True Confections, by Ruth Hartzler (Clean Wholesome Books, 2019)
Unexpectedly divorced, 50-year-old Jane Delight moves into the apartment above her twin sister Rebecca’s cupcake store near Pennsylvania Amish territory. Rebecca commutes daily by horse and buggy, but Jane has long since left their Amish ways behind (she does, however, still have a personal faith).
When an unpleasant customer collapses in Rebecca’s store and dies, Jane decides to divert suspicion from herself and her sister by finding the murderer. Some of the comedy that ensues is a bit over-the-top, like when Jane literally falls into the handsome detective’s arms, but it’s a light-hearted mystery after all.
Jane’s quirky roommates are part of what makes this book fun: 80-somethings Matilda and Eleanor Birtwistle and their mischievous cat.
The narrative has a distant feel and I did find it a slow start, especially since Jane’s ex-husband’s dialogue doesn’t match his role as a successful lawyer. Once he was out of the picture, the story started to work for me.
Another aspect of the story I enjoyed was the Amish/non-Amish (English) dynamic, with the perceptions of outsiders and their awkwardness of knowing quite how to treat Rebecca as an Amish woman.
True Confections is the first novel in the Amish Cupcake Cozy Mystery series. Ruth Hartzler writes cozy mysteries, Christian romantic suspense, and Amish romance. For more about the author and her work, visit ruthhartzler.com.
[Review copy from my personal library.]