Reviewer: Mary Lignor
Title: Bitter Harvest - 5th in the Harvest Mystery series
Author: Sheila Connolly
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Release Date: August 2011
Genre/Sub-genre: Cozy Mystery
Year/Setting: Present day/Granford, MA
Overall Rating: 4.0
Sexual Content Rating: Subtle
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: Mild
Violent Content Rating: Moderate
Carol's Website/Blog: www.sheilaconnolly.com
Get ready for the fifth book in this authorís Orchard Mystery Series. Itís an excellent cozy series that will keep you guessing.
Meg Coreyís first apple harvesting is over but, Bree, her orchard manager does not seem to be ready with the income figures. Meg is wondering what to do about this because she is anxious to see if she is in the profit or loss column and would like to order more trees. She also needs a new furnace and she has a tentative romantic relationship starting with Seth Chapin but, doesnít know where itís going.
Seth has come over to take a look at the furnace, bringing back Meg's goats that had escaped their pen. A storm is brewing and they are taking the goats back to their pen when the storm begins. The power goes out in the area and Meg decides that itís time to put the upstairs rooms in order as there is nothing else she can do with a storm raging outside.
Up on a closet shelf, pushed way in the back, Meg finds what is called a mourning sampler. Strange things start happening. For example: footprints around the house, a window in the basement that has been opened, and a downspout that has been pulled out. Meg is locked in an unheated barn overnight and her kitchen window is shot out. Unusual occurrences pile up and Meg, Bree and Seth are on the hunt to find out who the owner of the sampler was and to try to solve all the petty things that have been happening. If the three of them cannot find out who the tormentors are, Meg may find her first apple harvest to be her last.
This book is a really true to life cozy without bodies piling up and murders to solve. Itís also full of history, puzzles and very interesting descriptions of the old farm and orchard. A very well written cozy with some delicious recipes at the end.
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