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Sometimes you need a sweet tooth to take a bite out of crime . . .
Bailey King is living the sweet life as assistant chocolatier at world-famous JP Chocolates in New York City. But just when Bailey’s up for a life-changing promotion, her grandmother calls with news that her grandfather’s heart condition has worsened. Bailey rushes to Harvest, Ohio, where her grandparents still run Swissmen Sweets, the Amish candy shop where she was first introduced to delicious fudge, truffles, and other assorted delights.
She finds her grandfather is doing better than she feared. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for a local Englisch developer, whom Bailey finds dead in the candy shop kitchen—with Jebediah King’s chocolate knife buried in his chest. Now the police are sweet on her grandfather as the prime suspect. Despite the sincere efforts of a yummy deputy with chocolate-brown eyes, Bailey takes it on herself to clear Jebediah. But as a cunning killer tries to fudge the truth, Bailey may be headed straight into a whole batch of trouble . . .
About the Author
Amanda Flower, a three-time Agatha Award–nominated mystery author, 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. She also writes mysteries as national bestselling author Isabella Alan. In addition to being an author, Amanda is a librarian in Northeast Ohio. Readers can visit her online at www.amandaflower.com.
Read an Excerpt
"I still can't believe you left!" Cassandra Calbera shouted into my ear. "They're making the announcement Monday. You have to be here!"
I held the phone away from my face and imagined my best friend standing in the middle of Jean Pierre's test kitchen in the back of JP Chocolates in Midtown, New York. She'd be in her chef whites and have her short, purple and black hair pinned behind her ears to keep it out of her eyes. I prayed that she was alone, considering the direction of our conversation. The fewer people who knew I'd left the city, the better.
While Cass continued to tell me all the reasons why I should immediately return to New York, I parked in the first spot I could find on Apple Street, which ran perpendicular to Main Street. Apple trees lined either side of the narrow lane. In the spring, they looked like flowering white torches marching up the road, forming a beautiful canopy. When I was a little girl, I had asked my grandfather why the apple trees never had any apples. He replied that the English residents of the village didn't like the apples because they made a mess on the street and sidewalk, so the Englishers made the trees sterile. At the age of five, I had no idea what sterile meant, but it sounded bad. "It is the Englisch way," he had said. "To change what Gott created into something more convenient."
This late in September, the tree's leaves had turned yellow-gold, and a few fell to the sidewalk in the breeze that rolled over the green hills surrounding the village.
"Bai, are you listening to me?" Cass demanded.
I took a deep breath. "I explained to Jean Pierre before I left. This is a family emergency. My grandfather is sick. Jean Pierre understood. Besides, it's only Thursday. I'll be home in time for the announcement on Monday morning."
"Jean Pierre might understand, but the selection committee will not. They're looking for any excuse to give that skunk Caden the head chocolatier job. Just because he's French, and they think it goes better with the brand of Jean Pierre's empire. Do you think I should run the mob just because I'm Italian?" "You probably wouldn't be bad at it."
"First of all, that comment is both flattering and insulting. Second, you are completely missing my point."
"What would that be?" I asked, rubbing my forehead and staring out the windshield of the rental car I had picked up at the tiny Akron-Canton Airport. There hadn't been much selection, and the inside of the car smelled faintly of stale cigarettes. The smell was giving me a headache. As I stared out the window, an Amish buggy clopped down the cross street. Inside, an Amish man with a long dark beard chatted with the Amish boy in the passenger seat. The boy was laughing. I couldn't be farther from Midtown if I tried.
"Are you listening to me?" Cass asked.
I blinked. I hadn't realized she was still talking. As much as I loved my best friend, she had a tendency to ramble when she was really passionate about a subject. "I'm listening," I lied.
"You not being here the week before their final decision as to who will be Jean Pierre's replacement only makes it easier for them to give it to that jerk. Is that what you want?"
"Jean Pierre won't let them do that." I had been Jean Pierre's first chocolatier and protégé for so long, that everyone, even me, assumed that I would be appointed as head chocolatier at JP Chocolates when Jean Pierre retired.
"It's not Jean Pierre's decision," she argued. "When the chocolate company went public, all the power went to the board of directors, which is the selection committee. Sure, they may listen to Jean Pierre's suggestions, but they can do whatever they want."
She wasn't telling me anything I didn't already know. I rubbed my temples. I had to get out of the car. "Cass, I'm not going over this again with you. My grandfather is ill. He's more important than some job."
"It's not just some job, Bailey. You've been working for this for six years. Six years. Do you want to throw away all the thousands of hours you spent on perfecting your craft?"
I drummed my fingers on the steering wheel. "Of course not."
"Then, come back —"
"Oh, Cass, can you hear me? You're breaking up," I said. "I'm way out in the country now ..."
"Bailey? Bailey, can you hear me? Bai?"
I hung up the phone. As a native New Yorker, Cass questioned cell phone reception anywhere west of Manhattan.
I scrolled through my text messages for a response from Eric Sharp. Nothing. The last text messages had been from me to him, telling him I was heading to Ohio to visit my ailing grandfather, telling him I was at the airport, and telling him I had landed in Akron. No response to any of them. I reminded myself that between his two pastry shops, television show, and thousands of other obligations, Eric didn't have time to text his girlfriend, especially since he and I were the only ones who knew we were dating. I threw the phone into my purse. Despite Eric's impossible schedule, a short "thinking of you" text would have lifted my spirits considerably, because I was pretty certain Cass was right. My rash decision to drop everything and fly to Ohio did put my promotion to head chocolatier at JP Chocolates at risk. I shook my head. I'd had no other choice. When my grandmother had called to tell me my grandfather was ill, I had to go. My grandmother only called if it was an emergency. The Amish didn't use the telephone for chitchat.
Through the windshield of my rental car, I watched as a second horse-and-buggy rolled by. I had told Cass that I was in the country; I hadn't told her I was in Amish Country. The village of Harvest in Holmes County, Ohio to be specific. I wasn't sure what my fashionable coworker would have said if she knew I had Amish relatives. She'd probably wonder if I had a bonnet hidden somewhere in my apartment.
My grandparents might be Amish, but I wasn't. Neither were my parents. My father had grown up Amish and then left his district to marry my mother. Right now, Mom and Dad were having the very un-Amish adventure of traveling through Europe to celebrate their thirtieth wedding anniversary. Judging by the number of vacation photos in my email inbox, I could safely say that Mom and Dad had mastered the selfie and were on a personal mission to snap a photo of themselves with every major landmark in Europe. The last one I had received included the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
I took a deep breath and stepped out of the car. I would have to buy an air freshener if I was going to spend any significant amount of time in the rental car, or risk asphyxiation. As I walked to the corner of Apple and Main Street, I hoped that Daadi and Maami would be happy to see me. My grandparents didn't know I was in town. My grandmother had called to tell me Daadi was ill, but she'd asked me not come. She said Daadi would not wish me to leave my work on his account.
I turned the corner onto Main Street, passing an Amish woman pushing a double stroller. Two plainly dressed toddlers sat in the stroller, kicking each other with their small feet. The mother said something to them in Pennsylvania Dutch. The children giggled, and I felt myself relax. I had made the right decision. The selection committee members wouldn't change their minds about choosing me as the head chocolatier just because I took a couple of vacation days that were owed me. I hadn't taken a single day off from work since last year, when Jean Pierre had announced his planned retirement.
Main Street was the primary shopping district in the tiny village of Harvest, Ohio. Gas-powered lamps marched down the street, alternating with more apple trees, and store fronts advertised Amish-made products — everything from quilts to baskets to pretzels and brooms. Returning here felt like stepping back in time. Not into a former century, as many people misperceived the Amish culture, but into a bustling community of shops and merchants, where clothes and home goods and foods were locally harvested and handmade. Cass would be horrified — there wasn't a Starbucks or a department store in sight. Me, I rather liked the simplicity and authenticity. I specialized in chocolates, so it made me smile to think that people specialized in furniture and cheeses and even blank-faced Amish dolls.
My grandparents' store — Swissmen Sweets — was in the most coveted spot on the street. It was right across from the town square, where the village held the Apple Blossom Festival in the spring, community picnics in the summer, farmers' markets in the autumn, and ice-skating in the winter. Everyone in town wanted Daadi's location, but he had owned it for well over fifty years, and he was way too smart to sell.
I was about a block from Swissmen Sweets when I spotted my grandfather leaning on a walker in front of his candy shop. His snow-white Amish beard hung to his chest, and his black felt hat sat primly on the top of his head. He spoke to a non-Amish man wearing a business suit that could have been sold in any number of the New York department stores Cass loved to frequent.
I took a deep breath, happy to see Daadi was no longer in the hospital as he had been when my grandmother called, but the walker frightened me. Daadi was a proud man, and he must hate having to rely on the contraption to keep him from toppling over.
I started to wave to attract my grandfather's attention, but stopped myself when I was close enough to overhear their conversation.
Daadi gripped the sides of his walker until his knuckles turned white. "I have told you before, we're not interested."
The man in the suit appeared to be in his late forties. He wore his brown hair combed back in a wave and his tan had the slightest hint of orange. "You're a fool. No one is going to make you a better offer than I am."
"That is gut," Daadi said. "Because I do not want any more offers. I'm happy with what I have. More importantly, Gott is happy with it. Now, if I cannot interest you in any fudge, I must ask you to leave."
The man pointed at my grandfather. "You're just prolonging the inevitable. When you're gone, this property will belong to me. There'll be no one to stand in my way. You don't have any family to take it over."
My chest constricted. Daadi did have family. He had Maami, and he had me. I clenched my teeth and started walking toward the pair at a fast clip.
The man spun around and headed directly for me. Not watching where he was going, he ran smack into my shoulder. "Hey!" I shouted at him, so loudly I wouldn't have been surprised if they heard me back in New York.
He blinked at me. In Harvest, pedestrians didn't yell at each other like they did in the city. I could use this to my advantage. "Watch where you're going."
He straightened his jacket. "Get out of my way."
I was going to say something else, but then I saw Daadi over the man's shoulder. Daadi was bent over his walker. He held his chest and crumpled to the sidewalk.
I ran to him. "Daadi!" I held him in my arms and looked back up the sidewalk. The man glanced at me, shock registering on his face, before he turned the corner onto a side street and disappeared.
"Bailey." Daadi touched my cheek. "What are you doing here?" Before I could answer, he lost consciousness.
My grandparents' family doctor was an English man in his late fifties with a wide, kind face that immediately put me at ease. He put his blood pressure cuff in his medical bag and adjusted his wire-rimmed glasses on the long bridge of his nose. "Jebidiah, I do think you should go to the hospital for some additional tests."
Daadi shifted his position on the nest of pillows my grandmother had made for him on their bed in the small apartment above the fudge shop. "Nee, I have been to the hospital too many times. They always tell me the same. My heart is weak. I don't have much more time. I do not need to hear this again. When Gott calls me home, I will be ready. Going to the hospital won't change that."
It felt like someone reached into my chest and squeezed my own heart in a vise when my grandfather stated this so matter-of-factly. I agreed with the doctor. Daadi should go to the hospital. After he had collapsed on the sidewalk, I started to call 911 when my grandmother asked me to stop. She said Daadi didn't want the ambulance called. Instead, she called their family doctor, Dr. Brown, who had an office on the other side of the square and was there in a matter a minutes. During that time, Daadi had come to, and Dr. Brown and I half led, half carried Daadi up the stairs to his room.
The doctor sighed. "I expected you to say that." He glanced at my grandmother, who stood on the opposite side of the bed, holding Daadi's hand. "Clara, please call me day or night if you need me. I'll be here as quick as I can."
My tiny grandmother nodded. "Danki, Dr. Brown." The white prayer cap on her head blended in with her soft, silver hair. Her hair had once been brunette like mine, but it had been silver for as long as I had known her.
The doctor nodded and headed for the door.
Before he reached the bottom of the back stairs, I rushed out of the room. "Doctor, what's wrong with my grandfather?"
Dr. Brown looked up at me from the middle of the narrow staircase. The gas-lit wall sconce illuminated his broad face. There was a sadness in his eyes that I hadn't noticed when he had been in the bedroom with my grandparents. "Congenital heart disease."
My chest tightened as if an unseen hand had cranked the vise just a little more tightly, and even though I didn't want to, I asked, "The prognosis?" He only shook his head. Then he turned and descended the stairs to the shop's main floor.
I stood there, staring down the narrow stairwell with a hand covering my heart. I didn't know if I was covering it in protection or prayer. I glanced over my shoulder at the doorway that led to my grandparents' bedroom. Maybe now was a good time to start praying, assuming I still knew how to do it. I dropped my hand and headed back to the bedroom.
"No, Clara," Daadi said. "I am not going back to the hospital. They have told us before there is nothing more to be done. Let it be. I would rather spend what little time I have left on this earth with you, here in our home."
Tears gathered in my grandmother's blue eyes, the same color as my own. "Ya, you are right, Jebidiah."
He gave her a weak smile. "I will savor that, because it is a rare thing, indeed, for you to tell me I am right."
She frowned. "Do not joke at such a time."
"Jokes are always welcome. Even the gut Lord laughs." He noticed me standing in the doorway. "There's my girl. Come closer and tell me why you are here."
I sat on the edge of his bed, careful not to disturb him. "I came to see you. I heard you were unwell."
Weakly, he shook his finger at Maami and me. "I think the two of you have been up to something."
Maami lifted her chin. "I called Bailey when you were in the hospital. She is your granddaughter and has a right to know."
"I agree. Bailey has a right to know," Daadi said, and then turned his head on the pillow toward me. "But you should not have come. Don't you have the chocolate man vote this week?" I smiled, touched that my grandfather would remember the pending head chocolatier announcement at such a time. "I've never heard it called that before, but yes, the selection committee is voting on who will be the next head chocolatier at JP Chocolates. The announcement will be made Monday morning."
Daadi tried to sit up, but Maami and I both pushed him back onto the pillows. "Then why are you here?" he asked. "You should be in New York, making chocolate castles to wow the committee. Don't give them any reason to consider another chocolatier."
My hand remained on his shoulder. "It's not as important as being here with you."
"Hogwash," Daadi snapped, some of the fire back in his eyes. "It's all you have written to us about for the last five years. You can't fool me into thinking it is no longer important to you, now that I am under the weather."
"You're more than under the weather, Daadi." I held his cold, wrinkled hand in mine. "And you're more important than a silly job."
He grunted, but his face broke into a smile. I found myself smiling too.
Maami stood up and smoothed a wrinkle out of her plain lavender dress. "I'll let the two of you argue about this and make some tea. I'll put double sugar in yours, Bailey." She winked at me. "Don't think I forgot your sweet tooth."
Excerpted from "Assaulted Caramel"
Copyright © 2017 Amanda Flower.
Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A 'tasty' book you won't want to put down. I hated putting this book down!! A great story and Amanda pulls you right into the story, grab a copy and see if you can figure out who the killer is. I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series "Lethal Licorice".
This was a nice intro to a new series by Amanda Flower. Having read and loved her Quilt Shop Mysteries I decided to see what this series was like and I’m not disappointed. This book had a well written storyline, and authentic, believable characters. As in her other series, I enjoyed the interesting information about the Amish culture that was woven into the story. I will definitely be reading other books in this series.
This book has everything I look for in a cozy mystery. It takes place in a small town which just happens to have a large Amish community. There is a murder, a wonderful protagonist, food, some romantic tension and a strong family connection. There is also a recipe included at the end. It is the first in a new series by Amanda Flower. I have read other books by this author, and I enjoy her character development, plot development and storyline. A winner in my books. Bailey King is up for a huge promotion at JP Chocolates in New York City as head chocolatier. Just before the announcement, her grandmother calls her to say that her grandfather is in the hospital in Harvest, Ohio and is very ill. She loves them very much, especially because she developed her love for chocolates spending summers with her grandparents and working in their sweet shop. she heads off and arrives to see her grandfather's health failing and he collapses outside his store. He has just had an argument with an English developer who wants to buy his store. Because her grandparents are Amish, they have no electricity in their apartment above their store, so Bailey has to charge her phone in the kitchen of the store. When she goes to retrieve it the next day, she finds the English Developer dead in the kitchen with the fudge knife sticking out of his chest. Of course, Bailey becomes a suspect not only because she observed the argument and may have killed him because of her grandfather, but her prints are the only ones on the knife. There should be plenty of suspects but the police have decided that Bailey or perhaps her grandfather might have done the murder. A very handsome deputy has a special relationship with the Kings and Bailey finds herself comparing him to her boyfriend back in New York. As she investigates, she finds out that many of the Amish that sold their businesses to the victim, also had a reason to kill him. Bailey continues to search out information to find the real murderer. I loved this story. The characters are very believable and very engaging. Maami, Clara King and Daadi, Jebediah King are wonderful people with huge, generous hearts. Even with his heart condition and weakened state, Jebediah puts the needs of others first and never loses his strong work ethic. Clara, a strong woman in her own right is the perfect helpmate. While Bailey is not Amish, she clearly has the same values as her grandparents. Their close bond remains even though she is living in New York. Her father left the Amish faith when he married her mother many years before. The pace of the story moves nicely not only trying to catch a killer but finding out that the Kings had committed to making desserts for a wedding and they are not allowed to use their kitchen. Bailey jumps in to help and finds out things about the groom that she shares with the police. The wedding itself is interesting, the mother of the bride especially. The groom is the son of the murdered man and the wedding is going on as planned. Seems a bit odd to Bailey. There is a lot happening with quilting bees, community dinners, and even a pot bellied pig that is invited to the wedding. The mystery was a twisty one. I thought I had it figured out but was very surprised by the reveal. Amanda Flower has given her readers a terrific story to savor. I am ready to read the next one in this series. A great book for any cozy mystery reader to enjoy.
Absolutely loved this book! Wonderful characters whom I fell in love with. Great story line which kept my interest throughout with a twist for an ending. Hated for the book to end! Highly recommend and am now a fan of this author!
Poorly written, poorly plotted, poorly edited. Shall not be reading anything else by this author. Sorry.
I will recommend this book to my friends
Loved this book!
This was a fantastic intro to a new series by Amanda Flower. Don't let the cute title fool you, this book was rich in storyline, characterization and of course, candy. Bailey King works in NYC and is about to be named head chocolatier at the prestigious JP Chocolates. However, her grandfather's progressively worsening heart condition leads her to Ohio the weekend before the announcement to check on her beloved grandparents. When a local developer is found murdered in her grandparents candy shop, she remains both as a suspect and support for her family. I enjoyed the details of how this Amish community is coexisting with the local English and the characters, both local and her friend Cass from New York are very well developed. The only thing I thought a bit odd was that while Bailey's love of chocolate and candy making clearly comes from her summers spent with Daadi and Mammi in Ohio, her best friend Cass seemed to have no idea about her Amish heritage. I look forward to reading more about Bailey, Aiden, Juliet and hopefully Cass in subsequent stories.
This is the first book I've read by Amanda Flower and I really enjoyed it. Bailey heads to Ohio to help her Amish grandparents when she finds out that her grandfather is failing. She arrives to find him in an argument with a developer who is later found dead in her grandparents shop. The first thing that I loved about this book was that Bailey, although up for a huge promotion, leaves to see her grandparents without a second thought, family first came through loud and clear. I enjoyed the characters, Bailey is strong and likable, her grandparents are adorable and her friend Cass I have to admit at first I wasn't sure about her she seemed a bit over the top but I came to love her, she says what she thinks and she stands by Bailey without a moments hesitation. The mystery was good, I kept jumping between who I thought did it. I will definitely continue on with this series.
what a entertaining debut to a cozy mystery series! Bailey King is a chocolate maker form New York and is about ready to live her dream as head chocolatier for JP Chocolates. That is until her Amish grandparents ask her to come to the small town of Harvest, Ohio to help out with her grandfathers failing health, Her first day there brings her grandfather a heart attack and a dead guy found in the kitchen of her grandparents' candy shop. The rest of the book has a great whodunit, and a cast of interesting complex characters, mostly a look into Amish life form an outsiders point of view. The small town setting is interesting since the main character is somewhat of an outsider and form the big city, getting used to small town life. this is an interesting theme in cozies to have someone who has been away form a small town return to their small town roots, form the big city. t liked the book the characters, the setting and it provided a engaging whodunit and an entertaining story.
Assaulted Caramel, the first book in Amanda Flower’s Amish Candy Shop Mystery series is a sweet treat. Twenty-seven-year-old Bailey King rushes from New York City to her grandparents’ Amish community of Harvest, Ohio, when her grandmother calls to let her know that her grandfather has been taken to the hospital. Upon arriving at her grandparents’ home and candy shop, Swissmen Sweets, Bailey spies her grandfather in a heated argument with a non-Amish man. Turns out the man is developer Tyson Colton and he has been buying up Amish businesses in the area with the hopes of turning Harvest into an Amish Disneyland. Bailey later stumbles upon the body of Tyson where he shouldn’t be, in the kitchen of Swissmen Sweet, with a chocolate knife in his chest. Police are quick to assume that either Bailey or her grandfather killed Tyson. Bailey vows to prove herself and her grandfather innocent before it’s too late. Amanda Flowers has definitely written a good mystery with fantastic characters. Bailey’s best friend, Cass adds humor to the story. Deputy Aiden Brody proves to be a good friend to Bailey and hopefully a romantic love interest as well. While I was busy wishing I could visit Harvest, Ohio and interact with everyone, I forgot about the murder needing to be solved. I can only say that the twists and turns were mind-blowing. I can’t wait to return to Harvest and Swissmen Sweets. **Received a copy from the publisher and voluntarily reviewed the book.**
Amanda Flower gives us a fast pasted who-done-it that I thoroughly enjoyed. She kept me going back and forth between suspects while never giving the murderer away. The end was a total surprise to me! You have to pick up a copy of this entertaining book to find out who killed a man everyone in town despised. Tyson Colton, a greedy Englischer who was buying all the stores from the Amish, was found dead in the kitchen of the Swissmen Sweets candy store. That was the only store he couldn’t buy. What was he doing in the kitchen after everyone had gone to bed anyway? Jebidiah and Clara King owned Swissmen Sweets and lived above the store. Their English granddaughter Bailey, who was a chocolatier in NYC at a very famous store and vying for the head chocolatier job, had come to visit because Jebidiah was in poor health. None of them heard anything going on in the kitchen below. Who killed Tyson Colton? Surely not Jebidiah, he’s Amish. The sheriff believes Jebidiah put Bailey up to it. Plus, she found the body. Did she kill Tyson? Could it be Eileen Hutton whose daughter was engaged to Tyson’s son? She certainly wanted her daughter married into that wealthy family whether her daughter did or not. Then there was Tyson’s son Jace. He wasn’t the least bit sad that his father was dead. He despised him too, and now everything belonged to him! I know you’ll enjoy reading this well-written book and trying to figure out which of the many townspeople killed a man everyone was glad was dead! I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Assaulted Caramel by Amanda Flower is the first fantastic book in a new Amish Candy Shop Mystery series. It is fresh, emotional, fun and made up of strong characters that you love and others you despise. The story takes you on a roller coaster of emotions as you try to figure out who has murdered the despicable Tyson Colton and why. The way Amanda Flower weaves the Amish community in with the Englischers makes it the fabric of the mystery. I loved it and definately look forward to the next book in the series. Bailey returns to Ohio to check on her Grandfather who is ill but finds the Amish community being targeted by Tyson Colton. When she arrives and Colton is badgering her Grandfather causing him to collapse it sets her up as a suspect when Tyson is found by Bailey dead in her grandparents kitchen in their Amish Candy Shop Swissmen Sweets. Bailey has to help her grandparents keep their business going, clear her name and figure out who really killed Tyson. Bailey is a strong, confident, smart character that seems to be able to hold her own. I think how she handles the arrogant demanding Eileen mother of the bride is awesome. Her chocolate expertise keeps Eileen at bay and her Grandparents business from being maligned by the wicked Eileen. When she meets Juliet and Jethro her pet pig I HAD TO LAUGH. I think her reaction is so funny seeing a pig in a Church and you just have to love Jethro. Aiden the sheriff deputy is compassionate yet smart and doesn't hold a grudge against the Amish unlike his boss the sheriff. When Cass, Baileys best friend, shows up and her quirkiness as well as her smart mouth adds a fun element to the situation. Cass as Baileys side kick in the investigation has a comical relief element and yet her straight forwardness seems to get some results. All characters from Bailey right down to Jethro the pig makes the book work and keeps you engrossed in the story. I laughed, got angry, cried and stewed right along with the story. This book is a great mixture of love, family, faith and friendship. If you like a good mystery, set in a small town with an Amish Community as part of the plot, strong unique characters, with twists and turns on an emotional roller coaster, and so many suspects that make you wonder whodunit to the end then you must read this book. The ending was a surprise but I won't spoil it for you. I couldn't put it down. I would give it 5 stars. If you want to learn more about this book or the authors other books go to: amandaflower.com UNTIL NEXT TIME: GRAB A CUP OF COFFEE OR TEA, SOME CHOCOLATE, A GOOD BOOK AND KEEP ON READING
Dollycas’s Thoughts Wow! What a fantastic start for this series! Bailey King is up for a huge promotion at JP Chocolates in New York City, but she receives a call that her grandfather is very ill in Harvest, Ohio. Her grandparents are the ones that introduced her to everything chocolate at their Amish candy shop, Swissmen Sweets. Hoping it will be a quick trip she rushes to be with them. Her grandfather pushes away any concern but she can see he is failing. Adjusting to their Amish ways she has to charge her cell phone in the shop kitchen as their are no outlets in their living quarters above the shop. When she sneaks downstairs in the middle of the night to retrieve it she almost trips over the dead body of an Englisch developer, a man with a grand scheme to buy all the shops in Harvest. There should be plenty of suspects but the police have decided that Bailey’s grandfather is their prime suspect. His shop – his knife – case closed – almost. A very handsome deputy has a special relationship with the King’s. Bailey doesn’t know what it is but she knows she isn’t going to take her sweet time jumping into his case. Her grandfather is innocent and she is going to prove it or fudge things up royally I loved this story. The characters are very believable and very engaging. Maami, Clara King and Daadi, Jebediah King are such wonderful people with huge hearts. Even with his heart condition, Jebediah puts the needs of others first and never loses his strong work ethic. Clara, a strong woman in her own right is the perfect helpmate. While Bailey is not Amish, she clearly has the same values as her grandparents. Their close bond remains even though she has been away in New York. The story moves right along not only trying to catch a killer but following the King’s as they deal with not being able to use their kitchen. Commitments have been made and must be fulfilled. Bailey takes on providing the desserts for a wedding she is surprised is still taking place. With this event we meet more characters, Amish and Englisch, from the bridal couple and the bride’s mother to the ladies of the church plus a cute little kitten and a potbellied pig too. The mystery was a twisty one. I thought I had it figured out but at the big reveal I was completely surprised. They may not have chocolate covered red herrings in the candy shop but this story is full of those buggers. Amanda Flower and her unique writing style has given her readers a terrific story to savor. She has blended captivating characters, a marvelous mystery, a charming town, and scrumptious chocolate in a way that is sure to please every cozy reader! Pure bliss – this book plus anything chocolate!
Amanda Flower books are a pleasure to read, and Assaulted Caramel, the first entry in the Amish Candy Shop Mysteries, is no different. I will admit I was a bit apprehensive about reading an "Amish mystery." Ms. Flower's books are such a joy to read; I was concerned I wouldn't like the new series and therefore tarnish all books by her in my eyes. I was very mistaken and pleasantly surprised. In this book we meet Bailey King who has been living in New York as an assistant chocolatier. She got her passion for chocolate by spending summers with her Amish grandparents in Ohio in their candy shop. When Bailey receives a call her grandfather is ill, she drops everything to be at his side. She arrives just in time to see her grandfather collapse after an altercation with a developer that wants to buy the candy shop, as well as those around it. The developer is soon found dead, however, and all signs point to the King family. Bailey must clear the names of her grandparents as well as herself, cater the desserts for a wedding, and try to play it cool when around the handsome deputy in town. I truly enjoyed this mystery and almost literally counted the minutes until I could return to it's (digital) pages to read about Bailey, her grandparents, and chocolate. I love the cozy atmosphere, and I thoroughly enjoy the humor Ms. Flower interjects in her stories. The next book in the series, Lethal Licorice, doesn't arrive until February of 2018, and I am already impatiently waiting! This was easily a five-star book, but since it is the first in the series, I want to leave myself room to give following books five stars! I was disappointed when the author stopped writing the India Hayes mysteries, and while I am now reading her Living History Museum mysteries and now these, I am concerned she is spreading herself too thin and another series will soon fall by the wayside. Here's hoping we get many more adventures of Bailey King!
OK this is about as good as it gets. One of my favorite authors, an Amish based story and CANDY. Seriously who could ask for much more. This first in what I know is going to be a truly awesome series is a 5 star hit! You really cannot go wrong with anything Amanda Flower writes, but this is even better. Did I mention CANDY? Sit back, grab something yummy and delve into the new world that author Flower has dreamed up for us. Just make sure you have a lot of candy because you will not be able to put this winner down!
Assaulted Caramel by Amanda Flower begins An Amish Candy Shop Mystery series. Bailey King has rushed to Harvest, Ohio to check on her grandfather, Jebidiah King. She received a call from grandmother, Clara that his heart condition was worse and he had been taken to the hospital. Bailey is walking up to Swissmen Sweets (where her grandparents work and live) to sees her grandfather having a disagreement with someone before collapsing (he would not stay in hospital). Her grandparents are Amish and have a strong work ethic. It was at her grandfather’s side that Bailey learned her love of chocolate. It turns out that the man arguing with Jebidiah was Tyson Colton. Tyson has been trying to convince Jebidiah to sell the shop. Tyson has big plans for the town. The next morning, Bailey heads downstairs to get her phone and finds Tyson Colton stabbed to death in the shop’s kitchen. It is soon apparent that the police consider Bailey’s grandfather their prime suspect. Bailey knows that this situation will only worsen her grandfather’s heart condition. She switches out her sugar thermometer for a deerstalker cap and sets out to find Tyson’s killer. I found Assaulted Caramel to be well-written and engaging. It has an easy writing style which made for an enjoyable read. The story has real characters, a lovely setting, steady pace and plenty of humor. One of my favorite things in the book (besides the luscious chocolate and fudge descriptions) was Jethro, the spotted pig. Jethro’s description and antics had me chuckling. I also appreciated the snark from Bailey’s best friend, Cass Calbera. I hope we see more of Cass in future novels. My rating for Assaulted Caramel 4.5 out of 5 stars (I liked it, but easily solve the mystery). I did feel that there was too much internal dialogue (Bailey thinking). The mystery had some good elements and many readers will not guess the identity of the culprit until the second half of the story (or you might be surprised). There are the right number of suspects and pointed clues. I am eager to read Lethal Licorice when it comes out in February.
Envision an Amish Disneyland. That is what a local developer had planned as he tried to force Amish shop owners to sell their business to him but that ended when his body was found in the kitchen of an Amish candy store. His body was discovered by Bailey King a New York City chocolatier and granddaughter of the shop's owners. She now finds herself needing to solve the murder to not only help her grandparents but to get her off the very short suspect list. This story has a great mix of Amish and "Englisch" characters but Jethro the pig may be my favorite. The mystery is well written and will keep you guessing until the end. This is the first book in the An Amish Candy Shop Mystery series by Agatha Award winning author Amanda Flower.
Assaulted Caramel by Amanda Flower is the first book in her new Amish Candy Shop series and was a delightful read from the first page. Bailey is a very likable character. The love, respect and loyalty that she shows to her Amish grandparents made her feel "real" to me. She is also smart and determined to help her grandparents as much as she can while she is visiting. Ms. Flower's descriptive writing clearly paints Harvest, OH and the Amish community that lives in and around the area. The dialogue was often funny and included some great one liners from her best friend, Cass. All of the characters were well developed but with plenty of room for growth as the series progresses. Oh, and there is a totally different pet featured in this cozy story, a polka dotted pot bellied pig named Jethro who nips the people he likes. I was totally smitten with Jethro. The plot was steady paced with enough twists to keep me guessing until the reveal and that was a shocker for me. I will be looking forward to reading more in this series. I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book from Kensington via NetGalley. All of the above opinions are my own.
Assaulted Caramel is the first book in the Amish Candy Shop Mystery series. Bailey King has been working for JP Chocolates and has worked herself up to where she expected to have her dream job as the head chocolatier in about four days. But an emergency phone call from her Amish grandmother just might put that on hold. Bailey packs a few clothes and heads for Harvest, OH to visit with her grandparents and to find out how bad her grandfather's health is. As she is nearing the grandparent's store, Swissmen Sweets, she sees her grandfather in an animated discussion with Tyson Colton, an Englisher real estate developer. Colton has been purchasing Amish businesses for redevelopment. Shortly after her grandfather yells that he will never sell, he collapses. Colton turns and walks away nearly running Bailey over. The next morning Colton’s body is found in the kitchen of Swissmen Sweets. Deputy Carpenter who was one of the first on the scene seems to feel certain that Bailey or her grandparents are responsible for Colton’s death and all they need to do is gather the evidence to arrest Bailey or her grandfather. But then, on the other hand, Deputy Aiden Brody seems to be just the opposite, praising her grandparents as great people and seeming to take an interest in the case and information Bailey has to offer. Thinking they might be doing the good cop-bad cop, she doesn’t want to share too much with either one. As if this wasn’t bad enough, Swissmen Sweets was to provide the desserts for the marriage of Colton’s son, Jace, and Mira. Eileen, the mother of the bride insists that Bailey show that she is capable of preparing desserts that will meet her high standards. Eileen quickly arranges for Bailey to use the church kitchen, where the wedding will take place, to prepare a sample selection of desserts. She is sure that while she is doing her baking that there will also be an opportunity to gather more information about Colton. Cass, a friend of Bailey’s and co-worker at JP Chocolates arrives in Harvest to convince Bailey to return to New York for the announcement of the head chocolatier job, but instead, Bailey convinces her to help learn who killed Colton. Another great Amish series from Amanda Flower that gives the readers a look into the life in a community of Englisher and Amish and how they interact with another. A well-plotted and interesting story with a cast of believable characters. I am looking forward to the next book in this new series. A recipe for Salted Caramel Fudge is also included.
Assaulted Caramel is the first Amish Candy Shop Mystery. Bailey King, a chocolatier from NYC, goes home to rural Ohio when she discovers her grandfather's health issues. Already points in her favor as she is on the brink of a huge promotion when she leaves. The town of Harvest, Ohio, has a big Amish population (her grandparents included) and is rather quaint. During Bailey's first night in town, a man whom she had seen arguing with her grandfather upon her arrival is killed in the family chocolate store's kitchen. The cast of characters is interesting: the handsome sheriff's deputy, the Amish girl with a hidden cat named Nutmeg, and of course, Jethro the pet pig. The mystery was good - lots of potential killers as the dead man was rather unsavory. Overall, an enjoyable read.
ASSAULTED CARAMEL by Amanda Flower. Amish Candy Shop Series and Kensington Publishers Her grandfather was the most important thing for Bailey, if he was ill she needed to be there, a phone call was used by Amish only in emergency. Swissmen Sweets her grandparents shop, center of town, owning for over 50 years. Delighted to see his grandchild, but will she lose the vote to be head Chocolatier, by coming, working for 5 years to be. Go back and get the job for me, the grandfather asks her. I'm not going anywhere yet, nor selling to the English. Not sleeping decided to check her phone, which was downstairs. Door didn't want to open, her feet didn't want to move, and the screams were they her's. Why, here in this shop, death had come, this was the man in the suit wanting to buy shop. A delightful story with the twist of murder, and with family. Given ARC by Net Galley for my voluntary review and my honest opinion.
What a wonderful beginning to a brand new series. Bailey, an assistant chocolatier, is waiting to hear about a promotion she is up for when she is called away to Amish country. Her grandfather's heart condition has gotten worse and she wants to be there for him and her grandmother. Bailey's first night there has her tripping over the body of a local developer and her grandfather becomes a suspect. Bailey can't leave her family alone to deal with this mess thrust upon them and decides she must figure out who the real culprit is. I was immediately pulled in and fell in love with the wonderful characters set before me. I laughed, got mad, and even cried as I read, Flowers really knows how to tug at the heart strings. I can't wait to find out what happens next.
Bailey King is waiting for the selection committee to announce their choice of Head Chocolatier at the renowned JP Chocolates in New York City. But when her grandmother calls her to tell her that her grandfather, Jebidiah, is ill, she drops everything, returning to the small Amish village of Harvest, Ohio. That her grandparents were Amish is a secret she has kept even from her best friend, Cass. Her original intention was to spend just a day or two with her family, but then she learns that the town's rich developer, Tyson Colton, has been buying up all the neighboring stores for a some secret plan, and Jebidiah has been the main holdout. When Tyson's murdered body is found in the candy kitchen, even Bailey comes under suspicion. As she looks to find the real murderer, her dreams of Head Chocolatier seem to be slipping away. Can she count on anyone in the town to help her, maybe the dreamy deputy, Aiden, who seems to have a personal connection with her grandparents. This is the first in a new series for veteran author, Amanda Flower, known for her Appleseed Creek Mystery series (also set in an Amish community), as well as the Magical Bookstore Mystery and the Living History Museum Mystery series. The writing is fluid, and the characters well fleshed out. I enjoyed the relationship between Bailey and her grandparents, especially the calming nature of her grandmother. I also enjoyed the descriptions of Bailey's chocolate creations, as she helped her grandparents fulfill a contract for a planned wedding dessert tasting. I would like to learn more about some of the other village inhabitants, so I can't wait for the next book in this series, as well as how Bailey's relationship develops with Aiden. Disclosure: I am voluntarily reviewing this advance reading copy.
Just the right mix of a little humor, mystery and of course a little romance.