Peanut Butter Panic (An Amish Candy Shop Mystery)
7th in Series
Setting – Ohio
Kensington (August 23, 2022)
Paperback : 304 pages
ISBN-10 : 1496734610
ISBN-13 : 978-1496734617
Kindle ASIN : B09MY8S3MR
Dead by dessert . . .
Thanksgiving is Bailey King’s busiest holiday weekend. This year promises to be even more hectic, since Bailey’s candy shop, Swissmen Sweets, is providing desserts for Harvest, Ohio’s first village-wide Thanksgiving celebration. Yet, even with a guest list close to seven hundred people—Amish and English alike—the event’s organizer, Margot Rawlings, is unfazed . . . until she discovers her mother, former judge Zara Bevan, will be in attendance.
Zara’s reputation as a harsh critic is matched only by her infamy as a judge who has actively harmed the Amish community. So no one is prepared when Zara arrives with much younger boyfriend Blaze Smith and reveals their impending nuptials at dinner. That should have been the day’s biggest news, except shortly after the announcement, Blaze suffers an allergic reaction to something he’s eaten and dies on the spot.
Now, Bailey’s desserts are prime suspects, along with Margot and nearly everyone who attended the meal. With such a cornucopia of possibilities, Bailey must dig in and get to the bottom of this murder, before the killer goes up for seconds…
We arrive in Harvest, Ohio just in time for the village-wide Thanksgiving celebration, another event planned by Margot Rawlings to bring more attention to the little town. Bailey King was already busy handling the customers and online orders pouring into Swissmen Sweets but she has agreed to provide the desserts for the event.
Margot has her clipboard and is checking things off her long list so the celebration will bring the Amish and English together for a fine feast. Then she learns her mother Zara Bevan, a former judge who many feel she did great harm to the Harvest area Amish is coming to the event. Margot does her best but knows her mother will be critical of everything she does.
As the crowd of more than 700 makes their way to their tables with filled plates Zara has an announcement to make. She and her much younger boyfriend are getting married, Margot was more than surprised but before the meal ends the groom-to-be suffers a fatal allergic reaction and it was no accident. Margot and almost everyone at the meal along with Bailey and her desserts become the prime suspects. She knows she needs to find the killer to clear her name and Margot’s and fast.
I love the core characters in this series. They are so genuine and true to life. They are people I would love to meet. They all have huge hearts and always strive to do the right thing even if it means a lot of extra work.
The animal characters have such great personalities too. I love that a miniature pot-bellied pig, a rabbit, and a kitten can coexist with no drama. Jethro does love attention though and his person, Juliet will do almost anything to make him a star. He also brings a lot of funny to the story
This time we get to learn more about Margot’s life and her mother is quite a piece of work. Bailey and Aiden are trying to figure out their relationship with his new job. Charlotte is still trying to make her way now that she has left the Amish community. She and her Deputy Little are taking things slow. I really enjoy all the subplots the author blends into the mystery. As this is the 7th book in the series and the novellas in between the characters are well developed but they still grow in each story. They stay relevant and fresh and with each book, I feel like I am catching up with old friends.
As someone with a peanut allergy, I found the method of death a little scary but it was perfect for this situation. I am happy Charlotte and Bailey are close. They make a fun sleuthing team. Sometimes even Jethro went along as they followed the clues and questioned people of interest. There was an interesting twist that shook the investigation up. I did solve the mystery before the big reveal but boy what a reveal it was. A fantastic way to end the mystery. I was nervous one moment and thankful the next. I guess that works for a book set around Thanksgiving.
Peanut Butter Panic has it all, mystery, family, friends, and romance laced with humor in all the right places. Amanda Flower is a wonderful storyteller. I am always a bit melancholy when I flip the last page. Every visit to Harvest seems to end too soon. I will be impatiently waiting for the 8th book in this series because the author has piqued my interest with what appears to be exciting times ahead.
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About This Author
Amanda Flower, a two-time Agatha Award-nominated mystery author, started her writing career in elementary school when she read a story she wrote to her sixth-grade class and had the class in stitches with her description of being stuck on the top of a Ferris wheel. She knew at that moment she’d found her calling of making people laugh with her words. She also writes mysteries as national bestselling author Isabella Alan. In addition to being an author, Amanda is an academic librarian for a small college near Cleveland.
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