ONE BAD APPLE
Connolly's cozy has sympathetic characters who are not stereotypes, nice details about life in a small town and information about a heritage orchard -- all of which make this a warm, very satisfying read. The beginning of a series, it introduces a number of secondary characters who will no doubt play a role in future installments. Though a bit slow moving, that's part of
When Meg Corey finds herself without a fiance and laid off from her banking job, she leaves Boston and heads to the country. Her mother owns a colonial house and orchard that she inherited from relatives and has been renting out. Meg plans to move in, fix it up and resell it for a profit while she decides what she wants to do with her life.
But that's before she sees how much work and money are involved and how little she knows about house renovation. And before she discovers the town is in turmoil about a redevelopment deal. And before she meets the sexy plumber in the area. Oh, and before her ex-fiance ends up dead in her septic tank and she's chief suspect. Unless she can clear her name she may never leave town. (BERKLEY PRIME CRIME, Aug., 272 pp., $6.99)