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A Killer Crop (Orchard Mystery #4)
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A Killer Crop (Orchard #4)

3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  1,085 Ratings  ·  88 Reviews
After an English professor-and old friend of her mother-is found dead in a cider house, orchard owner Meg Corey starts to wonder: Could her own mother have committed murder?
ebook, 304 pages
Published December 1st 2010 by Berkley Books (first published October 28th 2010)
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Really 4.5 stars, but I rounded up.

It's been quite a while since I read the first three in this series; almost two years to be exact. I'd started this book soon after reading the third one and I just never really got passed page 40. However, after pushing through Grace Among Thieves and loving it I decided to pick this one back up and see if I could get anywhere with it. I did and I'm happy to say that this was a wonderful book!

Meg Corey is an awesome main character. She works hard, isn't nosy,
These books are fun but don't really require much of a commitment. This is book 4 in the series and it just does enough to make me want to read book 5, but honestly I've pretty much forgotten the first three books.

Sheila Connolly doesn't do anything new but she doesn't do anything bad either. If you want to kill some time with a cosy mystery, these are pretty good.
Why do I continue to read this series when I find them just mediocre? I'll tell you why...I'm fascinated by the whole idea of inheriting an old house with an apple orchard. Every time I look at the book cover I think of fall. I give this only and "ok" rating because Meg is just so damn serious and boring all the time. Does she ever crack a smile? Would it hurt her to laugh once in awhile? She has zero sense of humor. This series has the potential to be outstanding, but there needs to be some maj ...more
Mar 22, 2011 Lynn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just wrote 2 paragraphs that got erased. Ugh, computers are our friends!

I love this series. The information about small town politics, small town over worked historians, apple orchard managing, Harvest Festivals and food co-ops; it is all spot on and Sheila Connolly has really done her research! I love Meg and her questioning her relationship with Seth. Bree is a handful and the Jamaican pickers are great. Meg's mom unexpectedly shows up on the door step of "Red Delicious Death" and "A Killer
Jeannie and Louis Rigod
This book, by far, was the best in the series yet. And, that is truly saying something. I've enjoyed learning about apple growing and restaurant openings, but, when the added dimension of genealogy was introduced the book picked up and ran with it.

I could not help but be involved with the plot and eagerly reading to see how the generations of Ms. Emily was relative to the case. I enjoyed learning more about Ms. Dickinson and the fact that the Author, Ms. Connolly is of the family in real life w
Jun 16, 2011 Terri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
Meg in the midst of her first apple harvest season when she comes home to find her mother unexpectedly sitting on her doorstep. Then the greater surprise is that her mother was visiting an old friend who has since turned up murdered in an usual location.

What I liked most about this book in the series was Meg's interactions with her mother. Their relationship evolves as a result of what is happening. And they have some really interesting conversations and moments.

I also enjoyed Meg's adaptation
Tricia Douglas
Oct 27, 2015 Tricia Douglas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cozy-mystery
Sheila Connolly was the cozy mystery group's author for October. First time I've read one of her books and did enjoy the story. I liked the tie-in with Emily Dickinson, learning about how hard it is to grow a crop like apples, and the town of Amherst, MA. Good story for a lazy day!
t's Meg's first harvest in the apple orchard. Having decided she's going to learn about the business from the bottom up, she's working as a picker. And because she's understaffed, she's working hard.

When her mother appears, unannounced, on her doorstep, Meg isn't terribly pleased, but decides to try to make the best of it. Then, they find out that the old friend Elizabeth Corey has been visiting was found dead on the floor of a cider house. When Meg tries to find out why she was visiting this ma
May 27, 2012 Kristen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: serial-cozy, 2012
If you love culinary cozies, you'll enjoy this one from the Orchard Mysteries. When I've read Killer Crop, it's a good cozy. We're enveloped into a rustic world of living in Massachusetts, when a murder takes place. We're introduced to Meg Corey, who's now learning the ropes of apple picking for her orchard. There's so much goes into the process, whether by hand or by machine, even to make cider, for harvest season. It's a lot of hard work to learn about apple picking. It's educational and infor ...more
Melissa (The Lit Queen)
This is the 4th in the Orchard series and I am still not loving it. I can't stand the main character, Meg and if it weren't for the other characters charm, I'd suspect I'd of put this in the abandoned pile a while ago. Meg's parents had a large part in this, especially her mom, Elizabeth, and I really liked them. I didn't like how Seth was treated at all by Meg, nor did I like how little it focuses on the orchard when it is supposed to be an orchard series! Sort of boring if I am being honest an ...more
Dec 05, 2011 Patty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A local professor is killed and somehow Meg's mother becomes the prime suspect. Just what Meg doesn't need while she is in the middle of her first apple harvest.

There is a lot going one here, hints about apple harvest, tips on how to conduct genealogical research and a potential for finding new letters written by Emily Dickinson. Meg is torn in several directions, apple harvest, mystery of dead professor, parents visiting, Bree with a broken arm, and trying to find the time(courage) to tell her
Apr 05, 2016 Jenn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Remember reading this a long time ago wishing I had a passion for something that I was good at.
Molly Weston
Jan 26, 2011 Molly Weston rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Meg Corey is right in the middle of harvesting her first apple crop when her mother arrives for an unannounced visit. By the time Meg has shaken off her initial surprise she gets another: Detective William Marcus knocks on the front door asking to talk with Elizabeth about a murder. Although Meg and Elizabeth aren't close, she knows her mother couldn't have anything to do with murder. Could she? And why on earth would an Emily Dickinson scholar be the victim?

If you're looking for a high-end tra
Dec 06, 2015 Diana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A KILLER CROP is Title #4 in Shelia Connolly’s Orchard Mystery series. I like reading about genealogy, house restoration and issues, local history, agriculture and orchard management. I like the characters, their development and everyday activities in Granford, their small New England town. I do like puzzles and mysteries, although this one was a bit weak. The death reminded me a lot of the death of Sam in RED DELICIOUS DEATH. The cause of death ‘may’ have been due to a natural cause, but the wh ...more
I like this book a lot, but wish I didn't start the series in the middle. The pacing and structure of the book was different than many others I've read. This one really focuses on a genealogy search rather than questioning locals and disbelieving their alibis. (view spoiler) ...more
Oct 23, 2015 Melodie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2011
I really haven't cared much for this series, in fact I gave the 3rd one only 2 stars. But this one was much better, actually the best of the series, so far. I hadn't intended to read anymore in the series after the 3rd book, but this cover was so pretty I couldn't resist it. Meg's mother, with whom she doesn't have that great a relationsship, shows up on her doorstep unannounced. Then Mom becomes a suspect in a murder investigation. Not bad at all!
Jul 06, 2013 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cozy-mystery
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 29, 2013 Kim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another great book about apples, the process, and picking. Each book is another step is how an apple orchard works. Only one thing, it said that each Honey Crisp tree bought has to have a license to sell the apples. That's not exactly true. Only certain types of Honey Crisp have that requirement, mostly the newer strains.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I signed up for the Goodreads "Challenge" to try to read 78 books this year, or 1 1/2 a week. This book is book number 78 so it appears that I could have said I would read 2 whole books a week and, at this rate, just made it. Oh well it is not about the numbers, that is just a fun detail.
This was not however a fun book. It seemed rather repetitive and plodding, barely earning its third star. Yes I am sure that picking apples all day becomes repetitive and tiring, and that geneology, the author's
May 17, 2015 Sara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 15, 2015 Lisa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Meg and Bree have their first crop on their hands, and despite the title, it's not killer. I enjoy these Orchard mysteries because they're true to MA life, and I find the restoration and orchard information fascinating. SPOILER ALERT I think the killer was pretty clear from the time she was introduced in the story, but not the why. In terms of character development, I'm not sure what happened in the other books (I've only read 1 other in this series), but what is Meg's deal with Seth and her par ...more
Dec 08, 2015 Marianne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rarely do I enjoy books in this genre with main characters that I dislike. I'm definitely not a fan or Meg Corey. She has the emotional maturity of a twelve year old - in this book especially - and she's kind of a dick toward everyone else (particularly her mom and Seth). However, my enjoyment of the other characters, the setting, and the plot far outweighed my negative opinion of Meg. Having studied Emily Dickinson and her poetry in depth over the course of my college life, Amherst and Dickinso ...more
Jun 15, 2011 Nora-adrienne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: cozies
A Killer Crop
By Sheila Connolly
Copyright December 2010
Publisher Berkeley Prime Crime

When Meg Corey’s mother arrives unannounced in Granford, Massachusetts, Meg’s sure it’s not just to pay a surprise visit to the apple of her eye. The timing is terrible – it’s harvest season and Meg is understaffed in the orchard. Plus Elizabeth Corey is clearly hiding the real purpose of her trip from her daughter.
After an English professor from Amherst, who is an old friend of her mother is found dead on the f
Rosa Cline
I gave this book my usual "5 chapters or 100 pages" before I stopped reading it. It seemed like the storyline was going no where and I was a bit lost in the interaction of the characters. Maybe that was due to the fact that this book is part of a series and I haven't read any of the other books before it. I picked this one up for the "Fall-Halloween" theme; but I'll return it to the library and start this series from book 1 to give it an honest review before I say I'll not read these again.
Nov 18, 2015 Kari rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2015
Meg's mother comes to visit an old friend from college, and she turns out to be the last known person to see him alive. Meg has drifted apart from her mother and was surprised to learn she was there, and that she had come without Dad. But she knows her mother is no killer, so she sets to trying to find the real killer.

Ties to Emily Dickinson connections gave substance to this story, but in the end I found the resolution to the murder to be unsatisfactory.
This entry in the series picked up right after the last left off during Meg's busiest time in the orchard - harvest time. Adding to the craziness of the season is her mother showing up unexpectedly on her door step and soon after involved in a murder. What took away from this book was the repeativeness of the day to day activities in the book. I know this is how real life is but it's not much fun to read the same scene multiple times in a book.
Linda Smatzny
Mar 05, 2015 Linda Smatzny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the fourth book in the Orchard Mystery series featuring Meg Corey. In this book, Meg's mother arrives unexpectedly at the beginning of harvest season and seems to be involved in a murder. Meg is trying to figure out her relationship with her mother and her mother is being less than forthcoming with both Meg and the police. Turns out the murder involved a mystery surrounding Emily Dickinson. The book was a quick and easy read.
Jan 12, 2011 Kate rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
2.5. This was my first book in this series, and I have to admit that I had a really hard time liking the main character, Meg. Her mother visits an old college friend and when the man ends up murdered she comes to stay with Meg. From the very beginning Meg is mean and rude to her mother, complaining about what an inconvenience her visit is. She even wonders whether her own mother might be the murderer, and comtemplates whether she was cheating on her father with this person. WHO thinks about thei ...more
Apr 26, 2014 Karen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I have to say, I'm not "in love" with the characters yet. I think there's some potential, but Meg is not there yet. I keep reading to see the changes, which are there, but they're small. Meg is in a pretty stressful situation, but shouldn't she start seeing some of the positive of what she has and enjoy it? This series is a nice "read while you're relaxing in the sun for the afternoon" break. You get some nice recipes and insight into interesting aspects of life around the orchard. It's a fun re ...more
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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)
  • Rotten to the Core (Orchard, #2)
  • Red Delicious Death (Orchard, #3)
  • 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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