Monday, October 12, 2015
Book Review/Giveaway: Murder, Plainly Read by Isabella Alan
From the publisher: In the latest from the author of Murder, Served Simply, an Amish man checks out permanently, but quilt shop owner Angie Braddock’s got this mystery covered…
With so much to do between running her shop and spending time with her new boyfriend, it’s amazing Angie is able to help organize the Rolling Brook library's annual book sale. Luckily she’s working alongside brash librarian Austina Shaker, a lady who isn’t afraid to make waves to get books to her patrons—even the Amish. Unfortunately, this draws the ire of cranky Bartholomew Belier, an Old Order Amish bishop, who publicly vows to ruin Austina.
And she certainly might be ruined after Belier is found dead in her bookmobile. Now Angie must employ the help of her loyal quilting circle—as well as her beloved French bulldog, Oliver—if she hopes to prove Austina’s innocence before the real killer books it…
One of the great joys of being a part of the cozy mystery community is how approachable and friendly the authors are on social media. One of my favorites to follow is Amanda Flower/Isabella Alan. Her posts, especially those featuring her beloved cats Cheeps and Tummy, never fail to put a smile on my face. (Cheeps and Tummy even have their own Instagram page!!!) Her sparkling personality comes out in all of her books, as well, and my favorites are her Amish Quilt Shop mysteries.
In this fourth book in the series preparations are underway for the Rolling Brook library's annual book sale. Angie has been roped into organizing the event with librarian Austina Shaker. Austina is an outspoken lady who has been making enemies in the community among the most conservative Old Order Amish who don't approve of the books she's offering. Angie witnesses an especially nasty altercation between Austina and bishop Bartholomew Belier, and then the next morning she arrives at Austina's bookmobile for an early morning meeting only to find Bartholomew dead inside and Austina standing over the body.
What I love most about this series is the characters. From the Amish community that's become such an important part of Angie's life, to her parents (who now live in Rolling Brook to be closer to her), to her growing relationship with Sheriff Mitchell and his 9 year old son Zander. Of course there's also her adorable kitten Dodger and her bird-fearing Frenchie Oliver, who is reunited in this book with his friend Petunia the goat. (Have I mentioned that all of Flower/Alan's books have ridiculously fun and quirky animal characters???)
I also love that these are puzzling mysteries with a logical conclusion that doesn't tax my brain. Nothing frustrates me more than finishing up a cozy and having to backtrack through the book in order to figure out what happened and why.
As soon as I turned the last page on Murder, Plainly Read, I found myself wondering how long I'll have to wait for the next book. I don't know about you, but to me, that's the definition of a great story!
Giveaway: Leave a comment by noon eastern on Friday, October 16th for your chance to win a copy of Murder, Plainly Read. (US entries only, please.)
Labels: Tortie Shorties