Toxic Toffee (Amish Candy Shop Mystery Series #4)

Toxic Toffee (Amish Candy Shop Mystery Series #4)

by Amanda Flower

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Overview

A sweet tooth for murder . . . 
 
Bailey King’s in New York wrapping up a six-week shoot on her first cable TV show, Bailey’s Amish Sweets, when she gets a call from her Ohio town’s resident busybody. With Easter around the corner, Bailey’s been recruited to create a giant toffee bunny for the weeklong springtime festival that will also feature live white rabbits. But back home in Harvest, death becomes the main attraction when Stephen Raber keels over from an apparent heart attack—with Bailey and Raber’s pet bunny as witnesses.
.
Except it wasn’t Raber’s heart that suddenly gave out—a lethal dose of lily of the valley was mixed into a tasty piece of toffee. Who’d want to poison a jovial rabbit farmer who reminded Bailey of an Amish Santa Claus? To solve the murder, she and her sheriff deputy boyfriend Aiden must uncover a twenty-year-old secret. She’ll need to pull a rabbit out of a hat to keep a healthy distance from toxic people, including one venomous killer . . . 
 
Recipe Included!
 
Praise for Amanda Flower and her Amish cozies
 
“As it turns out, Amanda Flower may have just written the first Amish rom com.”USA Today
 
“Flower has hit it out of the ballpark . . . and continues to amaze with her knowledge of the Amish way of life.”RT Book Reviews
 
“At turns playful and engaging . . . a satisfyingly complex cozy.”Library Journal

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781496722027
Publisher: Kensington
Publication date: 06/25/2019
Series: Amish Candy Shop Mystery Series , #4
Pages: 512
Sales rank: 620
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.30(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

USA Today bestselling and Agatha Award–winning mystery author Amanda Flower started her writing career in elementary school when she read a story she wrote to her sixth grade class and had the class in stitches with her description of being stuck on the top of a Ferris wheel. She knew at that moment she’d found her calling of making people laugh with her words. She also writes mysteries as USA Today bestselling author Isabella Alan. Amanda lives Northeast Ohio. Readers can visit her online at www.amandaflower.com.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

Charlotte Weaver stood in the middle of Times Square with her mouth hanging open and the ties of her black bonnet flapping on the hot air pushing its way through the subway grate, as the trains rumbled below.

"Charlotte!" I took hold of her arm. "Close your mouth. Your Amish is showing."

She snapped her mouth shut.

The truth was Charlotte's Amish had been "showing" the entire time that we had been in NYC. In Holmes County, Ohio, no one would blink an eye at the pretty redheaded girl in the plain dress, sensible black tennis shoes, and black bonnet, but in New York, she stuck out like a gorilla on the subway. We had been in the city for the last six weeks shooting six episodes for my candy maker television show, Bailey's Amish Sweets, to appear on Gourmet Television in the summer season.

Charlotte was in Manhattan as my kitchen assistant and would also appear on the show giving it that extra "Amish oomph," as producer Linc Baggins liked to say. Yes, "Baggins" like the Hobbit. It was best not to mention that when he was around since his resemblance to the hairy-footed character was uncanny.

Typically, an Amish person would never appear on television. It was against the rules they lived by, but Charlotte was able to appear on the show with me because as of yet she hadn't been baptized in the Amish church and could do more English things while on her rumspringa. Her church elders were not thrilled with the idea of her being on TV, but until she was officially baptized, there wasn't much they could do about it. I didn't want Charlotte to get in trouble with her church, but I'd invited her along anyway. Her heart was so set on going with me to New York that I couldn't bring myself to disappoint her.

"I — I've never seen anything like this!" Charlotte said in awe.

I glanced around and tried to take everything in through Charlotte's eyes. Thousands of people of every race, ethnicity, and language milled around; the bright lights and signs glittered on the towering buildings; the smell of bodies, hot dogs, car exhaust, and street vendor flowers mingled together. It was sensory overload for anyone, and for a girl who had lived most of her life in a very conservative Amish community, it must have been like the dark side of the moon.

I wrapped my arms around her shoulders. "Since you've been working so hard on the show, and since we haven't been able to get out much with the shooting schedule, I'm glad that we had time for me to show you some of the city."

"Is all the city this loud and bright and ...?" She trailed off, searching for the right word.

"Maybe not this loud and bright," I said with a smile. "We are in the thick of it now, but every city has life to it. That's not any different from Holmes County."

She looked at me with wonder in her large blue eyes. "How can you say that? This place is nothing like back home."

"Holmes County has as much life and color as New York does; it's just shown in a different way."

My best friend Cass Calbera ran up the sidewalk, maneuvering expertly through the crowd like someone who had lived in New York her entire life, which she had. "There you are! I've been circling the square for the last ten minutes looking for you two." She glanced at Charlotte. "I thought it would be easy, considering, but I got fooled by a nun in full habit walking down the street. I swore it was Charlotte."

I rolled my eyes. "Charlotte doesn't look like a Catholic nun."

"From the back she might. Anyway, why weren't you answering your phone? I tried to call too!"

I pulled my phone out of my pocket; I had put it on silent during our last shooting session and forgotten to turn the sound back on. Whoops.

"Seriously, Bailey, you've lived in Amish Country too long. I think being away from electronics has addled your brain. You don't know how to behave in normal society."

"What is normal society?" I asked.

She shook her finger at me and, as she did, her purple bangs fell into her eyes. "Don't you go and get philosophical on me, King!"

Before I could say anything, she retorted, "Now, Jean Pierre sent a car. I left it just up the street. It was the only place the driver could find to park. We have to go. No one keeps Jean Pierre waiting if they know what's good for them."

That much was true.

The ride through the city to JP Chocolates was slow, but by the looks of it, Charlotte didn't mind a bit. She had her nose pressed up against the tinted glass, taking everything in. I could just imagine the stories she would tell my grandmother and Emily Keim, our other shop assistant, when we got back to Swissmen Sweets.

When we finally walked through the front door of JP Chocolates, a wave of nostalgia hit me. This was where I had spent six years of my life working eighty to one hundred hours a week. Unlike Swissmen Sweets, my grandmother's Amish candy shop back in Ohio, with its hardwood floors and pine shelving, JP Chocolates was striking white and sleekly accented with chrome. It would have even been considered sterile or plain if it had not been for the chocolate itself. Elaborate chocolate creations sat under glass encasements. There was a replica of the Statue of Liberty that I had carved in white chocolate in one of the glass cases.

With Easter just a week away, JP Chocolates was dripping with Easter bunnies in every size and flavor of chocolate. I even saw Easter rabbits made from molded peanut butter, marshmallow, and red licorice

"I wish I could have spent more time with you in the last week, but you know what a nuthouse this place is around any holiday," Cass said as she walked through the showroom to the back of the shop where the chocolate happened. Cass was the head chocolatier at JP Chocolates, and it was obvious that she was the woman in charge as the apprentice chocolatiers backed away from her and avoided eye contact when she passed by. Cass didn't seem to notice the power she had over them.

I most certainly did. Before Cass got the position as head chocolatier at JP Chocolates, I had been next in line to receive the promotion as Jean Pierre's long-time protégée, but then my grandfather died, and I found myself giving up the position to live with my grandmother in Holmes County, Ohio, helping with the candy shop that had been in our family for generations. I left thinking that I would never return to the city for more than a short visit, but then Linc offered me my own show on his network. I hadn't thought much would come of it, but to my surprise, the network loved the screen test that we shot in Harvest, and the next thing I knew I was in NYC shooting my own candy-making show. Somehow fate had decreed that I would have the best of both worlds: Holmes County and New York, the two places on earth that had captured my heart. I called it fate, but my Amish grandmother called it providence.

"Ma chérie!" Jean Pierre floated into the giant kitchen. "You have come back to me. Please say that you plan to stay!" Jean Pierre Ruge was a tall, thin, silver-haired man with a Parisian nose who carried himself as erect as a dancer. He moved his arms in such a way that it seemed he might have been just that once upon a time.

I gave Jean Pierre a hug and he smelled of chocolate, which wasn't all that surprising considering what he did for a living. The only thing was that he wasn't supposed to be doing it for a living any longer. Months ago, he had retired from the business and Cass took over. From what Cass said he was there every day giving her advice. Cass said that she didn't mind it. As aggravating as Jean Pierre could be, you couldn't help but love his flamboyant personality.

"You know I can't stay, Jean Pierre. Charlotte and I leave tomorrow morning. We just dropped by to say our good-byes." He clicked his tongue in disgust. "Oh, dear me, how are you getting home?"

"We have a flight going out of Newark."

"A commercial flight?" He shuddered. "You should take my plane. No protégée of mine should ever fly commercial."

I chuckled. "I appreciate the offer, Jean Pierre, but the network paid for the flight and Charlotte and I will be more than comfortable."

He sniffed. "What kind of television network would fly their star commercial? It is a disgrace!"

"Not to worry, Jean Pierre," Cass chimed in. "Hot Cop is picking them up from the airport."

I rolled my eyes. "Hot Cop" was the name Cass called my sheriff deputy boyfriend, Aiden Brody, back in Ohio. Her description was accurate on all counts, but it was also embarrassing. As of yet, Aiden hadn't heard the nickname, and I would do everything in my power to keep it that way.

Jean Pierre set a long finger against his cheek. "I do not know of this Hot Cop. How do I not know about Hot Cop?"

Cass patted his arm. "I gave him the once-over and Bailey has my support on this one. We both know what a bulldog I can be."

Jean Pierre sniffed. "This is very true. You make a judgment on a person's character and stick with it. I like decisiveness. This is a good skill to have in chocolate and in life. In chocolate, there are no second chances."

"In life there might be," I mused.

Jean Pierre smiled. "Perhaps. That is my wish for you, ma chérie." He clapped his hands. "Now if you want to help us weave some more chocolate Easter baskets, we won't turn you away."

I grinned. Making chocolate Easter baskets and weaving with chocolate was one of my favorite jobs at JP Chocolates. I planned to teach my grandmother the fine art when I got home. "I thought you would never ask!"

I was just settling in to weave chocolate when my cell phone rang. I had turned it back on after Cass's reprimand. I removed my gloves and pulled the phone from my pocket. When I checked the screen, I saw the name "Margot Rawlings" there. Margot was the village of Harvest instigator. Whatever she had to say to me, chances were high I wouldn't like it. Against my better judgment, I answered the call.

Without so much as a hello, she said, "I need to talk to you about a rabbit."

And a dark cloud of foreboding fell over me.

CHAPTER 2

Charlotte squeezed my hand when our flight descended for landing early the next day in the tiny Akron-Canton Airport. As the plane's tires bounced on the tarmac, I gave a huge sigh of relief. It was good to be home. The thought surprised me. When I had traveled to Ohio the previous summer, I would never have considered the state, let alone rural Amish country, as home, but that was how I felt now. The little village of Harvest, Ohio, felt more like home to me than New York ever had in all the time I had lived there.

We deplaned without incident and without causing a scene. The people of Ohio were used to seeing the Amish, and they didn't so much as blink an eye at Charlotte when she strolled through the airport in her plain dress and bonnet, rolling her little red suitcase behind her.

Sheriff Deputy Aiden Brody stood just on the other side of security in his Holmes County Sheriff's Department uniform. His blond hair was tousled as if he had just removed his hat, and his dark brown eyes scrutinized everyone who walked by him. Years of being a police officer had taught Aiden to always be on the lookout for trouble.

His face lit up and the adorable dimple in his right cheek appeared as Charlotte and I came into his line of sight. Charlotte waved at him with a big smile on her face, but I was much more reserved. I adjusted my carry-on bag on my shoulder and took a deep breath. It truly was good to be home.

Aiden gave me a smile that I knew was meant for me alone, and my stomach did a little flip. We had spoken on the phone every night while I was away, but it was so good to see him in the flesh. I didn't dare run up to him and give him a hug. That would have to wait. Public displays of affection embarrassed the Amish, and I had already put Charlotte through enough by taking her with me to New York. The poor girl could only take so much Englishness.

Aiden seemed to sense this, and he simply said, "It's good to have you home." His voice was deep and fuller of emotion than I had ever heard it.

"It's good to be home." I smiled back, feeling a little choked up myself.

He grabbed the handle of Charlotte's suitcase and took my bag from my arm. "Let's go pick up your luggage."

The drive back to Holmes County was made lively by Charlotte's Amish view of life in New York. "Do you know that you can buy hot dogs on the street there?" she asked Aiden. "Not for a festival either! Any day of the week. I ate so many hot dogs."

Aiden chuckled and looked at me in the rearview mirror. "I'd say that was a great takeaway from life in the city: hot dogs on every corner."

Charlotte frowned. "Not every corner, but a lot of them."

Aiden smiled. Growing up in Holmes County he was used to the Amish literalness. The plain people say what they mean and mean what they say. "Many corners then?" he asked.

"'Many corners' works," she said in all seriousness.

"The New York City tourist board would be pleased," I agreed. "I got a call from Margot just before we left the city. Something to do with rabbits."

"Oh." Aiden glanced at me from the corner of his eye. "I hoped to get you to Swissmen Sweets before that came up."

"That sounds ominous."

"It's Margot we're talking about here." He paused. "I think it would be better for you to see it before I try to explain. It's a little hard to describe."

"That doesn't sound terrifying or anything."

Aiden laughed. "You know Margot. Bigger is better. More, more, more. She wants Harvest on the tourist map and will do anything to get it there."

"Anything?" I raised my eyebrows.

He looked at me in the mirror again. "Just about anything, yes."

Main Street in our little village of Harvest, Ohio, was buzzing when Aiden turned his departmental SUV onto it. Buggies and cars were parked along the street and a whole cluster of people stood in front of the white gazebo in the middle of the square. Aiden illegally double-parked his car so that we could get out and see what all the commotion was about. Since Aiden was a police officer, I didn't think he was worried about getting a ticket for the parking violation.

"Oh my," Charlotte said when she climbed out of the front seat of the car. "Look at all those rabbits."

I was still struggling to yank my carry-on out of the backseat. "Rabbits?"

"Bunnies, so many bunnies. I've never seen so many rabbits." Her voice had a bit of awe in it.

Finally, the bag came loose, and I stumbled back and would have ended up on my rear end in the middle of Main Street if Aiden hadn't been there to catch me. He squeezed the back of my elbows before letting me go and taking the carry-on from my hand. "Bunnies?" I asked in a small voice.

"Oh yeah," Aiden said with sparkling milk chocolate eyes. "Take a look for yourself."

With more than a little bit of trepidation, I peeked over the roof of the car and saw the rabbits. Just to the right of the gazebo was a pen that held at least thirty white rabbits of all sizes. A large Amish man with a white beard and a round belly stood in the middle of the pen holding the biggest rabbit of all with a bright pink bow around its thick neck. He held the rabbit like she was a baby to be burped on his shoulder.

I glanced at Aiden. "Easter in Harvest?" I asked.

He grinned, and the dimple was out full force. "Margot's version of it at least."

As he said this, I spotted Margot Rawlings with her short curls, waving her arms in the middle of the square. She was clearly giving everyone there her marching orders. I knew it wouldn't be long until she heard I was home and ordered me about as well. I still didn't know exactly what she'd meant when she had said to me, "I need to talk to you about a rabbit." Was it one of these rabbits that she meant? Our conversation had been interrupted by Jean Pierre, who had plucked my phone from my hand and disconnected the call. He had said that the people of Harvest could have me back the next day, but as long as I was in New York, I should pay attention to him.

I loved Jean Pierre. He was a kind and generous man. He had never been anything but nice to me, but he did have an inflated opinion of himself. I supposed being told you were the best chocolatier in New York City for the last fifty years would eventually go to a person's head. He was a bit of a prima donna when he wanted to be.

It soon became clear that I wouldn't be able to stay under Margot's radar for long. The town's super organizer spotted me from across the village square and waved frantically. It was clear that she wanted me to run to her side that instant.

I waved back as if I didn't understand what her "come here" gestures meant. "We had better duck into Swissmen Sweets," I told Aiden. "I don't want to be waylaid by Margot before I even say hello to my grandmother."

(Continues…)


Excerpted from "Toxic Toffee"
by .
Copyright © 2019 Amanda Flower.
Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Toxic Toffee 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 28 reviews.
4GranJan 14 hours ago
* Amish * Easter * Candy * Bunnies * This wonderful cozy has all the boxes checked. There is a rabbit and a pig. There are several sweet romances. There is an Easter celebration in the town square that includes a 6' tall chocolate bunny. And there is a very intriguing murder mystery. This is book 4 in the Amish Candy Shop Mysteries series. This book stands alone well and is a fun book to read. I received this ARC book for free from Net Galley and this is my honest review.
MCM917 18 hours ago
Toxic Toffee is the 4th in the Amish Candy Shoppe mystery series. Bailey King and Charlotte have arrived home in Harvest from six weeks in New York and Bailey is looking for things to get back to normal. As soon as she gets to Swissman Sweets across from the town square she can see that Margot is planning an extraordinary Easter days event. After visiting with her Grandma she bites the bullet and heads over to see what Margot wants/needs from her. She wants Bailey to carve a giant toffee rabbit. In the square is a giant rabbit pen with Amish rabbit farmer Stephen Raber in charge of his rabbits. He seems like such a nice man and one minute he is fine and the next he drops to the ground and is dead. Bailey is thinking not again and hopes it is a heart attack. Juliet comes running to the square to say Aiden will be right over but there was a break in at the church. Are the two items related? Eli Raber visits Bailey that night and asks her to find out who did this to her father. Someone has been sending him threatening notes. Bailey has one foot in the Amish world (because of her grandparents) and the English world. Eli gives Bailey the notes but she tells him she is going to turn then directly over to Aiden and the police. Aiden agrees to keep her in the loop as long as Bailey does the same. Good solid mystery with some new characters. Love Millie and look forward to her new series by this author. This is a great series and the characters are so warm and you really feel like you are part of Harvest and their residents. This author is an automatic buy.
Anonymous 2 days ago
I+love+these+books%21%E2%99%A1%E2%99%A1%E2%99%A1%E2%99%A1%E2%99%A1%E2%99%A2
MKWD52 3 days ago
Toxic Toffee is book 4 in the Candy Shop mysteries. I love this series and an usually baffled at who the murderer is. This book kept me guessing also. In this novel Bailey has just returned from filming her candy television series in New York. She is commissioned to construct a giant toffee bunny for a festival in town. A much-loved Amish man, Stephen Raber drops dead. He raises rabbits but has a favorite one as a pet. Bailey becomes the caretaker for said rabbit. Bailey finds herself yet again involved with solving who killed Mr. Raber much to the chagrin of her deputy boyfriend Aiden. This book is full of twists and surprises and things are not always as they appear to be. In addition to the solving of the murder there is the quirky characters that add enjoyment and humor to the book. There is Aiden's mother Juliet. She makes no secret that she wants Bailey as a daughter-in-law and is quite funny in her statements. Juliet has a spotted pet pig Jethro that she treats like a child and will sometimes dress up in pokey dotted garments to match Jethro. I highly recommend reading this book. Thanks to Kensington Books and Netgallely for providing me a copy of this book to read and review.
Dawn Psik 12 days ago
Each time I read a book in the Amish Candy Shop Mystery series I think 'this is my favorite one yet' until the next one comes along and I find myself saying the same thing! I simply love this series! And it is true, each book is better than the last! Plot line was excellent and had me guessing who the guilty party was until the end. Amanda is an excellent story teller. Such lovable characters(man and beast) and of course a few that aren't so lovable lol..but they tend to grow on you. I love the friendly banter between Bailey and Adien and Cass(who is one of my favorite characters in the series!) This book also has a sneak peek into Amanda's new series coming out...Amish Matchmaker. And I have to say I am so looking forward to getting to know more about Millie(what an interesting character she is). I HIGLY recommend this series and also, if you haven't already discovered them, her other Amish series 'An Amish Quilt Shop Mystery'(under the name Isabella Alan)and 'An Appleseed Creek Mystery'. Both are excellent! You won't be sorry.
Karen-Hollins 14 days ago
Toxic Toffee by Amanda Flower is the first book I have read in the Amish Candy Shop Mystery series, but I enjoyed so much I went and bought the previous 3 books in the series so I can be fully caught up. A sweet tooth for murder . . . Bailey King’s in New York wrapping up a six-week shoot on her first cable TV show, Bailey’s Amish Sweets, when she gets a call from her Ohio town’s resident busybody. With Easter around the corner, Bailey’s been recruited to create a giant toffee bunny for the weeklong springtime festival that will also feature live white rabbits. But back home in Harvest, death becomes the main attraction when Stephen Raber keels over from an apparent heart attack—with Bailey and Raber’s pet bunny as witnesses. . Except it wasn’t Raber’s heart that suddenly gave out—a lethal dose of lily of the valley was mixed into a tasty piece of toffee. Who’d want to poison a jovial rabbit farmer who reminded Bailey of an Amish Santa Claus? To solve the murder, she and her sheriff deputy boyfriend Aiden must uncover a twenty-year-old secret. She’ll need to pull a rabbit out of a hat to keep a healthy distance from toxic people, including one venomous killer . . . It took me till chapter 15 to really get engrossed in the story/characters but I think this was just me as I jumped into series 4 books in. But I love all Amanda Flower books she knows how to tell a story and weave a sense of family and community throughout so you want to cone back and visit. This was no exception, Bailey, the protagonist is independent, strong well developed and the other characters are quirky, fun and don't get me started on the furbabies. I especially love Juliets spotted pig Jethro, Puff the white rabbit, Nutmeg her tabby cat and lastly we meet a couple of goats! I antics of all these animals brought a smile to my face. There were plenty of twists and turns along the way to keep you guessing and I did not figure out whodunnit till Bailey did. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves to read cozies . I requested and received an Advanced Readers Copy of this book from Kensington Publishing and NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
TooImpureNAngel 14 days ago
I received this copy of Toxic Toffee from Kensington through Netgalley. I loved it this book. The Amish we're dealt with very well, I felt. I loved Bailey's uncertainty regarding her relationship. And Puff the bunny! There is an 8 foot rabbit involved, which causes some unexpected tension. The mystery (Who killed a guy who looked like an Amish Santa Claus?) was very interesting if not tragic.
diane92345 16 days ago
Bailey, Aiden, and the rest of the village of Harvest Ohio return in Toxic Toffee, the fourth in the Amish Candy Shop cozy mystery series. It’s a week before Easter when the village’s self-appointed marketer, Margot, convinces chocolatier Bailey to make a six-foot toffee bunny for the town square. Margot had also arranged for Stephen Raber to bring several rabbits to form a petting zoo. Stephen has a pet bunny named Puff that he treats like a child. When Stephen drops dead on the square, most assume it was his weak heart. However, the coroner determines he was poisoned by a piece of toffee that contained Lily of the Valley. When Stephen’s son Eli asks for Bailey to investigate, he also drops off Puff. How can she refuse either request? It always seems like I’m catching up with old friends when I’m reading a book in this series. In Toxic Toffee, Bailey reaches even deeper into Amish culture by attending a quilting circle, talking to a matchmaker, and discovering how people who leave the faith survive in the modern world. The mystery was great. The murderer’s identity was a complete surprise to me. Overall, another great book in an excellent series. 4.5 stars rounded up to 5 stars! Thanks to Kensington Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.
afbaugh 17 days ago
Toxic Toffee by Amanda Flower finds us back in Harvest, Ohio at Easter time. Bailey and Charlotte have just returned home from New York were Bailey was filming her upcoming cooking show. And they arrive back at Swissmen Sweets at the best possible time to help with the Easter candy rush. Easter festivities have brought tourists and shoppers to Harvest, while Bailey is tasked with a making a giant toffee rabbit. In the middle of the town's green space, a rabbit farmer has set up and unfortunately, meets his untimely demise. Bailey takes on the murder case as well as Mr. Raber's favorite rabbit, puff. This is a sweet addition to the Amish Candy Shop mystery series. The action is fast paced and the characters are heart-warming. A terrific read! I was given this book from the publisher for my honest review.
jwilhoite211 21 days ago
Another gem from Amanda Flower! I love being transported into Harvest and Swissmen Sweets; I love all of the characters (except for the killers of course) and the animals. Bailey has just returned from NYC and is hounded by Margot to make a giant bunny out of toffee for Easter. Bailey meets seemingly sweet-natured Stephen Raber, an Amish rabbit farmer, and moments later he is dead. Bailey begins wondering if she really bad luck? I like how to characters are developing as this series continues - especially the relationship between Bailey and Aiden. There are some surprises in this story, as well as red herrings (that is to be expected though) and was a good, fun, and quick read! Amanda Flower has quickly become one of my favorite cozy authors. 4.8 stars. I voluntarily reviewed this book on Netgalley.
Gayle Nash 21 days ago
5 Stars: 5/5 star rating Bailey King has once again gotten herself into a sticky situation. (Pun intended) Bailey seemed to always be around when a murder happens, and much to her police officer boyfriend, she is far too curious and far too quick to investigate on her own. He fears for her safety as she plows ahead to find the killer. The Amish in the community trust Bailey where they don't tend to trust the police. I am stuck to this book like toffee on a dress, and I just can't get enough of this delicious new title in An Amish Candy Shop Mystery series. I can't help rooting for Bailey and Aiden, both in solving the murder and their budding romantic relationship. This is book #4 in the series but it could easily be read as a stand-alone book. I personally have enjoyed meeting the characters and following their stories though in reading all the books in the series. I received a digital copy of this book from netgalley and Kensington Publishing in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are my own.
AFerri 23 days ago
This is the first book I've read by Amanda Flower and I really enjoyed it. It's a cute cozy mystery that will keep you guessing and has a wonderful recipe at the end. I will be looking for more of her books. Thank you Kensington Books via NetGalley for the ARC copy of this book. All opinions expressed are my own.
DanieleK 23 days ago
TOXIC TOFFEE, the fourth book in the Amish Candy Shop Mystery Series, is a joy to read. Amanda Flower’s delightfully developed characters, well researched setting, and smartly executed mysteries make her books among my favorites, and TOXIC TOFFEE did not disappoint. Candy maker Bailey is back in Ohio, which is really starting to feel like home, from New York just in time for the town’s Easter celebration. Tasked with making a larger than life toffee rabbit for display in the town square, she is busy. When Amish rabbit farmer Stephen Raber dies literally at Bailey’s feet and his son Eli comes to her for help finding the killer, Bailey cannot help but assist. Even though I identified the murderer early on, it was quite fun to investigate alongside Bailey. There are plenty of clues strategically placed throughout the tale, and Bailey faces plenty of obstacles and personal danger. Humor is liberally sprinkled (Jethro the pig’s shenanigans are always laugh-out-loud funny). The best aspect of the book is the wonderful, authentic and genuine characters. As this is the fourth book, they all now feel like good friends. I loved TOXIC TOFFEE and highly recommend it to any cozy reader. I received a copy of this title from the author/Kensington Publishers and voluntarily shared my thoughts here.
TheCozyReview 23 days ago
Series: An Amish Candy Shop Mystery - Book 4 Author: Amanda Flower Publisher: Kensington Books Toxic Toffee, published by Kensington Books written by Amanda Flower, is the fourth book in the cozy “An Amish Candy Shop Mystery” series and may be the best one yet. Bailey is working on her new TV show, but when they wrap up the final scene, she is happy to be going home to her grandmother and her friends. New York no longer holds her heart. When a member of the community is killed and drops dead while she is standing nearby, she can’t help but get involved and figure out what happened and why. Who would want to murder what appears to be a sweet, loving, kind Amish man? It doesn’t take long for Bailey to find herself in the thick of things, doing whatever she can to help catch the killer and keep her grandmother safe. Along the way, she ends up with the dead man’s pet rabbit and finds herself falling for the little ball of fur as does her cat, Nutmeg. The writing in Toxic Toffee is flawless. The plot is twisted just enough to keep readers guessing until the end, the pace and plot are easy to follow. I caution readers that this is a long cozy book. The reader will need to dedicate more than a few hours to finish from the first page to the last. Plan for a late night if you want to complete this book in one sitting. However, it is worth every minute. Favorite characters such as Cass, Bailey’s best friend, Charlotte her cousin, Aiden her deputy boyfriend, and Juliet, Aiden's mother are all back to delight readers. The setting in this cozy has the feel of a real small midwestern town, with old buildings, resident-centric life, small-town gossip, and politics. It is detailed enough to make the reader want to visit or even move to this little taste of heaven. Readers will be thrilled with the outcome and will be on the edge of their seat until the killer is revealed. Readers will love the small Amish candy shop that Bailey owns and runs with her grandmother in the small town of Harvest, Ohio, and will love this cozy and this series.
iiiireader 23 days ago
This is such a fun mystery series. Bailey King is the granddaughter of an Amish family. Her father left the faith but Bailey has come back to Harvest, Ohio, to help her Amish grandmother run the family sweets shop. Bailey is a chocolatier of the first notch but is glad to have left the fast city life of New York City behind her for most of the year. This is the fourth full length book in the series (there is also a 3.5 short length novel as well.) I started by reading a few pages in this book and enjoyed it so well, I went looking for the earlier books in the series before reading any further. I’ve now read the prior books in order and recommend doing that as the characters and their relationships build slowly over the course of the books. It can be read stand-alone, however, I think you would find the most enjoyment out of getting to really know Bailey and crew. This is a murder mystery, so of course, there is a murder. Each book has a whodunnit that is solved within the confines of the book. The rest of the story of Harvest, Ohio, is being slowly revealed, book by book. I must admit I am really enjoying the relationships developing at a speed that is more realistic. It is Easter Days in Harvest, and the town is gearing up for the advent of city folk coming to see and buy Amish goods. When a body is found, Bailey is asked (though not by the sheriff’s office) to look into it and help find out who could have committed such an awful crime. All of my favorites in this series, make an appearance. There are people and animals and more. I enjoy reading the books but often wish I had a piece (or two) of whatever candy is at the center of the book. Since, for the most part, I can eat candy, this is the next best thing – a fun mystery and lots of candy being talked about. This is not your average Amish type story. I’ve read tough whodunnits and mild romances before but this is a rocking and rolling with laughter mystery. Have fun and give some thought to starting at the beginning as I did. I was provided a digital advance reader copy of this book by the publisher via Netgalley.
TarynLee 23 days ago
In this fourth book of the series Bailey has just wrapped shooting on her new cable television show and is headed home to Harvest, Ohio. When she gets home she receives a call from the towns notorious busy body, she wants Bailey to create an 8 foot bunny out of toffee. She agrees to the challenge and hopes that she hasn't gotten herself into something that she might not be able to accomplish in such a short period of time. While taking a walk around the park to look at all the festivities that are going on Bailey meets Stephen Raber, an Amish rabbit farmer. He has plenty of rabbits for people to purchase but loves them so much he will only give them to homes that he believes will treat them right. Bailey is talking to him about his rabbits when he keels over and dies. Much to her surprise, she finds herself in the middle of another murder investigation. At first it look like he might have had a heart attack but after some investigating by the police she soon learns that he was poisoned. Bailey feels like she must help find a killer, especially after the man died right in front of her. His son even asked her to look after his most prized rabbit which she does reluctantly. During the process of asking questions and looking for clues they come upon a secret that has long been hidden. Will this new information lead them to a killer or will they set off in the wrong direction? I love this series and all its wonderful characters. The setting is one that I would definitely like to visit some day. The author brings to life the mixture of the Amish life and the English way of living. I'm always excited for the next book!!!
ganderson523 23 days ago
Toxic Toffee is another fun addition to the Amish Candy Shop Mystery series. I have enjoyed all of the books and there is a great mystery to solve during Easter week in this book. It is Spring Break and lots of families head to Harvest, Ohio, for an enjoyable time at Easter Days. Chocolatier Bailey King and her cousin, Charlotte, have returned from filming a cooking show for a cable food network in New York City to find out that local event organizer, Margot, has an idea for Bailey to create a large toffee bunny for the town square and center of the events. Bailey has a tendency to get involved with trouble, usually in the form of a murder. Her boyfriend, Deputy Aiden Brody tries to rein her in but usually unsuccessfully. Stephen Raber, rabbit farmer drops dead in front of Bailey and Margot on the town square and the sheriff department finds that he was murdered. The Amish don't like getting involved with the police so Stephen's son Eil wants Bailey to find his father's killer. Aiden is very unhappy that Eli didn't go to the police for help but finally agrees to let Bailey help when Eli refuses to talk to the police. But things get dangerous and dicey for Bailey as she does her investigation between working on the candy bunny. These books are a lot of fun to read with the quirky and colorful characters, including a pig owned by Juliet, Aiden's mother, and other others. There are always yummy sounding candy recipes and I am happy to see that another book is in the future. I received a complimentary ARC from Kensington Books through NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions expressed are mine only.
BobbieLCLA 23 days ago
I received a free copy of TOXIC TOFFEE (Book 4 of the Amish Candy Shop Mysteries) by Amanda Flower in exchange for an honest review. Bailey King returns home to Harvest, Ohio, in time to help run her grandmother’s sweet shop during the Easter rush. The very afternoon Bailey arrives, an Amish man drops dead at her feet. What a welcome home! Though it initially appears to be simply a heart attack, the death is soon determined to be a homicide. Because the Amish distrust the local law enforcement, Bailey assists her sheriff deputy boyfriend in the investigation. While already busy sussing out a poisoner and helping run the sweet shop, Bailey must foster a pampered live bunny for the victim’s family, craft a giant candy rabbit for the Easter festivities, adjust to nosy neighbors at her new house, and find time to have a first date with her boyfriend. I enjoyed this book and really like the entire series, so far. I recommend both this book and the series. Though danger is pervasive, there are also bright spots of humor. #ToxicToffee #NetGalley
Marshathereader 23 days ago
Toxic Toffee by Amanda Flower is book four in the Amish Candy Shop Mysteries. Again, Flower has hit it out of the park. Bailey has returned to Harvest from New York and it's close to Easter and that means chocolate Easter bunnies being made. In addition, the town square is having an Easter festival Now in addition to the chocolate bunnies and eggs,, she is enlisted to make a towing toffee bunny for the square, think 8 foot tall. Oh and it's needed by yesterday! In addition, the square is taken over by little bunnies from a local Amish farm. While meeting with the locals on the square she meets the Amish rabbit farmer and his pet bunny. It's not long before he drops over dead from an allergic reaction and the last thing he had eaten was a piece of toffee.. Again Bailey is in the middle of the investigation to find out who would want the farmer out of picture. Oh, and did I say, she is now the caretaker of his beloved pet. And will she be next..... There are plenty of plot twists that will have you guessing to the end. Flower also gives us the normal likeable, relatable characters, a couple quirky ones, adorable pets, humor, and romance. Overall this is a clean, easy to read, great cozy mystery that may have you hopping to get some chocolate.. I was given an ARC by Netgalley and Kensington books for an honest review.
chefdt 23 days ago
Toxic Toffee is the fourth book in The Amish Candy Store Mystery series. It’s always a nice to visit with the folks of Harvest and to catch up with what is happening in Bailey’s life. Bailey and Charlotte returned from New York City where Bailey taped six episodes for her TV new TV series, Bailey’s Amish Sweets. Easter is just a week away and Margot Rawlings, the towns super organizer has already started working on the celebration. She has asked Stephen Rader to provide a display of rabbits from his rabbit farm in the town square. Margot has been trying to see Bailey, who has been trying to avoid her as she is sure that nothing good will come of it. Margot finally catches up with Bailey and asks her to make a six-foot-tall rabbit to put in the town square. As they are discussing the rabbit that is to be made, Rader approaches looking as he is starting to get ill, and asks Bailey to hold his pet rabbit, Puff. No sooner had he handed Puff off to Bailey he grabbed his chest and collapsed, passing away in front of Bailey and Margot. Later in the day Aiden Brody, Bailey’s romantic interest and deputy sheriff, informs Bailey that Rader did not have a heart attack but was in fact poisoned by a piece of toffee with a laced with Lily of the Valley. A day or two later Eli, the son of the victim, approaches Bailey asking her to find the murderer of his father. He provides her with several threatening notes that had been left in a shed that houses the telephone that Amish nearby use. He quickly leaves without giving much any explanation as to what the notes might mean. The first thing Bailey does is give the notes to Aiden, with the thought that might let her do some sleuthing without giving her too much grief. A couple of interesting subplots in this book center around Ruth Yoder and a new character, Millie Fisher. Ruth Yoder, the wife of district Bishop, has never had anything decent to say about Bailey since her return to Harvest. Ruth seems to think that the Bishop’s powers also apply to her. So it comes as a shock to Bailey’s ears when she asks Bailey to find the killer of Rader. She hears this at a quilting group at Millie Fisher’s home. Millie is affectionately referred to as the Amish Matchmaker. Mille will have her own series, the first book coming in December 2019. This another well-written story that reads at a very smooth pace. Delicious sounding candy recipes are included with the book. I’m definitely watching for the next book in this delicious series.
chefdt 23 days ago
Toxic Toffee is the fourth book in The Amish Candy Store Mystery series. It’s always a nice to visit with the folks of Harvest and to catch up with what is happening in Bailey’s life. Bailey and Charlotte returned from New York City where Bailey taped six episodes for her TV new TV series, Bailey’s Amish Sweets. Easter is just a week away and Margot Rawlings, the towns super organizer has already started working on the celebration. She has asked Stephen Rader to provide a display of rabbits from his rabbit farm in the town square. Margot has been trying to see Bailey, who has been trying to avoid her as she is sure that nothing good will come of it. Margot finally catches up with Bailey and asks her to make a six-foot-tall rabbit to put in the town square. As they are discussing the rabbit that is to be made, Rader approaches looking as he is starting to get ill, and asks Bailey to hold his pet rabbit, Puff. No sooner had he handed Puff off to Bailey he grabbed his chest and collapsed, passing away in front of Bailey and Margot. Later in the day Aiden Brody, Bailey’s romantic interest and deputy sheriff, informs Bailey that Rader did not have a heart attack but was in fact poisoned by a piece of toffee with a laced with Lily of the Valley. A day or two later Eli, the son of the victim, approaches Bailey asking her to find the murderer of his father. He provides her with several threatening notes that had been left in a shed that houses the telephone that Amish nearby use. He quickly leaves without giving much any explanation as to what the notes might mean. The first thing Bailey does is give the notes to Aiden, with the thought that might let her do some sleuthing without giving her too much grief. A couple of interesting subplots in this book center around Ruth Yoder and a new character, Millie Fisher. Ruth Yoder, the wife of district Bishop, has never had anything decent to say about Bailey since her return to Harvest. Ruth seems to think that the Bishop’s powers also apply to her. So it comes as a shock to Bailey’s ears when she asks Bailey to find the killer of Rader. She hears this at a quilting group at Millie Fisher’s home. Millie is affectionately referred to as the Amish Matchmaker. Mille will have her own series, the first book coming in December 2019. This another well-written story that reads at a very smooth pace. Delicious sounding candy recipes are included with the book. I’m definitely watching for the next book in this delicious series.
Ellen-oceanside 23 days ago
TOXIC..TOFEE.....by Amanda..Flower Stephan was busy with the preparation for the .Easter Days, being a bunny farmer, and now he has dropped dead. The created of a chocolate bunny with toffe, was also a disaster, having been outside.. The more she looks into the background of Stephen, there were secrets, an a confession he had left. Another sweet story and mystery to figure out. Looking for the next in this series. Given ARC by Net Galley and Kensington for my voluntary review and my honest opinion.
kimdavishb 23 days ago
TOXIC TOFFEE, the fourth book in An Amish Candy Shop Mystery series by Amanda Flower, is the first I’ve had the chance to read. It was so thoroughly enjoyable, I’m looking forward to starting at the very beginning and reading through the previous three books. Ms. Flower provides an intriguing look at the Amish culture in Ohio, one I know scant little of. I felt like she effectively wove their society into the story in a realistic manner without detracting from the plot. I enjoyed how the protagonist, Bailey King, lives with a foot in the Englisch world and, thanks to her Amish grandmother, has an inside to the Amish folk. I love the description of Bailey and her grandmother’s candy shop, Swissmen Sweets. Bailey gets to show off her epic candy-making skills when the town’s festival organizer convinces her to make an 8-foot-tall Easter Bunny out of toffee, which allows for some humorous situations. Sheriff Deputy Aiden Brody is the town’s investigator and is dating Bailey. They have a sweet relationship that’s moving much too slowly for Aiden’s mother’s liking. His mother, Juliet, provides some comedy with her meddling and her attachment to her pig, Jethro. When an Amish rabbit farmer drops dead in front of Bailey before the start of the town’s Easter week celebration, she can’t help but get involved in finding who might have wanted him dead. While Aiden doesn’t want her to be put in danger, he does recognize that the Amish will be open with her because of her grandmother, while they’re closed to interaction with English outsiders, such as himself. There were plenty of suspects to keep me guessing and the twists to the plot had me turning pages faster and faster to find out what happens next. Ms. Flower effectively weaves in contrasting societies, memorable and entertaining characters, and a well-plotted mystery. The surprising reveal wrapped up all the threads into a satisfying read that will have me catching up on the series while I anxiously wait for the next installment. I was provided an advance copy via Netgalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
CozyOnUp 23 days ago
Bailey King returns home to Harvest from New York City just in time for Easter week and the rabbits are ruling the town. From the colony of rabbits on the town green to the gigantic rabbit Margot wants Bailey to make out of toffee, the bunnies are front and center. As Margot introduces Bailey to Stephen Raber, the rabbit farmer supplying the live bunnies, he drops dead right in front of them. Soon her policemen beau, Aiden Brody, confirms that it wasn’t a heart attack, but that the Amish man was poisoned. The man’s son asks Bailey to help him find out who killed his father, because he was receiving threatening notes for a few weeks prior. Bailey is the only one the Amish will speak to and she’s more than happy to team up with Aiden to help solve the murder. Along the way Bailey finds herself adopting a rabbit and making some new friends, including Millie Fisher, the Amish matchmaker who is the main character in Amanda Flower’s newest series, An Amish Matchmaker, set to debut later this year. Amanda Flower has a true talent for writing and has several series that are on my must read list as new books are released. If you haven’t read one of her books yet, don’t wait. These are some of the coziest cozies you will find! Can’t wait for more from this author!
Anonymous 23 days ago
Another hit from Amanda Flower! Visiting with Bailey, Aiden and family is like being given a warm hug. The sheer love of her family , blood related or not, radiates off the page. Puff the bunny ( not the dragon) is a wonderful addition to the crew, and Jethro the pig is as entertaining as always.! Amanda Flower’s writing is so effortless to read and I never want to put her books down. I highly recommend this awesome book. I received an advanced reader copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.