Wednesday, September 2, 2015

The Lopsided Christmas Cake

There seems to be an increase in historical cozy mysteries. Especially books set in the Victorian time period.  I wonder why the increase.  Do you prefer historical or regular cozy mysteries? The one problem I have with books written in Victorian times is that some authors tend to make the books stilted (because of Victorian formality) which makes them hard to read.  It takes a gifted writer to combine Victorian formality/language and ease of reading.  

The Lopsided Christmas Cake by Wanda E. and Jean Brunstetter is a charming Amish novel.  Elma and Thelma Hochstetler have just inherited their grandparent’s home and store in Topeka, Indiana.  Instead of selling their inheritance (which is what their mother wanted) the girls decide to move there and make a go of it.  The girls are twins and thirty-two years old.  When they arrive at the home, they find the house in a deteriorated condition.  The house is going to need a lot of work to bring it up to snuff.  Elma is all about order, making lists, and working.  Thelma tends to be a little scatterbrained (flighty), would prefer to have a little more fun than work.   
The house needs more work than the girls anticipated and they seem to have mice.  Thelma wants to let in a cat or two to take care of the problem, but Elma has something against the cats.  Elma finally relents because she hates mice worse than cats.  While shopping in Shipshewana, Thelma notices a flyer for a cooking show.  Each item will be demonstrated and the final product auctioned off.  Proceeds go to the Amish community medical fund (they do not have health insurance).  Thelma, without Elma’s knowledge or consent, enters them to make their grandmother’s Christmas cake.  They will have to make it using the homes wood stove which neither of the two ladies are used to using.

While shopping in Shipshewana, Thelma meets Joseph Beechy.  Joseph is owns a harness shop is LaGrange.  He is a timid man with a dog named Ginger.  During another trip, Thelma runs into Delbert Gingerich.  Delbert is a woodworker.  He is very outgoing and competitive.  Elma, Delbert, Thelma, and Joseph see each other again at the cooking demonstration and auction.  Joseph has Delbert bid on the girls cake (the demonstration does not go well and the cake is lopsided).  The four of them start spending a lot of time together getting to know each other.  It would be perfect if each girl found the right man at the same time (thanks to a childhood agreement between the two of them).  Will it be happily ever after for the four of them? 

I found The Lopsided Christmas Cake to be a cute story.  I liked Thelma who is outgoing, friendly, and full of life.  Elma was not as likable a character at first (she grows on you in time), but I did understand about her migraines (we seem to have the same type).  I did not understand Elma’s dislike for cats which was mentioned frequently throughout the book (it got a little annoying after a while).  The book is written in a good style that makes the book just a breeze to read.  I liked that there was no foul language, violence, or sex in the book (which is so prevalent in our culture).  This is a book that will put a smile on your face especially after you read the ending.  I give The Lopsided Christmas Cake 4 out of 5 stars.

I received a complimentary copy of The Lopsided Christmas Cake from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  The review and opinions that I express are strictly my own.

I am currently reading The Secret Fire by C.J. Daugherty.  I hope you have a nice afternoon and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

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