SERIES: Amish Candy Shop Mystery #4
GENRES/ SUBJECTS: Cozy Mystery
A sweet tooth for murder . . .
Bailey King’s in New York wrapping up a six-week shoot on her first cable TV show, Bailey’s Amish Sweets, when she gets a call from her Ohio town’s resident busybody. With Easter around the corner, Bailey’s been recruited to create a giant toffee bunny for the weeklong springtime festival that will also feature live white rabbits. But back home in Harvest, death becomes the main attraction when Stephen Raber keels over from an apparent heart attack—with Bailey and Raber’s pet bunny as witnesses.
Except it wasn’t Raber’s heart that suddenly gave out—a lethal dose of lily of the valley was mixed into a tasty piece of toffee. Who’d want to poison a jovial rabbit farmer who reminded Bailey of an Amish Santa Claus? To solve the murder, she and her sheriff deputy boyfriend Aiden must uncover a twenty-year-old secret. She’ll need to pull a rabbit out of a hat to keep a healthy distance from toxic people, including one venomous killer . . .
A copy of this was provided free of charge from the publisher in return for an honest review.
When I requested Toxic Toffee I hadn’t actually read any of the other books in the series, but it’d been on my TBR for a while. Seeing the ARC reminded me that I’d been interested, so I decided to try out the first one whether I got approved or not. I read all three previous books in the Amish Candy Shop Mystery series in the two days it took for my ARC request to be approved and started Toxic Toffee as soon as I received it.
The whole Amish Candy Shop Mystery series has sky-rocketed into my ultimate top cozies list.
I adore the little town of Harvest where the series is set! I was a little worried when Toxic Toffee opened with Bailey on a trip to NYC, but we were quickly back home in time for the mystery to unravel. All the characters in this series are marvellous and fun even the relatively minor ones: Juliet and her polka-dot pig Jethro are always fun and, in this particular book, we get to see a more sympathetic side to both town busybodies: Margot and Ruth.
Aside from the location (beautiful), the characters (relatable) and the mystery (compelling), I really love how unique these books are. I’ve never read anything about the Amish community before (as a Brit, it’s not something I’m even too aware of) but I thought Flower did a wonderful job. Obviously, the series is fiction, so I’m not taking anything as fact, but I love that she presents such a natural and honest feeling view of Harvest: there’s good and bad to the community rules and to the individuals on both sides of the Amish/English fence. Everyone feels like a well-rounded character (even the ones that fill typical cozy mystery stereotypes).
I’ve loved catching up with this series and I found Toxic Toffee just as delightful as the previous three. I absolutely can’t wait for the fifth book to come out (there had better be one), and I’m sure I’ll read more of Flower’s other books in the meantime. This is a cozy series I hope runs for many books to come.