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Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Fourth Amish Candy Shop Mystery Just as Frothy and Fun As Its Predecessors

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Note:  While this review will not contain spoilers for Toxic Toffee, it may inadvertently reveal plot surprises from earlier Amish Candy Shop mysteries.  As always, I recommend reading books in a series in order.

It's Springtime and the town busybody of Harvest, Ohio, has come up with yet another brilliant scheme to lure tourists to the quaint little town.  For the Easter Days festival she's dreamed up, she wants Bailey King, resident chocolatier, to craft the world's largest Easter bunny—out of toffee.  And she needs it done yesterday.  Bailey reluctantly agrees.  Minutes after saying yes, she's stunned when a man keels over right in front of her.  Stephen Raber, a rabbit farmer who looks like an Amish Santa Claus, is dead of an apparent heart attack.

When Aiden Brody, Bailey's sheriff's deputy boyfriend, informs her that Stephen really died because he ate a piece of poisoned toffee, she's shocked all over again.  Everyone in town agrees that Stephen was a jolly, kind-hearted man.  Why would anyone want to murder him?  When a skittish young man surprises Bailey at home with a plea to find Stephen's killer—and a bunny—she knows it's time to channel her inner Nancy Drew once again.  The Amish are mistrustful of the police, but they seem to believe in Bailey's detecting skills.  She doesn't want to let them down.  

With a giant bunny to craft, a real-life rabbit to watch, and a murder to solve, Bailey's got a lot on her plate.  Can she figure out who used Stephen's notorious sweet tooth against him?  Or will she become the next victim of someone with sour intentions?  

The books in the Amish Candy Shop Mystery series by Amanda Flower always make me smile.  They're light, fun, and entertaining, and honestly, that's all I want sometimes!  Sure, they're far-fetched, even silly, but when I'm looking for a diverting read, this is where I turn.  Toxic Toffee, the fourth installment, is just as enjoyable as its predecessors.  It features the usual likable characters, interesting English/Amish dynamics, and an intriguing enough mystery.  I was introduced to at least one facet of Amish life that I wasn't familiar with and found very intriguing (I won't tell you what to avoid spoilers).  While I noticed a couple of inconsistencies in the plot/writing, they weren't enough to deter me from enjoying Toxic Toffee.  It made for a fun, frothy read in between heavier books.  Given my taste for these sweet, clean mysteries, you won't be surprised to find out that I already have the next installment out from the library.

(Readalikes:  Reminds me of other books in the series, including Assaulted Caramel, Lethal Licorice, and Premeditated Peppermint as well as cozy mysteries by Vivien Chien, Ellie Alexander, Eve Calder, Kylie Logan, etc.)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for violence

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find

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Reading

<i>Reading</i>
Kill Her Twice by Stacey Lee

Listening

<i>Listening</i>
My Lady Jane by Brodi Ashton, Cynthia Hand, and Jodi Meadows



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