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Book Review: Death of A Bad Apple by Penny Pike


There are times I hate being the villain and this is one of those times.

In the final installment of this series, Darcy Burnett's Aunt Abby has decided to take her food truck to an apple festival in northern California where it's nothing but pre-fall fun. With apples of course.

Prior to the festival, Abby's friend Honey (who owns the Enchanted Apple Inn) has a mysterious fire on her property where some of her apple crop has been destroyed. A few other apple growers also have unexplained fires on their property.

On the night before the festival begins, everyone is enjoying a meet and greet at Honey's when they smell smoke coming from Red Cortland's farm. Everyone hurries to his property and thankfully, not too much damage has occurred.

Later that night, Darcy is having trouble sleeping and hears voices outside of the inn and after going downstairs, catches Honey coming back inside. Just as Darcy admits to being a bad liar, she catches Honey in just as bad of a lie and after they retire back to their rooms, everyone is shocked by the discovery of the murder of Roman Gold, a reporter who's working on a story about the festival.

His photographer, Paula, doesn't seem to be in mourning and heads out to take pictures of the festival.

At the festival, Red's ex-wife, Crystal's wine tent catches on fire and a body is found in the corn maze. Everyone thinks that Eden Corporation is behind the mayhem, since they want to buy up all of the land and produce GMO apples.

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For most of the story, the characters pretty much hang out at Honey's inn around the table and throw out their theories as to who the killer (or killers) could be and it tends to get boring.

Whenever the action takes us away from the inn, the story does in fact move along but not that much since they end up back at the table.

Another problem that I had with the story was that Abby's boyfriend, Wellesley Shelton of the San Francisco Police Department comes up to the inn for the weekend and gets involved with the murders. It's as though he seems to take over the investigation and he's also friends with the local sheriff. Abby's son, Dillion, also knows someone that he went to school with before he was thrown out.

For me, it was a mish mash of things and I really didn't care what any of these characters did.

The series itself did start off, but as I said in my review of the first installment, at some point during that story it flatlined and it never really came back.

Don't get me wrong, but the characters are great as is the dialogue, but I think they would have been better of in another series and again at the end of the book, there are some recipes to welcome in the Fall season.

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