by Amanda Flower
I passed on the first two books in this series as the idea of a cozy mystery themed around an Amish candy shop just didn’t sound like it had enough excitement and pizazz for me. Then I read a few books by this author, Amanda Flower, from a different series and realized I should give the Amish Candy Shop Series a try. I’m glad I did.
Bailey, an Englischer, moves from New York City to help her Amish grandmother with the family candy shop. As Bailey, her grandmother, and cousin Charlotte get ready to display their peppermint themed goodies at the town’s Christmas Market, Bailey’s former boyfriend Eric, a pastry chef, invades the town of Harvest with a television crew. His motives are mixed and at odds with the Amish beliefs and traditions. The quiet town is soon upended by a murder. Is the murderer a local or one of the big city imports?
In Premeditated Peppermint, as Bailey tries to solve the mystery, we meet an interesting group of locals. Aiden is a deputy sheriff and he and Bailey seem drawn to each other. His mother, Juliet, is a hoot as she divides her time and attention between her adorable pot-bellied pig Jethro and possibilities of a romance for the young couple. Margot is on the town council and manages to keep everyone stirred up with exciting plans to promote the town. Emily is a young Amish girl with family difficulties. The Keims have a Christmas tree farm. There are an assortment of other characters who fill out the story.
This is not a purely Amish story. The Amish customs are contrasted with those of their Englischer neighbors. There are even mixed families, and the problems that causes are evident. At appropriate times, there is snowfall and it is easy to visualize rural Ohio and sense the frigid temperatures. Although not a cliffhanger all the way through, it doesn’t need to be. There is plenty of interest in solving the crime and in the personal relationships to keep the story going. The ending surprised me.
I would like to extend my thanks to netgalley.com and to Kensington Books for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Notes: 1. #3 in the Amish Candy Shop Series, but I had no problem following the story as a standalone
2. Recipe for Peppermint Bark included
Publication: September 25, 2018—Kensington Books
People in the big cities are craving a simpler country life even if they wouldn’t last more that three seconds outside their area code.
“It’s all here…The charming small town, the sense of community and family. Second chances at love. You know, the feel-good family stuff that TV watchers like to gobble up while ignoring their own families.”
“…there are Amish who get in trouble too, just like there are English who get in trouble. There is no cultural escape from trouble.”