Can Be Killer
by Amanda Flower is book two in a great Amish cozy mystery.
It has a combination of quirky characters, a close-knit community,
and a fun, suspenseful story. The main character, Millie Fisher,
is becoming more of an amateur sleuth than a matchmaker.
The plot has a massive fire at the Amish flea market. Ben
Baughman, who has set his heart on marrying Tess Lieb, is
found dead. Millie is devastated, considering Ben looked upon
her as an aunt. After rumors started to fly that either Ben
killed himself or started the fire when he fell asleep, Millie
feels it is necessary to find out what happened and clear
Ben's name. She suspects foul play but must find facts to
support her assumption. Getting help from her best friend,
Englisher Lois Henry, both set out to prove Ben's innocence.
"I got the idea from the time my husband and I were down
in Holmes County, the setting for my books, meeting our builder.
We saw huge amounts of smoke and found out this Amish flea
market was on fire. It used to be a barn. First on the scene
were the Amish pumping water and using buckets. Eventually,
the fire department came. Thank goodness, no one was hurt.
It was caused by a lightning strike, so there was no nefarious
situation. I decided to fictionalize it into a murder mystery."
Lois and Millie are complete opposites. Lois is flamboyant,
while Millie is reserved, but together they make for wonderful
characters. Lois has dubbed Millie the "Amish Marple,"
and they set out to figure out what happened. But her hair-brained
ideas have gotten Millie into hot water not only with the
local law enforcement but also with her Amish community.
“Lois will be a prominent character in this series and
will make an appearance in the “Candy Shop Mysteries.’
Lois is fun, curious, likes to get her hands dirty, and is
helpful. She is also caring, nosy, unpredictable, and exuberant.
I am going to give her character more page time because she
is so much fun to write and is more like me.”
There are always tidbits of Amish life in each book. The author
noted, "I put in this quote, 'I understand that the convenience
of having them could become a crutch, making us too dependent
on gadgets rather than relying on community.' This is a pretty
firm Amish belief. They believe friends and family should
connect face to face to keep the relationship strong. This
is also the reason the Amish do not drive cars. They fear
the community will fall apart as families would move across
the US. Each community usually consists of forty families,
and many times different districts have different rules that
are designated by the Bishop."
Whether this series or the “Candy Shop Mysteries,”
these Amish cozy mysteries make for a wonderful read. People
will enjoy the books as they connect the clues to find out
who committed the crime.