Can Be Murder by Amanda Flower is the first in a new
series for the New Year. This spin-off from the wildly popular
“Amish candy-Shop Mysteries” has some of the beloved
characters, including Deputy Sheriff Aiden Brody, and introduces
some interesting others, some eccentric and some very appealing.
“I wanted to write a book from an Amish character’s
perspective. This is something I have not done in the past.
I also wanted the main character to be older, a 67-year-old
woman who has more experience and insight. BTW: The other
series is doing well, and I have no intention of ending it.
This is not replacing the “Amish candy-Shop Mysteries.
Someone who reads both series will recognize the timeline
and some of the characters. They will not help each other
solve the crimes but will be mentioned in a fun way. The only
one who will play a large role in both books is Aiden Brody,
the police officer of the town. He might get a bit tired because
he is solving so many murders. (LOL)”
The plot has matchmaker Millie Fisher just returning to Harvest,
Ohio, after spending ten years taking care of her ailing sister.
Millie is a widow who lives on her own with an assortment
of animals, including two goats with big personalities. She
is one of those who believes that a marriage should be for
love, not financial gain or security. Having an uncanny ability
to tell when two people are right for each other, she is deeply
concerned that her beloved niece Edith Hochstetler, a widow,
is about to marry Zeke Miller, who’s emphatically not
right for her. Yet, the pleasure she received from hearing
that Edith called off her wedding to Zeke Miller was short
lived after Edith found Zeke’s dead body in the greenhouse
she manages. Millie is afraid her niece will be blamed for
the murder. Enlisting the help of her childhood, non-Amish
friend, Lois Henry, to find the real killer, they become amateur
sleuths to solve Zeke’s murder and clear Edith’s
Millie’s friendship with Lois makes this book even better
than it would be without their teamwork. Lois is loyal and
soft-hearted, underneath a brash, bold exterior. Millie knows
Lois well since they grew up on neighboring farms. Lois will
remind fans of Cass from the other series. Both Lois and Cass
are fun-loving Englishers who appear outrageous in their actions
and dress and are an odd couple compared to the Amish.
The other interesting character types are Millie’s two
goats, Phillip and Peter. They should remind readers of Jethro
the pig from the other series. It seems unconventional pets
fit into the stories perfectly. These two are mischievous
Boer goats, who do a bang-up job of keeping the property weed-free
and chasing unwanted Amish around like the Bishop’s
My first series has a pet pig, and this series has pet goats.
Because the setting takes place in rural Ohio, I was able
to write in these types of animals. My fiancé owns
a farm so that we will have goats. I think I am living vicariously
through Millie until I get my goats. I have done a lot of
research on goats for my personal life. They can help clear
the land by eating the weeds and grass. This book quote describes
the Amish feeling about pets, “I had to defend my boys.
For that was how I thought of Peter and Phillip. I knew it
went against my upbringing to regard animals as pets, but
my boys were gut company for me, despite their tendency to
get into trouble. I’m quite fond of those goats.”
In general, the Amish do not consider the animals as pets.
By and large, the animals are for work. A dog is for hunting
or herding, cats are to capture mice, and goats are to help
clear the land. I think because she is widowed and lives alone,
the goats are Millie’s companions, who she cuddles.”
As the plot thickens, the mystery gets more suspenseful with
many twists and turns. The reader is also entertained by Lois
and the two goat’s antics. Now, people can look forward
to not one series, but two that involve the Amish community.