Book Review:  A Blessing in Disguise by Mary B. Barbee

Finding the Book

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I didn’t so much find this book as it was literally handed to me.  The author, Mary B. Barbee, is a dear friend of mine and has blessed me over the last year by inviting me to edit all five books currently in the Amish Lantern Mystery Series, including this fifth book, A Blessing in Disguise.  

After enjoying the journey of the first four books in this series, I was very excited when Mary announced book #5.  And I’m so happy to be involved in the editing process, partly because I get to read the books before they’re even released!  

About the Book

A Blessing in Disguise takes us back to the peaceful town of Little Valley, where an Amish community is settled.  Did I say peaceful?  Maybe “usually peaceful” would be better wording, as another murder has taken place in our beloved Little Valley.  But don’t worry…it’s not one of the regular characters we’ve come to know and love!

This story in the series features diner owner, Jessica, who is subjected to harassment from an ex-husband and then her lovely diner being the scene of a murder.  As she is thrust into the role of prime suspect, her sweet Amish friends, Anna and Beth, twin sisters known for their wisdom and now known for their mystery-solving skills, step in to assist.  

Throw in a bit of possible romance between Jessica and her friend Matthew, and it’s a fabulous plot with a little bit of everything enjoyable in a cozy mystery.

The mystery is solved through a great storyline and a well-done layout of clues and suspects.

From the Publisher:  Jessica McLean opens shop to find a man has been left for dead on the floor of her diner. With very few clues left behind, Jessica becomes the prime suspect. But Amish twin sisters and amateur sleuths, Beth and Anna, wonder if the crime could be related to Jessica’s new relationship with their beloved Matthew Beiler.

It soon becomes clear that things aren’t always as they seem.Will the sisters step in and solve the mystery, bringing justice to Little Valley yet again?

What I Love

I really enjoy the Amish book genre, especially the cozy mystery niche, of which there aren’t many.  I’m especially partial to the Amish Lantern Mystery Series since they are written by a friend, but really, they are very well written!

This might actually be my favorite so far in this series.  I enjoyed getting to know Jessica’s and Matthew’s characters more in depth, and, of course, was pleased to see Anna and Beth back in action.

The mystery plot in this book fulfilled my cozy mystery checklist: good red herrings, fabulous connection of the plot as it progressed, and a pleasant surprise ending, as I couldn’t be completely sure who committed the crime.  An all-around great mystery!

Get the Book

Other Books in the Series

Thick as Thieves (Amish Lantern Mystery Series Book 1)

Secrets in Little Valley (Amish Lantern Mystery Series Book 2)

Saving Grace (Amish Lantern Mystery Series Book 3)

Good Intentions (Amish Lantern Mystery Series Book 4)

You can find all of Mary’s books in the Mystic Valley Press bookshop!

Final Thoughts

The books in this series are novellas, which means they are shortened novels.  This makes a good fit for cozy readers who are pressed for time and trying to squeeze in a good book and for getting an extra mystery dose in between longer novels.  This book, and this entire series, is a perfect fit for cozy mystery readers, especially those who enjoy a bit of the Amish flair!

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