Sunday, October 13, 2013

Book Review: Assaulted Pretzel by Laura Bradford

Murder does make the village of Heavenly not quite seem so deserving of its name. Located in the center of Amish country, Heavenly is inhabited by Amish and non-Amish citizens. Among them lives Claire Weatherly, who was enticed to move to Heavenly by her aunt. Claire now runs the local gift shop and, besides getting used to running a business, she also faces some personal issues. Chief amongst her distractions is the issue of two very much desirable men in her life. One of them, Jakob Fisher, had left the Amish life for a while, but now is back in Heavenly as the detective. The second man is a traditional Amish man, Benjamin Miller, Heavenly born and raised. 

Just like Claire has to deal with the friction that can occur when traditional and modern lives interact in her personal life, so does the town of heavenly have to struggle with the culture clash. And the town is really set to make a jump to the modern age, when Rob Karble, a successful toy producer, proposes a new line of Amish-manufactured toys and the citizens see some financial benefit for themselves as future employees of Karble. But the deal does not quite hold true to the original proposal and being upset with Karble about being cheated out of the much needed income leads one person to take drastic steps. Karble is murdered and the question now is whether the killer is to be found among the Amish or the English.

And while Claire and Detective Fisher in the end find the killer, the ending is nevertheless not the big relief that one usually expects and does leave some bad aftertaste in my mouth. This is not because I hated the ending, but it is one of the rare occasions where one almost feels sorry for the murderer. Overall, this is a nice cozy mystery, in which in my opinion the mystery angle is clearly stronger than the romance angle. I like this book and it made a nice rainy weekend reading.

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