Murder Simply Brewed [book review]

Murder Simply Brewed is great. Set in modern times, two amateur sleuths team up to discover if the local barista really did have a heart attack or if he was murdered.

Murder Simply Brewed

Murder Simply Brewed

Just listen to this description of Murder Simply Brewed (An Amish Village Mystery) by Vannetta Chapman.

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.

What now? As soon as I read the synopsis I exclaimed “I have to read this book!”

To which my husband shook his head.

An Amish murder mystery is not in my regular reading repertoire, not even close. But I was intrigued. Nay, hooked. What’s there not to love? Set in modern times this old-school teenager teams up with an Englisher to discover if the grumpy coffee-shop worker really did have a heart attack…or if he was murdered.

Of course he was murdered. It’s in the title.

I don’t know much about Indiana or the Amish culture but it didn’t distract me from enjoying this well-written book. Sure, people fell in love after, like, three days but how is that different from any other romance novel? And there’s a murder mystery! It was entertainment bliss.

It was!

The pacing was good, the characters were interesting enough (although I wish Hannah was the main character instead of Amber, I thought Amber was boring…but maybe Hannah will get to star in the next book), and I really couldn’t guess who the villain was.

Spoiler alert!

Although, if I’m honest I got lost when the culprit was revealed. Where did the snake come from? And what was that whole sugar-swapping thing again? How was that not a problem for anyone else? Oh yeah, and what was the whole Larry thing about? That didn’t even make sense! I mean, I know it was explained but it felt like an afterthought. Oh…and the solve seemed a bit too easy after all the mystery and intrigue and suspense building up to the climax. And, was anyone even punished? Did I miss that part?

But I liked the book enough to let all that stuff go.

I also enjoyed how the Amish facts were weaved into the story line and I didn’t feel like I was in school. Most of the details weren’t random but instead elements to help move the characters towards solving the murrrrrder.

Would I recommend this book? Sure! Have fun, but don’t for a second take any sleuthing tips from Amber and Hannah. Would I read the sequel? Oh yes. Especially if Hannah is the star!

Murder Simply Brewed (An Amish Village Mystery) is available on Amazon, Zondervan, Barnes & Nobel, and Booksamillion in paperback, e-book, or audio book.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review.

Murder Simply Brewed is great. Set in modern times, two amateur sleuths team up to discover if the local barista really did have a heart attack or if he was murdered.

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