Thursday, December 11, 2014

Review and Giveaway: Murder Served Simply

Murder Served Simply (Amish Quilt Shop - Book 3) by Isabella Alan

Publication Date: 12/02/2014
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Obsidian Mystery
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 368
ISBN-10: 0451413652
ISBN-13: 978-0451413659

(Received for an honest review from Obsidian Mystery)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Indiebound, itunes

Isabella Alan on the WEB: website, blog, twitter, facebook, goodreads

Books in the series

Amish Quilt Shop Mysteries

0.5. Plainly Murder
1. Murder, Plain and Simple
2. Murder, Simply Stitched
3. Murder, Served Simple

Coverart: Click the Image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.




Excerpt from, Murder Served Simply, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature.

Synopsis:

Amish quilt shop owner Angie Braddock has a lot on her plate this Christmas. But things only get worse after someone develops a taste for murder…
 
Angie’s parents are visiting Rolling Brook for Christmas—but unfortunately, her ex is joining them. Luckily, Angie has no time to dwell on her romantic troubles as she prepares her store, Running Stitch, for the town’s traditional progressive dinner, featuring a sleigh ride stopping at each shop for a different course of the meal.
 
The meal ends with an Amish-themed Christmas play at the Swiss Valley Hotel and Barn. But the performance is cut short when an actress falls from the scaffolding to her death. After the sheriff suspects foul play, tensions between the Amish and Englisch heat up, as do rivalries among the acting troupe. Now Angie and her quilting circle must stitch together clues before they’re the ones running for cover…


Thoughts:

Isabella Alan's Amish Quilt Shop Mystery series continues with the third book, Murder Served Simply. Set during the Christmas season, this novel, has everything from a progressive dinner, to a theatre production, all set to daily life in the Amish town of Rolling Brook. Alan's knack for writing about the simple lifestyle of the Amish imbued with a little bit of murder is both light and entertaining. Readers who love a good mystery, have a few pets, love quilting or just plain and simply enjoy reading, will love it.

What I liked:

One of the things I have always liked about this series is the way that Isabella Alan makes her Amish characters so real. When I think of the Amish, I have a lot of respect for their culture and beliefs, but I don't really see them as people who might be like me or as people I might find something in common with. But Alan does a fantastic job of making the Amish seem more accessible, more realistic and in some ways just as flawed and human as I am.

Angie from the Running Stitch Quilt Shop is very busy with the holiday season in, Murder Served Simple. She is taking part in what is called a progressive dinner. I had never heard of that before reading this book, but found it a really interesting idea. Each of the local shop owners contributed a part of the meal and tourists went from shop to shop ending up at a local hotel for the final course. What a cool way to celebrate the season! I admit I want to steal the idea and create my own progressive dinner among friends, but it was certainly a great idea for this mystery. Alan uses it to get the mystery started so to speak, along with a Broadway production that has the Amish all in a stir.

Not only does Angie have her parents and her ex-boyfriend in town for Christmas she ends up with a murdered actress on  her plate as well. When a former Amish woman, turned actress dies in the middle of the first night of the play, it's up to Angie to figure out whodunit and why. Many of the Amish characters in the book, were not in favor of the play because they felt it cast the Amish in a bad light and made fun of their culture and beliefs. That certainly added to the suspect list, along with the actors and actresses from the play and a crazy Amish relative of the victim. 

Bottom Line:

Alan does a great job of balancing the mystery in this book against Angie's personal dynamics with her matchmaking parents and her new and old boyfriends. The mystery aspects were fun to read and try to figure out, while Angie's life continued to get in the way of her sleuthing. Pet lovers will love scenes with Oliver and Dodger and the Christmas theme was well included in the mystery. An all around great addition to this wonderful Amish mystery series. 

Murder Served Simply is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!




About the Author:


Isabella Alan is the author of Murder, Simply Stitched and Murder, Plain and Simple. An academic librarian for a small college in Ohio, she grew up visiting the state’s Amish country with her family. Her 2010 debut, Maid of Murder, written under the name Amanda Flower, received an Agatha Award nomination for Best First Novel. 


Giveaway Details:

The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Murder Served Simply by Isabella Alan.

~ You must be an email subscriber to participate.
~ US addresses only.
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, December 25th.

1. Please leave a comment. What's your favorite Amish recipe?

2. Please fill out the FORM.

33 comments:

Lisa Brown said...

i do not have a favorite amish recipe; not sure what that would be.

Linda Kish said...

I don't have a favorite but, Amish Crazy Quilt Pie sounds good.

Sue Farrell said...

There are some awfully good Amish bread recipes.

Robin Coxon said...

I love their spitzles they make. Sometimes it's put into sauerkraut and pork dishes.

traveler said...

Amish Bread would be lovely. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

dcoliz said...

I guess my favorite is Shoo Fly Pie, but homemade Spaetzle is really good.

Janie m said...

Amish rolls Yummy

Darlene Peterson said...

Amish bread is my favorite.

Marilyn said...

Shoo fly Pie...that's good...

Marcy x said...

i live near an amish community, they make great Angel Food Cake, with different flavors. my favorite is strawberry

bookwomen said...

Anything with apples, esp apple butter.

Virginia Winfield said...

Any meats they make. I am not a big dessert eater.

Angela Holland said...

I love there noodles and pies

Renee W said...

I tried the recipe for Rachel Miller's Sour Cream Crop Cookies and it was excellent. Definitely a favorite.

Alicia said...

I haven't tried any yet....

Carol M said...

I haven't tried any Amish recipes.

Rita said...

I don't have a favorite recipe.

Carol N Wong said...

The noodles. My mother's family were Mennonites and I found out their receipes were almost identical to Amish ones when I ate at an Amish restaurant last week! Loved the food!

CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Karen B said...

I believe that my grandmother's Apple Butter recipe was Amish.
kpbarnett1941[at]aol.com

holdenj said...

I don't know if I have any specifically Amish recipes, but the friendship bread that always makes the rounds is fantastic! Thanks, this a favorite series of mine!
JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

Anonymous said...

Debbie, I really don't know what my favorite Amish recipe is, for I haven't cooked any. But, I would love to win this book. Maxie > mac262(at)me(dot)com <

NoraA said...

I don't have a specific Amish dish but I'd definitely go for anything they bake with apples.

They are known for that.

Michelle F. said...

I'm not familiar with any Amish recipes, but if they make chicken and dumplings that would be good. I'd like to visit a restaurant that features Amish food. I live in Ohio and have been down to the part where the Amish are, in Ashland or Mansfield. We saw buggies and maybe the Amish at the grocery store. We used to go down there years ago to visit my great-aunt.

Nancy Luebke said...

Don't have a fav recipe but they make a variety of cheese that's great

lag123 said...

I have an entire Amish cookbook and love all of the recipes.

lag110 at mchsi dot com

Dotty Kelley said...

Don't have a favorite Amish recipe but do enjoy this series.

Barbara T. said...

Shoo Fly Pie

Ruth Lyons Mazur said...

Shoo Fly Pie

fran sniatecki said...

Made an Amish fruitcake that was good.

Theresa N. said...

I like the recipe for Friendship Bread.
Theresa N
weceno(at)yahoo(dot)com

bn100 said...

don't have a fav

TAMMY CUEVAS said...

One of my favorite Amish recipes is Bean Salad, found in The Best of Amish Friends Cookbook Collection by Wanda Brunstetter.

Anonymous said...

Vera Wilson said,

Have tried their homemade apple butter and it's delicious on warm biscuits.

snoopysnop1 at yahoo dot com