Monday, October 20, 2014

Review and Giveaway: Picked to Die

Picked to Die (Orchard Mystery - Book 8) by Sheila Connolly

Publication Date: 10/07/2014
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley Prime Crime
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 304
ISBN-10: 0425257118
ISBN-13: 978-0425257111

(Received for an honest review from Berkley Prime Crime)

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

Sheila Connolly on the WEB: website, facebook, twittergoodreads

Books in the series

Orchard Mystery

1. One Bad Apple
2. Rotten to the Core
3. Red Delicious Death
4. A Killer Crop
5. Bitter Harvest
6. Sour Apples
7. Golden Malicious
8. Picked to Die

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

Excerpt from, Picked to Die, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature.


The new Orchard Mystery--from the New York Times bestselling author of Golden Malicious andScandal in Skibbereen


It’s harvest time in Granford, Massachusetts, and orchard owner Meg Corey and her fiancé, Seth, are both racing to beat the New England winter. Meg is bringing in her apple crop with a team of workers, while Seth is working to restore an old building in the center of town. But when his project is set back due to the unexpected discovery of a skeleton under the building—and even worse, a young man related to one of Meg’s former apple pickers is found dead behind the local feed store—the couple’s carefully laid plans are quickly spoiled…
Meg can’t help but wonder: are they just unlucky, or is there something rotten in Granford? If so, she knows she’s got to seek out the bad apple before it ruins the whole bunch…


Author Sheila Connolly takes readers back to Granford, Massachusetts. Picked to Die is Connolly's eighth book in the Orchard series which centers around Meg Corey and her heritage orchard in New England. It's harvest time in Granford and readers will be feeling the autumn season, with apple picking in full swing, as well as, a historic building project and a murder or two thrown in for good measure. This is a whodunit that may fall on the shoulders of a young boy scout, if Meg and her friends don't figure out who really did the deed. It's a great addition to this much loved series!

What I liked:

Sheila Connolly is a very busy lady. She writes several cozy mystery series, but the Orchard series has always been a favorite of mine. It may be the New England setting, or perhaps all of the information she instills in the story about apples and the growth and management of an orchard. It might be because of the Meg's love interest, Seth who adds so much to the series with his restoration business. It could be the quirky characters that Connolly brings to life from the small town of Granford or the fact that the author generally gives her readers more than one mystery solve in each book. There are so many reason, I could go on and on.

Meg Corey came to Granford with the intention of staying long enough to fix up the old house and orchard for sale and ended up with her own business, and a new lease on life. Now in the eighth book in the series, wedding plans are in the air, but there just isn't enough time to get started. I loved the excitement in the air with this book. It's harvest time and there is so much to do for Meg and Bree, her orchard manager. Seth also has a lot of irons in the fire with digging a new basement for one of the historic buildings in town and tons of other projects. There was an urgency in this book that made me want to read faster and faster. Connolly sets a blistering pace with this one and it was fun to be along for the ride.

Tensions were also getting a little high now and then as Meg took more time to sleuth and less time to work at the Orchard in this book. Readers will be able to feel Bree's frustration and I found myself wishing Meg was around more as well during this really difficult time of the year. When the apples are ready, they don't wait. But I suppose that's why Connolly gave us Bree's character in the first place, to give Meg that chance to dig around in the mysterious things that happen in Granford. I love all of the tidbits about apples and the harvesting and business side of the orchard. It's very interesting and I believe that's one of the reason readers are so drawn to the series.

With this book, we have not one, but two whodunit's to figure out. When Jeffery, a boy scout looking for a way to earn a badge offers to help with Seth's project, it seems like a win, win. Then he finds some bones that bring the bring the project to a stop and sleuthing begins. When Jeffery finds another body behind the feed store, he becomes suspect number one and Meg is determined to figure out what gives. Are the murders related? Years apart, do they have some sort of connection and who besides Jeffrey could have done it? It was a great set of clues and historic information about Granford that made this one a top notch cozy. Connolly kept me guessing to the end with this one and readers will love all the twists and turns it takes before the end. This one was just full of surprises.

What I didn't like:

I wanted a little more progress on the wedding in this one. Meg and Seth didn't get much done on their plans and I felt like that touch of romance that is normally present in the Orchard books was absent in this one. Not worry though, I think Connolly will get around to the big day soon!

Bottom Line:

This was a great addition to the series. I love the Orchard books and the way that Connolly weaves in all the details about the apple orchard and the restoration business into each mystery. I wanted a little more romance, but I got a whole lot of sleuthing which was almost just as good. Two great mysteries and some new characters. Just an all around good book!

Picked to Die is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

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

Check out the quote from Debbie's Book Bag on the cover!

About the Author:

Sheila Connolly is the New York Times bestselling, Anthony and Agatha award–nominated author of the Orchard Mysteries, the Museum Mysteries, and the County Cork Mysteries. She 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 nonprofit organizations. She also managed her own consulting company, providing genealogical research services. In addition to genealogy, Sheila loves restoring old houses, visiting cemeteries, and traveling. Now a full-time writer, she thinks writing mysteries is a lot more fun than any of her previous occupations. She is married and has one daughter and three cats.

Giveaway Details:

The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Picked to Die by Sheila Connolly.

~ You must be an email subscriber to participate.
~ US addresses only.
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, November 3rd.

1. Please leave a comment with you favorite apple dessert.

2. Please fill out the FORM.


traveler said...

Apple cake is the ultimate apple dessert. love it. thanks. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Rita Wray said...

Apple pie with whipped cream.

Unknown said...

I love apple pie

Linda Kish said...

I like Dutch apple pie.

Anonymous said...

French Apple Pie is my favorite.

patucker54 at aol dot com

Unknown said...

Apple pie!

Unknown said...

Hot apple pie with a slice of American cheese.

Angela - Bookaunt said...

I like apple crisp

Karen said...

I love apple tarte tatin!

skkorman said...

I like hot apple pie!

skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

Alicia said...

Apple crisp is my favorite....

rubynreba said...

I love apple pie!

penney said...

I love the sound of this, can't wait to read it, thanks for the review,

Unknown said...

Baked apples using Granny Smith's! I love it when they retain some of the sourness and are still a little crisp, but the spices have bled all the way through them. This book sounds quite interesting too. I remember picking apples as a kid as we had a row of trees. I think I would have been in heaven with an orchard.

Karen B said...

Apple cake.

Charlotte said...

Fresh apple cake.

Kimberly Wyatt said...

Baked apples and apple pie are my favorite. I make apple pie quite a bit when I go to dinner at my dad's because its his favorite as well.

Debbie S said...

Homemade apple pie. Yum!

lag123 said...

Apple Dapple cake

lag110 at mchsi dot com

Laura S Reading said...

My aunt used to make an apple dessert, I guess you'd call it a crumble. Brown sugar and cinnamon add just the right spice to the yummy apple filling.

Sue Farrell said...

I think apple crisp is my favorite because it's so no fuss to make.

Unknown said...

Cinnamon Apple Brownies! YUM!

cyn209 said...

Apple Pie!!!!

Barbara T. said...

Caramel Apple

Texas Book Lover said...

Well...I don't like cooked apples. I'll take them raw any day though!

Unknown said...

apple streusel cakes

bn100 said...

apple pie

Anita Yancey said...

My favorite is warn apple pie with vanilla ice cream on top. Thanks for having the giveaway.


Natasha said...

Apple pie is my favorite.
Thanks for the chance to win!

Nancy said...

Apple crisp or apple pancakes. Both are great.

Michelle F. said...

Apple strudel at Tony Packo's. They also have an apple dumpling dessert. I think I'd enjoy an apple cake (and maybe some of the other desserts people have mentioned) but I've never had any.

I have some of the books in this series, one of the museum mysteries, and her glass-blowing series.