Hello book lovers, welcome back! As usual, today’s #TalkTuesday interview is also our #TeaserTuesday and First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros! Enjoy!
Marshmallow Malice by Amanda Flower is another winner. As with all books in this series there are wonderful characters, a charming small-town setting, and a sense of community/family. Her mixture of murder and humor allows for a very fun read.
This novel ties up loose ends with the marriage of Juliet Brody and Reverend Brook as well as the backstory on the Reverend. Everyone in the town is excited about attending the wedding, even Bailey King the candy shop owner and Julia’s good friend, although she is struggling trying to fulfill her bridesmaid duties. She must wear a dress that makes her look like a cupcake or a cotton candy machine. To make matters worse, the marshmallow-frosted wedding cake could easily become a gooey disaster. But the frosting falls off the cake after someone drunk crashes the wedding. The next day she is found dead, murdered, on the Church’s steps. Bailey and her best friend Cass, decide to do their own investigation, much to the dismay of her sheriff’s deputy boyfriend, who has his own problems having to deal with his ex-girlfriend’s return.
The characters are always an enjoyment to read about, including Bailey, who is loyal, caring, hardworking, and independent. Her friend Cass is feisty, and can be described as a typical New Yorker. The secondary characters keep the story entertaining from Jethro the pig to Puff the rabbit.
This cozy mystery series is one that readers should have on their radar. From the characters banter that will make people laughing to the suspenseful plot, this story is a wonderful read.
Elise Cooper: The scene about Bailey’s bridesmaid dress is very relatable?
Amanda Flower: I obviously took it to extremes. I did base it on some of my past experiences of having been a bridesmaid three times. I was not comfortable with any of those dresses where there always seemed to be something weird about the fit or color. I am going to be married in October and for my own wedding I am letting my bridesmaid pick any dress they want with my only guidance to keep it in the purple family.
EC: As with all the books, you talk a little about the Amish culture?
AF: They do not vote. A librarian told me once, during a ride along, that some did vote for the school board. The Amish send their children to public school until 4th or 5th grade. I heard that some politicians are trying to woo the Amish into voting. I am watching this story since it would be a shift in Amish culture. The other piece I put in the book is how Amish men will not touch women they are unrelated to. They would not even shake hands. It is primarily done for respect to a husband. But this might not be a problem anymore since the pandemic have caused us to stay apart.
EC: Alcoholism played a role?
AF: This is a problem for some Amish. I put it in Reverend Brook’s backstory. A related problem is the illegal stills. They are situated in the woods where it is super-hot and have a lot of bugs. No one wants to go there. The alcohol is an issue because some young men have been pulled over driving their buggies drunk. There is also the problem with some English who are drunk or drive too fast on the rolling hills and hit the Amish buggies.
EC: How are the Amish handling the pandemic?
AF: There were flyers put in Amish mailboxes to disseminate information. Word of mouth is how it is passed around. The quilters in Amish country made 1000s of masks for the Cleveland clinic. I could imagine in my “Matchbook series” Millie and her quilting circle making masks. Although I am not sure I will have it enter into any stories unless the pandemic changes the culture.
EC: How would you describe Reverend Brook?
AF: When he was younger he was a wild guy who struggled with alcohol and kept it secret. Once he became a Reverend he became sedate, calm, secretive, and quiet.
EC: How would you describe Juliet?
AF: A perpetual optimist. She had a hard life, escaping with her son Aiden, an abusive marriage and ran away to Amish country. Yet, Juliet still has a positive and hopeful outlook for the future. She is a bit meddlesome because she wants Bailey and Aiden to have married yesterday.
EC: What about your next books?
AF: I wrote three novellas that have been bound into a book, and will be out in October. In November will be the second book in the “Matchmaker series,” Courting Can Be A Killer, whose plot has a fire at a local flea market. A young man dies, and the main suspect is the father who did not want his daughter to marry him. Coming out in August is the next book in the “Magic Garden Mystery,” Mums and Mayhem, which has a famous Scottish bagpiper killed. Then in March is the next Bailey book, Lemon Drop Dead, that has Aiden deciding if he wants to stay at the Sherriff Department or join the Ohio BCI.
Caught in a sticky situation . . .
With Juliet Brody and Reverend Brook tying the knot in Ohio’s Amish Country’s most anticipated nuptials of the year, Bailey King is determined to do everything in her power to make the event a sweet success. Except midsummer heat waves and outdoor ceremonies don’t mix, and an exasperated Bailey soon finds herself struggling to fulfill bridesmaid duties and keep her stunning marshmallow-frosted wedding cake from becoming a gooey disaster. Then much to everyone’s shock, the entire ceremony crumbles when a guest drops dead, and the cause isn’t sunstroke . . .
Turns out, the uninvited victim came equipped with lots of dirt on the devout reverend’s hidden past. As Reverend Brook tops the murder suspect list on what should have been the happiest day of his life, Bailey and her sheriff’s deputy boyfriend vow to clear his name. Can the duo boil down a series of baffling clues before Juliet considers her marriage a bad mistake—or the killer whips up another deadly surprise?
First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros
I’m also taking part in First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros
Every Tuesday Socrates Book Reviews now hosts First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros, where readers share the first paragraph of a book that they are reading or plan to read soon.
Looking forward to visiting your blogs and seeing what your Teaser Tuesday and First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros, are this week!
Luv Sassy x
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