Happy Mother's Day! I hope everyone is having a very special day! My daughter, Betsy and I got my mother a custom pair of Keds (did you know you can customize them with colors). She got to pick out the different colors for each section (including eyelets). We also had her initials put on them. My mother also received licorice (her favorite treat right now), a new coloring book (has beautiful quotes inside), her very expensive conditioner, a stand to hold her Kindle, and an Amazon (I got my love of reading from my mother) gift card (from my sister, Nicole). I think she did pretty well! Did you get some wonderful new goodies today?
The Final Tap by Amanda Flower is the second book in A Living History Museum Mystery series. Kelsey Cambridge is the director of Barton Farm in Ohio. Barton Farm (which has a farm and a village) strives to represent how life was in 1863. To help make Barton Farm self-sustaining, Kelsey has organized the Maple Sugar Festival. There will be classes, exhibitions, pancake meals, and visiting school children. Kelsey has hired Dr. Conrad Beeson, a maple sugar expert, to teach a workshop (she has reservations because of his grouchy personality but it is too late to find a replacement). The first person she hired, Robert Stroud, had to bow out (or so she is led to believe). Kelsey and her assistant, Benji are showing Dr. Beeson the maple trees. He is not happy with the weather (it is too cold for the sap to run). Dr. Beeson takes off to check out some red maples in a different area. When Kelsey goes to check on him, she finds him on the ground with a hand drill sticking out of his chest. Someone was careful to wipe away their footprints. Just what Barton Farm does not need is another incident. Kelsey sets out to find out what happened to Dr. Beeson especially when her Director of Education, Gavin Elliot ends up being the number one suspect. Kelsey does not trust Detective Candy Brandon to look any deeper (the detective does not like Kelsey especially since Kelsey is dating Candy’s former fiancé, Chase Wyatt). Kelsey is also dealing with her ex-husband, Eddie and his new fiancé. Eddie (with fiancé’s manipulating) has decided he wants to see their son, Hayden more often (which means altering the custody agreement). Just what Kelsey does not want. Life is never dull on Barton Farm.
I like the setting of The Final Tap. Can you imagine a beautiful village and farm in northeastern Ohio? I can (especially since I am from Ohio). The book is nicely written, easy to read, and a good pace (nothing worse than a slow book). This is the second book in the series, but you can read it alone (if you have not read The Finale Reveille yet). I give The Final Tap 4 out of 5 stars. I liked the story, but I wanted a more difficult mystery. I was able to figure out the killer before I was halfway through the book (the clues are very sparse). There are quite a few characters and it is a little hard to keep them all straight (there is an all-male maple sugaring group, college professors, college students, Barton Farm employees, Kelsey’s friends and family). The good characters (the main ones) are likeable (Hayden seems like a great kid) and the bad guys you want something to befall them (especially Eddie’s fiancé). I found the information on tapping trees for sap and the making of maple syrup very interesting. It is quite a process. Overall, The Final Tap was an enjoyable cozy mystery, and I will definitely be reading the next book in A Living History Museum Mystery series.
The first book in A Living History Museum Mystery series is The Final Reveille. I received a complimentary copy of The Final Tap from the author and publisher in exchange for an honest review of the novel.
Thank you for taking the time out of your day to visit my blog. I am currently reading A Killer Ball at Honeychurch Hall by Hannah Dennison (I had not had a chance to read it yet) and Tall Tail by Rita Mae Brown. Take care, have a wonderful evening, and Happy Reading!
The Avid Reader