Title: Criminally Cocoa
Author: Amanda Flower
Publication Date: February 26, 2019
Page Count: 86
My rating: 4 stars
About the book:
A taste for trouble . . .
As if being in New York City for Easter isn’t exciting enough, Charlotte Weaver has another reason to be thrilled. She’s helping her cousin, Bailey, on the set of her first cable TV show, Bailey’s Amish Sweets. Bailey will even be re-creating the delectable hand-woven chocolate Easter baskets she once crafted for the city’s world-famous JP Chocolates. But once things start rolling, Charlotte starts to notice odd things
happening—things that seem intended to make Bailey look bad . . .
With Bailey feeling extra nervous about being on camera, Charlotte decides to keep her suspicion of sabotage to herself. But she knows that among Bailey’s fans at the Gourmet Television network lurks a dangerously jealous rival. Now Charlotte will have to find out who that person is—before sour grapes turns one of the sweetest times of the year fatally bitter . . .
Criminally Cocoa by Amanda Flower is a companion novella to the cozy Amish Candy Shop Mystery series. This one is meant to be read after the third book of the series but as with all of the books the mystery within is self-contained so books may be read out of order if choosing to do so. However, there is character development that carries over from book to book so it’s most enjoyable to read from the beginning.
Criminally Cocoa is a little different than the other books of this series in which Bailey King is the main character. In this novella the point of view has been handed over to Bailey’s assistant, Charlotte Weaver. The pair has traveled into the city to film Bailey’s cooking show but as the cameras begin to roll Charlotte notices things begin to happen that seem to be trying to make Bailey look bad.
I’ve been enjoying the Amish Candy Shop Mystery series from the beginning and I will admit it started off a little odd to switch to another character after loving Bailey but once getting into the story I found the same fun writing and set up as always. The author has done a wonderful job blending the Amish community into the story and always explains their rules and how things work for them such as Charlotte has not officially become Amish yet so she was able to participate in the television show. And for those fans of the series even Jethro makes an appearance in the big city to bring along the normal laughs so this was definitely another solid addition to the story.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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About the author:
Amanda Flower, a USA Today bestselling and Agatha Award-winning mystery author, 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. Her debut mystery, Maid of Murder, was an Agatha Award Nominee for Best First Novel and her children’s mysteries, Andi Unexpected and Andi Under Pressure, were an Agatha Award Nominees for Best Children’s/YA Novel. Andi Unstoppable won the Agatha Award for Best Children’s/YA Novel 2015. Amanda is a former librarian living in northeast Ohio. Visit her at http://www.amandaflower.com