Thursday, October 3, 2013

Review and Giveaway: Golden Malicious

Golden Malicious (Orchard Mystery - Book 7) by Sheila Connolly

Publication Date: 10/01/2013
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley Prime Crime
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 304
ISBN-10: 042525710X
ISBN-13: 978-0425257104

(Received for an honest review from Berkley Prime Crime)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound

Sheila Connolly on the WEB: Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads

Books in the series:

One Bad Apple (2008), Rotten to the Core (2009), Red Delicious Death (2010), A Killer Crop (2010), Bitter Harvest (2011), Sour Apples (2012), Golden Malicious (2013)

Coverart: Click the image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.

Excerpt from Golden Malicious, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature.


While orchard owner Meg Corey dreads the labor of manual irrigation to stave off a drought, her boyfriend, Seth, couldn’t be more excited about doing historic renovation on one of Granford’s oldest houses. Tagging along as he picks up supplies is supposed to give Meg a much-needed break, but the trip turns rotten when she almost trips over a dead body at an old saw mill’s forest reserve.
But the body isn’t the only frightening discovery she makes. A mysterious insect infestation seems to have migrated to the area—one that could bring serious harm to local woodlands. And it's up to Meg to find out what’s behind this sudden swarm of trouble.


Sheila Connolly's Orchard series is a beloved favorite for a lot of cozy mystery readers. The seventh book in the series, Golden Malicious takes readers back to Meg Corey's apple orchard and the small town of Granford. Connolly provides two hooks for cozy readers in this series. Meg's growing apple business and the home renovation business belonging to her boyfriend Seth. Readers get all kinds of interesting ideas and tips from Connolly's writing and some delicious recipes as well. Connolly's knack for plot details always provides an interesting situation for Meg and her vivid characterizations make the people of Granford come alive for the reader. A great addition to a wonderful series.

Sheila Connolly is one of my favorites. She writes more than one series and always keeps the reader on their toes no matter what she is writing about, whether it be apples or museums. Readers who love Connolly's writing will be quick to tell you, it's because of her great plotting skills. Meg and Seth and other members of Granford are always getting into some situation or the other that requires the skills of a sleuth to get them out. 

In Golden Malicious Seth has taken on the job of restoring a 1700's home damaged by a speeding teenager and needs authentic materials to perform the job. When he and Meg go to the sawmill to procure the needed wood, they find a former employee of the sawmill dead and a rather interesting insect, an Asian Beetle that is deadly to plants and trees in the area. Meg is on the case, is the insect related to the death of the former tree-cutter or is something more interesting afoot? Connolly is able to come up with something for each book, that is different and full of surprises and reader can't seem to get enough.

Meg Corey is one of those heroines that readers just like. She has a great personality, just about everyone in the town knows her and she is too curious for her own good, which makes her the perfect amateur sleuth. Connolly puts Meg into all kinds of predicaments in just about every volume of this series. Meg generally gets herself into something and then has to try to figure out how to get out of it. What I enjoy is the way she thinks and reasons, how she puts two and two together to make four or five or six suspects sometimes. Connolly writes her as determined and a little on the sassy side. Meg is definitely fun to read about.

The mystery aspect of this was well thought out and written. There were plenty of suspects and motives. The theme was believable and readers will be on the edge of their seats through many of the chapters. This one wasn't one that I found easy to decipher, which is a good thing. As many cozies as I read... if I can be stumped that's a rarity. Connolly drops her bread crumbs along the way and the reader might get a glimpse of who the killer might be or why they committed the crime, but there is quickly something else that happens or another clue that will take them off in a different direction entirely. That's what makes a good mystery, you are never quite sure until the big reveal.

Golden Malicious advances the series in a good way. I like the direction that Connolly is taking with the series and I think readers will appreciate all of her knowledge about apples, home restoration and just about anything else she imparts in her books. I loved the whole Asian Beetle idea and thought it added a lot of dimension to the book. I look forward to next release in this series, as Connolly never disappoints. If you haven't read any of her books... what are you waiting for?

Golden Malicious is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

About the Author:

Vital statistics: Married (to my first and only husband), one daughter, three cats. I live in a Victorian home in Massachusetts, not far from Cape Cod. I have more degrees than I know what to do with. Over the course of my life, I've lived in seven states, nineteen towns, and two foreign countries.
During my long and varied career, I've been:
* an art historian (medieval architecture)
* an investment banker in San Francisco and Philadelphia
* a non-profit fundraiser
* a professional genealogist (I had my own business, Lost Ancestors)
* and finally, a mystery writer.
I really hope the writer label sticks, because I'm having a great time.
I love to travel, I can fix almost anything around an old house, and I'm passionate about genealogy.

Giveaway Details:

The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Golden Malicious by Sheila Connolly.

~ You must be an email subscriber to participate.
~ US Addresses only.
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, October 17th.

1. Please leave a comment describing a favorite dish with apples as the main ingredient. Recipes appreciated.
2. Please fill out the FORM.


traveler said...

I made a delectable and special apple cake each fall filled with seasonal apples, cinnamon which is a popular and well loved treat. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Karen B said...

Apple cake, apple pie, apple danish - but not made by me!

Rita Wray said...

I make a great apple pie.


justpeachy36 said...

Since I am a diabetic I experiment with different things and one of the things I like to make is a completely sugar free apple pie that you would never suspect had no sugar in it. It's delish!

Anonymous said...

I have a Great Great Grandma's recipe for apple pie that is from scratch and is absolutely divine.

I love this series!

bn100 said...

apple pie

Barbara T. said...

Apple slices, pure and simple. Yum!

lag123 said...

Apple pie!

lag110 at mchsi dot com

Sue Farrell said...

I make a whole wheat apple pecan cake that is to die for----Yum.

Linda Kish said...

I like Dutch apple pie.

Anita Yancey said...

I like apple pie with lots of cinnamon and vanilla ice cream on top. Thanks for having the giveaway.

Brooke Showalter said...

I love apple cobbler, warm, with french vanilla ice cream. Delicious!

Luvdaylilies said...

I love to make Apple Dumplings and my family loves to gobble them up=)

Lethea B

Luvdaylilies at bellsouth dot net

Nancy said...

I used to make apple crisp a lot when my boys were home.

BTW I'm into genealogy too. Have 5 big trees going.