My office had a booth at this year's New England Library Association conference in Sturbridge, Mass, and just across the aisle from us was a booth for Sisters in Crime New England, who had a number of their authors there during the conference, signing books and doing give-aways.
During a slow point, a woman from the Sisters in Crime came over to say hello and ask about the new public library we had designed for Granby, Mass. The woman was Sheila Connolly, the author of Sour Apples, and she told me that some of her stories were based in a fictional Massachusetts town, called Granford, modeled on Granby.
Connolly knew a lot about Granby from her research, and was very interested to hear about the library design. We also talked about some of the other buildings in town, including the buildings owned by the Historical Society.
On the last day of the conference, she gave us a copy of her book, telling us it was one of those set in Granby's fictional counterpart.
Sour Apples is a murder mystery set in a small town, where things like murder don't seem to be possible. Meg Corey is somewhat new in town, and has taken over her family's recently restored apple orchard, and is making a go of it as a farmer. When Meg hears that a local dairy farmer was found dead next to a partially milked cow, some things just don't add up, so she decides to look into it herself, with some help from her beau, Seth, one of the local selectmen.
The mystery unfolds bit-by-bit as Meg digs into it, and even though the local police think she's on a wild goose chase, she sticks with it, and helps to uncover the truth.
This book was fun to read, and not just because it was fun to pick out the places in town I've seen or been to. Connolly has an easy-to-read writing style, which I'm guessing may be fueled by coffee. (Meg loves coffee, she must have made two pots a day for a week!) There are even recipes in the back, including something called Apple Custard Cake. I bet it goes great with coffee
Thanks to Sheila Connolly for this book! It was nice to meet you, and make sure you come to the grand opening of the new library.