An Orchard Mystery, No 5
Berkley Prime Crime
August 2011/ ISBN 978-0-425-24276-6
Mystery / Cozy
by Laura Hinds
Bitter Harvest is the fifth book in the Orchard Mystery
series. Yet this time, the orchard doesn’t figure as prominently
as in the first four. This is chiefly because it is December. Orchard
owner Meg Corey is usually involved in figuring out who a murderer
is, but this time there is no murder.
Meg and her boyfriend, Seth Chapin, are snowed in during a big
storm and they are without heat and power. During a thorough cleaning
of her house, Meg finds an antique sampler. The sampler is decorative
embroidery featuring apple trees. There are names on it too, but
none that Meg recognizes. Naturally curious, Meg wants to learn
who these people were. Yet a string of what seems to be very bad
luck happens and Meg is distracted. She’s worried about the
finances of her orchard and doesn’t get a straight answer
from her orchard manager, Bree.
As more and more bad things happen to Meg, she wonders if she has
an enemy who is out to get her. Being locked inside her unheated
barn gives her plenty of time to think about that. She also remains
preoccupied with the old sampler. These are the only mysteries for
Meg to solve.
I can’t say that I loved this book. It didn’t seem
like any of the others in the Orchard Mystery series. Yet on its
own, it is a good read. It’s just different from what I expected.
Sheila Connolly is a talented author, but I wonder if she is growing
bored with this series. Bitter Harvest is a bit disappointing
if you’ve read the first four, but I still suggest that you
read it if you are a fan of the series.