Assaulted Caramel by Amanda Flower begins An Amish Candy Shop Mystery series. Bailey King has rushed to Harvest, Ohio to check on her grandfather, Jebidiah King. She received a call from grandmother, Clara that his heart condition was worse and he had been taken to the hospital. Bailey is walking up to Swissmen Sweets (where her grandparents work and live) to sees her grandfather having a disagreement with someone before collapsing (he would not stay in hospital). Her grandparents are Amish and have a strong work ethic. It was at her grandfather's side that Bailey learned her love of chocolate. It turns out that the man arguing with Jebidiah was Tyson Colton. Tyson has been trying to convince Jebidiah to sell the shop. Tyson has big plans for the town. The next morning, Bailey heads downstairs to get her phone and finds Tyson Colton stabbed to death in the shop's kitchen. It is soon apparent that the police consider Bailey's grandfather their prime suspect. Bailey knows that this situation will only worsen her grandfather's heart condition. She switches out her sugar thermometer for a deerstalker cap and sets out to find Tyson's killer.
I found Assaulted Caramel to be well-written and engaging. It has an easy writing style which made for an enjoyable read. The story has real characters, a lovely setting, steady pace and plenty of humor. One of my favorite things in the book (besides the luscious chocolate and fudge descriptions) was Jethro, the spotted pig. Jethro's description and antics had me chuckling. I also appreciated the snark from Bailey's best friend, Cass Calbera. I hope we see more of Cass in future novels. My rating for Assaulted Caramel 4.5 out of 5 stars (I liked it, but easily solve the mystery). I did feel that there was too much internal dialogue (Bailey thinking). The mystery had some good elements and many readers will not guess the identity of the culprit until the second half of the story (or you might be surprised). There are the right number of suspects and pointed clues. I am eager to read Lethal Licorice when it comes out in February.
Assaulted Caramel is the debut of the Amish Candy Shop Mystery series featuring Bailey King, an assistant chocolatier for the world famous JP Chocolates of New York City. Bailey has her fingers crossed that her life long dream comes true and she will be named head chocolatier for the company when founder Jean Pierre retires. With just a few days until the announcement Bailey receives a call from her Grandmother Clara "Maami" to say that her Grandfather Jebediah "Daadi" is not doing well.
Extremely close to her grandparents, Bailey rushes to Harvest, Ohio to check in on him. Harvest is an Amish community intermingled with the Englisch. Bailey's father had been raised Amish but he elected to leave the faith and marry her mother, but Bailey always loved spending summers and school vacations with her grandfather at his chocolate shop "Swissmen Sweets".
Bailey arrives in Harvest just in time to see Jebediah engaged in an argument on the sidewalk in front of his shop. She's horrified when he suddenly clutches his chest and falls to the ground while the other man turns his back and walks away. Bailey soon learns that the man was Tyson Colton, the county's richest man, and he'd been pressuring Jebediah into selling his shop. Tyson has bought the other shops on Main Street with the intention of turning the town into an Amish Disneyworld, and only Jebediah is standing in his way with his refusal to sell.
Angry that Tyson has been threatening her grandparents, worried about Jebediah's health and annoyed that her NYC boyfriend isn't returning her calls, Bailey can't sleep and gets up to go down to the candy kitchen. She stumbles upon the dead body of Tyson, stabbed with Jebediah's favorite candy knife. Bailey and her grandparents quickly become prime suspects in the man's murder and Bailey sets out to find the real killer.
A terrific debut with characters that will draw you right into their lives. Full of heartwarming, touching and funny moments this book will have you both laughing aloud and sobbing. Just the right hint of romance a very cute kitty and a precocious pig, this is the perfect cozy. Looking forward to Lethal Licorice coming in February 2018.