An Amish Candy Shop Mystery #8
By Amanda Flower
Author Website: amandaflower(.)com
Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Jeanie
Amanda Flower’s USA Today bestselling Amish Candy Shop Mysteries combines a fascinating look at Amish life with the sugar rush of candy making, a quirky whodunit, and a hint of romance between chocolatier Bailey King and her law enforcer boyfriend. This eighth installment raises the charm even more, as filming begins for Bailey’s new reality TV show just in time for a big blueberry festival to jam up the small town of Harvest, Ohio.
Bailey King, star of TV’s Bailey’s Amish Sweets, is building her dream candy factory in Harvest, Ohio. But no sooner is the frame of the new building up than she finds the dead body of a surly contractor who has a long list of enemies—including people in the Amish community. To add to the drama, Bailey is being filmed by a crew for her upcoming show. . .
When Bailey’s TV producer pitched a reality show about building the factory, Bailey was shocked that the network picked it up. She’s not shocked that many of the Amish working on the jobsite refuse to be on camera. However, local community organizer Margot Rawlings is ecstatic—because the filming coincides with Harvest’s First Annual Blueberry Bash. Margot believes the media attention will make Harvest the most popular destination in Holmes County. But now, the county may become known for all the wrong reasons . . .
Bailey will have to sift through a crowd of angry villagers and thousands of blueberries to solve the murder, save her new venture, and protect her Amish friends. At the same time, she and her longtime boyfriend, Aiden Brody, are making big decisions about their future together—a future that may be in jeopardy if Bailey is the next pick on a killer’s list . . . (From Goodreads)
This is another fun and intriguing mystery about Bailey King, her family, and her friends in the Amish village of Harvest, Ohio. It includes much humor, sweet romance, and a businesswoman who had been a highly successful chocolatier in New York City but now has a specialty show on Gourmet Television while helping her grandmother with her grandparents’ dream of a specialty candy shop using Amish recipes and techniques. The characters are three-dimensional and so engaging as to be the kind of people I would enjoy as neighbors. Relationships between most folks there are heartwarming and caring. The mystery kept me stumped and throughout.
Gourmet Television, who carries Bailey’s Amish Sweets, has begun filming a reality show watching the construction of Swissmen Candyworks. It is Bailey’s dream, a huge factory for their fabulous recipes. Sweets will still be sold in Swissmen Sweets, where Clara, Bailey’s grandmother, and Bailey run the family business. It will also provide more products for wide distribution via the internet.
They can film everything related to the construction except Bailey’s Amish family, friends, and workers. Devon, the producer, and her cameraman, Z, are there when Wade, the contractor, is finally coming to meet Bailey regarding the work his several-week work stoppage. Bailey’s opening date was scheduled for August; now only a miracle could get it completed on time. They are at an impasse unless Bailey acquiesces to his demands for more money due to price and labor increases. Instead, she canceled his contract to hire someone else.
That night, Bailey’s boyfriend Aiden is moving back to Harvest after working for the state bureau of investigation. The actual position was different than the offer made to him, so he was returning to be close to Bailey and begin his own PI firm. His decade-long career with the local sheriff’s department gave him a solid background in law enforcement and investigations.
Bailey’s cousin Charlotte, raised the Amish way, chose to not be baptized and join her parents’ church district. She lived with Clara since her family turned their back on her. When she met and fell in love with Luke, who had been mentored by Aiden and was now the sheriff’s second in command, Charlotte chose to leave the Amish way. She and Luke will get married in a few days, but her family refused to attend.
The First Annual Blueberry Bash began that day, and Bailey shared samples of a new blueberry-based fudge to tourists and residents. Later that night, Bailey and Charlotte went to the factory to make sure it was secured. It was Charlotte who noticed Wade’s dead body on top of the scaffolding. Within a short time, Charlotte’s father, Sol, is arrested and charged with his murder. The sheriff, who doesn’t like the Amish he is supposed to serve and protect, is railroading him for some reason. Bailey and Charlotte have just over a week before her wedding to find the real killer, even as Bailey seeks a new contractor to complete the candy factory.
It is a delight to watch the well-defined characters grow and change throughout this series. With few exceptions, most are endearing, memorable, and easily invested in by this reader. Charlotte in particular has blossomed through her relationship with Luke and close friendship with Bailey. Jethro steals many scenes. He is the polka-dotted comfort pig belonging to Juliet, Aiden’s mother and recent bride of Reverend Brook.
This fast-paced novel is full of twists and turns that kept me actively pursuing the case with Bailey, Aiden, and Charlotte. Descriptions of the people and area are richly colorful, especially those related to the Blueberry Bash. We won’t even talk about the fudge and other tempting sweets! I was startled to see who was involved with Wade’s murder and the reasons behind it. Fans of this series and the associated Amish Matchmaker series won’t want to miss this, or the surprises throughout! I highly recommend it!