Vannetta did a good job on this mystery and I like that she has the English and Amish working together. I enjoy a mystery with sleuthing by amateurs, it seems they can dig up better clues than the authorities and I really enjoy it when they prove the experienced authorities wrong. This is the first in the series, I'm already reading the second, "Murder Tightly Knit" and will be watching for the third, "Murder Freshly Baked" to come out in June of 2015. This is looking like it will be a good series for Amish or mystery/cozy mystery book lovers.
I received this as an e-book from Net Galley with an agreement to give an honest review. The review above is my honest opinion of this book.
Things are stirring in the Amish Artisan Village in Middlebury, Indiana, and not just in the coffee shop, although its proprietor turns up dead. Amber Wright, the Villages manager, and Hannah Troyer, an Amish employee, join forces to try to discover just how and why Ethan Gray died and what it means to the Village. This book offers a combination of cozy mystery and Amish story, with some romance for added depth and tension. Vanetta Chapmans books delight and entertain while making readers think and process the various emotions and situations the characters face. Faith always plays a significant role as we see the flawed characters learn and grow. Grab a cup of your favorite beverage and enjoy this neighborly adventure.
MURDER SIMPLY BREWED by Vannetta Chapman, is definitely a 5 star novel. I absolutely loved everything about this story and was hooked after reading the very first page. Vannetta's description of the Middlebury, Indiana's Amish Artisian Village was so real that it brought this story to life and made you feel like you were right there visiting and enjoying a steaming cup of simply brewed kaffi.
This is a heartwarming whodunit with both Amish and English characters, working together to solve the mystery of a murder of one of the employees of the Village. MSB is a strong, well written, emotional, inspiring and educational novel as Vannetta has so brilliantly included some teachings of the Amish ways. I absolutely fell in love with all the interesting and colorful characters and the story line moves along so smoothly, it keeps you wanting to find out what happens next instead of laying the book down!
I enjoy a good ending and I guarantee you will not be disappointed with this one! I loved this book and I highly recommend it to all Amish and English loving readers!
You did an awesome job, Vannetta, and I look forward to reading more of your books.
I received this book from the Author after winning the giveaway at Goodreads. All thoughts expressed are my own and no monetary compensation was received.
Amber Wright is the manager of an Amish artisan village of shops, inn and restaurant. One of the shops is a coffee shop where visitors often go for their caffeine fix. One morning the manager of the coffee shop, Ethan Gray, is found dead. Amber must see to finding a replacement and feels responsible for the employee's death while on her watch so to speak. Then, there are some acts of vandalism that leave quotes from the Bible's book of Daniel. Do these incidents have anything to do with Ethan's death? Even though the death is ruled natural, there are nagging inconsistencies in some people's behavior and actions that cause Amber, Hannah and Tate to think maybe the death as not so natural after all.
Amber hires Hannah, a young Amish woman, to take over managing the coffee shop. Hannah hears some rumors among other workers and shares what she learns with Amber. A friendship develops between the two women as they share clues they uncover. Hannah also begins to notice her best friend Jesse has become a man while she wasn't looking, and the two may have more than friendship in their future. Amber shares her beliefs with local law enforcement, but without proof they don't believe her. She and Tate spend a lot of time together hashing over the clues they've gathered. As the case comes to a head, Amber realizes she loves Tate and wants a future with him, but will she survive the culprit's next attempt?
I really liked the romance that developed between Tate and Amber. It was nice to see romance budding between two middle-aged people. I also liked the mystery element of the story, although I think it got bogged down a little bit with many details about the village and its workings. Maybe those with a love of all things Amish will find those details more interesting. The advice dispensed by Hannah's mother also was wise and biblical, which I really appreciated. I look forward to the next mystery due to be released in December, titled, Murder Tightly Knit.
Murder Simply Brewed is the most delightful story - a perfect blend of Amish fiction, cozy mystery, and romance that entertains and inspires. Vannetta's prose is tight, with every word moving the story along. A "comfort read" for me on the one hand as I enjoyed its characters and setting, I was still held in its grip, eager to see how the mystery element would be resolved.
The charming setting - an Amish Artisan Village in Middlebury, Indiana - is a place every reader will surely want to visit. Located on seventy acres, it consists of an inn, conference center, restaurant, bakery, and six artisan shops. Be sure to visit Vannetta's Pinterest board to get a feel for the village and surrounding area.
I especially appreciated the connection between two couples - one young and Amish, one older and Englisch - and the growing friendship between Amber and Hannah as well. Amber had been the village manager for 22 years, and was convinced that it was too late for God to satisfy her dream of marriage. Tate, a farmer in his early 50s, had a no-nonsense way about him and liked the quiet life. An unlikely pairing like this makes for great storytelling, and I loved the scene where Amber and Tate are trying to get his donkeys, Velvet and Trixie, out of the rain.
Hannah is the sweetest young Amish girl who struggles with vanity, but in an innocent way. The friendship between Amber and Hannah may have started because of Hannah's natural investigative skills - she was a good listener, noticed things, and people trusted her - but it quickly grew into much more. Hannah reflects that while Amish communities remain separate in some cases, "In Middlebury, it seems that Gotte has woven our lives together in some areas, especially at work. . . . What if we're supposed to look out for one another?" Hannah's neighbor, Jesse, is another delightful character, and I look forward to seeing the relationship between these two grow.
I am a huge fan of cozy mysteries and I can say that Vannetta excels in this area. It is so refreshing to read a mystery that is well plotted and thought out, populated with interesting suspects, and with spiritual overtones. Especially moving is the Amish view of death, reflected in Minerva's words to Hannah: "Often a death is just the end of one's completed life. I've seen many people struggle with that truth, because they weren't ready to be without their loved one. . . . We all must accept how temporary this life is, which is sometimes a painful idea."
Spiritual values shine in the way Amber and Hannah become a friend to the victim, even in death, and later to one who would do harm. Vannetta Chapman is an author that I never fail to enjoy, and I highly recommend Murder Simply Brewed. 5-star rating in comparison to other Amish fiction.
Thank you to Vannetta Chapman for providing a copy of this book and to BookLook Bloggers for providing an electronic copy in exchange for my honest review.