When the coffee shop manager is murdered in Middlebury’s Amish Artisan Village, two women from different walks of life must join together to solve the mystery.
Spring has arrived in Middlebury, Indiana, and Amber Wright is optimistic about the growing profit from her collection of Amish shops—until she receives a call that Ethan Gray is dead. Hurrying over to A Simple Blend, she finds a solitary hole in the front window and the store manager lying next to the espresso machine, dead from an apparent heart attack. All the money is still in his register.
When Amber hires a young Amish woman, Hannah Troyer, to take over the shop’s duties, the two women become fast friends—as well as amateur sleuths. The police believe Gray’s death is a by-product of vandalism, but Amber and Hannah aren't convinced.
Clues that don't add up, a neighbor who is pulled into the midst of the investigation, a town with secrets to hide, and a blossoming romance—all will combine to push Amber and Hannah into unfamiliar roles in order to reveal answers to the mysteries around them.
"Chapman's latest is a mix of mystery and romance with vivid characters, a realistic setting and themes of loss, trust and love." — Romantic Times, four-star review
Vannetta Chapman is author of the best-selling novel A Simple Amish Christmas. She has published over one hundred articles in Christian family magazines, receiving over two dozen awards from Romance Writers of America chapter groups. In 2012 she was awarded a Carol Award for Falling to Pieces. She discovered her love for the Amish while researching her grandfather’s birthplace of Albion, Pennsylvania. Visit Vannetta's webiste: www.vannettachapman.com Twitter: @VannettaChapman Facebook: VannettaChapmanBooks
|Publish Date||Mar 25, 2014|
|Series||An Amish Village Mystery|
- Review by J.C.
WARNING: this book may cause lack of sleep!
I was up really late because I just could not put the book down until I finished it!
(And on a side note, let me say how refreshing it is to read a mystery novel with a character named Hannah that is actually well-written! Some of you may get lost with that comment but I know some people know who I mean…)
Murder Simply Brewed is the best mystery I’ve read to date! Vannetta Chapman did a fantasy job with it and I can hardly wait for the next one!
The characters are well-written and believable. The story line moves along beautifully. The clues are just enough to keep you intrigued without being too obvious.
It won’t take you long to start worrying about your favorite characters and being more than a little annoyed with the local police over their lack of interest in what is clearly fowl play – or at least in the minds of our heroes and the reader of course.
Another side note that really has nothing to do with the story itself - I LOVE that the cover of the book shows no faces. As much as I LOVE Amish fiction, I do not like that so many of them show the faces, especially the ones that are so prominent on the cover. The Amish do not like their pictures to be taken and I think having covers that show pictures of “Amish” gives people the wrong idea. A random person who picks it up doesn’t know it’s a paid model.
And the cover for book 2 is the same way! WAY TO GO Vannetta!
I admit I am more than a little impatient for this next book! And I have to wait until December… GRR.
By the way - I won’t go into all the ways the words on the back of the book are misleading because that would give too much away about the book but trust me when I say that the description is not exactly spot on with what’s actually happening in the story. But then again, when aren’t there inaccuracies in a back cover blurb?
It’s a little bit tricky of them. Reviewers who mention it will tell you it’s not entirely accurate and some of them might give away the things that are not quite right but it makes you want to read the book that much more – so you can discover the differences for yourself. (Posted on 4/10/14)
- Review by Nancee
Hannah Troyer, a young Amish employee at the quilt shop discovers several holes and cracks in the front window of the coffee shop next door, and the door unlocked. Upon entry to the shop Hannah finds Ethan Gray slumped over his front counter. His death appears to be the result of a heart attack. Questions arise when clues to the contrary indicate foul play could be involved. The plot thickens as additional incidents contribute to the mystery regarding Ethan Gray's death. Amber and Hannah conspire to solve this mysterious development as it appears that the local police aren't taking the details surrounding this death seriously.
There is no predicting what follows in this fast-paced and intriguing novel. A varied assemblage of diverse characters create suspense and a medley of developments. Vannetta Chapman is brilliant in creating a cozy mystery of legendary proportions. Her creativity in painting a beautiful and peaceful country setting, and at the same time depicting perplexing and enigmatic incidents is profound. Also included are bits of humor, a component of romance, charming descriptive elements as well as intense and bizarre activities.
The author's research of the location and customs of the residents, both Amish and Englisch are remarkably accurate. I have enjoyed Ms. Chapman's books since her first release, and I must say she continues to amaze me with her talent and ability to create engaging characters and intriguing developments in her stories. I highly recommend Murder Simply Brewed. Pick up a copy and grab a pot of coffee. You won't be able to set this book aside!
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Zondervan in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review. (Posted on 4/7/14)
- Review by Laura