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Retro Reading: One Bad Apple by Sheila Connolly

Updated on May 13, 2022
First installment in the Orchard Mystery Series
First installment in the Orchard Mystery Series

In Every Bushel there's Bound to be One

Sometimes books and movies have the same premise and while I was reading One Bad Apple I knew I had read something similar.

As the first in the Orchard Mysteries, author Sheila Connolly introduces us to Meg Corey, who has moved to the small town of Grafton to refurbish a house which her mother owns (and she's co-owner). She's feeling the economic crunch as she's just lost her job, apartment and her boyfriend and thinks by moving and remodeling the house it will take her mind off of her problems.

The house has been around a couple of centuries and she didn't know what she was getting into when she volunteered to travel across Massachusetts. Basically she fell into a money pit and didn't know there was a 15 acre apple orchard on the property.

While doing some renovations one January day, the plumbing backs up and while she waits for the plumber, Seth Chapin, to arrive, she answers the door to find her ex boyfriend Chandler Hale standing in front of her. It's a surprise to her since she never told him about the house. He and his assistant, Cinda Patterson, are in town working on an investment deal in which the town will benefit and his wallet will grow significantly.

After their brief encounter and a dinner invitation Meg meets Seth and there's a whole lotta plumbing that needs to be fixed and a new septic tank needs to be put in. Her severance is dwindling and so is her patience.

During dinner, Chandler asks if she'll be his spy in town and when she says no they have a mild argument and she hopes that'll be the last she sees of him. That is until his body winds up in the freshly dug septic hole.

With Chandler dead and Meg as the main suspect (along with Seth), Cinda's been put in charge of the project and Meg knows she's out for herself in this deal. Later Cinda asks her to be her spy since the town is getting ready to vote on this project and this time Meg agrees.

As Meg's the primary suspect she has a feeling Cinda is somehow involved with Chandler's murder and any way that she can get close to Cinda would be like opening up a locked door. Meg's first priority is calling a friend of hers back in Boston who knows all the juicy banking gossip and she fills her in on Cinda after a little "research."

Since the police won't listen to Meg, she starts her own investigation and discovers that while alive, Chandler was being quite the ladies man in town and the list of suspects begins to grow.

During the town meeting Meg intends to blow Cinda's cover by exposing all she knows of her. Slowly Meg's intentions of remodeling and leaving have taken a turn and now she considers herself a part of the community and wants to turn the tables on Ms. Patterson.

While this is a fairly fast (and shorter book) the problem I had was the type was way too small and even wearing my glasses couldn't magnify the page so I was a little frustrated that I couldn't read as fast as I wanted.

There's also a couple of apple recipes at the end of the book perfect for your fall baking.


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