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Murder Freshly Baked

Murder Freshly Baked, June 2015
Amish Village #3
by Vannetta Chapman

Featuring: Amber Bowman; Hannah Troyer
352 pages
ISBN: 0310322170
EAN: 9780310322177
Kindle: B00PFBNZQU
Paperback / e-Book
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"Murdered by fresh apple pie? . . . What a way to die!"

Fresh Fiction Review

Murder Freshly Baked
Vannetta Chapman

Reviewed by Viki Ferrell
Posted May 30, 2015

Amish | Mystery Amateur Sleuth

As MURDER FRESHLY BAKED opens, Amber Bowman, manager of Amish Village in Middlebury, Indiana, watches Ryan Duval cross the finish line of Race for a Cure, then fall dead from a gunshot wound to his chest. It's happening all over again! This is the third death/murder of the year. Can Amber face another investigation? Flash back several weeks earlier when Amber is called to the bakery to check out a note left with a pie. The note states, in really bad poetry, that poison has been slipped into it. That same day Amber receives a disturbing email saying something similar. Over the next few days more notes and pies are left in various shops throughout the village and more emails arrive. Amber is very disturbed and enlists the help of her friend and coffee shop manager, Hannah Troyer, to help her figure this out. Of course she goes to the police as well, but Amber and Hannah have a history of being amateur sleuths. Where will their personal investigations lead them this time? Ryan Duval is a playboy, dating three women at the same time, all of whom work in Amish Village. Two of them are Amish and one is Englisch. Did one of them kill him, or is his death related to the note and pies? Vannetta Chapman masterfully weaves several subplots into this well-crafted inspirational story and brings it all together at the end in a very beautiful way. There are many characters in this Amish-Englisch community who live and work together side by side. You almost need a glossary to know who's who. However, enough information is given about previous stories to help you understand the characters' relationships. MURDER FRESHLY BAKED is a story about change and growing up, about trusting God with the details of our lives and about God healing the broken pieces. Ms. Chapman also addresses one of Amber's employees having PTSD and the use of service dogs to help them through their healing process. This is the third book in Ms. Chapman's Amish Village series. She's one of my favorite authors.

Learn more about Murder Freshly Baked


When delicious baked goods become lethal, it’s time to find a killer. Kindness is a virtue
Meanness is a sin
Better watch your bakery pies
For poison I've slipped in The Amish Artisan Village in Middlebury, Indiana, has been decorated with every color of balloon and flower for the Race for a Cure. As manager of the Village, Amber Bowman is thrilled to see the turnout—and relieved to have something to distract her from the “Poison Poet”—an individual who has been sending notes containing bad poetry to warn of poisoned baked goods. Then Ryan Duvall crosses the finish line of the race—and falls down dead, murdered in broad daylight. But who did it? And why? The police suspect Preston Johnston, but Amber refuses to believe her employee could do such a thing. Amber once again looks to her young Amish friend Hannah Troyer to help her find the killer—and to determine if it’s the same person leaving the cryptic poems and pies. Can they help the police before the Poison Poet strikes again? Both Amber and Hannah will need to draw on their faith as they fight to preserve the peaceful community they’ve built at the Amish Artisan Village.


Tate pulled the camera strap from around his neck and handed the camera to Hannah as he rushed forward. Amber and Tate reached Ryan’s side at the same moment. Shrugging off his outer shirt, Tate rolled it into a bundle and pressed it against what was left of Ryan’s chest. “Pressure on the wound,” Tate murmured, waiting to move until Amber had her hands pressed firmly on top of the cloth. She glanced down at the wound in Ryan’s chest, then looked away as bile rose in her throat. Slowly she forced her gaze back to the man lying on the ground. Ryan’s wavy black hair was wet with sweat. His face was unnaturally pale, and his eyes were closed. “Is he—” “He’s bleeding out. Looks like the bullet went through his heart. I’ll check for a pulse.” But one look in Tate’s eyes told her all she needed to know. The white T-shirt Ryan had been wearing read “Forty and Loving It.” The letters were splattered and torn from the violence of the wound, and the cloth had turned crimson. Tate moved so that he was positioned alongside Ryan’s head. Pressing his index and middle fingers to Ryan’s neck, he checked for a heartbeat at the carotid artery. The sounds around them faded to background noise. To Amber it seemed she heard the cries and shouts as if from a great distance. Some woman continued to scream. A child asked a parent what was wrong. The person who had been running the portable public address system, moments ago announcing the names of each person as they crossed the finish line, now urged caution. The piercing wail of an ambulance added to the chaos. It had been stationed in the parking area in case a runner needed oxygen or fluids. But fluids wouldn’t help Ryan.
Oxygen wouldn’t bring him back.
She closed her eyes and prayed with all her might—prayed that God would have mercy on Ryan, that God would save him. She became aware of Pam’s hand on her shoulder, her voice soft and low, her accent Southern, urging her to come away. “Let the paramedics have him, honey.” “I have to . . . I have to hold this.” Tate’s shirt was now slick in her hands. Tate stood and shook his head once. Jack Lambright, who had worked at the Village as a boy but had been with the EMS for at least five years now, jumped out of the ambulance and crouched beside Ryan. He spoke into his radio, his voice urgent and clipped. She heard him say “GSW” and “fatality,” and then Tate was pulling her to her feet, circling his arms around her.

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