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Bitter Harvest (Orchard #5)

3.9  ·  Rating Details ·  1,076 Ratings  ·  100 Reviews
Now that Meg Corey's apples have been harvested and sold, she's enjoying some free time. But when the small but annoying mishaps plaguing her start turning sinister, Meg begins to worry that her first harvest may be her last.
Paperback, 304 pages
Published August 2nd 2011 by Berkley
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Nov 27, 2014 Ian rated it really liked it
Five books down and the sleepy little town of Granford, Massachusetts was starting to look like Detroit (the murder capital of the United States). Thankfully Book Five departs from all the murder and manages to steer the mystery in a different direction.

With her first harvest behind her, Meg starts to notice that things are going wrong. On their own they don't seem like much but when taken together, Meg begins to suspect someone is targeting her. She needs to find out who is out to get her, and
Mar 01, 2016 Obsidian rated it it was ok
I have finally finished all of the "An Orchard Mystery" novels to date and found myself not pleased with this novel or the next one, "Sour Apples".

Readers please ensure that you read the series in order to make sure you don't go into the series completely cold. This newest novel features protagonist Meg finishing up her first harvest of the orchard. "Bitter Harvest" has our main protagonist Meg Corey putting her first harvest behind her. Meg though is staring to wonder about whether she has wha
Jul 17, 2013 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cozy-mystery
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 15, 2014 Brooke rated it it was ok
So far this is my least favorite in the series. No murder and lacking action. Hopefully Sour Apples will end the series in a positive light.
Very good, however I wish the author would have tied up a few more loose ends in the conclusion. I will continue with this series.
Julie P
Aug 27, 2011 Julie P rated it really liked it
When is a mystery not a murder mystery? When no murder takes place. Sheila Connolly's latest outing with orchard farmer Meg Corey is a mystery without a murder, and that's no bad thing. Winter is downtime for an apple orchard farmer, a time to take stock of your stock, of your life, and to catch up on paperwork that was held until the harvest was in. A blizzard, power outage, and a dead furnace leave Meg and her handyman cum love interest Seth Chapin plenty of time to take stock of Meg's colonia ...more
Oct 14, 2014 Sara rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 06, 2011 Kaye added it
Just the thing for a warm summer evening..Meg and Seth are caught in a snowstorm in Meg's old farmhouse.
Jun 22, 2017 Jennifer rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 09, 2017 Lori rated it really liked it
Shelves: nook
This was very different for me. It's winter time and Meg has completed her first year at the orchard. A blizzard rolls in and she is stuck in the house with no furnace and has to survive. While cleaning to stay warm she finds a sampler that may or may not have been done by a family member.

This first few chapters I kept waiting for the murder but this one was very different as the murder was a cold case. I still enjoyed the book very much and will continue the series.
A Good Read

This book was engaging and well written. I like this series and book 5 a pivotal turning point in the main characters lives.
Deborah Almada
Feb 24, 2017 Deborah Almada rated it really liked it
Shelves: cozy-mysteries
I really continue to enjoy this series! This book takes place in winter so it is downtime for the orchard and Meg has time on her hands to assess the last year, figure out if the orchard made money and figure out what she wants to do with her future. At the same time she finds an old sampler in a closet, and tries to find a connection to her family history and oh yeah are all the weird little things going on around the house and barn a coincidence or is someone out to unsettle her????? Lots of q ...more
Susan Parks
Sep 18, 2016 Susan Parks rated it liked it
Eh, it was good enough, but introducing new characters in a cozy series is kind of like the ensign in the red shirt in Star Trek. Either they will be the victim or the villain. Interesting genealogy research, interesting history, though Meg almost got annoying enough in this installment of the series for me to nearly chuck the book. She eventually got her head out of her @$$, but she whined a lot until she did. I'll read the next one, but it needs to be better for me to continue with the series.
Penny McGill
Aug 17, 2014 Penny McGill rated it really liked it
Sheila Connolly never disappoints. She melts together a great mystery with a better than average posse of friends and neighbours plus just enough sizzle in the romance part of her tale. This one kept me guessing and on my toes in a slightly creepy way - found myself thinking about who might be lurking outside of my windows at night - and that was enjoyable as I knew it would turn out well at the end. It always does. It's cozy!

I'm so fond of the apple farm and related material that Sheila Connoll
Marie McNary
Feb 20, 2017 Marie McNary rated it liked it
I love Shelia Connolly and this series, this book was just a little slow for me. The plot didn't suck me in and I found myself forcing myself to finish it. I'm sticking with the series though and looking forward to Meg's next adventure.
Jul 17, 2011 Fred rated it it was amazing
This is the fifth book in the Orchard Mystery series.

It's December and the first harvesting for Meg has come to an end. Bree, her orchard manager seems to dragging her feet getting the income figures to Meg. Meg is in a quandary about what to do. Did she make a profit or not, will there be money to add more trees. Or will there be money for the new furnace she will have to get. And Seth, is this someone that she wants more from. These are the thoughts going thru Meg's head.

Seth has come over to
Oct 01, 2013 Lynn rated it it was amazing
Meg Corey has been so busy with her apple orchard that she really hasn't explored her home. It is winter, the harvest is done and Meg is waiting for the exact numbers from Bree, her orchard manager. Now she has time to explore the home that she inherited. Bitter Harvest

A blizzard has struck Granford and Meg is forced to stay home for the roads are impassable and she has time to get to know her home. Seth Chapin, neighbor and friend, is also at her home helping her with her fireplace and looking
Shelley Giusti
Aug 11, 2011 Shelley Giusti rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Bitter Harvest is the fifth book in Sheila Connolly’s Orchard Mystery Series. And while I loved this series, I was however expecting a murder to investigate and it just wasn’t there. It was about relationships and solving the mystery of a sampler they found about a family that once was.

December has come and so does the end of the first Harvest season for Meg and Bree. Meg wants to rest and relax and consider what her options are for the next year will be. Will she continue on or not, Meg has to
Jun 10, 2015 Lisa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not my fav of the series thus far, but Connolly's writing is still enticing for an afternoon away from reality. This is one of only a few series I've read where the next book takes place right after the previous one. Interesting concept. Connolly pulls it off, too, without too much of the "catch-up storyline" for people who may not have read the previous one or who maybe forgot what happened.
SPOILER ALERT: Meg Corey has just finished her harvest season and appears to be waiting for Christmas to
Sep 11, 2016 Mysteryfan rated it liked it
Shelves: mysteries
Some days you just want a nice cozy to read and this fit the bill nicely. Meg runs an apple orchard and is dealing with a harsh New England winter. She discovers a sampler and tries to solve a historical mystery. At the same time someone is harassing her with escalating pranks. It was an enjoyable read.
Jeannie and Louis Rigod
Aug 14, 2011 Jeannie and Louis Rigod rated it it was amazing
Ms. Connolly has written another lovely, charming, interesting, and intriguing mystery. How does she do it? With humor, civility, and a comprehensive understanding of her subject.

Yea, We have made it through our first harvest with Meg, Bree, and Seth. What Meg realizes though is now she has to make some real decisions about the future. What will make her happy, responsibilities to consider, other's lives and her romantic future are hanging in the balance. Even Lolly, the cat is now dependent upo
Apr 29, 2012 Kaye rated it really liked it
I love this series. While there wasn't a murder, mystery essentially means something that is not known, and therefore, a problem that needs solving. Meg Corey has harvested her first crop of apples, and Bree (Briona) Stewart her orchard manager and roommate, has not yet finished the paperwork. Meg doesn't know if she made or lost money yet. Seth Chapin, her next door neighbor and friend comes by with his dog, Max, and Meg's two goats just before a big storm hits and her furnace dies. Bree is wit ...more
Gail Richmond
Jan 20, 2017 Gail Richmond rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 10, 2015 Diana rated it really liked it
I liked Shelia Connolly’s BITTER HARVEST, but that ‘liking’ had little to do with the mystery component. There was very little, if any, mystery component to the story, besides wondering if the pranks and incidents related to Meg and Bree were malicious or just coincidences.
I enjoyed reading this story because of the genealogy puzzles that related to the Warren family and other early 1700s Granford families.
The genealogy, house restoration, local history, local agriculture and character personal
Sep 21, 2011 Amanda rated it it was amazing
Yet another awesome book in this series.
Meg comes to life in this novel; she experiences the difficulties that we have some to expect, she expresses her doubts about herself and the viability of the orchard as a long-term career option, as well as addressing her thoughts and feelings towards Seth...

I am so glad that they have finally been completely honest about their feelings for one another, I have been waiting for them to admit to being in love with one another since the 3rd book in this seri
Aug 06, 2014 Paula rated it really liked it
This was a very different cozy murder mystery. Without giving away what made it so special, all I can say is it is a mystery and there was a murder victim. I love the way the author has continued her characters' stories throughout this series, with the opening book starting before the apple growing season, and continuing through the next few books and finally into this book with the apple harvest being completed and now ending with Christmas season about to occur. Can't wait to read the next boo ...more
Sep 05, 2011 Cathie rated it liked it
Shelves: light-reading
I liked this book and felt like I learned some things as I read along. I didn't realize there were specific people that studied death and the effects it has on different cultures, a Thanatologist. I've not learned much about genealogy until I read this and found it interesting how Meg researched the sampler and how the mystery was tied into it. Good characters and I found their dialogue interesting too, no patience for nonsense talking among the main three with "what's your point" stated a lot : ...more
Linda Smatzny
Mar 29, 2015 Linda Smatzny rated it really liked it
This is the fifth book in the Orchard Mystery series. It is December and Meg Corey is at loose ends as there is nothing to do in the orchard. However the house is presenting many problems which all require a big out lay of money. Meg hasn't received the final numbers from Bree so isn't sure if she made a profit or not. During this time, Meg survives a blizzard with no heat and a daily happening of some minor mishaps. No murders in this story but the mystery is trying to figure who and why someon ...more
Nov 05, 2012 Natalie rated it it was ok
Shelves: penguin-2012
I've been saving this one for apple season. Even with only one tree we've got about 30 apples on the kitchen counter right now. Perfect time to read about apples :-)

Eh. It was actually winter, not apple harvest season. But I can't say I enjoyed it enough to go search out the books from apple harvest time. It wasn't horrible but I predicted more of it than I enjoyed. The recipes didn't have apples in them either. If I find more for cheap I might read them but this one is going in the donation
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Madison Mega-Mara...: Bitter Harvest 1 2 Jan 27, 2012 06:40PM  
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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 (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • One Bad Apple (Orchard, #1)
  • Rotten to the Core (Orchard, #2)
  • Red Delicious Death (Orchard, #3)
  • A Killer Crop (Orchard, #4)
  • Sour Apples (Orchard, #6)
  • Golden Malicious (Orchard, #7)
  • Picked to Die (Orchard, #8)
  • A Gala Event (Orchard, #9)
  • Seeds of Deception (Orchard #10)
  • A Late Frost (Orchard #11)

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