When the coffee shop manager is murdered in Middlebury’s Amish Artisan Village, two women from different walks of life must join together to solve the mystery.
Spring has arrived in Middlebury, Indiana, and Amber Wright is optimistic about the growing profit from her collection of Amish shops–until she receives a call that Ethan Gray is dead. Hurrying over to A Simple Blend, she finds a solitary hole in the front window and the store manager lying next to the espresso machine, dead from an apparent heart attack. All the money is still in his register. When Amber hires a young Amish woman, Hannah Troyer, to take over the shop’s duties, the two women become fast friends—as well as amateur sleuths. The police believe Gray’s death is a by-product of vandalism, but Amber and Hannah aren’t convinced.
Clues that don’t add up, a neighbor who is pulled into the midst of the investigation, a town with secrets to hide, and a blossoming romance—all will combine to push Amber and Hannah into unfamiliar roles in order to reveal answers to the mysteries around them. ‘Chapman’s latest is a mix of mystery and romance with vivid characters, a realistic setting and themes of loss, trust and love.’ — Romantic Times, four-star review
Rating: ✰✰✰ (3 out of 5 stars) My Thoughts:
Amber Wright is the owner of a collection of Amish shops in Middlebury’s Amish Artisan Village. Hannah Troyer is a 20-something Amish woman who works in one of her shops. When the manager of Amber’s coffee shop, Ethan Gray, is found dead from an apparent heart attack, both Amber and Hannah think there’s more going on than meets the eye. Together the unlikely pair tries to figure out who is behind the mysterious vandalisms and Ethan’s death. Add to that some blossoming romances and you have one unique romantic mystery novel.
I went through a phase of reading a lot of Amish fiction a couple years back. Nowadays I don’t really enjoy them as much and usually avoid the whole genre. This title caught my eye and I decided to check it out after reading the description. I mean, an Amish mystery? Pretty different. When I finished the book, I found that I had very mixed feelings. On one hand, I enjoyed the characters, setting, plot, moral, and overall atmosphere. On the other, I could never quite get “in” to the story. It took me a good month to finish. There were certain great things about the book, like the fact that while I was not expecting to connect with any of the characters (age difference—main characters are 45 and 52) I found myself identifying with all of them. They were relatable, likable, and real. The contrast between the Amish characters and the “English” ones was really interesting. The plot was certainly unique, albeit predictable. I haven’t seen anything even remotely similar to Murder Simply Brewed. There was nothing I didn’t like about the book, but there also wasn’t anything I loved. Hence why I give it a rating of 3 stars.
If you enjoy Amish novels, a light mystery, or a good romance, then I would definitely recommend you read Murder Simply Brewed. It’s a great book to curl up to and read with a cup of coffee.
**I received this book free from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts are entirely my own.