we discover Meg's never really taken any of her beau's to meet her parents and is hung up on the idea that Elizabeth won't like him.
On her down time Meg tries to get information out of her mother as to her mysterious visit and plays amateur sleuth once again by drilling the woman for information. She wants to know if Elizabeth was having an affair with the dead Daniel, but she maintains her innocence by saying that they weren't having an affair.
In an effort to keep Elizabeth busy, Meg suggests she start looking into their genealogy and she discovers that the family is related to Emily Dickinson, something Daniel had been working on all of his life (not that the Corey's were related) but Daniel was an historian of Dickinson and soon pieces of the puzzle come to light.
Daniel was after something and he felt Elizabeth held the key to his making a major discovery regarding the poet. It's also revealed that he was going to make a major announcement regarding his "find" at a symposium but didn't have the facts to back him up. As a renowned Dickinson expert he knew he was onto something, but his death had gotten in the way.
I'm just hoping there's some way Connolly off Bree in maybe a cider mill accident. She's probably the only character I can't stand and again whenever she entered a scene I would lose interest in the story. She doesn't really contribute much to the series.