Monday, October 12, 2020

Book Review: Pulp Friction (Cider Shop Mysteries #2) by Julie Anne Lindsey

Pulp Friction (A Cider Shop Mystery #2)Pulp Friction (Cider Shop Mysteries #2). Julie Anne Lindsey. Kensington (2020). 248 pages. Genre: Cozy Mystery.

First Lines: "'Well, it's official.'  Mrs. Sawyer beamed at me across the service counter of my newly opened cider shop while half the down danced the funky chicken behind her.  'You've impressed me, Winona Mae Montgomery, exactly as everyone promised you would.'"

Summary:  Winnie has finally opened her cider shop after remodeling the old mail pouch barn on her grandparents' property.  Mrs. Sawyer and her daughter, Elsie, came to see Winnie a few weeks ago. They were looking for a beautiful place to hold Elsie's wedding and reception.  The orchard and cider shop were just what they were looking for.  The wedding was small and lovely, but Mrs. Sawyer invited the entire town to come for the reception and many did come. As the reception wore on, Winnie and her best friend, Dot, noticed the groom looking like he was not feeling well or had too much to drink.  If the latter was the case, he must have brought his own alcohol because only a few bottles of champagne were available for Winnie to make her champagne cider.  Soon they see the bride angrily approach the groom.  Winnie leaves the barn to go get something out of storage where she hears angry voices coming from above.  The voices belong to the groom and Winnie's ex-boyfriend, Hank.  Soon the groom shoves Hank and storms off followed by the groom, the bride and her bridesmaids.  Winnie returns to the barn with her box.  Dot also heard the yelling and asks Winnie if she did.  Winnie says that she did and now she wants to investigate.  On her way to find out what was going on she witnesses Hank's truck tear out of the driveway.  When she locates the bride she finds her sobbing beside the groom's lifeless body lying under the old farm truck that had been designated as the wedding getaway vehicle.  Did Hank have something to do with this?  

My thoughts:  I fell in love with the characters and setting of this series in the first book, Apple Cider Slaying, and couldn't wait to revisit them.  I was not disappointed.

Winnie is a caring, hardworking young woman who has helped her grandmother save their family orchard and has built a business of her own selling cider made from the orchard's apples.  Winnie is determined to let the police handle this case and does a pretty good job of it.  But, sometimes her curiosity becomes too much and she begins asking questions.  Not to mention that others approach her looking for help and answers.  Winnie has a close relationship with her grandmother and they are always helping one another out.  Dot makes an interesting sidekick.  She is a park ranger who loves animals and is usually willing to help Winnie investigate.  We learn some new information about Sheriff Colton Wise's background and he and Winnie's relationship progresses. The characters are all very strong and interesting.

The mystery was full of twists and turns.  Just when you thought Winnie was getting close to figuring things out another factor would come into play.  There were some intense moments as well.  I realized who the killer was before Winnie did, but up until that point I did not suspect the person at all.

The setting is lovely and gives you a fall feeling no matter what time of year the book takes place.  This time it was in July, but Winnie is still making cider and Granny is still caring for the orchard and giving tours.

This was a great mystery, full of interesting characters and a lovely setting.  I look forward to visiting these characters again.


"Granny had grown up stitching Bible verses and proverbs, but times had changed, much to her dismay.  People had different preferences and a collectively darker sense of humor these days.  Meaning her perfectly executed floral borders no longer circled scripture."

"Several cups of liquid enthusiasm later, I was wide awake and anything seemed possible.  I dressed in my softest pair of jean shorts and the red V-neck T-shirt I loved, then wondered what to do with myself."

"Her simple black dress and flats were paired with black stockings, a matching handbag, and a tiny veiled hat.  The ensemble looked like something out of another era or a Hitchcock movie."

"I waited while he moved around to open my door.  Most men didn't make the simple chivalrous gesture anymore, but I liked it.  Grampy had been a door opener too."