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.)

26 comments:

Jen Scott said...

Murder, Plainly Read sounds like a fun read (I like quirky animal characters), and I have added it to my TBR list. Thank you for the giveaway.
myrifraf (at) gmail (dot) com

Lisa said...

I really enjoy this series, and find it fun and very well written. Can't wait to read the newest addiction. Thanks for the chance to win. poohwine1217@gmail.com

Lisa Brown said...

I love a good series, fun author; thanks for the chance to win :)
jslbrown2009 at aol dot com

skkorman said...

I would love to read this book—thanks for the chance to win a copy!

skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

Karen B said...

This is a terrific series from a favorite author. Can't wait to read the latest installment!
kpbarnett1941[at]aol.com

holdenj said...

This is a great series! Can't wait for this new story about Angie and all her friends! Thanks!
JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

Laura Thomas said...

This is a cozy author I've yet to read. I can't ever get enough of these. And I agree, cozy authors are so friendly. Just look at that sweet cover. Two of my favorite things. Dogs and books!
laurathomas61@att.net

pilch92 15andmeowing said...

A book about a book sale- sounds fun :) pilch92@aol.com

Robin Coxon said...

I love Isabella Allen (Amanda Flower) and her Amish Quilt Shop Mystery series is the best. If you like a great cozy series this is the one. robeader53@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Melissa! I love her Fb page, too, and need to get caught up on this series. patucker54 (at aol dot com)

Rita said...

Sounds like a great read.

Kit3247(at)aol(dot)com

Kim Amundsen said...

She has the most interesting cats.kamundsen44ATyahooDOTcom

Cleopawtra said...

Book sounds interesting. I'll have to add it to my TBR list. I won't be getting off the couch until next spring with all these wonderful books out there with animals in them. Have to check out other books she has written.

Ashley Montgomery said...

Thanks for the giveaway! This sounds like really great read. I love when an author's personality shines through in their books and it sounds like this author has a great personality. I'll definitely have to look her up.

ashleyzwonderland(at)yahoo(dot)com

Marsha said...

I LOVE this series!. And it is set in an area close to where I live.
Thanks for the giveaway!
MarshaMysteryreader@yahoo.com

bookwomen said...

I really enjoy this series. Thanks for the review

gibsonbk at hiwaay dot net

Sue said...

I enjoy the posts that the author makes with Cheeps and Tummy on facebook. Thanks for the giveaway.
suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

Karen G. said...

Sounds like a great read. Thank you for the chance to win a copy. kmgervais(at)nycap(dot)rr(dot)com

traveler said...

Wonderful series. Thanks for this lovely feature and giveaway. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

petite said...

What a captivating series which I would enjoy very much. Many thanks. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

BeadedTail said...

That does sound like a great book with an entertaining cast of characters! Woo hoo on a giveaway opportunity too!

Mama Cat said...

Thank you for the opportunity to win this book! It is an amazing series, and I am so looking forward to reading it! Wow, Ms. Alan's kitties have their own Instragram pages - how cool! I do enjoy the FB photos of "editor down" and similar, such fun. Thank you again! jeaniedannheim (at) ymail (dot) com

Renee G said...

My mom would love to read this - she loves amish stories.

Eve+Ash said...

Oh, I need a new murder mystery book! Just rescued kitten! bsaurer@gmail.com

Daniel Scott said...

Thank you so much for hosting all the great book giveaways. I know my wife and her friend would love to read this mystery.

Daniel Scott said...

Thank you so much for hosting all the great book giveaways. I know my wife and her friend would love to read this mystery.