(A Living History Museum Mystery)
Publisher: Midnight Ink (May 8, 2015)
Paperback: 336 pages
As the director of Barton Farm, a living history museum in Ohio, Kelsey Cambridge is underpaid and underappreciated, but she loves every minute of it. Determined to keep the struggling farm open, she plans to impress the museum’s wealthy benefactress, Cynthia Cherry, with a Civil War reenactment on the farm’s grounds.
Unfortunately, the first shot in the battle isn’t from a period soldier. It’s from Cynthia’s greedy nephew, Maxwell, who fires a threat at Kelsey to cut the museum’s funding. The next morning, things go from bad to worse when Kelsey discovers Maxwell dead. Now Kelsey is the police’s number one suspect, and she must start her own investigation to save Barton Farm . . . and herself.
What I Thought:
I really enjoyed this book. I am interested in Civil War history and I love cozy mysteries, so when a cozy mystery is set in a Civil reenactment, I just had to read it. This one did not disappoint me. Amanda did well with the writing and with the research. I would love to visit a living history museum like Barton Farm. I also really like getting to know the protagonist Kelsey. She was someone who I could relate too. This book had a lot of action and it kept my attention from the time I picked it up, till I finished it, it also kept me guessing as there were a lot of possible suspects. I look forward to more in the Living History Museum Mystery Series.
I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.
Amanda Flower, a two-time Agatha Award-nominated mystery author, started her writing career in elementary school when she read a story she wrote to her sixth grade class and had the class in stitches with her description of being stuck on the top of a Ferris wheel. She knew at that moment she’d found her calling of making people laugh with her words. She also writes mysteries as national bestselling author Isabella Alan. In addition to being an author, Amanda is an academic librarian for a small college near Cleveland.Author Links:
Pen Name Website: http://isabellaalan.com/
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Fond Memories Make Great Mysteries
By Amanda Flower
I love being a librarian and an author, but my favorite summer job as a young adult was being a historical interpreter for a small living history museum in Ohio. I only worked there one summer, the summer before my senior year of college, and I loved every minute of it, from telling visitors about Ohio history to making crafts like they did back in 1800s to dressing up in period clothing for a Civil War ball. I also loved my coworkers because many of them were quirky, peculiar, and loved American history as much as I did. I have since lost touch with all of those people, but I remember them fondly. This was back in 2001 before the advent of Facebook and social media. In fact, I didn’t even have cell phone at the time. That’s hard to imagine. Today, I guess we would have been Facebook friends and kept in cyber-touch that way.
Because I lost connection with all those people, I think back on that job as a brief snapshot in time, and one I desperately wanted to write about because I knew even at age twenty-one, it was the perfect setting for a cozy mystery. It had the perfect recipe: quirky people with a wide range of backgrounds, spooky historical buildings, and plenty of murder weapons.
I finally decided I would write the novel ten years later after I was already a published mystery author. I wrote a proposal, but before my agent could send it out, I got two great offers to write the Amish Quilt Shop Mystery Series and the Appleseed Creek Mystery Series within weeks of each other. So that I could write those series, the Living History Museum Mystery Series was tucked away.
Even while writing those other mysteries, which I loved, I never forgot about living history museum idea, so when the Appleseed Creek Mysteries ended, I asked my agent to send out the original proposal. I was ecstatic when Midnight Ink picked up the series, and it’s been a joy to write.
Fourteen years after I had that summer job, The Final Reveille, loosely based on my experience from that summer (I say that because no one has ever been murdered at the real museum) releases. I hope you will enjoy reading it as much as I did reliving the memories.
Amanda Flower, a three time Agatha-nominated mystery author, started her writing career in elementary school when she read a story she wrote to her sixth grade class and had the class in stitches with her description of being stuck on the top of a Ferris wheel. She knew at that moment she’d found her calling of making people laugh with her words. Amanda is an academic librarian for a small college near Cleveland. She also writes as National Bestselling Author Isabella Alan.
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