I have to say I enjoyed these two so much, not only have I bought the rest of the series, but also the first book in the spin-off series, the Amish Matchmaker Mysteries, and the first book in the author's new series, published by Hallmark, Dead-End Detective.
Not being Amish herself, Bailey is struggling slightly to fit in. Various people think she and the Sheriff’s Deputy Aiden belong together, but Bailey’s heart is still sore from her last relationship. In the meantime, she is entering the Amish Confectionery Competition (ACC) on behalf of her grandparents’ shop. The ACC is a huge deal for whoever wins, bringing tourism and income to both the shop and the town it resides in. One of the competitors, Josephine Weaver, is not happy with Bailey entering as she is not Amish, however she is using Amish methodology and has a special dispensation from the organisers.
As well as being shouted at by Josephine, Bailey’s friend Juliet, mother of Aiden, has lost her pet pig and is in a bad way. Bailey and Juliet look around the nearby church and discover a young Amish woman, Charlotte, playing the organ. The organ sounds out of tune and when Charlotte looks inside, she finds the body of Josephine.
Bailey is again a possible murder suspect, this time in the death of Josephine, especially when the cause of death is an allergy to liquorice – which was the very first sweet to be made in the competition. More of a suspect though is Charlotte as she is at odds with her family and district over her wanting to play the organ and them wanting to ban her.
Again Bailey feels she had to clear her own name and also Charlotte’s.
This second book in the series starts almost where most first books in series do - with the protagonist moving somewhere new or back home to start over. So new readers could easily jump in with book two. I have been deliberately quite vague about the events of book one so as to avoid spoilers.
As with book one, ASSAULTED CARAMEL, I enjoyed this very much. It’s a light read with most chapters ending on a cliff-hanger so you want to read just one more. New characters are introduced and the Amish universe is expanded to include neighbouring districts with differing rules. I look forward to reading the rest of the series.
In fact, these books, much like sweets, are hard to resist.