Author: Amanda Flower
Series: An Amish Candy Shop Mystery #1
Rating: A solid 4 stars
Book Blurb: 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 . . .
This was a great read. Bailey is a likable MC who has come to a crossroads in her life. What I liked about this start to a cozy series is usually the series start with the death of a family member or a divorce in the MC's recent past and our journey begins as she tries to pick up the pieces. Here, Flower decided to start her story as the catalyst for change is happening. Unusual, at least in the cozies I have read. It paid off. You know what's coming, but it was a welcome switch to be on the emotional ride that caused the MC to seek drastic change.
Of course, the risk is that you then become attached to people that the MC has to inevitably say goodbye to. Rarely do cozies get me as emotional as this one did. But it also meant I was invested, so when Bailey decides hey - I'm gonna upend my life to change, you get it.
The mystery in this book was great. Yes I suspected the murderer at some point, but there was enough red herrings to keep me guessing at least. There was a point towards then end I was thinking WHAT IS GOING ON? which is a good sign when I'm reading a mystery. Also the twists lead to other questions you know will be explored in future books, not all loose ends are tied up.
The minor characters, which are key for me to continue on with series like these, were likable. Aside from Nutmeg the cat, my favorite is questionable as to if they will be a part of future books - we were left on a cliffhanger as to their status. Won't elaborate cuz spoilers. Which guarantees I will be reading the next book when it comes out in February.
Would I recommend it? Without hesitation if you are a fan of cozy mysteries.