Deadly to the Core is the first book in this cozy mystery series set in a small Pennsylvanian town rich in history but with some dead bodies, too. If you like reading about amateur sleuths in action, this might be the book for you!


The Description

A Cider House Mystery: Book 1
Publication Date: January 16, 2024

Perfect for fans of Amanda Flower and Julie Anne Lindsey, when Kate Mulligan inherits her great uncle’s fruit orchard, she quickly realizes that apples aren’t the only thing that can have rotten cores.

After losing her husband in a terrible car crash, thirty-five-year-old Kate is left to pick up the pieces of her life alone. Although she has physically recovered, she worries her spirit never will. But when she learns that she has inherited a fruit orchard in a small town just outside Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, from her great uncle Stan, she takes this as an opportunity ripe for the picking. Kate knew immediately what to do with it: open a cider house. Her hopeful plans fall far from the tree when she finds the body of the orchard manager, Carl Randolph, leaving her to figure out who is at the core of this murder.

She had been in correspondence with Carl, who had agreed with her brilliant idea of opening a cider house. But not everyone is so quick to buy what she was selling—Uncle Stan’s lawyer, Robert Larabee, paints a less rosy financial outlook of the orchard’s past, present, and future.

Kate discovers that Carl had large, unexplained deposits to his bank account and it becomes clear that either he was blackmailing someone, or someone was paying him to keep quiet. Meanwhile, Kate and her neighbors receive offers to buy their property from a mysterious buyer. And there’s more than meets the eye with the neighboring orchard owner, Daniel Martinez, although Kate can’t quite put her finger on if it’s sweet or sour.

Will she be able to pick out the bad apple among the bunch before it’s too late?

The Review

Deadly to the Core by Joyce Tremel is the first book in A Cider House Mystery series, and I’m looking forward to reading more.

There is a lot of meat to the story, with characters who have depth, and what you see is not what you always get. Small town life is also depicted with its small businesses and gossips along with several historical references.

There is a murder and an untimely death, but is it also a murder? So many stories are told as we get the lay of the land and learn about the characters little by little. There were vivid descriptions that made me feel like I was there, and having been to that area of Pennsylvania numerous times, it wasn’t hard to draw me in. There are clues to unravel by the police, Daniel, who previously worked in law enforcement, and Kate, the amateur sleuth, who is new to town and the owner of the Cider House that will be opening soon. There is some romance in the air, but will it go anywhere?

There are twists and turns as Kate pieces together some of what’s been happening and then shares her information with Daniel and the police. There is danger in the air, and someone else could also be hurt. As the whodunnit is solved, there is closure to the story, but I look forward to reading more of this series. There are recipes at the back of the book, and I plan to try a couple of them.

Deadly to the Core is the first book in this cozy mystery series set in a small Pennsylvanian town rich in history but with some dead bodies, too. If you like reading about amateur sleuths in action, this might be the book for you!Buy Links

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About The Author

Joyce Tremel was a police secretary for ten years and more than once envisioned the demise of certain co-workers, but settled on writing as a way to keep herself out of jail. In addition to the Cider House Mysteries, she wrote the Brewing Trouble Mysteries. As Joyce St. Anthony, she writes the Homefront News historical mysteries. She lives in the beautiful Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania with her husband and two cats named Hops and Lager.


Blog Tour Schedule

January 15 – Mystery, Thrillers, and Suspense – SPOTLIGHT

January 15 – Baroness Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT

January 16 – The Avid Reader – SPOTLIGHT 

January 16 – Literary Gold – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

January 17 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT

January 17 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

January 18 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – AUTHOR GUEST POST

January 18 – Eskimo Princess Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

January 19 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

January 19 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee – SPOTLIGHT

January 20 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

January 20 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT

January 21 – StoreyBook Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST

January 21 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW

January 22 – CelticLady Reviews – SPOTLIGHT  

January 22 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – SPOTLIGHT

January 23 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

January 23 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – AUTHOR INTERVIEW


January 24 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – REVIEW

January 25 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW

January 25 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT

January 26 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW

January 26 – Novels Alive – REVIEW

January 27 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT

January 27 – Cozy, Suspenseful, and Sweet – SPOTLIGHT

January 28 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW


JoAnne Weiss, nee Montalbano, was born and raised in NYC until moving to CT with her family when she was 16 and she's never left. Married for 41 years with one grown son, she works in an elementary school office where she's been since it opened in 2003. Prior to that, she was an accountant in several corporations before becoming a stay at home mom for 12 years. JoAnne enjoys reading, traveling, spending time with her family, and extended family as well as with friends. She enjoys cooking and rarely uses a recipe the way it was intended but instead uses them and cooking shows to give her new ideas and suggestions. JoAnne has a huge bucket list of places she'd like to visit but has been lucky enough to travel to England, Italy, the Caribbean, Mexico, Canada, and many states in the U.S. including Hawaii, California, Nevada, Arizona, and Maine among others. Some of JoAnne's favorite genres include contemporary romance, chick-lit, romantic suspense, and historical romances including regency and those set in the west. JoAnne is on several author's street teams and enjoys interacting with many of them on Facebook as well as reading their newsletters. She has been lucky enough to meet some of her favorite authors among them Susan Mallery, Debbie Macomber, Nora Roberts, Meg Tilly, Beatriz Williams, and Marie Bostwick. JoAnne took a road trip with her sister in the fall of 2019 and visited Nora Roberts' bookstore in Boonsboro, Maryland for an authors' signing. She hopes to do more of this in the future. JoAnne leaves reviews for all books she reads on Goodreads and her reviews can be found at JoAnne currently reviews for - and which is on hiatus. Previously she reviewed for which has since closed. Payment is in the form of receiving free books to read and review. Her mantra is too many books and not enough time!


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Deadly to the Core is the first book in this cozy mystery series set in a small Pennsylvanian town rich in history but with some dead bodies, too. If you like reading about amateur sleuths in action, this might be the book for you!4-STAR REVIEW: DEADLY TO THE CORE by Joyce Tremel