Seeds of Deception
An Orchard Mystery #10
By Sheila Connolly
Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Daniele
With the bushels of time they spent organizing their wedding, Meg and Seth didn’t have a chance to plan a honeymoon. But now that winter has arrived, there’s not much to do at the orchard. So with their shared love of history and all things apple, they pick Thomas Jefferson’s orchards at Monticello as the perfect getaway.
While they enjoy the beautiful sights, there’s a rotten addition to the agenda when Meg’s parents discover their handyman dead in the backyard. With a bitter police chief eyeing Meg’s father as a suspect, Meg and Seth have to cut their honeymoon short to find the root of the problem.
Orchard owner Meg and her love Seth are now married, and with a little down time for the orchard they decide to take an impromptu road trip honeymoon. They work their way from home in Massachusetts to Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello and then plan to visit Meg’s parents in New Jersey before heading home. Their trip is cut short when Meg’s parents call to tell her that they found their caretaker Enrique murdered in their backyard. Not knowing what she can do to help, Meg still feels compelled to be at her parents’ side. Meg feels like her reserved parents are hiding something or simply ignoring the matter in hopes that it will all go away. When Meg’s law partner is attacked in much the same manner as Enrique, Meg and Seth do their best to get to the bottom of things.
I have not read all of the books in the Orchard Series, but if memory serves correct, I enjoyed them. Seeds of Deception is the tenth book in the series, and it was okay but, by far, not the best of the lot. This book takes us away from the small town setting of the apple orchards to New Jersey. Though this could have provided a nice change of pace, I feel like this different venue suffered from a lack of hominess that is a hallmark of the cozy genre. It is nice to learn a little more about Meg, her parents, and where she comes from, but parents Phillip and Elizabeth come across as rather cold and boring. There are only so many family meals I want to plod through before I want to pull my own hair out. I do not think Meg’s trip down memory lane showing Seth the town that she grew up adds anything to the story.
There are very few characters introduced this time around. All of our time is spent with Meg, Seth, and her parents. There is no information provided about the victim, and I feel like he was an afterthought. Unfortunately, the mystery presented here is rather weak. As soon as the perpetrator is introduced, I pegged him as the villain. There are no real red herrings, no puzzle to figure out, and no suspense. It all fell flat. I think Seth and Meg should have just gone home. I do enjoy and recommend the Orchard series, but Seeds of Deception is a miss for me. I will, however, continue to read forthcoming books.