by Sandra Murphy
This week we have a review of a fun candy related mystery-what’s more perfect for Halloween than candy? We also have a fun candy related guest post by Amanda that includes a candy recipe! Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of Assaulted Caramel. We also have a link to order it from Amazon, and from an indie bookstore where a portion goes to help support KRL.
Assaulted Caramel: Amish Candy Shop Mystery by Amanda Flower
Review by Sandra Murphy
New York City chocolatier Bailey King is on the verge of achieving the dream. Her mentor is retiring and ready to name his successor, and it’s between Bailey and one other candidate. Monday is the day of the announcement.
A phone call from her grandmother has Bailey flying to Ohio. Her grandfather is ill and in the hospital. Her grandparents are Amish, but Bailey’s father left the order so she is not. For her grandfather to go to the hospital means it’s serious.
On her arrival, she’s glad to see him in front of his shop, a candy making business that specializes in fudge. Unfortunately, he is arguing with another man and collapses. The other man leaves without even trying to help.
Although he’s very ill with congestive heart failure, he wants Bailey to get the job she’s worked so hard for. That plan is derailed when Tyson Colton, the man seen arguing with her grandfather is found dead in the candy kitchen, stabbed with the knife used to cut fudge.
Since her grandfather is too ill to be a likely suspect, Bailey rises to the top of the Sheriff’s list—she was there to see the argument, she is a stranger in town, and the Sheriff doesn’t like the Amish so by extension, he doesn’t like Bailey either.
Tyson wanted to buy up all the businesses along Main Street but found a way to make the Amish work for him after selling. His idea is a Disney-ish display of the Amish way of life. He was not popular and neither was his idea—which makes the suspect pool larger, not that the Sheriff is interested.
As if that’s not enough pressure, Cass, her chocolatier BFF is dispatched to fetch her, Aiden is a super cute deputy with a kookie mother (who has a pet potbellied pig, Jethro), a reporter pops up with a scoop—Bailey has been dating Eric, a member of the selection board for the head chocolatier job—and a mother of the bride who makes bridezillas look sane is on the warpath to have the perfect wedding for her daughter, including chocolates from the now closed shop.
This is the first in a new series. Bailey is someone you’d love to have as a friend, and not just because she can make award-winning chocolates. She’s evaluating her life, one that might include a love interest. Cass is a lot of fun as her dress-all-in-black-always New York BFF. Readers can only hope to see more of her.
This book has the added flair of including the Amish. Details of Amish life and making chocolates are scattered throughout the story without detracting from it.
Readers will look forward to seeing what happens next in Bailey’s life—not to mention the recipes she shares, like the one for Salted Caramel Fudge that’s in the back of the book (and actually just after this review as well). Also included is a taste of the next book, Lethal Licorice.
Swissmen Sweets Salted Caramel Fudge
By Amanda Flower
one pound chopped semi-sweet chocolate or chocolate of your choice
one stick unsalted butter
three tablespoons pure vanilla extract
one eight ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup caramel sauce
coarse sea salt
non-stick cooking spray
1. Spray an eight by eight inch pan with non-stick cooking spray. Press a piece of parchment into the pan so that the edges of the paper are just above the edges of the pan. Spray the parchment paper.
2. Mix the chocolate, sweetened condensed milk, unsalted butter, and vanilla in a stainless steel bowl and place it over a saucepan that contains two inches of boiling water. This is a double boiler. Turn the heat to low and stir gently until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth. Pour into the eight by eight inch pan.
3. Heat up the caramel sauce until it is pourable. Drizzle over the top of the fudge. Using a butter knife, swirl the caramel and chocolate mixture. Sprinkle with sea salt. Refrigerate overnight or for at least five hours.
4. Cut into cubes and enjoy.
To enter to win a copy of Assaulted Caramel, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “caramel,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen November 4, 2017. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.
Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & short stories in our mystery section.
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