Saturday, August 8, 2015

Murder Freshly Baked by Vannetta Chapman

When delicious baked goods become lethal, a trail of poetry leads to a sweet-toothed killer.
Don’t taste it/Don’t share it/Just throw it away/If you try my bakery pie/You won’t live to see another day.
        The Amish Artisan Village of Middlebury, Indiana, might be the last place you would ever expect to find a murderer. But Amber has been managing the Village for decades and there’s nothing she hasn’t seen. Or so she thought.
        When poetic notes begin appearing around the bakery, warning that some of the pies have been poisoned, Amber is as confused as she is concerned. Who poisons pies? And more to the point, who leaves poems of warning after they’ve done it? When Amber decides to help the police track down the sweet-toothed saboteur, she enlists Hannah Troyer for another round of Amish-style detective work.
        Can Amber and Hannah help the police before the Poison Poet strikes? Both women will need to draw on their faith to preserve the peaceful community they’ve built in Middlebury…and to protect the girls who work in the Amish Artisan Village.

        Murder Freshly Baked is the third book in Vannetta Chapman’s Amish Village Mystery series, coming after Murder Simply Brewed and Murder Tightly Knit, both of which I read and reviewed just a couple of months ago. I enjoyed all three of them pretty equally since I love mysteries, and the way Vannetta tied the Amish and Englisch worlds together. As was the case with Murder Simply Brewed, I wasn’t sure of the murderer’s identity until the very end, although I did have my suspicions. The rest of the book, however, left me completely puzzled, because the “poison poet” made for an absolutely baffling mystery. For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out his/her motives or plans, possibly because I had no idea who he/she was!
        Since Hannah and Amber were the main sleuths in both of the previous novels, I already knew and loved them before I opened this book. Preston, however, was another story. He had been introduced as a minor character earlier, so I was well aware of him and his role in Amber’s life, but I hadn’t been able to fully grasp what a great man he is. Believe me when I say I became well aware of it after I had read just a few chapters. Despite all the hardships and pain he faced leading up to his job at Amber’s Amish Village—and even what he faced while he worked there—he remained strong and proved himself to be worthy of all of my admiration. And his dog Mocha, oh my goodness, must be the smartest dog on the whole entire planet. I already love dogs anyway, so I couldn’t help but fall in love with her. Why can’t my dog be that smart?
        Anyway, I absolutely loved how, despite the differences in their ways of life—and ages—Amber, Tate, Hannah, Jesse, Pam, and Preston all were the closest of friends, and how they rallied together to try to catch the poet. I couldn’t help but be captivated by the story, since it was so completely mysterious and I never knew what would happen next. I really had no idea who the culprit was or where they would strike next, and many events had me gasping in surprise. Although, now that I’ve had time to dwell on it, the whole plot was genius, really. Both the culprit’s plot and Vannetta’s. Since I really enjoyed this novel, I gave it all five bookshelves, and I highly recommend it as a wonderful mystery to cozy up with on a rainy day (or any day).
        Happy reading!

You can purchase a copy of this book, or the ones that precede it, here.

Linking up at Let it Shine.

All credit for the italicized synopsis goes to Vannetta Chapman and Zondervan Publishers.

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