cover image One Bad Apple: An Orchard Mystery

One Bad Apple: An Orchard Mystery

Sheila Connolly, . . Berkley Prime Crime, $6.99 (262pp) ISBN 978-0-425-22304-8

Connolly's less-than-gala freshman attempt at crime fiction drops Boston banker Meg Corey into tiny Granford, Mass., where she's agreed to rehab a 200-year-old house while looking for a new job. Then Meg's ex-lover is found murdered and bobbing around in her brand new septic tank, a crime that could sour Granford's big chance to lure outside commercial investors. When the local cops appear determined to look no further than Meg for a suspect, she decides to turn sleuth. Her only ally, Seth Chapin, the plumber who installed the new system, is also a suspect and not much help. The premise and plot are solid, and Meg seems a perfect fit for her role. However, so much time is spent restating the story's major conflict that both Meg and Seth remain enigmas—dropped into the plot as if from outer space—with insufficient background information to ripen into well-rounded characters. (Aug.)