Death of a Bad Apple
A Food Festival Mystery, Book #3
By Penny Pike
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Kayt
The latest deliciously appealing mystery from the author of Death of a Chocolate Cheater…
Anxious to take a break from bustling San Francisco, Darcy and her Aunt Abby pack up the food truck and head for the apple festival at Apple Valley, California. Aunt Abby is sure her almond apple tarts will be a hit and Darcy wants to collect more recipes for her food truck cookbook.
But when a fellow guest at the Enchanted Apple Inn is pared-down—and the Inn’s owner ends up the prime suspect—Darcy must peel away the layers of the mystery. Because an apple a day certainly isn’t keeping the killer away…
Death of a Bad Apple is the third in “A Food Festival Mystery” series by author Penny Pike. I really enjoyed it and the characters and setting. Darcy Burnett is an entertaining protagonist and her family are super characters. Darcy is trying to put together a cookbook of food truck recipes and is working on her wonderful Aunt Abby’s yellow school bus turned food truck. Included are scrumptious recipes. Darcy and her crew normally work in San Francisco but this time they are travelling to Apple Valley for their famous Apple Festival. Of course what should be a fun and even romantic (her boyfriend is coming) trip turns into a murder mystery.
While Darcy is excited to be staying at a quaint bed and breakfast and have a chance to celebrate her boyfriend Jake’s birthday, her aunt is excited to get some exposure and business at the festival. Instead of fun with the vendors and hay maze, they are caught in a struggle with GMO companies and the apple farmers, with arson and murder. Suspects pop up everywhere, who did this and who is setting fire to the farms? Author Penny Pike has a fun writing style that keeps the reading entertained and at the same time guessing. A wonderful mystery that is intelligent and layered. The characters including Darcy’s wonderful aunt Abby, her aunt’s detective boyfriend Detective Shelton, aunt’s quirky and smart son Dillon and Darcy’s food truck owner Jake are well written and enjoyable.
Darcy is a super lead character with depth and humor as well as intelligence. She and her merry group hunt for answers all the while trying to keep things going with the festival. They lend a hand at the Enchanted Apple Inn and at the festival. Twists and turns and red herrings and side mysteries fill this read. This cozy has romance, mystery, entertainment, and of course yummy recipes. Characters have secret identities, hidden relationships and tons of different motives. A real thinkers’ cozy. I love the use of an antique apple corer in one of the murders. A new murder weapon for me.
Death of a Bad Apple is the third in this cozy series and I have not read any of the others. Although I think as a reader I would probably have even enjoyed this more if I had read the others, I did not get lost at all. The author did a great job getting the reader caught up. The characters are fun and enjoyable. The mystery really is well layered and full of intrigue. I was kept guessing for sure. This is a crisp cozy that has just the right bite to keep the reader satisfied. I would recommend it to all cozy fans and especially those that enjoy a foodie read.