Happy Book Release Day! There are a bevy of new books out today. Here are just a few of the new releases: Digging Up History by Sheila Connolly, Manor of Dying by Kathleen Bridge, Bite Club by Laurien Berenson, Strangled Eggs and Ham by Maddie Day, Left Fur Dead by J.M. Griffin, Andrew by Jennifer Beckstrand, Lost and Found by Danielle Steel, Belinda Blake and the Snake in the Grass by Heather Day Gilbert, No Ocean Too Wide by Carrie Turansky, The Daughters of Temperance Hobbs by Katherine Howe, Toxic Toffee by Amanda Flower, Murder's No Votive Confidence by Christin Brecher, Guilty as Charred by Devon Delaney and Clause & Effect by Kaitlyn Dunnett. What new book are you looking forward to reading?
Toxic Toffee by Amanda Flower returns readers to Harvest, Ohio just in time for Easter. Bailey King has returned home after spending the last six weeks filming Bailey’s Amish Sweets in New York. Bailey notices all the bunnies in the town square and then she is cornered by Margot Rawlings who asks to create a record breaking toffee bunny for the Easter Days celebration (her latest scheme to draw tourists to the town). Before returning to the Swissmen Sweets to plan out the edible bunny, Bailey visits with Stephen Raber, the rabbit wrangler. But then Stephen suddenly collapses and dies from what appears to be a heart attack. It is later that Aiden informs Bailey that Stephen was poisoned, and the victim’s son turns over threatening notes that Stephen had been receiving each day. Who would want to kill the congenial Stephen Raber? Bailey intends to find out, but she needs to work in her sleuthing in between making candy for their very busy shop, creating an oversized toffee rabbit, supplying chocolate for Easter Days and keeping an eye on her new roommate—Puff, Stephen Raber’s pet bunny. Someone is not happy with Bailey’s snooping and tries to dissuade her (they do not know Bailey). Bailey had better hop to it if she is going to solve this one before Easter and maybe she will finally get that date with Aiden.
Toxic Toffee is the latest humorous tale in An Amish Candy Shop Mystery series. It can be read alone if you have not had the pleasure of reading the other books in the engaging series. Toxic Toffee has Bailey back in Harvest, Ohio after her six weeks in New York filming her new cooking show. Before she has time to take her bag home, Margot Rawlings pulls Bailey aside to discuss her making a very large toffee rabbit for Easter Days. Of course, it needs to be at least six feet tall or maybe just a wee bit bigger. Then Stephen Raber, owner of Raber’s Rabbits, drops dead in the square. The poor man was poisoned (want to take a guess with what candy) and Eli Raber, the victim’s son, wants Bailey to find the killer. He then leaves his father’s pet rabbit in Bailey’s care (he really does not give her a chance to say no). I enjoy Amanda Flower’s writing style. It draws a reader into the story and keeps them absorbed along with the quirky characters and the various comical capers. Jethro, the polka dotted pig, and his owner, Juliet Brody are back. Juliet wants Bailey and Aiden to set a wedding date so the planning can begin. Of course, the fact that the pair are not engaged does not deter Juliet. Bailey’s grandmother, Clara is such a sweet woman and she remains calm no matter what happens (even the police showing up in the middle of the night). The mystery was intriguing, and I like how it is woven throughout the story. There are surprising twists along with artfully placed clues. While I was not surprised by the killer’s identity, I loved following the hints and enjoyed the unpredictable take down. It is funny that Bailey’s reputation for solving mysteries is widely known among the English and Amish in Holmes County. One person commented “Don’t look so surprised, Bailey. Your reputation precedes you.” I was frustrated with the reiteration of certain details. Bailey being told to leave the investigating to the police, Aiden does not want her to get hurt, and certain details regarding the mystery are a couple of the repetitious items. I had to laugh, though, when Juliet said, “I’m so glad that you will be my daughter just as soon as you and Aiden get around to announcing your wedding.” There is a very special event at the end that will delight readers of this series. Toxic Toffee is a charming Amish cozy mystery that will tickle your funny bone.
The Avid Reader