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A Cider Shop Mystery #1

Apple Cider Slaying

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Apples are at the core of the family business run by Winona Mae Montgomery and her Granny Smythe. But this year's crop is unseasonably ripe with murder . . .


Blossom Valley, West Virginia, is home to Smythe Orchards, Winnie and her Granny's beloved twenty-five-acre farm and family business. But any way you slice it, it's struggling. That's why they're trying to drum up business with the "First Annual Christmas at the Orchard," a good old-fashioned holiday festival with enough delicious draw to satisfy apple-picking locals and cider-loving tourists alike--until the whole endeavor takes a sour turn when the body of Nadine Cooper, Granny's long-time, grudge-holding nemesis, is found lodged in the apple press. Now, with Granny the number one suspect, Winnie is hard-pressed to prove her innocence before the real killer delivers another murder . . .

Includes Recipes!

313 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published October 29, 2019

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About the author

Julie Anne Lindsey

123 books1,229 followers
Julie Anne Lindsey is an award-winning and bestselling author of cozy mystery and romantic suspense. She’s published more than fifty novels as herself & under the pen names, Bree Baker, Jacqueline Frost & Julie Chase, for various publishers, including Kensington, Harlequin, Sourcebooks and Crooked Lane Books. When she's not writing the stories that keep her up at night, Julie stays busy in Kent, Ohio with her patient husband, enabling friends, and three amazing kids. Today she hopes to make someone smile. One day she plans to change the world.

Be sure to follow Julie on BookBub for the latest on sales: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/julie...

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 507 reviews
Profile Image for James.
Author 17 books3,483 followers
April 16, 2020
Apple Cider Slaying is the first book in a new series, A Cider Shop Mystery, written by Julie Anne Lindsey. I previously read a few books by this author (under her pseudonyms) and joined the blog tour to promote this release. I love drinking cider and wanted to get in on a new series right at the beginning. Let's chat about the book.

Winnie has returned to her hometown, Blossom Valley, West Virginia to help Granny turn around the family business. Her fiance dumped her last Christmas, and she's almost done obtaining her college degree, but she is ready to start a new cider business. During the first tour to convince the bank to lend her the money for the larger changes, her Granny's enemy is found in a precarious position. Who killed the neighbor? Winnie investigates while building up her new business. She struggles with the bank and the sheriff, as they worry she had something to do with the murder. Then Winnie's ex comes home to tell her he's sorry for the past. How does it all fit together?

To begin with, if you love fall, apple cider, and cozy mysteries, you will enjoy this book. There is a lot of time spent setting up the background and developing the characters, but that often happens in the first of a series. In some areas, I think there was too much focus on things other than the mystery, yet at the same time, it helped give the book a great ambiance and setting. I don't mind reading a mystery that shares a lot of about the side stories as long as the mystery itself isn't lacking. In this case, it was good, but I think it went off-course a few times--not enough to be a real problem tho.

The writing is good, and I enjoyed the transitions between chapters. There were several potential culprits and red herrings, but I would've liked a little more time spent on analyzing those options. All-in-all, for making a theme and setting pop, I give this one a solid A rating. As a debut, it leaves you a lot to look forward to in the series too. I will read the next one, as I like the author and the possibilities here. I recommend it for anyone who wants a fun fall read and likes their cozies mysteries with an even balance of side story humor and development. Drink some apple cider while reading it too.
Profile Image for Natalia  R.
275 reviews156 followers
October 16, 2019
Winnie Montgomery is trying her best to drum up business for her family's apple orchard. She's hoping that when the bank manager sees how well the business is doing, he'll approve the loan she needs to open a cider shop. When he arrives to tour the property, they discover her grandmother's nemesis dead in the apple press. The police immediately suspect her grandmother of the crime. Winnie knows her grandmother is innocent and is determined to uncover the truth. I loved every minute of this fast-paced, suspenseful cozy mystery! The characters are likable and easy to relate to. Winnie's a hard worker, and I admired her optimism, and her determination to succeed. I loved her strong bond with her grandmother. The mystery was well crafted and kept me guessing. This is a wonderful introduction to a new series and I highly recommend it. Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington Books for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Carrie.
3,040 reviews1,500 followers
October 28, 2019
Apple Cider Slaying by Julie Anne Lindsey is the first book in the new cozy A Cider Shop Mystery series. As with most cozy series each book should have it’s own mystery completely solved within and only carry over the character development.

Winona Mae Montgomery is doing her best to help her Granny Smythe save the family business, Smythe Orchards, located in Blossom Valley, West Virginia. The orchard has been barely getting by so Winnie is excited to bring in some fresh, new and hopefully money making ideas for the business.

Winnie and her granny have the orchard hopping with it’s First Annual Christmas at the Orchard. With customers everywhere on the property Winnie hopes it’s the perfect time to pitch another of her ideas to the bank but as she and the loan officer scope out the property during Winnie’s pitch they walk in on the body of Granny Smythe’s long time rival Nadine Cooper.

Apple Cider Slaying was a solid opening to a new cozy series. Being the first of the series I was of course just getting used to the characters and setting so while they were nice enough I wouldn’t say it overly stood out from the myriad of other cozies out there just yet. However, I did like this opener enough to rate it at 3 1/2 stars and would continue on with book two.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.com/
Profile Image for beachbum bookworm.
329 reviews310 followers
May 27, 2020
Newest Assignment details

Where: blossom valley, West Virginia

Who: Winne, Granny Smythe, and the gang

Arriving in Blossom Valley to meet Winnie was exciting and nerve racking...I really love Cider, and I'm trying to watch my weight, but I mean it would be rude not to sample...right? When I got to the orchard...Winnie broke down the history of how Granny and Grampy inquired the orchard. She then went on to tell me some of the financial problems since her beloved grandfathers' death, and what she planned to do about it. I loved her ideas...a year-round cider shop and hosting events including one I was going to be her for “the first annual Christmas at the orchard” ...brilliant!! Now, for the hard part...getting the loan...ugg. She filled me in on how she had an appointment set up for later that day for Mr. Sherman at the bank to come out and hear and see her plans. As she continued to fill me in some elderly lady came barreling in (wearing quite inappropriate clothing...i might add) demanding to speak to Granny Smythe. Winnie didn’t seem that bothered by her, and calmly stated she would let granny know. After the woman huffed off...Winnie filled me on Nadine Cooper (the huffy woman). It seems Nadine and Granny have been feuding for about 40 years. It seems there was always something the other one was up in arms about.

Anyways we got back to discussing the orchard….did you guys know Winnie makes her own cider recipes...has been for years...I can attest...they are delicious!! Mr. Sherman arrived, and we began to walk him around the orchard with Winnie sharing her ideas. She specifically wanted to show him the mail pouch barn...which is where she wants to house the cider shop. When we got to the barn...I remember Winnie stating she thought the barn door being closed was weird. The mail patch barn is where the apple press is located and a favorite place for guests to visit. Upon wrenching open the door...Mr. Sherman made an audible gasp, and then Winnie was screaming. Thank god I didn’t see what was going on! Only told that Nadine had been killed….with the apple press...ewww. The new sheriff is immediately pointing fingers @ Granny Smythe...because of the feud between them, but Winnie, me, and most of the town know better! Winnie talks me into helping her search for the real killer, save granny smythe from prison, and save the orchard. Whew...that’s a lot to ask…..

My thoughts:

Well as John Denver stated West Virginia is almost heaven!! I loved this book! All the themes of this book tick off everything I love about cozies!! Food/drink, small town, lots of community involvement….check, check, check, and checkmate! The mystery was intriguing, fast paced, and I was engaged from start to finish. I did guess the killer….AFTER she/he was revealed lol...ok well I would of guessed the killer if the author didnt have such convincing red herrings. I loved the secondary characters….Dot, Colton, NOT Hank lol, and Granny Smythe (love the punny name by the way)!! I also, hope we see more of Granny’s knitting club w/ the rude embroidery...that could be a real hoot!

I really recommend you check out this tasty book, and all the recipes included!! Cheers!!

For more book fun subscribe to my blog @ http://beachbumbookworm.com/
Profile Image for Juli.
1,844 reviews471 followers
October 6, 2019
Winnie Montgomery is trying to help her family save its apple orchard in this first book in the Cider Shop Mystery series. She's pulling out all the stops to bring tourists to Smythe Orchard -- fall tours, tastings, even Christmas at the Orchard. When their cantankerous next door neighbor is found dead in the apple press, it doesn't bode well for the failing farm. Winnie is on the case to clear her granny of any suspicion and save the orchard's reputation.

Such a cute story! I like Winnie as a main character. She's funny, intelligent and determined! She has a dream and is working so hard to try and make it happen. A dead body in the apple press is a bit of a hiccup in the plan....but she got to work immediately to solve the problem. The story is a nice mix of mystery and humor. I like all the quirky side characters. There were plenty of suspects and some interesting twists along the way. Everything came together to make a very entertaining, fall/winter theme, light mystery! I'm looking forward to the next book in the series, and luckily it won't be a long wait. Book #2, Pulp Friction, will be out in Spring 2020.

The front cover is so colorful and cheery! I always get sucked in by cozy covers! :)

Great start to a new series!

This is the first book by Julie Anne Lindsey that I've read. I will definitely be reading more! She also writes the Geek Girl Mysteries, plus several other mystery/thriller and romance titles.

**I voluntarily read an advance readers copy of this book from Kensington via NetGalley. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.**
Profile Image for Sabine.
593 reviews76 followers
June 19, 2020
3.5 stars
I listened to the audio version of this book and am not as enthusiastic about the mystery as most other reviewers. I am not quite sure why this is the case...maybe I should have read it instead??? I don't know. A cider shop on the orchard sounds charming and fun but I found it to be dragging out and a bit boring at times.
I may give book 2 a chance though.
Profile Image for Kevin.
1,427 reviews35 followers
January 20, 2020
3 ½ stars
This has a lot of the tropes of a cozy but it’s fast paced plot that put’s the main character Winnie and her Granny in danger make it read like a page turning thriller.

My biggest criticism of the book is that not a lot of character development aside from Winnie and Colton, but I understand that as a first book in a series you need the world building and then add in the swift plot that doesn’t leave a lot of room for quirky side characters.

The next book in the series is due out April 28th 2020 according to goodreads and I’m looking forward to getting it, I want to see what happens when the cider shop opens and what’s next for Winnie. In the meantime I plan to give the authors Geek Girl Mysteries a try.

Cozies Reading Challenge
Profile Image for Amanda (BookLoverAmanda).
249 reviews138 followers
November 17, 2022
This is my new favorite cozy mystery! The first one I have given 5 stars! It has the perfect amount of mystery, fall and christmas vibes, a little bit of romance bits, a little bit of southern charm, great characters - the whole 9 yards! Can't wait to read more in this series. PLUS, it was completely clean with no language! 5 BIG STARS!

This book is book 1 in the Cider Shop Mystery series and it follows Winnie Montgomery. She is trying her best to get business going for her Granny's apple orchard, Smythe Orchards located in Blossom Valley, West Virginia. Winnie is also looking to start her own apple cider shop year round. The story starts with the bank manager reviewing the orchard to possibly approve her for a loan for the new business venture. All of a sudden, they find her Granny's "enemy" dead in the apple press and all eyes point to Winnie's Granny as the perpetrator. The story kicks off here with Winnie trying to clear her Granny's name and figure out who the real killer is.

This story is so engaging and I LOVED Winnie and her Granny. It truly reminds me of my Grannys - miss both of them so much. I also loved the sweet kittens, the sheriff was hilarious and I was here for ALLLLL the fall and christmas vibes. (Winnie is working toward the orchard's first Annual Christmas at the Orchard event so we got to see so many great Christmas details.) Loved the ending and can't wait to read book 2!
Profile Image for Chatting About Cozies.
1,117 reviews48 followers
October 17, 2019
Who likes apple cider? Me, too! One of the first things that attracted me to this book was the cheery red Christmas cover, and the thought of hot cider on a cold winter day.

Winnie Montgomery’s passion is creating savory homemade apple ciders! Her cider is sold at her Granny Smythe’s Orchard in gorgeous Blossom Valley, West Virginia. Winnie’s dream is to renovate an old barn on the property into a cider shop and for that, she needs a bank loan. When Mr. Sherman, the banker, comes for a tour and they stumble across a corpse; Winnie fears that’s killed her chances for loan approval, however; she’s a determined protagonist and isn’t going to let a murderer ruin her project. She decides if she solves the murder and can get the bank officer to come back, then maybe she can still get a loan.

Full of home, hearth, and love of family, friends, and community; I constantly felt the coziness as I savored this story. Winnie and her Granny have such wonderful memories that crop up throughout the fast-paced storyline. As the mystery and suspense build, there’s so much more to this story than picking apples and sipping cider. The author led me on such a merry chase that the killer snuck up on me! Scrumptious sounding recipes round out the ending of this delicious read. Grab a warm beverage and enjoy this cozy!

I reviewed a digital arc provided by NetGalley and Kensington Publishing with an honest, unbiased opinion. Thank you.
Profile Image for Elle G. Reads.
1,484 reviews692 followers
October 29, 2019
Release Date: October 29, 2019
Actual Rating: 5 stars

First in a new series | Culinary Cozy Mystery

Apple Cider Slaying is the first book in a brand new cozy mystery series by Julie Anne Lindsey! This is a wonderful book and it's filled with many of my favorite things- Christmas cheer and Holiday themes, Apple Cider, small town friendships, a dash of romance, and a killer mystery. I am always excited to find new mystery series to get into and this one was a winner for me. I can't wait for the next book which will be released on April 28th, 2020. The book is title Pulp Friction and you can find it here on goodreads and even preorder a copy on amazon.

That being said, Apple Cider Slaying introduces readers to Winnie, her granny Smythe (how cute is this), and a slew of secondary characters like sheriff Colton and her best friend Dot.

Winnie has longed to open her own Cider Shop and decides the best place to do it is on her granny's apple orchard in the small town of Blossom Valley, Virginia. Winne has always loved the area and living there right alongside her granny is a blessing. But her dreams suddenly become a nightmare when their neighbor next door is killed on the property.

Will Winnie back off when it comes to opening her dream shop or will she "assist" the handsome sheriff and find the killer who is putting a damper on her plans? Well, you can only guess what Winnie decides! This is a cozy mystery after all and having an amateur sleuth help in the case is a no brainer. But what happens to Winnie and her family along the way may shock and surprise you and you can only see what happens by reading!

I personally recommend this book to all fans of the genre as it's the perfect cozy for this time of year! Not only that, the characters are extremely likable and the mystery is top notch! I cannot wait for the next one!

Special thanks for Kensington books for sending me a paperback ARC of this novel. I absolutely loved it!
Profile Image for The Sassy Bookworm.
3,265 reviews2,273 followers
November 6, 2019
description I don't honestly have much to say about this book. It was a very "middle of the road" read for me. There were parts that I enjoyed a lot. The setting, Grammy, Winnie (sometimes). And there were things I didn't like. The "killer" was super obvious. The plot got bogged down at times with too much descriptions. I found Winnie to be annoying at times, and I loathe love triangles in cozy mysteries and this series looks to be heading in that direction. So ya, a mixed bag with this one for sure. 



Profile Image for Lisa Ks Book Reviews.
843 reviews105 followers
November 2, 2019
I loved the thought of this book when I first heard about it. Everything from the cover to the setting had me sold. When I found out the author, using pennames, writes two of my other favorite series, I couldn’t get my hands on it fast enough! It lived up to everything I hoped for and more!

APPLE CIDER SLAYING is the first book in the Cider Shop Mysteries. Having started and finished this book in October, it was exactly what the doctor ordered for cozy fall reading. Filled to bursting with mystery, great characters, a beautiful setting, and a bushel full of everything I look for in a book, I didn’t want it to end.

Author Julie Anne Lindsey has delivered with APPLE CIDER SLAYING a delicious story (speaking of delicious, there are recipes included) that is one of my favorite picks of the year, and is sure to be just the beginning of a delightfully wonderful crop of books!
Profile Image for Katie T.
908 reviews63 followers
November 13, 2020
Profile Image for Amy.
492 reviews4 followers
December 18, 2019
Winona Mae, "Winnie" Montgomery and her Granny Smythe live and work on Smythe Orchards in Blossom Valley, West Virginia--in the scenic Appalachian Mountains. Winnie hopes to expand the business by getting a bank loan to expand the cider production. But Winnie's plans are put on hold indefinitely when the banker comes out to the property and they both come upon a dead body. The newly elected sheriff is doing his best to solve the murder of Granny's neighbor but Winnie continually disobeys his order not to get involved in the investigation. She fears that if the killer isn't found soon that she, her Granny or both may be the next victims.

I very much enjoyed the holiday-themed debut to this promising cozy series. Winnie's efforts to save her family's business were very admirable. I really admired her tenacity and loyalty, which comes full-circle when Blossom Valley shows its love for her and Granny. The mystery was well-plotted and kept my attention throughout the whole book. The interactions between Winnie and Sheriff Wise begin to shift in their tone as the book progresses. I look forward to returning to the orchard for new adventures and I would like to try the cider recipe included at the end of the book.

Thanks to the author and Cozy Mystery Review Crew for a copy of the book. My review is voluntary.
Profile Image for Alan.
Author 6 books308 followers
December 30, 2020
When Winona Mae Montgomery's grandmother is suspected of murder, Winnie springs into action.

This fast-paced cozy mystery features a likable protagonist who is also bright and persistent. Secondary characters are nicely quirky. Lindsey provides us vivid descriptions that pulled me in. The plot was well twisted, and there are suspects galore.

All in all, a nice holiday mystery.
Profile Image for JoAn.
2,047 reviews1 follower
September 19, 2019
Apple Cider Slaying by Julie Anne Lindsey is the first book in a new cozy mystery series, A Cider Shop Mystery, and was a great beginning.

Winnie and Granny Smythe are wonderful warm characters that I found to be very likable; and I look forward to spending more time with them as this series continues. Sheriff Wise was not too likable at first; but he began to loosen up as he got to know Winnie and Granny. He's an enigma that I look forward to getting to know better in the next book. A swiftly paced plot, very few suspects, red herrings and twists that kept me turning the pages. The reveal was a little scary so I was gripping my Kindle throughout the scene. The perfect cozy mystery for me. I definitely recommend this book to cozy mystery lovers.

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book from Kensington via NetGalley. All of the above opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Christopher.
215 reviews166 followers
December 19, 2019
After the death of her Grampy, Winnie Montgomery has been even more committed to the success of the business she runs with her Granny Smythe. Still, there’s no denying that the orchard is in financial trouble, and unless things turn around—well, she doesn’t even want to consider what would happen. Fortunately, Winnie and Granny have a plan: the First Annual Christmas at the Orchard, a massive festival centered around the pair’s apple-centric products. But after Granny’s sworn enemy is found dead in their apple press and she becomes the number one suspect, Winnie turns sleuth to clear her name.

‘Tis the season for apple cider and murder. Author Julie Anne Lindsey has stirred up a solid series debut, and much of that success rests on her main character—granddaughter extraordinaire and guide to all things apple. Winnie opens the story in the middle of planning a festival and securing a bank loan. She’s someone naturally excited about the quiet community around her, and the bulk of her adult life has been spent aiding her grandparents and bettering their small business. This calmness and loyalty make her immediately endearing.

And when everything goes topsy-turvy—financially and mortally—she’s the first to take control of the situation. Her detective work feels natural. She’s not someone inserting herself into a case. Rather, she feels compelled to solve the murder because of the suspicion cast on her Granny, and it’s highly effective. These two women share a special relationship, and their interactions are a true highlight, whether they’re hosting tour groups or simply sampling ciders. Ultimately, it makes sense that Winnie would do anything to help her—including putting herself in the occasional path of danger.

It helps that Lindsey has spun a compelling mystery that binds everything together. The murder comes quickly and ties directly to Winnie’s cider-making operation. And while Lindsey dips into other aspects of Winnie’s life, including a second job and a complicated history with love, everything ties back to the murder. Twists and turns abound, but it all builds to a truly surprising ending. The result is a well-rounded book that lets Winnie shine as the smart, funny character she is while dropping her into as many predicaments as possible.

Like all good cozies, she’s backed up in her endeavors by a charming cast of secondary characters who populate an almost-idyllic community—there is a murderer on the loose, after all. Lindsey manages to balance some quirky characteristics with restrained realism. A farmer with a secret. A sheriff balancing an investigation with personal feelings. A best friend in need of a feline favor. Altogether, it feels like purely natural fun.

Tightly plotted with expert character work and a strong mystery, Apple Cider Slaying is as satisfying as the apples, ciders, pies, and other delicious goodies that populate its pages.

Note: I received a free ARC of this book through NetGalley.

Review also posted at https://pluckedfromthestacks.wordpres...
Profile Image for Angela.
389 reviews754 followers
December 4, 2022
Cozy Mystery Reading Vlog: https://youtu.be/T0iugjtvsnc

Its a four but like its almost a 4.5! I loved focusing on Winnie starting her own busy and the balancing between that plot line and the mystery. The kittens were also adorable and I picked the perfect time of year to read this seasonal cozy!
Profile Image for Karen Hollins-Stallman .
589 reviews46 followers
September 14, 2019
“Apple Cider Slaying” by Julie Anne Lindsey is the first in the “A Cider Shop Mystery” set in Blossom Valley, WV. What a great start to a new series! This will be another series in my favourite list.

Apples are at the core of the family business run by Winona Mae Montgomery and her Granny Smythe. But this year’s crop is unseasonably ripe with murder . . .


Blossom Valley, West Virginia, is home to Smythe Orchards, Winnie and her Granny’s beloved twenty-five-acre farm and family business. But any way you slice it, it’s struggling. That’s why they’re trying to drum up business with the “First Annual Christmas at the Orchard,” a good old-fashioned holiday festival with enough delicious draw to satisfy apple-picking locals and cider-loving tourists alike—until the whole endeavor takes a sour turn when the body of Nadine Cooper, Granny’s long-time, grudge-holding nemesis, is found lodged in the apple press. Now, with Granny the number one suspect, Winnie is hard-pressed to prove her innocence before the real killer delivers another murder . . .

Protagonist Winnie Montgomery is relatable, smart and very likeable she lives with her grandmother (Granny Smythe) on Smythe Orchard. I loved the assortment of characters like Granny, Dot her bff and who can resist a couple of orange rescue kittens. I also loved the chemistry between Winnie and Colton.

The mystery is interesting and well plotted, and there are plenty of twists and turns in this story. Kept me guessing till the very end.

I highly recommend this book to all my cozy mystery loving friends!

I requested and received an Advanced Readers Copy from Kensington Books, the Author and NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Profile Image for LORI CASWELL.
2,352 reviews268 followers
November 9, 2019
Dollycas’s Thoughts

Welcome to Smythe Orchards in Blossom Valley, West Virginia. The orchard has been struggling since Grandpa Smythe passed away but Winnie Montgomery has a few ideas to bring her grandparents orchards back into the black. The orchard has never been open year-round and Winnie thinks her plans will bring locals and tourists to the orchard well past Thanksgiving. She decides a “First Annual Christmas at the Orchard” festival is just the thing to kick off her future plans. She also needs the orchard to be full of customers when the loan officer, Mr. Sherman comes to talk about a loan for her future endeavors.

On Mr. Sherman’s first visit to the orchard Winnie’s plans go horribly awry when her Granny’s neighbor and long-time nemesis is discovered squished in the apple press. Because of the ongoing conflicts between the woman, the sheriff quickly picks Granny as his prime suspect. Winnie is not going to stand for that. She is sure she can come up with a bushel basket full of people who could have pressed the cantankerous woman to death. The question is can she do it without getting herself killed in the process.


This series is off to an excellent start.

Ms. Lindsey has created a protagonist this is smart and persistent. She faces a lot of things that would shake most people’s resolve but she keeps pushing forward to save her family’s orchard. Finding a dead woman in the apple press is horrible but it doesn’t stop there, and yet she remains determined to catch a killer and pursue her dreams. She does have a vulnerable side she tries to keep under wraps but that just adds to the depth of her character. I loved the relationship she had with her grandmother and as we get to know Granny Smythe we see where Winnie gets her strength. That apple didn’t fall far from the tree.

There is one truly rotten apple in the rest of the characters we meet. The author delivers plenty of twists and turns along with intrigue and humor making it very hard to pick the right culprit. As we get to know the people of Blossom Valley my focus was drawn to several suspects That final twist was suspenseful and took me completely by surprise. The person was not even on my list but they were rotten to the core! My heart rate really accelerated as the scene played out. The author got me and I love it when that happens.

I enjoyed the holiday theme and life taking care of an apple orchard and making it profitable. Winnie has great ideas and I really want her to succeed. The author gives us wonderful descriptions, so much so apple cider was immediately added to my shopping list about 2 weeks earlier than normal. I wanted a nice warm taste as I finished reading this book. Thankfully, we have an awesome orchard near where we live, not quite as grand as Winnie’s plans but we love their cider, pies, apples, and other treats.

I found the characters to be fresh and engaging and the mystery was stellar, one you can really take a big bite of and still be wrong. The setting was pure bliss, someplace I would visit often.

Apple Cider Slaying is a great holiday mystery! Fast-paced and hard to put down. It comes with recipes too. Pick your copy up today and pick a bushel to share with your friends, Christmas is right around the corner and this cozy mystery would make an awesome gift.

Pulp Friction, book two in this series will be released April 28. 2020.
Profile Image for Mark Baker.
2,016 reviews141 followers
October 30, 2019
The apple orchard that Winnie Montgomery calls home, along with her Granny, is having financial issues, and she is looking for ideas to save it. The idea she is most excited about is turning a barn on the property into a cider shop. She just needs a loan from the bank to be able to do the renovations. However, the meeting with the loan officers doesn’t turn out well when they find the body of Nadine during their tour of the facilities. The police are looking at Granny as their prime suspect since she and Nadine fought on a regular basis. With Granny’s freedom and the fate of the family orchard on the line, can Winnie figure out what really happened?

I always pick up the debut in a new series with hopes for a great read. I had more of a mixed reaction to this book. The plot was uneven, with what should have been sub-plots taking over for pages at a time and leaving me wondering when we’d get back to the mystery. The mystery was driven more by events than Winnie uncovering clues, but those events did draw me into the book, especially since I had come to care for the characters. I loved Winnie, Granny, and the rest of the cast. This was really driven home to me in the second half when an event made me gasp and read a little longer than I had intended that day. The timeline was fuzzy, which always bugs me. However, the book is set during the beginning of the Christmas season, and I loved how that season added to the coziness of the book. The four recipes at the end sound delicious, and yes, one of them is for cider. Julie Anne Lindsey also writes under the names Jacqueline Frost and Bree Baker, and I know she has a large fan base under all of those names. While I find this book uneven, I think this fantastic case of new characters will draw in many readers to this series.

NOTE: I received an ARC of this book.

Read my full review at Carstairs Considers.
Profile Image for Shirley Chapel.
544 reviews69 followers
November 29, 2021

Grandpa and Granny Smythe owned a large and successful apple orchard in Blossom Valley West Virginia. After Grandpa died three years ago Granny had started losing money from her Apple orchard business. Her granddaughter Winona Mae Montgomery studied business management at the local college and set her goals on turning the orchard back into a profitable business again and opening a cider shop in the old Mail Pouch farm on their property. Things were looking up for Winona and Granny Smythe to turn the business around until their long time neighbor at odds, Nadine Cooper showed up at the orchard in an upset state of mind and looking for Granny. When she found out that Granny wasn't available Nadine marched off in a huff. Then later Nadine was found dead in the old Mail Pouch farm and the new Sheriff in town suspected Granny had killed her because of their bad relationship over the years. How could this Sheriff even think Granny would be capable of killing someone. Yes Granny and Nadine had their differences but not enough to make Granny take her disagreeable neighbours life. Winona Mae swings into action in the hopes of convincing the new Sheriff that Granny was innocent while the real killer still lurked about looking for his next victim.
I found this Cozy Mystery to be an edge of seat book a time or two. I read the audio version and enjoyed the narrator . There was plenty of suspects to keep me guessing but I wasn't even close when the actual murderer was identified. I loved the characters and thought the story was well written and held my interest from start to finish.
I recommend to readers of Cozy Mystery. If you enjoy Mysteries with a Christmas thyme you should enjoy this book. It's book one of The Cider Shop Mysteries.
I borrowed this audio book from the Hoopla library. A review was not requested. All thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own.

Profile Image for Shawna Shaheen.
323 reviews2 followers
July 15, 2021
It was Christmas time. Winnie and her Granny Smythe were going to hold a Christmas event year round. And make the Mail Pouch Farm Winnie Cider store at their apple farm. They were going to do games like Painting photo opts, guess how many Apple seeds are in a jar, . Etc... And have some treats popcorn, free cider samples ( Winnie made that cinnamon stick with nutmeg cranberry juice with dash of lemon, chai spices and milk including more.Her granny was going to make the baking with Apple's blueberrie, blackberries, peaches and cherries ( that farm has to offer not just apples) 9 different kinds of Apple's they had. Winnie was waiting for banker Mr Sherman about her plans and try to get a loan . Nadine granny neighbor came over to Granny farm and Winnie and was on a mission ( granny and Nadine did not get along) Winnie and her granny were do a tour of the farm so Granny could not talk to Nadine. Minnie found her dead in the Mail Pouch farm. So then Winnie was worried about Mr.Sherman not letting them open. Someone was terrorizing the farm and Winnie and her Granny. This is a good series. Family sticking together honest friends and great story. Will read more
Profile Image for Nursebookie.
1,947 reviews299 followers
December 2, 2019
Apple Cider Slaying is the first book in a new series, A Cider Shop Mystery, written by Julie Anne Lindsey. Who loves apple cider? Me!! Well, Winnie Montgomery’s passion is creating these fabulous homemade apple ciders and sold at her Granny Smythe’s Orchard in the gorgeous Blossom Valley, West Virginia. Ready to start a new life, and a goal of turning around the family business, after being dumped by her fiancée, she asks for a bank loan. During the inspection a neighbor’s dead body turns up and poor Winnie thinks her chances of a loan is shot. Unless…she helps solve the murder for another shot at an inspection by Mr. Sherman, the banker for the loan. With the bank and the sheriff investigating the murder and Winnie as one of the suspects. How is she going to get out of this precarious situation?

If you love cozy mysteries then this one is not to be missed. I loved the writing and the awesome fast pacing of the book. There is a bit of a background story which is awesome to learn about the characters and is already making me look forward to the next installation. The twist and turns kept me guessing and I loved it.

Bonus recipes are provided for this delicious read. I highly recommend this amazing read!! So, grab a warm cider and enjoy this fun and cozy mystery read.
Profile Image for Linden.
1,427 reviews1 follower
November 3, 2019
Winnie lives with her grandmother on a fruit farm in West Virginia, and they hope to keep the business running past the traditional harvest season by introducing a Winterfest. When someone is murdered and Granny is a suspect, Winnie is determined to clear her name, as well as to get financing for her idea to make their place a year round destination. But someone who doesn't want Winnie's plan to go forward seemingly will stop at nothing. I enjoyed the small town farm setting and the seasonal ambiance of this novel, and look forward to reading more cozy mysteries by this author. I'm grateful that the publisher and Netgalley provided my with this ARC.
Profile Image for Peggy R.
1,012 reviews64 followers
September 22, 2019
This is the first book in the Cider Shop Mystery series and my introduction to author Julie Anne Lindsey. This is a great start to a new cozy mystery series that I can easily see becoming one I look forward to reading. It hits all the areas I look for in a series - it has well-written characters, a charming small-town setting, a strong plot, and a solid mystery. I enjoyed being introduced to Winnie and her Granny along with Dot, Sheriff Wise and the rest of the cast of secondary characters. Winnie is a very likable character - she is coming into her own and is out to make sure the orchard belonging to her Granny (who raised Winnie along with her Grampy) survives its current financial crisis. I was hooked right from the beginning and kept turning pages to see what would happen next. I thought the mystery was well done and there were a few plausible suspects to choose from. The author didn't make it easy to guess the culprit behind the neighbor's murder and other incidents and I was a bit surprised when the culprit was revealed. This person was not on my suspect list. There is a potential love interest for Winnie and I hope that the author does not turn this into a love triangle with Winnie's ex-boyfriend Hank. The love triangle seems to be a trend lately in cozy mysteries and not one I particularly care for. That is one of the things that will turn me away from a series. For right now, I am looking forward to seeing where the author takes the characters and the series so I will definitely be back for the next book.

I voluntarily read a digital ARC provided to me by the publisher, Kensington, through Netgalley.
Profile Image for Brooke Blogs.
593 reviews188 followers
November 7, 2019
So, I was already SUPER excited to have an ARC of Apple Cider Slaying by Julie Anne Lindsey. Then I happened to find out about a Kensington Cozy Con happening about 2 hours from me. You know who was going to be there? Yep! Julie Anne Lindsey. I met her and you guys…she is SO sweet. After meeting her, I was even more excited to read Apple Cider Slaying.

My first visit to Blossom Valley, West Virginia did not disappoint. Winnie and Granny wriggled right inside my heart from the very first page. I loved the setting. Being from small-town, eastern Ohio, bordering West Virginia, it felt like home. Winnie was so easy to like. The story swept me up and I was on pins and needles wanting to see how this one turned out. Apple Cider Slaying is a thoughtful mystery perfect for curling up with on a crisp fall evening. You’ll find yourself loving the mystery…and craving some of Winnie’s apple cider!

I’m ready to start a countdown for the release of book two…I can’t wait to read it!
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