Wednesday, January 20, 2016
Book Review: The Final Tap by Amanda Flower
Author: Amanda Flower
March on Barton Farm can only mean one thing: maple sugar season. To combat the winter slump, resilient director Kelsey Cambridge organizes a Maple Sugar Festival, complete with school visits, pancake breakfasts, and tree tapping classes. Kelsey hires curmudgeonly maple sugar expert Dr. Conrad Beeson to teach the classes, despite misgivings over his unpleasant demeanor. It's a decision she ends up regretting when, before the first tree can be tapped for sap, Dr. Beeson turns up dead.
The maple sugar expert's death threatens to shut down not only the Maple Sugar Festival, but also Barton Farm itself. Kelsey must solve Dr. Beeson's murder to escape the increasingly sticky situation.
I enjoyed this easy going mystery. It is not too complicated or crazy, and I enjoyed the backdrop of Barton Farm, the Living History Museum mentioned in the series title. Main character Kelsey and her son Hayden actually live on the farm in a small cottage, and Kelsey is in charge of the day to day running of the museum. Which sounds awesome! I sort of wish someone would pay me to do that. I am a fan of all things history. Although, I would like the post to not include as much murder and mystery as it seems Kelsey gets!
The central mystery itself was pretty good - I never figured out who did it until it was revealed. My Scooby Gang instincts were off this time, I guess. This is the second book in the series, and although I didn't read the first one, it didn't seem to matter.
I also loved the whole maple sugaring aspect. I learned a few new facts! One new fact I learned was how important maple sugar was to the North during the Civil War. Being cut off from their sugar supply in the south, northerners had to turn to good old maple sugar to sweeten their dishes.
Overall, this was a fun book. I enjoyed the world that Flower created, and I will definitely be headed back to Barton Farm soon to find out what Kelsey and the gang are up to now. Not a super intense read, but definitely a cozy little mystery to snuggle up with.