THE FINAL TAP by Amanda Flower
The Second Living History Museum Mystery
It's maple season at Barton Farm, but an extraordinarily cold winter means the sap may not be running when the guests arrive! Kelsey has arranged for a local horticulture expert and maple syrup tapper, Dr. Conrad Beeson, to lecture at the museum's Maple Sugar Festival, an arrangement that doesn't sit well with Gavin, her young director of education, also a maple syrup expert. Dr. Beeson turns out to be an overbearing and unpleasant man. When the disparaging doctor winds up dead-with a drill sticking out of his chest, Kelsey has to protect the farm and her employees once again, especially as Gavin had recently threatened to kill the dead man and is now a prime suspect in his murder!
Kelsey has a lot of surprises to deal with in THE FINAL TAP and not all of then are weather related! There are plenty of false presentations and questions about who she can trust. Family plays a huge part in this story, from Kelsey and her son along with her ex-husband, his new fiance, and her father to the victim and his family, not to mention Barton Farms' unpleasant new neighbor and her delinquent sons. What will family do for each other? Or against each other?
THE FINAL TAP is a solid second entry to the Living History Museum series. Flower combines powerful characterization and strong family values with a puzzling mystery amidst a unique background. Her vivid descriptions make me feel the cold and wish I could taste that fresh maple syrup, although she can keep the noisy schoolchildren. I'll eat my pancakes in solitude, and preferably without a murder. While Kelsey proved adept at protecting Barton Farm and its workers once again, she's thrown a much bigger curve ball in her private life. Flower leaves us wanting more as she ends this book with a bit of a stunner. Readers will be anxiously awaiting the third book in the series to see how things unfold! I know I can't wait to see what happens next!
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