Vannetta Chapman delivers a captivating Amish mystery cozy with an enchanting dose of romance in Murder Simply Brewed (Zondervan). This is book one in the Amish Village Mystery series. Readers will be charmed by the team of Amish and Englischer good guys as well as numerous potential suspects who are connected to the Amish Artisan Village, a hotel and shops complex in Middlebury, Indiana.
Hannah, a 22 year old Amish girl, works at the Quilting Bee shop and notices early one morning as she is opening the shop that she does not smell coffee brewing next door at The Simple Blend shop. Then she notices that the shop window is shattered. Inside she finds Ethan Gray, the shop manager, dead.
Hannah quickly notifies Amber, the 40ish Englischer general manager of the Amish Artisan Village. When the police arrive, they determine that someone shot up the window with a BB gun but that Ethan simply died of a heart attack. Amber is sure the police are wrong.
Then more incidents of destruction occur. Tate, neighbor to the Amish Artisan Village, finds fresh red paint splattered on the trail next to his farm. Later that night an animal carcass is left on Amber’s front porch. Next there is trouble at another store at Amish Artisan Village. Someone is leaving bible verses at the scene of each episode of vandalism. What could those messages possibly mean? Everyone’s nerves are on edge with no answers in sight.
Englischer Amber and Amish Hannah team up to try to solve the mysterious events when the police say they are too busy to handle all the vandalism calls. Interwoven with the mystery are budding romances for Amber with her neighbor, Tate, and for Hannah with her friend, Jesse. Both guys jump in and get involved in solving the case. All that sleuthing around in the dark is bound to further a romance. Will they be able to figure out who is causing all this trouble before someone else gets hurt? And was Ethan’s death simply a heart attack or is it something more sinister?
Murder Simply Brewed is a well written, page turning Amish murder mystery book. It gives readers a plausible plot, interesting suspects, likeable heroes, and many questions to ponder. Vannetta Chapman skillfully reveals the answers to those questions and wraps up the mystery with a happy ending. Murder Simply Brewed was published March 25, 2014.