Thursday, June 7, 2018

Assaulted Caramel (An Amish Candy Shop Mystery #1)

Author:  Amanda Flower
Genre:  Mystery

Mass Market Paperback; Audio CD; Digital Book
ISBN #:  9781496706393; 9781541468368
Kensington Publishing (Tantor Audio_
352 Pages
$7.99; $24.99; $4.99 Amazon
August 29, 2017


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...


When Bailey King is called by her grandmother to say her grandfather is very ill, she rushes back to them in Ohio.  But when she arrives she sees her grandfather arguing with a man and he falls to the sidewalk.  She rushes to help him and he is pleasantly surprised to see her there.

But the next morning when she can't sleep, she goes down to the candy shop where they have electrical outlets to see if there are any messages on her phone, and she steps in something sticky.  When she turns on the lights, she sees that it is blood, and the man she saw arguing with her father is lying in it, with a knife in his chest.

When the police arrive, they know that her grandfather couldn't have committed the crime due to his health, but they immediately suspect Bailey of it.  She knows she's the main suspect, and when she's ordered not to go back to New York - where an almost-certain promotion awaits her - she knows she has to find a killer since it's certain the police aren't looking anywhere else except in her direction...

I was hoping from the title that this would be a mystery set around the Amish.  But it’s not.  Most of the people are Englisch, so you have to wonder how many Amish actually live in this town, or why so many Englisch people live there instead.  My husband grew up in Pennsylvania, and I’ve visited many Amish towns and they pretty much keep to themselves.

I would have liked to enjoy this book more, but when I met the sheriff, it pretty much killed it for me.  He wants to pin a murder on Bailey because she's new to the village; but it's insane to say that she killed a complete stranger because she saw him arguing with her grandfather.

As to the 'incident' that occurred three years prior, that's like saying if someone breaks into your home and you defend yourself you have a history of violence.  One-time circumstances do not make you a violent person.  I was truly hoping the sheriff wouldn’t be a stereotype as in other books of this sort, but I was wrong.  He hates Bailey and accuses her, telling her he knows she’s guilty; there is nothing redeeming about him, and I can't see reading other books where he is a character.  Especially since he tells her he has more right to be in the county than the Amish since he's the sheriff.  Then Aiden tells her that the sheriff is toying with her until he gets tired of it and arrests her.  Say what?  She's just part of game to him until he gets bored with it?  Then it's said that he doesn't care about the Amish.  He's a horrible person and should be a sheriff anywhere!

But I found that most of the characters were unlikable, especially Cass, who has 'I'm from New York so I'm better than you' attitude and seems to look down on the people in Harvest as not being good enough to be in her company; she even disparaged the rental car as not being good enough.  I couldn't wait for her to leave, and Bailey's better off without someone like that in her life.

The ending was a bit of a letdown, and there was no reason given why the killer murdered Tyson, so it didn't make any sense.  The sheriff said that Bailey had a motive, but why wasn't there one given for the actual murderer?  In fact, it felt as if everything going on was left hanging without resolutions anywhere, except for the fact that we knew all along Bailey would stay, so there's no spoiler there.  I will read the second in the series, but if it doesn't improve then I'm finished with it.


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