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    Murder Freshly Baked

    Murder Freshly Baked is the third book in Vannetta Chapman’s Amish Village Mystery series, coming after Murder Simply Brewed and Murder Tightly Knit, both of which I read and reviewed just a couple of months ago. I enjoyed all three of them pretty equally since I love mysteries, and the way Vannetta tied the Amish and Englisch worlds together. As was the case with Murder Simply Brewed, I wasn’t sure of the murderer’s identity until the very end, although I did have my suspicions. The rest of the book, however, left me completely puzzled, because the “poison poet” made for an absolutely baffling mystery. For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out his/her motives or plans, possibly because I had no idea who he/she was! Since Hannah and Amber were the main sleuths in both of the previous novels, I already knew and loved them before I opened this book. Preston, however, was another story. He had been introduced as a minor character earlier, so I was well aware of him and his role in Amber’s life, but I hadn’t been able to fully grasp what a great man he is. Believe me when I say I became well aware of it after I had read just a few chapters. Despite all the hardships and pain he faced leading up to his job at Amber’s Amish Village—and even what he faced while he worked there—he remained strong and proved himself to be worthy of all of my admiration. And his dog Mocha, oh my goodness, must be the smartest dog on the whole entire planet. I already love dogs anyway, so I couldn’t help but fall in love with her. Why can’t my dog be that smart? Anyway, I absolutely loved how, despite the differences in their ways of life—and ages—Amber, Tate, Hannah, Jesse, Pam, and Preston all were the closest of friends, and how they rallied together to try to catch the poet. I couldn’t help but be captivated by the story, since it was so completely mysterious and I never knew what would happen next. I really had no idea who the culprit was or where they would strike next, and many events had me gasping in surprise. Although, now that I’ve had time to dwell on it, the whole plot was genius, really. Both the culprit’s plot and Vannetta’s. Since I really enjoyed this novel, I gave it all five bookshelves, and I highly recommend it as a wonderful mystery to cozy up with on a rainy day (or any day).
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    Murder Freshly Baked is a charming novel!

    Murder Freshly Baked by Vannetta Chapman is the third book in the Amish Village Mystery series. Amber Bowman is the manager of The Amish Village in Middlebury, Indiana. Things have been going well for the last few months and Amber is looking forward to the weddings of her friends, Hannah and Mary. Then she starts receiving strange emails. The emails are bad poetry stating that pies and other pastries are poisoned. Then someone starts leaving pies with poetry around town. Then the Poison Poet (as they have dubbed him) starts making it personal and attacking Amber. Hannah, Tate, Amber, Jesse, Pam and friends set out to find who is behind the notes and pies. Who is the Poison Poet? Preston Johnstone is still having PTSD episodes (he was the homeless man in the first book and now works and lives in the Amish Village). He is dating Zoey Quinn who is a nurse who works at the nursing home where Preston’s father lives. Zoey has found out about a special program that pairs dogs with people with PTSD. Zoey has convinced Preston to fill out an application for a dog. Preston is not sure how a dog will help him, but he is willing to give it a chance (with a lot of encouragement from Amber, Tate, and Zoey). Preston would like to get over his past so he can have a future. Hopefully, Mocha (his new PTSD dog) will help him so Preston can go after the girl of his dreams. Hannah (manager of coffee shop) and Mary (The Cat’s Meow) are busy planning their weddings. They are having a double wedding. Their finance’s are finishing up their rooms. They will be living at the Miller’s home (the boy’s parents). Hannah, Mary, Pam (assistant manager at The Village), and Amber are worried about their friends. Martha Gingerich, Letha Keim, and Georgia Small are all dating Ryan Duvall. Ryan is something of a playboy. He is Englisch and two of the girls are Amish. No one wants to see them hurt, but it is destined to happen. Ryan would never convert to the Amish faith and Martha and Letha would not want to leave the Amish. Then after Ryan finishes The Race for the Cure he is shot dead. Who killed him? Was he shot because of philandering ways or because of his gambling problem? Murder Freshly Baked is a charming novel. The book contained great, likeable characters, a little romance, a beautiful setting, and good mysteries. However, I did not enjoy this book as much as the first two in the series. I liked that Preston was getting help for his PTSD, but I did not enjoy all the scenes of his time in Afghanistan. They did not seem to go with the book (maybe if there had been only one or two scenes). I liked hearing about how dogs can help people with PTSD. What a great program. I give Murder Freshly Baked 4 out of 5 stars. I received a complimentary copy of Murder Freshly Baked from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The review and opinions expressed are my own.

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