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Authors: Sheila Connolly

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Red Delicious Death

BOOK: Red Delicious Death
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Table of Contents
Praise for
One Bad Apple
“Antique apple trees and historic houses—what’s not to like about Sheila Connolly’s
One Bad Apple
? It’s a delightful look at small town New England, with an intriguing puzzle thrown in.”
—JoAnna Carl, author of the Chocoholic Mysteries
“There is a delightful charm to this small town regional cozy . . . Sheila Connolly provides a fascinating whodunit filled with surprises.”
—The Mystery Gazette
“A true cozy mystery [with] a strong and feisty heroine, a perplexing murder, a personal dilemma, and a picturesque New England setting . . . Meg Corey is a very likeable protagonist, and her future in Granford hopefully guarantees some further titles in this delightful new series.”
—Gumshoe Review
“An example of everything that is right with the cozy mystery . . . Sheila Connolly has written a winner.”
—Lesa’s Book Critiques
“A warm, very satisfying read.”

Romantic Times
(4 stars)
“The premise and plot are solid, and Meg seems a perfect fit for her role.”
—Publishers Weekly
“A fun start to a promising new mystery series. Thoroughly enjoyable . . . I can’t wait for the next book and a chance to spend more time with Meg and the good people of Granford.”
—Sammi Carter, author of the Candy Shop Mysteries
Berkley Prime Crime titles by Sheila Connolly
ONE BAD APPLE
ROTTEN TO THE CORE
RED DELICIOUS DEATH
THE BERKLEY PUBLISHING GROUP
Published by the Penguin Group
Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA
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(a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.)
Penguin Books Ltd., 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
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(a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty. Ltd.)
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(a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd.)
Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty.) Ltd., 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196,
South Africa
Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.
PUBLISHER’S NOTE: The recipes contained in this book are to be followed exactly as written. The publisher is not responsible for your specific health or allergy needs that may require medical supervision. The publisher is not responsible for any adverse reactions to the recipes contained in this book.
RED DELICIOUS DEATH
A Berkley Prime Crime Book / published by arrangement with the author
PRINTING HISTORY
Berkley Prime Crime mass-market edition / March 2010
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Purchase only authorized editions.
For information, address: The Berkley Publishing Group,
a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.
eISBN : 978-1-101-18546-9
BERKLEY
®
PRIME CRIME
Berkley Prime Crime Books are published by The Berkley Publishing Group,
a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.
BERKLEY
®
PRIME CRIME and the PRIME CRIME logo are trademarks of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

http://us.penguingroup.com

In honor of
Alice Waters of Chez Panisse
and
Michael Pollan,
who both changed the way
I look at food
Acknowledgments
As always, this book could not have happened without the combined efforts of my agent, Jacky Sach of BookEnds, and my tireless editor, Shannon Jamieson-Vazquez.
Getting acquainted with the local foods community has been a pleasure. I owe thanks to the Chefs Collaborative in Boston and several of its members, particularly Justin Melnick, executive chef at Tomasso Trattoria & Enoteca in Southborough, who let me tour his kitchen and who answered my questions about finding and using local products (and thanks to Sister in Crime Gail Clark, who introduced me to his fine restaurant), and Jamie Bissonette, who demonstrated how to reduce a pig to dinner.
Thanks again to Sisters in Crime and the fabulous Guppies, who provide boundless encouragement, and to my family, who dutifully accompanied me to restaurants near and far and suffered through many excellent meals for the sake of this book.
Bon appetit!
1
“They’re all dead.”
“What?” Meg Corey dragged her gaze from the orderly rows of apple trees that marched over the hill. Almost all were past bloom now, and some of them had what even a novice farmer like Meg could identify as apples. Small, maybe, but it was a start. She turned her attention to Carl Frederickson, her beekeeper. Until this morning, Meg hadn’t even known she
had
a beekeeper, but it seemed like every day since she’d inherited the orchard, something—or someone—new she hadn’t known about turned up. “Who’s dead?”
“The entire hive. See?” Carl held up a wooden frame with what she recognized as honeycomb filling the middle section. Carl was wearing a beekeeper’s outfit, including gloves and headgear. Meg was not, so she decided to stay where she was. But even from a safe distance Meg could see that the wax looked shriveled and discolored.
“What happened?” Meg asked. Poor Carl sounded like he was about to cry. It was abundantly clear that he loved his bees; when he pulled off his headgear, the look on his face made Meg even more convinced he was devastated.
Carl had shown up at her door early on this bright June morning. “I’m here to check your hives,” he had announced.
Meg had had a wild flash of an image of this good-looking stranger checking her out for a rash. He had the face of an angel, if the angel was middle-aged and had spent a lot of time gazing at the sun, although his wreath of brown curls suggested a younger man. Then she realized he must mean beehives. She had beehives?
“Um, okay. What does that involve?” she asked.
Carl could apparently sense her confusion. “You
are
Meg Corey, right? That’s your orchard up there?” He waved vaguely up the hill beside her house.
“Yes. But I didn’t realize I had beehives.”
“You do,” Carl said. “Fifteen. Technically they’re not yours, though—you lease them from me. Christopher Ramsdell had a contract with me, but when we talked about renewing for this year, he said I should ask you about it.”
“Oh.” She had no idea that one could lease bees. Rent-a-bee? One more thing Meg didn’t know. Luckily, she trusted Christopher Ramsdell, the professor who had been using her orchard as a university research site for years. “If Christopher’s happy with your arrangement, I’m not going to argue. But isn’t the season over?”
“Just about. But the contract ran through this bloom, and we’d have to renew for next year—if you’re interested. Right now I’m just checking on the hives, to make sure everything’s all right. Haven’t you seen them?”
She thought for a moment, and was embarrassed to realize she hadn’t been paying attention. “I’m sorry—I’m kind of new at all this. So you figure out how many bees I need, and you come around to make sure they’re happy and healthy?”
“That’s about it. I can show you the hives now, if you’ve got the time.”
“Why not?” It was a beautiful day, and Meg hadn’t visited the orchard for, oh, at least three hours. Something might have changed, as it seemed to do all the time. It really was fascinating, watching the bare trees bloom and leaf out, and then seeing apples appear. Meg was looking forward to watching them become a real crop in a few short months. “Lead the way.”
Carl climbed straight up the hill and headed for the far side of the orchard, toward a wooden box about three feet high, painted white. Meg had noticed it and the others like it scattered through the orchard, but hadn’t given them much thought. Before approaching, Carl pulled on his protective gear.
“Do I need to wear something like that, too?” Meg asked.
BOOK: Red Delicious Death
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