Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The Final Tap by Amanda Flower - #review #giveaway

 

March on Barton Farm can only mean one thing: maple sugar season. To combat the winter slump, resilient director Kelsey Cambridge organizes a Maple Sugar Festival, complete with school visits, pancake breakfasts, and tree tapping classes. Kelsey hires curmudgeonly maple sugar expert Dr. Conrad Beeson to teach the classes, despite misgivings over his unpleasant demeanor. It’s a decision she ends up regretting when, before the first tree can be tapped for sap, Dr. Beeson turns up dead.

The maple sugar expert’s death threatens to shut down not only the Maple Sugar Festival, but also Barton Farm itself. Kelsey must solve Dr. Beeson’s murder to escape the increasingly sticky situation.




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MY REVIEW

Living history.  What a wonderful way to present history and make it memorable!  So I was pleased to see a living history museum as a setting for the book and as Kelsey being the curator.  I confess, the maple sugar takes me back to my childhood.  You could buy pieces of maple sugar candy as large as your hand, shaped like (maple) leaves...and it cost maybe $.25.

Dr. Conrad Beeson holds a PhD in Horticulture and has been hired to demonstrate the art of tapping a maple tree to draw out the sap (which, in turn, becomes maple syrup and/or maple sugar).  Why do people with a little bit of education think they are better than everyone else?  Beeson had that quality in overdrive.  You could probably say he never met a person to whom he felt inferior, and most people didn't care for him too much either.

One person maybe didn't care for Beeson a little more than the others.  Beeson ends up murdered, in quite the unique way as it happens, and there are buckets full of suspects.

Kelsey and Chase make a cute couple.  They are both getting over bad former relationships (she a marriage and he an engagement), and take steps slowly and hesitantly.  But that's good because that leaves room for them to grow (closer) in future.  It's nice to see new couples who don't automatically *ahem* run the bases as it were.

I want to live on Barton Farm.  That's it.  Ms. Flower's descriptions take me back to my childhood.  The maple sugaring, the snow in winter (here in Kentucky, we just get cold and ice...mostly).  With the little map in front (cool thing, btw) and the descriptions I could imagine myself in the scene (but not visible to the characters).

Given that this is a "Living History Museum Mystery", I gather this is part of a series.  I can't wait to see what happens on the farm at Halloween time!

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MEET THE AUTHOR





Amanda Flower, a two-time Agatha Award-nominated 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. She also writes mysteries as national bestselling  author Isabella Alan. In addition to being an author, Amanda is an academic librarian for a small college near Cleveland.

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GIVEAWAY!!!


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Click on the banner just above to go to the tour site, where you will find links to more reviews, and several guest posts.  The tour continues until May 22nd.  You can also find out how to become a blog host on future book tours!

(Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book from the author and publishers via Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours in exchange for my honest review.  This post contains affiliate links.)

11 comments:

  1. I'm looking forward to reading this book. A Maple Sugar festival sounds interesting. Enjoy books by Amanda Flowers.

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    1. It's my first read from her, Dianne. (I dream of the day I can stop saying that. But it seems like I read 90% 'new to me' authors.)

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  2. I'm really looking forward to reading this book! I know I would certainly enjoy the Maple Sugar Festival!

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    1. I think it would be a hoot, Celia! I couldn't find much info on 'maple sugar' fests outright, but there's a maple syrup festival in Sugarbush.

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  3. I really enjoyed the review - this sounds like an interesting mystery and I love the setting - I too remember the maple sugar candy - it was awfully sweet but very good! Thanks for the giveaway!

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    1. YW, Maria. Thanks for your kind words!

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  4. This sounds like a fun cozy and I'm always looking for a new series.

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    1. I know, and it's even better when you can get in from the beginning, Laura!

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  5. Her books are always fun to read.

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  6. We have a maple syrup near us and we always love to visit. The book sounds right up my alley.

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  7. I love how this one managed to bring you right back into your childhood so well. I love it when a book can remind you of a time that you hold dear to your heart like this one managed to do so for you.

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