Catastrophe hits a Vermont apple orchard: a plague of maggots, hate calls, and poisoned fruit that kills a Jamaican picker.  Dairy farmer Ruth rushes to help--only to see the troubles pile up on her own doorstep! 

St. Martin's Press.  Trade edition: an Author's Guild back in print.

Read A Review:

Moira and Stan bought a Vermont apple orchard.  They hope this will help them heal from the loss of their daughter.  Stan has a lot of problems and challenges.  The manager of their orchard, Rufus, manages to get under Stan's skin quite often.  An arrogant man, Rufus acts like he owns the orchard.

Problems continue in the orchard.  Someone tries to poison the apples and then there is more sabotage.  Even though the authorities call some of the incidents "accidents", both Moira and Stan doubt it and believe they are clearly deliberate acts.

A favorite character in this story is Ruth, who provides badly needed friendship for Moira. Ruth is a farmer; she treats her animals with love and respect. Ruth loves her orchard and what those apples represent.  You can see Moira and Ruth provide strength to others around them when it is required.  Stan worries about the orchard; he also has been involved against a group that wants to dismiss one of the teachers at the school.  The author does a fine job of showing Stan as a tortured man.

To get to the bottom of this mystery and find out who is holding a grudge is no easy task.  The story has more than a few twists and turns.

Rita Ratacheck