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Bitter Harvest
An Orchard Mystery, No 5
Sheila Connolly

Berkley Prime Crime
August 2011/ ISBN 978-0-425-24276-6
Mystery / Cozy

Reviewed 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.


Reviewed 2011
© 2011