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Rotten to the Core (Orchard, #2)
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Rotten to the Core (Orchard #2)

3.9  ·  Rating Details ·  1,558 Ratings  ·  100 Reviews
Second in the series that readers can sink their teeth into.

Orchard owner Meg Corey must clear her name of murder after the discovery of a pesticide-poisoned body in her springhouse. Includes recipes.
Paperback, 304 pages
Published July 7th 2009 by Berkley (first published May 20th 2009)
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Aug 26, 2014 Ian rated it liked it
"Oh man, I can't f__king believe this. Another basement, another elevator. How can the same sh_t happen to the same guy twice?"
-John McClane (Die Hard 2)

After solving the murder of her ex-boyfriend in book 1, One Bad Apple, Meg Corey could be forgiven for thinking that things would settle down and she would be able to turn her attention to making a go of the apple orchard.

Unfortunately, weeks after one crime is solved, another body has shown up on her orchard. A young environmental activist has
Jeannie and Louis Rigod
Oct 11, 2016 Jeannie and Louis Rigod rated it it was amazing
The novel is the second in the series. And boy was there an apple rotten to the core, and we aren't talking fruit. This book was entertaining and I'm growing to love Meg and Seth. This series is going to be a winner.
Feb 24, 2010 Sara rated it it was ok
Second in the Apple mystery series---not as good as the first. Meg is back and trying to run her apple farm, with the help of the local college. Meg soon finds a body on her farm, in the orchard. While she doesnt know the victim, she is compelled to investigate his pesticide caused death. The first book was good because it talks about interesting apple facts. The second doesn't talk so much about apples, more about pesticides...which unsurprisingly aren't all that compelling. The second story lo ...more
BJ Rose
Mar 18, 2014 BJ Rose rated it it was ok
Apologies to those who love this series, but Meg just isn't doing anything for me. The first book, One Bad Apple was a weak 3* for me, so I decided that was just because the author was setting the scene and things would liven up, but it didn't happen. I guessed the who early on, and even guessed what was going on at the celebration dinner before it even happened.
Jul 29, 2014 Paula rated it liked it
I enjoyed this story, but it seemed a bit slow-moving. Though it's fun to meet more of the people in Meg's new town and to find out what's happening in her orchard as the seasons progress.
Cindi Moss
just ok. i didnt care for the characters & id'ed the killer when she was first introduced. the love interest was forced & unneccessary. not all women need a man in their life & the constant trait of falling helplessly in love makes me dislike cozy mysteries. but the setting -central & western Mass - kept me reading bc i knew the towns & some geography. but i should note that as i'm experiencing being a newcomer to this area - the people in this book are way, way, way too welc ...more
Deborah Almada
Feb 18, 2017 Deborah Almada rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cozy-mysteries
Really, really enjoying this series. Meg is a great character and I can feel her struggles to learn about her orchard, make it a success, fix up her new home and fit into the community. All the progress she is making is marred by finding a body on her grounds in her spring house. When she learns that the young man was poisoned using pesticides it opens up all kinds of possibilities. There is much more to add to Meg's learning curve, as she struggles to learn about her about her orchard, IPM and ...more
Feb 20, 2017 Anna rated it liked it
Meg seems to have gotten more annoying, but the mystery was more mysterious, so I'll take it. Any book that makes fun of Red Delicious Apples is a book for me.
Shon Lee
Jan 08, 2017 Shon Lee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love when I correctly guess who the murderer is.
Mar 01, 2016 Obsidian rated it really liked it
This is the second novel in the "An Orchard Mystery" cozy mystery series written by Sheila Connolly. I really enjoyed the first novel in this series, One Bad Apple (An Orchard Mystery). I would suggest that prior to readers starting this novel they go back and read "One Bad Apple" first in order to familiarize yourself with all of the characters.

The main protagonist in this novel is Meg Corey. Meg has decided to stay in Granford, Massachusetts and try her hand at establishing a thriving orchard
Cathy Cramer
This is the 2nd book of the series, on loan from my mother-in-law like the 1st one of the series.

I liked the Christopher character. He reminded me a little of the Drayton character from Laura Childs' Tea Shop mysteries. Readers who enjoyed this book might enjoy that as well.

Much of this book was about researching pesticides or performing chores - and sometimes my own chores interested me more. But Meg's chores were the sort of thing that a close friend would tell another about their days and the
Susan Oleksiw
Dec 17, 2014 Susan Oleksiw rated it really liked it
Shelves: mysteries
Meg Corey inherited an apple orchard and farm with her mother, from a family that turned out to be distant cousins. She's in the process of learning all there is to know about managing an apple orchard, and there is a lot to learn, when she discovers a body in the old spring house. Why would someone come out to her orchard to die? Is it anyone she's met before. The corpse turns out to be that of a young man who leads a group advocating for organic farming but who is also in danger of being dumpe ...more
Aug 14, 2011 Cris rated it liked it
My biggest problem with Rotten to the Core, and it irritated me through the entire story, was a second murdered body showing up on Meg's property in a matter of months. That 'coincidence' was Connolly's entire set-up for getting Meg involved in some additional sleuthing, but it felt forced and unrealistic. (And I mean really! This small town which hasn't had a murder in more than a hundred years has TWO within months of this strange woman moving into the area? And both bodies are found on her pr ...more
June 2010:
One of the most satisfying cozy mysteries I've read. Cozy mysteries seem to have a specialization, whether it's a bookstore mystery, a pizzeria mystery, or, in this case, a mystery set on land with an orchard. Connolly allows the reader to learn about renovating the old farm house, and tending the orchard, right along with Meg, but she never forgets this is supposed to be an enjoyable mystery, not a lesson in country living.

Granted, it's easy to pinpoint the killer, but for
Aug 09, 2011 Liora rated it liked it
Shelves: cozy-mystery
Meg is the owner of a 15 acre apple orchard and dilapidated farmhouse that are about 200 years old in western Massachusetts. She is trying to learn about the apple orchard business and restore the old farmhouse. In this second installment of this cozy mystery series, she finds the body of a young man in her spring house. She does not know the young man at all, but is dismayed at finding yet another body on her property. Once again, she gets drawn into to trying to solve a murder mystery.

I found
Jun 10, 2015 Tammy rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery-cozy
A satisfying cozy mystery set in Granford, Massachusetts. After a rough start, Meg Corey is starting to settle in to the farm property she inherited. She's taking a class in orchard management, the better to tend the fifteen acres of trees, an orchard over two hundred years old. Meg has hired an agricultural student to work as her orchard manager and continues to work with the local university who has been maintaining the orchard for years. It wasn't in Meg's plans to find a body in the spring h ...more
Mar 09, 2012 Marilyn rated it really liked it
Poor Meg Corey, she has found yet another dead body on her property-this one was in the spring house...I didn't even know what a spring house was until I read the book. The modus operandi this time was poison. Coincidentally the poison was from a pesticide. Her friend Seth while checking out the barn to plan a storage area for Meg's apples and a storage area for his restoration pieces, came across the same type of pesticide. Seth disposed of the pesticide before the body was discovered. Meg had ...more
May 08, 2009 Ali rated it really liked it
The writing was wonderfully solid though I found the beginning slow but the pace quickly livened and remained so until near the end. The return of some warm and interesting secondary characters and the addition of some new ones gave the book a well-rounded feel. There didn't seem to be a great deal of sleuthing in the book's second half, but the other events in Meg's life were a welcome distraction. I like that this book while a cozy mystery takes the time to develop the characters'lives outside ...more
Jul 13, 2012 Rebecca rated it really liked it
I think I liked this even better than the first one although it felt quite a bit longer.

I have to read the next one because Meg is working so hard to get her orchard ready for a year of apples and this book ends right as she is getting blossoms in the spring.

The books opens with Meg finding a local university student dead in her orchard (in the spring house to be exact). Naturally because it is on her property, she is a suspect. Turns out that the guy was murder by a pesticide that was found in
Jan 17, 2016 Erika rated it liked it
Shelves: cozy-mystery
A bit stronger than the first one, up until the last few pages when things are just a bit to pat and everyone is just a bit to healthy considering what had just happened the day before.

But, still a fun book.

The mystery unfolded in a fairly believable way, from the amateur sleuths involvement to how it was solved and it felt natural and un-contrived...again until the last few pages and it was a lot of fun to be introduced to more people in the community that I'm sure will end up being reoccurring
Apr 10, 2013 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cozy-mystery
This is the second book in the Orchard Mystery series by Sheila Connolly. I like to read series in order but I had thought this was the first book and since I had it I read it first. The series is about a woman. Meg, who gives up a high paying, high stress job in Boston to take over an apple orchard and old farm house in rural MA that has been in her family for about 200 years. In this book a local college student, Jason, who headed a student group dedicated to organic farming is found dead in h ...more
Jul 30, 2009 Patty rated it it was amazing
This is the second book in a series and it is excellent. Not quite as frenetic as the first book, it is a fast read but not because the characters are running around in circles.

Meg is half owner of a 200+ year old farm and 15 acre apple orchard. When she finds a young college student dead in her spring house she is again under suspicion even though she had never seen the young man before.

There are interesting tips about pesticides, apple growing, home improvement and animal care and feeding (ca
Jan 02, 2012 Michelle rated it it was ok
"Rotten to the Core" by Sheila Connolly is a mystery but there is too much extraneous information about the day to day life of the main character. About 75% of the book is taken up with information about the main character refinishing the kitchen floor, taking in a cat and two goats and their vet visits, and the business of growing apples in the guise of the main character learning how to take care of the orchard she has inherited. Very little detecting and only a small amount of information tha ...more
Elaine White
Feb 16, 2012 Elaine White rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I agree with some other reviews that the prospect of a Second dead body just showing up on her Orchard in a matter of months. But I don't have as much of a problem with this as others.

I am a fan of Murder She Wrote, Agatha Christie and Midsomer Murders. By the time you get to the end of an episode or story of one of these, you're usually surprised anyone is still alive and living in that area. So the Orchard Mystery books don't bug me too much.

This one is good because it expands on the first sto
Jul 10, 2016 Sherrie rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this second book in Sheila Connolly's Orchard Series even better than the first. Once again Meg Corey, what a great name for an orchard owner, has a dead body on her property. While working to learn the ins and outs of running an apple orchard Meg does a bit of poking around to see who killed the young man before the police place the blame on her. This book has a couple of other interesting story lines including a pro organic organization that has been thought to use extremist measures ...more
Jan 05, 2010 Erin rated it it was ok
This book was just okay. I thought the killer was obvious as soon as she was introduced in to the story. This dragged a bit as well. Hopefully the next one will pick back up! I also disliked how when they were discussing migrant workers, Seth scoffed at teh idea that locals would want those jobs, yet later revealed that he worked as an apple picker as a kid. Exactly! Before the invasion, those jobs went to students, the unemployed and minorities...alll groups who are suffering from severe unempl ...more
Lindsay IL
Apr 09, 2013 Lindsay IL rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013-reads
This was my first read of Shelia Connolly's and I really enjoyed it! I am fairly new to the "cozy" genre but thus far I have learned that I like a little romance woven into my mysteries...this definitely has it. I did feel that there was quite a lot of side fluff - yes, its interesting to learn how Meg is renovating/updating her old house; yes, the world of organics vs. pesticides is a hot topic and is quite intriguing....but the amount of fluff compared to the actual plot was way unbalanced. Wr ...more
Jun 28, 2010 Judy rated it liked it
A very nice mystery that is perfect for reading on the beach or on a lazy afternoon. Meg Corey moves from Boston to western Massachusetts to live on a farm owned by her extended family for generations. Since the property has a 15 acre apple orchard, this series apparently is themed around the orchard. In this second in the series (and the first that I have read) a man is found dead in the spring house and Meg sets out to unravel the mystery of who he was and how he happened to die in her spring ...more
Sep 19, 2009 MomIsReading rated it liked it
I really loved One Bad Apple and was anxious for the second book in the series to come out. I do confess though that I struggled through the second book. Personally I felt there was just way too much information on the pesticide piece. I was also disappointed that there was no development between Meg and Seth. If the author wanted to delay a romance, that is fine but at least she could have built in some emotion for friendship for them. Overall I liked the book, just not as much as the first. I ...more
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Madison Mega-Mara...: Rotten to the Core 1 8 Jan 07, 2012 08:29PM  
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Sheila Connolly has taught art history, structured and marketed municipal bonds for major cities, worked as a staff member on two statewide political campaigns, and served as a fundraiser for several non-profit organizations. She also managed her own consulting company providing genealogical research services. Now a full-time writer, she thinks writing mysteries is a lot more fun than any of her p ...more
More about Sheila Connolly...

Other Books in the Series

Orchard (10 books)
  • One Bad Apple (Orchard, #1)
  • Red Delicious Death (Orchard, #3)
  • A Killer Crop (Orchard, #4)
  • Bitter Harvest (Orchard, #5)
  • Sour Apples (Orchard, #6)
  • Golden Malicious (Orchard, #7)
  • Picked to Die (Orchard, #8)
  • A Gala Event (Orchard, #9)
  • Seeds of Deception (Orchard #10)

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