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.
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!
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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(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.)