A California Magazine with Local Focus and Global Appeal:
Community - Entertainment - Human Interest


Weekly issues every Saturday morning and other special articles throughout the week — there's something for everyone. Check out our sister site KRL News & Reviews for even more articles every week.

Previous post:

Next post:


Toxic Toffee By Amanda Flower: Review/Giveaway/Guest Post

IN THE August 24 ISSUE

FROM THE 2019 Articles,
andMysteryrat's Maze,
andPets,
andSandra Murphy
SECTIONS

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. mystery

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.

Sandra Murphy lives in the shadow of the Arch in St. Louis Missouri. She writes about eco-friendly topics, pets and wildlife for magazines and reviews mysteries and thrillers for KRL. A collection of her short stories, published by Untreed Reads, From Hay to Eternity: Ten Tales of Crime and Deception can be found at all the usual outlets. Each one is a little weird and all have a twist you won’t see coming.

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.

mystery author

Amanda Flower

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.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. Be sure to check out our new mystery podcast too with mystery short stories, and first chapters read by local actors. A new episode goes up this week!

Use this link to purchase the book & a portion goes to help support KRL & indie bookstore Mysterious Galaxy:

You can also use this link to purchase the book on Amazon. If you have ad blocker on you may not see the link:

Amanda Flower, a USA Today bestselling and Agatha Award-winning author of over twenty-five cozy mystery novels, started her writing career in elementary school when she read a story she wrote to her sixth grade class and had the class in stitches with her description of being stuck on the top of a Ferris wheel. She knew at that moment she’d found her calling of making people laugh with her words. In addition to being an author, Amanda is a former librarian with fifteen years experience in Northeast Ohio. Toxic Toffee is her latest release.

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases using those links. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Faith Creech August 24, 2019 at 8:39am

Thanks so very much for the chance to win! I love exploring Amish country! Used to live in Pennsylvania and it’s so beautiful!

Reply

2 Linda Semler August 24, 2019 at 9:52am

Love to read this book. Live in Amish country Lancaster County, PA.

Reply

3 Glen Davis August 24, 2019 at 10:00am

Sounds interesting. Count me in!

Reply

4 anne August 24, 2019 at 5:20pm

Your visit sounds fascinating and this book would be greatly enjoyed. Thanks.

Reply

5 Dianne Casey August 25, 2019 at 9:23am

Great series. Would love to read “Toxic Toffee”.
diannekc8(at)gmail(dot)com

Reply

6 Debbie Smith
Twitter: @DebTS
August 26, 2019 at 6:56am

Thanks for the contest.

Reply

7 Jaime Minter August 25, 2019 at 4:44pm

Looks great! JL_Minter(at)hotmail(dot)com

Reply

8 Barbara August 26, 2019 at 7:03am

I would be thrilled to win this. I LOVE this series and Amanda’s others also! I live close to Holmes so these books hit home. (typin87@hotmail.com)

Reply

9 Katrina Powers August 26, 2019 at 7:14am

Great series! Thank you for the chance!

Reply

10 Maryann August 26, 2019 at 10:06am

A visit to Amish country sounds like such a fun adventure! This book would be such an enjoyable read.

Reply

11 DOWARD WILSON August 26, 2019 at 2:01pm

Love this series.

Reply

12 Lori Thomas August 26, 2019 at 4:23pm

Enjoy reading Amish stories. Thx for the chance!!

Reply

13 Taylor R. Williams August 26, 2019 at 8:25pm

Can’t wait to read this series – thanks for the chance to win – trwilliams69(at)msn(dot)com

Reply

14 Nora-Adrienne
Twitter: @NoraAdrienne
August 29, 2019 at 8:06am

I own four of the author’s books in three different series. I’d love to add this one to my collection. She is a wonderful author.
A recent post from Nora-Adrienne: Where the heck did summer go? Here are my September titles for your edification and pleasure!My Profile

Reply

15 Lorie
Twitter: @mysteryrat
September 13, 2019 at 8:57am

We have a winner!

Reply

Leave a Comment

Twitter ID
(ID only; No links or "@" symbols)

CommentLuv badge

Previous post:

Next post:

  • Arts & Entertainment

  • Books & Tales

  • Community

  • Education

  • Food Fun

  • Helping Hands

  • Hometown History

  • Pets

  • Teens

  • Terrific Tales