by Sandra Murphy
& Amanda Flower
This week we have a review of Toxic Toffee, the latest Amish Candy Shop Mystery by Amanda Flower, along with a guest post about bunnies. Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of Toxic Toffee, and a link to purchase it from Amazon, and an indie bookstore where a portion of the sale goes to help support KRL.
Toxic Toffee: An Amish Candy Shop Mystery by Amanda Flower
Review by Sandra Murphy
Bailey King has the best of both worlds. In New York, she’s a master chocolatier with her own cable television show. Back home in Ohio, she’s able to work at Swissmen Sweets, her grandmother’s Amish chocolate shop. Bailey’s father left the Amish community before being baptized, so Bailey wasn’t raised Amish.
It’s Easter time and under the guidance (read iron fist) of Margot Rawlings, the town square is featuring all things bunny. A local breeder has about thirty bunnies in a pen, poses for photos with his pet rabbit, Puff. Margo coerces Bailey into creating an eight-foot-tall rabbit molded from crispy cereal, fondant, chocolate, and toffee. By the way, can she have it done in two days? And donate her time and materials.
Bailey’s dating Sheriff Deputy Aiden Brody, or at least trying to. It seems any plans they make are easily derailed. There’s no pressure except from Aiden’s mother, Judith, who thinks the pair are getting married. Bailey would just like to have an official date first. Dodging Judith’s wedding plans adds comedy to the situation.
When Bailey is introduced to Stephen, the bunny breeder, she finds him to be a kind man. Before she can learn more about him and his rabbits, he drops dead at her feet. What’s assumed to have been a heart attack, turns out to be murder.
Bailey barely has a minute to breathe. An unexpected request that she act as foster care for Puff, only adds to the pressure to sell lots of candy, keep Margot and Judith (and Judith’s pet pig, Jethro) under control, broker peace between a tiny kitten and an extra-large rabbit, and solve the murder without disrupting the Easter celebration. Jethro is always my favorite part of this series. He’s a tiny pig, polka-dotted and Judith dresses to match his coloring. In typical small town fashion, no one bats an eye at a woman with a pig working at the church and around town.
In addition to the Amish Candy shop books, Flower writes the Magical Bookshop series, Andi Boggs books for kids, Living History Museum mysteries, and a new series, the Amish Matchmaking tales. The matchmaker is introduced in this book, and I can’t wait to read Matchmaking Can Be Murder, due out in December, available for pre-order now.
So Many Bunnies
By Amanda Flower
One of my favorite things about writing about the Amish is researching the culture and learning about the places they live. I have the good fortune to live only an hour away from Holmes County, Ohio, where the Amish Candy Shop Mysteries are set, so I can go there as often as I like. I’ve been there in every season, even the dead of winter when the Amish men trade their black felt hats for black stocking caps and the women wear capes over their plain dresses.However, my favorite thing to do when I visit Amish Country is go to a farm. I always go back to same farm year after year. It’s called Hershbergers, and it’s part road side attraction, part wholesale store, and part petting zoo. They have dozens of animals including goats, chickens, pigs, horses, cows, and more in their barn, and for a very small fee you can pet them and feed the animals treats. It’s always great fun. The last time I went was just before the release of Toxic Toffee. This was the first time I went that I noticed they had bunnies in the barn. Since an Amish bunny farm is main part of Toxic Toffee, I was tickled to see the rabbits and have a photo op holding one. This was the first of many of rabbit sightings this summer, and since Toxic Toffee is about the death of an Amish bunny farmer, it all seemed to fit.
The next time I saw rabbits was far away from Amish Country. I went to Ireland in July and saw a rabbit almost every morning. It was one of the giant Irish hares. Any time, I drove to the countryside, there they were. And then when I returned home, I went to my own county fair they had a whole barn full of bunnies that were being judge. For me, it’s been the summer of rabbits. It seems everywhere I look I see one. I’m taking that as a good sign.
To enter to win a copy of Toxic Toffee, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “toffee,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen August 31, 2019. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address (so if you win we can get the book sent right out to you), and if via comment please include your email address. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.
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