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Botched Butterscotch–discord in Harvest, Ohio

Botched Butterscotch

by Amanda Flower

If you’re looking for a novella that also…

  • is a cozy mystery
  • doesn’t involve murder
  • combines Amish and Englisch
  • focuses on women who need a stepping stone in addiction recovery
  • throws in some red herrings despite its brevity
  • affords an excellent distraction from current problems
  • and is all-round good fun,

then read Botched Butterscotch where you find some of your favorite characters from Amanda Flower’s Amish Candy Shop Mystery Series. There’s Bailey King, a chocolatier known locally as a crime solver, Juliet, Bailey’s probable future mother-in-law, Juliet’s potbellied pig Jethro, and Margot, the local super community organizer. You will meet Bailey’s parents visiting from New England and attend a fund-raising Mother’s Day tea. Mostly, you will have fun solving the mystery and enjoying the humor in this great little novella. 

I would like to extend my thanks to Netgalley and to Kensington Books for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 5/5

Category: Mystery

Notes: Almost too short to be a standalone because so much of the pleasure is derived from character interaction

Publication:   April 28, 2020—Kensington Books

Memorable Lines:

“Busy hands keep worries at bay—that’s something I tell the women at my farm. I believe that’s why the farm’s rehabilitation model works so well. When you are busy caring for something else, you are able to hold back self-defeating thoughts. It’s not foolproof, but it helps.”

Sundays had become my days to rest and recharge, and I was surprised to find that I was getting the same amount of work done every week regardless. Maybe there was something to this whole resting thing. I wished that I had known about it sooner—I might have been happier in New York if I had.

Of course, as a chocolatier, I couldn’t understand anyone not liking chocolate. Chocolate was one of the five major food groups—or at least it would have been if I had been in charge of making the chart.

Murder with Cinnamon Scones–set in the tearoom of my dreams

Murder with Cinnamon Scones

by Karen Rose Smith

Murder with Cinnamon SconesMurder with Cinnamon Scones is the tale of an art dealer’s death, suspicions placed on those he loved, and the struggles we all go through in trying to make sense of our lives. As with most cozy mysteries, this one is set in a small town trying to survive. In Willow Creek, Pennsylvania, as January surrounds the town with cold and some intermittent snow, small business owners are cooperating to draw in more tourists through Quilt Lovers Weekend. Daisy, who owns Daisy’s Tea Garden, is one of the leaders of this group. She finds her time divided between running the tea shop, investigating a murder to clear her friend Tessa, and developing friendships with two handsome men. She also devotes time to her two teenage daughters, the quilting weekends, her extended family, and her cats. Oh, and she also has to stay alive!

As busy as Daisy is, she still has the time and skills to maintain her tearoom as a successful business. With an emphasis on customer service, the tearoom draws visitors and locals for its delicious formal teas as well as soups, breads, and more casual tea service. Daisy and others at the tearoom are constantly experimenting with recipes, and the various types of teas mentioned in the book are so appealing. If this weren’t fiction, I’d be eager to visit this delightful tearoom housed in an updated Victorian house.

I highly recommend Murder with Cinnamon Scones for a good mystery, a surprising resolution, and interesting characters and settings. In it lies a poignant reminder that in relationships, things are not always what they appear to be. I’m glad it is part of a series because I was sad to reach the end of the book.

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.

Rating: 5/5

Category: Mystery

Notes: 1.  #2 in the Daisy’s Tea Garden Mystery Series, but works well as a stand alone.

  2. Look for recipes in the back of the book.

Publication:   May 29, 2018—Kensington Books

Memorable Lines:

Quilting shouldn’t be about finishing. It’s about putting your heart into each stitch and just relaxing and doing your best in that moment.”

“You should know by now,” Rachel said, “that should and shouldn’t after the fact do no good when you’re a mom. You just start from where you left off, and you try to do better.”

Oh, to be nineteen again, and to know exactly what to do or what was right, Daisy thought.

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