Deadly to the Core (A Cider House Mystery)
by Joyce Tremel
About Deadly to the Core
Deadly to the Core (A Cider House Mystery)
1st in Series
Setting – Pennsylvania
Crooked Lane Books (January 16, 2024)
Hardcover : 250 pages
ISBN-10 : 1639105433
ISBN-13 : 978-1639105434
Digital ASIN : B0C2P4QB9T
Perfect for fans of Amanda Flower and Julie Anne Lindsey, when Kate Mulligan inherits her great uncle’s fruit orchard, she quickly realizes that apples aren’t the only thing that can have rotten cores.
After losing her husband in a terrible car crash, thirty-five-year-old Kate is left to pick up the pieces of her life alone. Although she has physically recovered, she worries her spirit never will. But when she learns that she has inherited a fruit orchard in a small town just outside Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, from her great uncle Stan, she takes this as an opportunity ripe for the picking. Kate knew immediately what to do with it: open a cider house. Her hopeful plans fall far from the tree when she finds the body of the orchard manager, Carl Randolph, leaving her to figure out who is at the core of this murder.
She had been in correspondence with Carl, who had agreed with her brilliant idea of opening a cider house. But not everyone is so quick to buy what she was selling—Uncle Stan’s lawyer, Robert Larabee, paints a less rosy financial outlook of the orchard’s past, present, and future.
Kate discovers that Carl had large, unexplained deposits to his bank account and it becomes clear that either he was blackmailing someone, or someone was paying him to keep quiet. Meanwhile, Kate and her neighbors receive offers to buy their property from a mysterious buyer. And there’s more than meets the eye with the neighboring orchard owner, Daniel Martinez, although Kate can’t quite put her finger on if it’s sweet or sour.
Will she be able to pick out the bad apple among the bunch before it’s too late?
Kate Mulligan has returned to Orchardville, Pennsylvania with a plan following the loss of her husband to an awful car accident and her inheritance of her uncle Stan’s orchard. She has mostly recovered from the physical injuries she sustained in the crash and feels she is ready to open a cider house at the orchard. She feels her uncle’s orchard manager, Carl Randolph, will help her with the orchard and get the cider house off to a great start. Their first meeting goes well and he has done everything she asked so they are ready to hit the ground running. She is stunned when she later finds him dead in his cottage.
Who would kill Carl and why? The information she received from her uncle’s lawyer conflicted with the information she received from Carl. In fact, the attorney had found her a buyer to take the orchard off her hands.
After Carl’s death, she finds irregularities in his bank account that confuses her even more. Could these issues be the reason he was killed? And why does someone want her property so badly? Can her new neighbor Daniel Martinez help her answer all her questions or is he part of the problem?
Kate may have a bushel full of trouble. Can she solve all the mysteries and open her cider house? Or will she be forced to leave her dream behind? Worse, will the killer decide she is another threat that needs to be eliminated?
I enjoyed meeting Kate Mulligan and her fire to follow her dream of having her own cider house. She is missing her husband and dealing with her own recovery but she does her best to tackle everything thrown at her including trying to find the killer of her orchard manager. I liked Carl and was sad he was the victim. We meet a variety of residents of the small town of Orchardville from Uncle Stan’s attorney to Rudy Miller of Miller’s Grocery Emporium to her old friend Marguerite Yost to her neighbor, Daniel Martinez, and more. Orchardville is a typical small town where everybody knows everybody and usually all their business. All the characters were well-crafted with room to get to know most of them better as the series continues.
The mystery held my attention. I knew early on that one character was up to something fishy but was unsure about all the elements going on behind the scenes. Those elements were all twisted and tangled together and much more involved than I had imagined. Secrets, lies, revenge, and greed played into a very intriguing mystery and set up an interesting showdown with help from an unexpected character.
I enjoyed the author’s descriptive writing style. Her words brought to life all the places our protagonist visited. I especially like the details of setting up the cider house in the barn on Kate’s property and that the history of the area plays in a major way throughout the story. It is nice to get the “lay of the land” in the first book of a series so readers can build a picture of the locations in their mind’s eye.
Deadly to the Core has set the Cider House Mysteries off to a terrific start. I enjoyed this stirring mystery with a strong protagonist surrounded by a great supporting cast. I am eager to get to know these characters better and see what Ms. Tremel has planned for them next.
Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent
About Joyce Tremel
Joyce Tremel was a police secretary for ten years and more than once envisioned the demise of certain co-workers, but settled on writing as a way to keep herself out of jail. In addition to the Cider House Mysteries, she wrote the Brewing Trouble Mysteries. As Joyce St. Anthony, she writes the Homefront News historical mysteries. She lives in the beautiful Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania with her husband and two cats named Hops and Lager.
Also written by Joyce Tremel/Joyce St. Anthony
Great Escapes Praise for Deadly to the Core (A Cider House Mystery)
by Joyce Tremel
Fantastic characterizations and a well-plotted mystery make
DEADLY TO THE CORE a stunning debut in what I hope will be a long-running series.
~Cozy Up With Kathy
I have long been a fan of Joyce Tremel’s Brewing Trouble cozy mysteries so when I learned she was writing a new series Deadly to the Core, about a cider house, I could not get to a copy fast enough.
~Reading Is My SuperPower
Deadly to the Core by Joyce Tremel is the first in a new cozy mystery series and I thoroughly enjoyed this book. This was a great book to start my year off with, and I am looking forward to continuing the series.
TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops.
January 15 – Mystery, Thrillers, and Suspense – SPOTLIGHT
January 15 – Baroness Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT
January 16 – The Avid Reader – SPOTLIGHT
January 16 – Literary Gold – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
January 17 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT
January 17 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
January 18 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – AUTHOR GUEST POST
January 18 – Eskimo Princess Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
January 19 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
January 19 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee – SPOTLIGHT
January 20 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
January 20 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
January 21 – StoreyBook Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST
January 21 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW
January 22 – CelticLady Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
January 22 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – SPOTLIGHT
January 23 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
January 23 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
January 24 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
January 24 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – REVIEW
January 25 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW
January 25 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT
January 26 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW
January 26 – Novels Alive – REVIEW
January 27 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT
January 27 – Cozy, Suspenseful, and Sweet – SPOTLIGHT
January 28 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”