Guest Post with Giveaway ~ Death Of A Bad Apple by Penny Pike


Cozy mysteries are as American as apple pie. That’s why I chose Apple Valley as the setting for the third book in my Food Truck/Food Festival mystery series. Although comfort food and murder don’t necessarily go together, there’s always a bad apple in every murder mystery wanting to make mincemeat out of some poor victim or two.

            When Darcy Burnett, former restaurant critic, is greeted by the intoxicating fragrance of cinnamon, sugar, and baked apples coming from her Aunt Abby’s kitchen, she wants to know what smells so good. Her aunt, a former cafeteria lady, shares a bite of her latest comfort concoction, and informs Darcy she’s signed up her School Bus food truck to Apple Valley for the annual Apple Festival. And she invites Darcy and her son Dillon to come along. After Darcy reads over the festival promotional materials, she can hardly decline.

“Nestled in the rolling Sierra foothills of El Dorado County is a wonderland of apple orchards and farms, apple wineries and breweries, all waiting to bring apple lovers a variety of sweet, tart, and tempting apple treats. The area, known as Apple Valley, provides the perfect place for a fruitful getaway, where you’ll find everything from Apple-Cranberry Cake to Zucchini-Apple bread, all prepared from the freshest farm ingredients. While you’re there, be sure to sample such homemade specialties as Apple Crips, Apple strudel, Apple Bread, Apple Donuts, Apple Butter, Apple Cider, Caramel Apples, Bakes Apples, and everyone’s favorite—All-American Apple Pie. And don’t forget to enjoy the food tents and trucks, craft booths, and the A-MAZE-ing Hay Maze. Remember: An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away—as long as you buy your apples from an Apple Valley certified grower.”

            Darcy’s looking forward to a quiet weekend in the country with Jake, the dream puff guy, who joins the group, along with Dillon, Aunt Abby’s computer hacker son. They’ll be staying at the Enchanted Apple Inn, a bed and breakfast farm, and enjoying apple wines, scooter rides, and a scarecrow contest. But even when it comes to something as classic as an apple, not everything in Apple Valley is in apple pie order. Somebody’s been upsetting the apple cart lately, and it’s let to murder. Apparently some Genetically Modified Organism—GMO—companies are trying to infiltrate the industry and they’re causing quit an uproar among the farmers.

            Darcy’s reporter instincts kick in and she discovers there really is a worm in the apple industry—and it’s name is Frankenfruit. According to her research, this brave new world of apple modification is unlabeled and drenched in toxic pesticides, posing health risks not even considered.

            While the controversy over these GMO fruits has raged for nearly a decade, when the GMO apples begin appearing on the shelves, the organic apples know they won’t stand a chance. Why? Because the GMO apple will “look” perfect. When Darcy learns there have been several fires at the apple farms in the area—including at the Enchanted Inn, she wants to make sure her aunt stays safe. Unfortunately, when one of the Enchanted Apple Inn’s guests dies right under Darcy’s nose. it’s up to her to figure out why the victim was murdered—and who done it—before another guest at the inn becomes the next victim.

Naturally, recipes are included!

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appleSeries: A Food Festival Mystery (Book 3)
Publisher: NAL (January 5, 2016)
Genre: Cozy Mystery
ISBN-10: 0451467833
ISBN-13: 978-0451467836
Buy: Amazon, Kindle, IndieBound, The Book Depository


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…

post-divider leftThanks to the publisher, I have one (1) copy of Death of A Bad Apple to give away.

Giveaway open to residents of the US only.
Giveaway ends on January 24th


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Winner will have 48 hours, from the time of notification to confirm their win or another winner will be chosen.

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Penny Warner has been writing since she read her first Nancy Drew in 6th grade. Since then she has had over 50 books published, fiction and non-fiction, for adults and children. She's been lucky — her books have won national awards, garnered excellent reviews, and have been printed in 14 countries, including Russia, France, Spain, Germany, Holland, Australia, Canada, Indonesia, India, Israel, Poland, Japan, and China. My best-sellers include Healthy Snacks for KidsKids’ Party Games and ActivitiesBest Party BookGames People PlayKids’ Holiday FunLearn to Sign the Fun Way,Baby Play and LearnKids Pick-A-Party, and Kids’ Party Cookbook.

She has a Bachelor’s degree in Child Development and a Master’s degree in Special Education, and she has been teaching child development at the local college for over 20 years. She also teaches writing tips at conferences across the country, including Pikes Peak, Whidbey Island, San Francisco, Jack London, and dozens of others. She belongs to Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, SCBWI, Women Writing the West, and California Writers Club.

She's also appeared on television featuring ideas from my books, including the national Dr. Spock PBS series, “Parent Sense,” the “Later Today” show, “HGTV,” “Channel 7 News,” “People Are Talking,” “Mornings on 2,” and dozens of others. In her spare time, she writes a weekly newspaper column on family life and she contributes to popular websites including,,,,,,,,,, and She and her husband Tom write interactive mysteries as fundraisers for libraries across the country.

Penny lives in Danville, California, has two grown children, and two adorable grandchildren.

 Website * Goodreads * Blog * Facebook * Twitter


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  1. Della Williamson says:

    Does Darcy have a "nose for trouble"?  A most interesting read.  And relavant to the times as well.  Thanks Lori's Reading Corner for introducing me to a new writer and series.

  2. Gloria Walshver says:

    Love books where the heroine gets herself involved in a mystery and someone comes to save her that means a man.

  3. Sandy Todd says:

    Thank you Lori for having Penny on your blog & for the chance to win Death of a Bad Apple!


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