Lethal Licorice by Amanda Flower
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Harvest, Ohio, is a long way from New York City, where Bailey King has left her coveted job as a head chocolatier to take over Swissmen Sweets, her Amish grandparents’ candy shop. While caring for her recently widowed grandmother, she plans to honor her grandfather’s memory by taking his place in the annual Amish Confectionery Competition. But between blueberry fudge and chocolate cherry ganache truffles, Bailey may have bitten off more than she can chew when the search for a missing pot-bellied pig turns up a body suffering from sugar overload—the fatal kind . An Amish candy maker from the neighboring town who had wanted Englischer Bailey disqualified for being an outsider, Josephine Weaver died from an allergy to a licorice ingredient. The suspects include: Josephine’s niece, a young woman going through her rumspringa, and Bailey herself. Now it falls to Bailey, who’s sweet on the local sheriff’s deputy, to clear both of their names and find a killer with a stomach for cold-blooded murder .
The mystery has lots of twists, turns, and red herrings that make the reader keep second guessing themselves about the true identity of the killer really is until they are revealed. The characters are well written, realistic, and believable which makes how they interact with each other lifelike. The author gives the reader a nice peak into the way of life for the Amish and shows how life can differ between the Amish from neighboring towns. The author also shows what it's like for a family member who was raised English to try to interact with her family that have lived the Amish lifestyle their entire life. The author makes her settings and characters come to life with her descriptive writing, you can picture what is happening in your mind.
I did like that Bailey offered to help Charlotte who turns out to be a distant cousin of Bailey's when she needs a place to stay when she runs away from home. I also liked learning a little about Bailey's grandmother's early life and what she sacrificed for the man that she loved. I was glad when Jethro the pig was found since he did bring a little relief to some tense situations in the previous book with his antics and hopefully he will bring some of that relief in the next book. I also hope that the Bailey and Aiden Brody will realize their feelings for each other and a relationship will blossom between them. The one thing I didn't like was where the killer put Josephine's body, it seemed harsh since the killer was using the hiding place to send a message to another member of Josephine's family. I can't wait to read book 3 Premeditated Peppermint since this is a wonderful series.
I received an ARC of this book from netgalley and Kensington Books for my honest opinion.