Friday, November 13, 2020

Christmas Cozy Mystery Another Fun Romp in Amish Country

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

(Note:  While this review will not contain spoilers for Premeditated Peppermint, it may inadvertently reveal plot surprises from earlier installments in the Amish Candy Shop mystery series.  As always, I recommend reading books in a series in order.)

Bailey King is looking forward to a cozy Christmas in Amish country, celebrated simply with her devout  grandmother.  Peppermint is the dominant scent at Swissmen's Sweets as the chocolatier cheerfully bakes up a sleigh-full of goodies for her eager customers.  Bailey's enthusiastic ho ho ho's soon turn to bitter "bah humbugs" when her ex-boyfriend, celebrity pastry chef Eric Sharp, shows up in town to film a documentary on Amish Christmas practices.  His producer wants an "authentic" story greedy t.v. viewers will eat up, which Bailey fears will involve exploiting her friends, family, and business for ratings.  

When the documentary's executive producer, Rocky Rivers, is found dead in a Harvest gazebo, Eric becomes the primary suspect in her murder.  The town's sheriff's deputy, Aiden Brody, who has been sweet on Bailey ever since she came to town, seems only too eager to slap some cuffs on Eric's wrists.  Bailey's hardly Eric's biggest fan, but she doesn't want him to be wrongfully convicted.  Reluctantly, she agrees to play detective.  She believes in Eric's innocence (doesn't she?), but if he didn't kill Rocky, who did?  And why?  If she doesn't find the killer soon, no one in little Harvest is going to have a very merry Christmas ...

Premeditated Peppermint is the third book in Amanda Flower's delightful series revolving around the folks in Harvest, Ohio.  Although the quaint little town has a surprisingly high crime rate, it's still a fun place to visit.  The residents are appropriately quirky and there's plenty of Amish/English tension simmering under the surface to create lots of intriguing conflict.  Although the stories get far-fetched, I'm happy to suspend my disbelief in order to be entertained by the townfolks' antics.  Just like its predecessors, Premeditated Peppermint offers likable characters, a compelling mystery, and a unique setting.  Its vibe is Christmas-cozy, remaining warm and upbeat throughout.  I'm picky about which cozy mysteries I read; this series is one of my favorites.  The stories are fun, light, and entertaining.  Premeditated Peppermint is no exception.  I enjoyed it, just as I have all the previous installments.

(Readalikes:  Reminds me of other books in the Amish Candy Shop series, including Assaulted Caramel, Criminally Cocoa [novella], Lethal Licorice, Botched Butterscotch [novella], Toxic Toffee, Marshmallow Malice, Candy Cane Crime, and Lemon Drop Dead, as well as cozies by Kylie Logan, Ellie Alexander, and Vivien Chien)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for violence and scenes of peril

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find

4 comments:

  1. It's the setting that really intrigues me about this one! :)

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  2. Nice review Susan. I enjoy this series a lot. Yes, for a small town, there sure is a lot of crime. 😁

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  3. It sounds like it was good fun. Amish country is always a setting I like.

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  4. I love when a series of mysteries (think Louise Penny) all take place in a small town/village and I end up wondering if there is anyone left alive. :-)

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