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Book Notes

Toxic Toffee-An Amish Candy Shop Mystery

Cover of Toxic Toffee, book four in Amanda Flower's Amish Candy Shop mystery series
Book Four in the Amish Candy Shop mystery series

          Toxic Toffee, the latest book in Amanda Flowers’ Amish Candy Shop mystery series,opens in New York City. Bailey King is wrapping up filming of her television show Bailey’s Amish Sweets and with her is her friend and co-worker Charlotte Weaver. Charlotte is Old Order Amish, but has yet to be baptized into the faith, allowing her this adventure.

          New York City is unlike anything Charlotte has experienced in her life. Charlotte has grown up in the Old Order communities of Holmes County, Ohio; communities that shun electricity, online anything, and modern modes of transportation. But Charlotte will soon leave New York behind; she and Bailey are scheduled to fly back home to the village of Harvest, Ohio, where both will resume working in Swissmen Sweets, the candy shop owned by Bailey’s deceased Old Order Amish grandfather and his widow, and inherited by Bailey upon his death.          

          Before Bailey leaves New York, she receives a phone call from Margot Rawlings, a woman determined to put Harvest on the tourist map, and Margot wants to talk to Bailey about a rabbit. It isn’t until Bailey arrives back in Harvest, sees a colony of white rabbits on the village square and realizes Easter is approaching that she puts two and two together-Margot has big plans for Easter, and those plans include Bailey. Bailey’s grandmother confirms Bailey’s suspicions; Margot wants Bailey, a chocolatier who trained for years under Jean Pierre, New York’s premier chocolatier, to carve a chocolate rabbit for Easter. It sounds easy enough, until Stephen Raber, the Old Order Amishman who had been tending to the white bunnies on the square, collapses and dies. Heart attack is the assumption until Eli Raber, Stephen’s son, certain his father was murdered, begs Bailey for her help. Bailey King has established a reputation for solving murders, much to the chagrin of her boyfriend, Sheriff Deputy Aiden Brody. When tests determine Stephen Raber was poisoned, Bailey finds herself pulled into another murder investigation, while still having to construct a giant chocolate bunny for Harvest’s Easter celebration.

          Has Bailey become involved in one too many murders in Harvest? The killer is determined to get away with his or her crime and Bailey finds herself a target of the killer.

          Flower integrates humor, red herrings, and distinct characters into her books. The Amish Candy Shop series also includes

Book One

Assaulted Caramel (Book #1),

Book Two

Lethal Licorice (Book #2),

Book Three

Premeditated Peppermint (Book #3),

and the novella, Criminally Cocoa. 

Readers of the series will recognize familiar characters: Bailey’s Maami, Jethro the white polka-dotted pig and his owner, Juliet Brody, (Aiden’s mother), along with old and new Amish characters. Reading books in this series is like returning to a favorite vacation spot—familiar and comforting, but also capable of mystery and surprises.

          Flower is the successful author of several cozy mystery series; check them out on her website.  You can also find Flower on Facebook.