I whisked chocolate whipped cream with a practice flick of my wrist. I could make the chocolate butter cream for the inside of Jean Pierre’s decadent truffles half asleep. The truth was I had done just that on more than one occasion. Easily, I work over ninety hours a week as a chocolatier at JP Chocolates, an upscale chocolate shop in Manhattan owned and operated by the world famous chocolatier Jean Pierre Ruge. I was Jean Pierre protégé. I had worked for him for the last six years as his first chocolatier. It was coveted position among the many chocolatiers who worked at JP Chocolates.

As the first chocolatier, I was still reeling from the announcement that Jean Pierre had made just that morning to the entire staff. Jean Pierre was in his eighties, and finally, he announced his retirement. As part of his retirement a new head chocolatier would be appointment to run JP Chocolates. A thrill ran through me as the enormity of this announcement hit me.

It wasn’t that I wanted Jean Pierre to leave. I loved my boss and he taught me all the finer points about chocolate, but this was the moment that I had dreamed about. It was the moment that would make those countless hours in the shop perfecting my craft long after the shop closed worth it. I was so excited because I was obvious choice to be the next head chocolatier.

The only damper on my impending promotion was the announcement that the chocolate shop’s board of directors not Jean Pierre himself would be picking the next chocolatier. Jean Pierre had assured me that I was a shoe in for the job. He said the board would be a pack of fools to pick anyone else, and no one understood the inner workings of JP Chocolates like I did. This may all be true, but the problem was Jean Pierre didn’t know that I had a secret. It was a secret that could destroy my chances of getting the job that I had worked for for most of my adult life. One choice that I made could ruin everything.

I was mulling over my stupidity when my cell phone vibrated in my pocket. It didn’t ring. Jean Pierre hated all ring tones, and the chocolate shop staff knew to silence their phones unless the wanted to hear a tirade of colorful French cursing.

I pulled the phone from my pocket. The call was from an Ohio number. The screen read, “Swissmen Sweets.” My heart was instantly in my throat. Swissmean Sweets was my grandparents’ Amish candy shop in Ohio. I never got a call from my Amish grandparents unless it was an emergency. For them, the telephone was not to be used for idle chit-chat.

Breathlessly, I answered the call.

“Bailey,” my grandmother voice came through the call. “It is good to hear your voice.”

“Maami, what’s wrong?” I wanted her to get right to the point.

“It’s about your grandfather,” she said sadly.

It was exactly what I feared that she would say.

You can read more about Bailey in Assaulted Caramel, the first book in the NEW “Amish Candy Shop” mystery series.

Sometimes you need a sweet tooth to take a bite out of crime . . .

Bailey King is living the sweet life as assistant chocolatier at world-famous JP Chocolates in New York City. But just when Bailey’s up for a life-changing promotion, her grandmother calls with news that her grandfather’s heart condition has worsened. Bailey rushes to Harvest, Ohio, where her grandparents still run Swissmen Sweets, the Amish candy shop where she was first introduced to delicious fudge, truffles, and other assorted delights.

She finds her grandfather is doing better than she feared. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for a local Englisch developer, whom Bailey finds dead in the candy shop kitchen—with Jebediah King’s chocolate knife buried in his chest. Now the police are sweet on her grandfather as the prime suspect. Despite the sincere efforts of a yummy deputy with chocolate-brown eyes, Bailey takes it on herself to clear Jebediah. But as a cunning killer tries to fudge the truth, Bailey may be headed straight into a whole batch of trouble . . .

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About the author
Amanda Flower, a national bestselling and Agatha Award winning mystery author. She also writes mysteries as USA Today bestselling author Isabella Alan. In addition to being an author, Amanda is librarian in Northeast Ohio. Follow Amanda on Social Media on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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