I thoroughly enjoyed this holiday cozy by Julie Anne Lindsey. I selected it to travel to West Virginia for my Literary Escapes challenge and was pleasantly surprised by the book. Winnie is the strong hard working protagonist in this first book of the Cider Shop series. She is developing a plan to pursue her dream to open a Cider Shop on her family's apple orchard. This was a fun read to get into the holiday spirit with sleigh rides, a winter fest and of course Apple Cider.
It wouldn't be a cozy if we didn't throw in a death with suspicious circumstances. Winnie has the help of her family and friends. The story is not without consequence to Winnie when she becomes embroiled in the investigation and makes the killer nervous. The mystery is well laid out and the clues are there but the author truly didn't reveal the killer until the end and the motives were revealed during a standoff with Winnie.
All in all I enjoyed this book and felt it took some positive deviations from a typical cozy formula. There were serious consequences for Winnie's meddling and she had to deal with some tough choices to overcome some hardships while trying to start her business. Everything was not tied up into an easy package, magically fixing everything she was struggling with; instead she used her intelligence and some soul searching to find a solution to pursue her dream. I look forward to reading more about Winnie and her Grammy.
Apple Cider Slaying by Julie Anne Lindsey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A very well written mystery with a wonderful leading character. Winnie is a determined, intelligent young woman who shows extreme loyalty to her family and friends. While proving one’s innocence she places herself in danger. The bond between her and her granny is evident and wonderful. The small WV town life is well represented and believable. The author leads the reader to suspect many characters but even as the surprising guilty party is revealed the clues were there and made logical sense. I also appreciated that all the crime resolution wasn’t being portrayed as a slam dunk but rather a work in progress. Definitely looking forward to the next installment in the series
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The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are: