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Deadly to the Core (A Cider House Mystery)
by Joyce Tremel
About Deadly to the Core
Deadly to the Core (A Cider House Mystery)
1st in Series
Setting – Pennsylvania
Crooked Lane Books (January 16, 2024)
Hardcover : 250 pages
ISBN-10 : 1639105433
ISBN-13 : 978-1639105434
Digital ASIN : B0C2P4QB9T
Perfect for fans of Amanda Flower and Julie Anne Lindsey, when Kate Mulligan inherits her great uncle’s fruit orchard, she quickly realizes that apples aren’t the only thing that can have rotten cores.
After losing her husband in a terrible car crash, thirty-five-year-old Kate is left to pick up the pieces of her life alone. Although she has physically recovered, she worries her spirit never will. But when she learns that she has inherited a fruit orchard in a small town just outside Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, from her great uncle Stan, she takes this as an opportunity ripe for the picking. Kate knew immediately what to do with it: open a cider house. Her hopeful plans fall far from the tree when she finds the body of the orchard manager, Carl Randolph, leaving her to figure out who is at the core of this murder.
She had been in correspondence with Carl, who had agreed with her brilliant idea of opening a cider house. But not everyone is so quick to buy what she was selling—Uncle Stan’s lawyer, Robert Larabee, paints a less rosy financial outlook of the orchard’s past, present, and future.
Kate discovers that Carl had large, unexplained deposits to his bank account and it becomes clear that either he was blackmailing someone, or someone was paying him to keep quiet. Meanwhile, Kate and her neighbors receive offers to buy their property from a mysterious buyer. And there’s more than meets the eye with the neighboring orchard owner, Daniel Martinez, although Kate can’t quite put her finger on if it’s sweet or sour.
Will she be able to pick out the bad apple among the bunch before it’s too late?
Deadly to the Core by Joyce Tremel is the first in a new cozy mystery series featuring Kate Mulligan. Kate inherits an orchard and has big dreams to open a cider house. The dream belonged to her and her late husband, and she is determined to live this dream for both of them.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Kate was a strong, likable character. I actually really liked the victim and was pretty sad that he was killed. I think the series would evolve in a completely different way if he had still been around. Anyhow! There are a lot of great characters that really move the story along and make it feel relatable. I’m excited to see Kate blossom both in her business and in her personal life. She’s been through a lot, and you can’t help but root for her. I enjoyed the setting, as we live near Pittsburgh, PA, so some of the nuances of Pennsylvania were familiar to us.
This was a great book to start my year off with, and I am looking forward to continuing the series. My opinions on this book are my own and not influenced in any way.
I did have one issue with the story, but don’t want to share it here as it is a bit of a spoiler. If you have read the book and would like to see what I am referring to, I’d love for you to check out my review on Goodreads (the spoiler is hidden) and share your thoughts.
About Joyce Tremel
Joyce Tremel was a police secretary for ten years and more than once envisioned the demise of certain co-workers, but settled on writing as a way to keep herself out of jail. In addition to the Cider House Mysteries, she wrote the Brewing Trouble Mysteries. As Joyce St. Anthony, she writes the Homefront News historical mysteries. She lives in the beautiful Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania with her husband and two cats named Hops and Lager.
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