Book Review: Assaulted Caramel by Amanda Flower

Finding the Book

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I recently read the first book in Amanda Flower’s Farm to Table cozy mystery series and absolutely loved it.  I enjoyed her writing style so very much that I knew I wanted to move her to the top of the list of cozy mystery authors I follow devotedly.

So when I started pulling together my book list for my 2022 A-Z Cozy Mystery Reading Challenge, I went straight to the author’s books and pulled out the first in An Amish Candy Shop Mystery series, Assaulted Caramel.  This is the first book in the series and meets the “A” book on my challenge list so I was all set!

I suspected this book would be a good fit for me not only because I had previously read the author’s work and liked it but also because it’s an Amish cozy mystery, which are right at the top of my favorite type of cozy mystery!

Once I read the first sentence of Assaulted Caramel I knew this was another series of Amanda Flower’s that I would read, follow, and even put in my home library.

About the Book

Assaulted Caramel features a New Your City chocolatier, Bailey, who races back to Holmes County, Ohio to see her ailing Amish grandfather and offer support to her grandmother.  Bailey learns of the tension in the town caused by an aggressive land developer after witnessing her grandfather’s argument with the developer

Bailey thinks she is returning to a quiet, peaceful small town but soon realizes she’s in hot water as a suspect when she finds the land developer dead in her grandparents’ candy shop kitchen.  Not only is she a prime suspect, but the police also suspect her grandfather.

Confronted with a hostile police force, with the exception of one kind and handsome deputy, Bailey feels she has no option but to look for any clues to point the police to other suspects besides her and her grandfather.

Throw in a feisty best friend, some fun Amish characters, and even a super annoying and impossible to like greedy bridezilla mom, and you get a very fun and quick reading story!

From the Publisher:  Bailey King is living the sweet life as assistant chocolatier at a famous New York chocolate company. But just when she’s up for a major promotion, she gets word that her grandfather Jebidiah’s heart condition has worsened. Bailey rushes to Harvest, Ohio, where her grandparents still run Swissmen Sweets, the Amish candy shop where she first learned about delicious fudge, truffles, and other assorted delights.

Unfortunately, Baily’s grandparents are suffering from more than just heart trouble. A local Englisch land developer is trying to take over their shop. And when the man is found dead in the candy shop kitchen—with Jebidiah’s chocolate knife buried in his chest—the sheriff suspects Bailey. Now, with the sweet help of a handsome deputy, Bailey is out to clear her name. But as a cunning killer tries to fudge the truth, she may be headed straight into a whole batch of trouble . . .

What I Love

The Setting

I enjoy an Amish type setting in a cozy mystery, and this one was done just right.  The “side” characters, Bailey’s grandparents and other community members, were an asset to the book and added just the right amount of the Amish feel.  If you aren’t sure if you’ll like that, go ahead and give the book a try because it actually enhances the story!

The Characters

Often in books I will enjoy part of the cast of characters but then be disappointed in others.  I literally enjoyed every single character in this book, from the main character, Bailey, to the jerk sheriff who had my blood boiling during his interrogation of Bailey!  Yes, I’m fully committed when I’m deep into a book.

All of the character descriptions were realistic without going overboard with drama, which I struggle with when reading cozy mysteries at times.  Amanda Flower has an amazing gift with character development so this book was another very enjoyable time spent with its characters.

The Plot

I can’t say enough how good this storyline was developed.  From the very first sentence I was hooked and had a hard time putting the book down to feed my family.  (Why do they have to eat so many meals?  Don’t they know I have books to read???)

The very first scene sets up the plot so perfectly, and the storyline unfolds deliciously from beginning to end.  There is no extra fluff, no unnecessary or over-the-top drama, and no extraneous descriptions or scenes that aren’t really needed.  The story just works as it is written, and works so well!

Get the Book

Other Books in the Series

Lethal Licorice (An Amish Candy Shop Mystery Book 2)

Premeditated Peppermint (An Amish Candy Shop Mystery Book 3)

Toxic Toffee (An Amish Candy Shop Mystery Book 4)

Marshmallow Malice (An Amish Candy Shop Mystery Book 5)

Lemon Drop Dead (An Amish Candy Shop Mystery Book 6)

Peanut Butter Panic (An Amish Candy Shop Mystery Book 7)

You can check out Amanda Flower’s website here, and be sure to sign up for her email list so you get notifications of new books and fun happenings!

Final Thoughts

My final thought on Assaulted Caramel is this: Read the book!  And then you’ll want to follow the series.  You’re welcome in advance 🙂

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