The Final Tap (Living History Museum Series #2)

The Final Tap (Living History Museum Series #2)

by Amanda Flower


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Kelsey Taps for Something Much Deadlier Than Sap

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 a tree-tapping class. She hires curmudgeonly maple sugar expert Dr. Conrad Beeson to teach the workshop, despite misgivings over his unpleasant demeanor. It's a decision Kelsey ends up regretting when, before the first tree can be tapped for sap, Dr. Beeson turns up dead. His death threatens to shut down not only the festival, but also Barton Farm itself. Kelsey has no choice but to tap for the truth and solve the murder to escape an increasingly sticky situation.


"[Flower's] a prolific, and facile, author...In addition to interesting characters and a seamless plot, there's plenty of fascinating lore about the whole process of converting sugar-maple sap into the syrup that is so highly valued."—Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine

"A very entertaining murder mystery."—Suspense Magazine

"As series protagonists go, Kelsey's role as the director of a niche nonprofit in northern Ohio is certainly unusual, but Flower makes it appealing by focusing on a close-knit community of people who care about their work and each other."—Booklist

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780738745138
Publisher: Llewellyn Worldwide, LTD.
Publication date: 05/08/2016
Series: Living History Museum Series , #2
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Amanda Flower (Tallmadge, OH) is an academic librarian and the Agatha Award-nominated author of Maid of Murder , the Appleseed Creek Mysteries, and the India Hayes Mysteries. She also writes the Amish Quilt Shop Mysteries under the name Isabella Alan.

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The Final Tap 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Tangen More than 1 year ago
amateur-sleuth, women-sleuths, living-history, murder-investigation, cozy-mystery ***** The mystery was well done with a few red herrings and a twist or two, but I was happiest with the vivid depiction of the living history farm, the familiar process of sugaring, and each of the characters.
GratefulGrandma More than 1 year ago
Amanda Flower is a new author for me, but I will be reading more from her. This is the second book in the Living History Museum series, but the first I have read. The Living History Museum Mysteries are set in modern times, but the Barton Farm which is the setting for the stories, is a historical site that focuses on the Civil War years. Kelsey Cambridge, who is the curator of Barton Farm, is getting ready for the first annual Maple Sugar Festival. As part of that festival, she had invited Robert Stroud to teach a class on how to tap trees and make your own syrup, but as he was ill, she substituted Dr. Conrad Beeson to teach the class. When Beeson has a heart attack and then is stabbed on the farm property Kelsey is drawn into the investigation as Gavin, one of her employees is a prime suspect. There are suspects galore, red herrings and a lot of intrigue. I did not figure out the killer until it was revealed in the book, which to me, makes for a good mystery. Kelsey has been having a rough patch in her life lately, with a murder earlier in the year ([book:The Final Reveille|23364538]), the Cherry Foundation giving her a rough time about having Jason, the animal husbandry expert that works on the farm, living in a trailer on the property, her ex-husband wanting more time with their son, vandalism on the farm and her own confusion over a possible relationship with Chase, a local EMT she has a lot on her plate. When her ex-husband's fiancee throws a wrench in the works asking to have their wedding at the farm, Kelsey has had enough and refused. She is a very strong character with a lot of great friends and co-workers helping her out when it is needed. The other characters in the story all add another dimension to the story as well as allowing the reader to see other sides to Kelsey. Throughout the book there are many references to how maple syrup was made, the uses for it and why it became such a necessary product at the time. The research on the subject was excellent. The description of making maple syrup was detailed so one could see and smell the end result as it happening. I definitely recommend this book to cozy mystery lovers as well as historical mystery lovers. I received a copy of this book from the publisher via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
coramdeo540 More than 1 year ago
The Final Tap Amanda Flower Book Summary: 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. Review: This was a who done it mystery with a good twist! I enjoyed the characters and the setting on a farm. It was great fun to read about the things goings on with a farm. I did find that there were some slow spots, but overall the story flowed throughout the book. This was a second book in a series and it was easy to catch up with the things that had gone before. The new romance for Kelsey was nice and did not take up the entire book it was well woven into the book. There were a lot of characters, yet they were easy to keep track of and well developed. I would like to thank Net Galley and Midnight Ink for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
SherylHendrix More than 1 year ago
Just finished this second book in the Living History Museum series and can't wait for the third! This one kept me guessing as I went from believing the murderer was one person after another and the final reveal turned out to be one I had considered but dismissed. I love the way Amanda Flower weaves the character's personal lives into her mystery stories and animal lovers will especially love the place that all her character's pets play in each story. Two thumbs up.
InspirationalAngel531 More than 1 year ago
Title: The Final Tap - A Living History Museum Mystery 2 Author: Amanda Flower Published: 5-8-2016 Publisher: Midnight Ink Pages: 288 Genre: Mystery, Thrillers & Suspense Sub Genre: Amateur Sleuths; Cozy Mystery, Series ISBN: 9780738745138 ASIN: B01A5OGTDM Reviewer: DelAnne Reviewed For: NetGalley Rating: 5 Stars . Kelsey Cambridge is planning to amp up the March visitors to Barton Farms by planning a Maple Sugar Festival which will include pancake breakfasts and Maple tapping classes ( which I myself attended and found fascinating). She even goes so far as to warily hire maple sugar expert, Dr. Conrad Beeson a sullen and all around snarly type person. Kelsey figures she should have listen to her instincts when Dr. Beeson winds up dead before even the first class begins. Repercussions from Beeson's death threaten not only to close the festival down, but the farm itself. Kelsey sets out to do all she can to save the farm and find another killer. The question is whether she can succeed before the killer before he strikes again? Kelsey has a dynamic personality that makes you want to go out and find a living history Museum to see what it is all about. I have not visited one in over two decades and would love to check one out to see if they are run differently or as interesting as the book makes them seem. Amanda Flower has written a great plot that has a fast pace to keep the story from becoming stale. You will love the characters for the better part, the sour pusses like Dr. Beeson can be fodder for future books. After all we need more victims for Ms. Flowers to kill off. The series just keeps getting better. My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.
Carstairs38 More than 1 year ago
Tap into a Fun Read It’s always a pleasure returning for a second book in a series and finding it delightful to slip back into a world you remembered loving. That, for me, is the case with The Final Tap, the second in the Living History Museum Mysteries by Amanda Flower. The setting is the Barton Farm, a living history museum in Ohio that captures life during 1863, the height of the Civil War. While the Civil War was in progress, the North didn’t have access to the sugar that came from the South, so maple sugar became the standard sweetener. Kelsey Cambridge, who runs Barton Farm, has decided this is a perfect reason to host a Maple Sugar Festival in March as a way to increase attendance in a traditionally slow period of the year. As part of the weekend, Kelsey has hired Dr. Conrad Beeson to come on Friday and teach a class on harvesting and processing maple sugar. He’s a local expert in the field, but he’s also a demanding jerk. Spring hasn’t quite sprung yet, and Beeson is there the day before he is to teach his class demanding that something be done so the sap will be running for his class the next day even though Kelsey obviously can’t control the weather. When he goes to inspect another grove of trees, Kelsey follows a few minutes later to find him lying in the snow with a hand drill in his chest. Even with as little as Kelsey has interacted with Beeson, it’s no surprise to her to learn that the man has a lot of enemies. Yet the police are focusing on Gavin, one of Kelsey’s employees, as their prime suspect. Kelsey knows that Gavin couldn’t have done it, so she sets out to unmask the real killer. But will she solve the crime? I have fond memories of a few trips to living history museums over the course of my lifetime, so the setting appeals to me. Author Amanda Flower makes the place come alive, and if I were ever in that corner of Ohio, I’d love to visit in real life. Well, if the place were real, of course. Likewise, the book is populated with a fun assortment of characters. I love Kelsey, a resourceful and strong main character. She has a five-year-old son who I adore as well. I was surprised that a few of the returning characters seemed to play smaller parts here than I was expecting, but that’s a minor issue in my mind. The ones that have more page time got some wonderful development, and I can’t wait to see that built on in the next book. The cast of suspects are all strong and easy to keep apart. And the mystery itself is top notch. There are several viable suspects and varying motives, so it really kept me guessing until the end. And, while I enjoyed the setting and characters, they never took over from the plot. The balance of all three is perfectly done. Oh, and if like me, you love maple syrup (and who doesn’t?), better have some on hand. This book will leave you craving it. Fun setting, great characters, and a strong mystery combine to make The Final Tap a winner. Settle back and enjoy this delightful book. NOTE: I received an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.
CozyUpWithKathy More than 1 year ago
a solid second entry to the Living History Museum series 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! FTC Disclosure – The publisher sent me a digital ARC provided through NetGalley, in the hopes I would review it.
LisaKsBooksReviews More than 1 year ago
Dollycas More than 1 year ago
Dollycas’s Thoughts In the follow up to The Final Reveille, we visit the Barton Farm in the winter just in time for maple sugar season. Kelsey Cambridge may have a long term deal running the farm but she still needs to make it as profitable and self sustaining as she can. She plan the 1st Maple Sugar Festival at the farm featuring a maple sugar expert to teach the adults and a maple syrup demonstration for both the adults and kids too, complete with pancakes. A few Civil War reenactors will be traveling the grounds talking about maple sugar collection in history. Dr. Conrad Beeson, the hired expert, never gets a chance to share is knowledge. He is found dead on the grounds and while Kelsey is hoping it was from natural causes we quickly learn the man was murdered. Then we learn how disliked the man was by almost everyone he met. Meaning plenty of suspects and a very sticky situation for Kelsey. Amanda Flower doesn’t just write a very intriguing mystery, she teaches us all about maple sugar/syrup collection and processing. So much work goes into the natural treat we pour on our pancakes and waffles. She does this by introducing interesting characters that we follow through the story. The Barton Farm has its own sugarhouse and their is another one close by in a local park. Kelsey even ventures into the all male Sap and Spile group in her efforts to eliminate and find suspects. She doesn’t receive a warm welcome from all the members. Maple sugar is a major thing in this area of Ohio. The mystery was well written and flowed syrup smooth. I was caught by surprise at the end. The guilty party was way off my radar. In addition to the drama at work Kelsey has drama at home. She is sharing custody of her son, Hayden, with her ex and he is threatening to take her to court to change their agreement. Too many dangerous things happening at the farm aren’t really his main concern. He seems to be bent out of shape that Kelsey may be getting into a romantic relationship of her own. He seems to forget he left her for Krissie and they are engaged to me married. This story line is ongoing and I know things are really going to get good in book #3. Characters that continue to evolve, a fabulous setting, and a top notch mystery. I recommend this one highly.
psoccermom More than 1 year ago
I absolutely love this series. This is the second book in the Living History Museum series which takes place in my old stomping grounds of Ohio. I had fun learning about maple syrup and the little known fact that Ohio is the fifth largest syrup producer in the United States. And that it had an impact during the Civil War. I love history! I know this is why I can't put these books down. You have not only a great mystery and some romance but you have tons of history and suspense. This makes the perfect book. In this book you have Kelsey mixed up in another murder at Barton Farm. It just so happens that the first Maple Sugar Festival is taking place at the same time and the lead instructor, Dr. Beeson is the victim. Kelsey is going to have a hard time with suspects because Dr. Beeson was not a very likable person. And one of her own staff is the prime suspect. She has a lot on her mind especially with Chase starting to inch his way to her heart. How is Kelsey going to narrow the large pool of suspects in time to save her employee? Or is everyone barking up the wrong tree and it was just a terrible accident? You will definitely be shocked to find the answers to these questions. I was totally wrong and loved the ending. If this is the first book you pick up in the series you will have no trouble catching up on the characters. They are very likable and down to earth. Book three can't get here quick enough. Thank you NetGalley and Midnight Ink for letting me read and review this ARC.
KrisAnderson_TAR More than 1 year ago
The Final Tap by Amanda Flower is the second book in A Living History Museum Mystery series. Kelsey Cambridge is the director of Barton Farm in Ohio. Barton Farm (which has a farm and a village) strives to represent how life was in 1863. To help make Barton Farm self-sustaining, Kelsey has organized the Maple Sugar Festival. There will be classes, exhibitions, pancake meals, and visiting school children. Kelsey has hired Dr. Conrad Beeson, a maple sugar expert, to teach a workshop (she has reservations because of his grouchy personality but it is too late to find a replacement). The first person she hired, Robert Stroud, had to bow out (or so she is led to believe). Kelsey and her assistant, Benji are showing Dr. Beeson the maple trees. He is not happy with the weather (it is too cold for the sap to run). Dr. Beeson takes off to check out some red maples in a different area. When Kelsey goes to check on him, she finds him on the ground with a hand drill sticking out of his chest. Someone was careful to wipe away their footprints. Just what Barton Farm does not need is another incident. Kelsey sets out to find out what happened to Dr. Beeson especially when her Director of Education, Gavin Elliot ends up being the number one suspect. Kelsey does not trust Detective Candy Brandon to look any deeper (the detective does not like Kelsey especially since Kelsey is dating Candy’s former fiancé, Chase Wyatt). Kelsey is also dealing with her ex-husband, Eddie and his new fiancé. Eddie (with fiancé’s manipulating) has decided he wants to see their son, Hayden more often (which means altering the custody agreement). Just what Kelsey does not want. Life is never dull on Barton Farm. I like the setting of The Final Tap. Can you imagine a beautiful village and farm in northeastern Ohio? I can (especially since I am from Ohio). The book is nicely written, easy to read, and a good pace (nothing worse than a slow book). This is the second book in the series, but you can read it alone (if you have not read the first book yet). I give The Final Tap 4 out of 5 stars. I liked the story, but I wanted a more difficult mystery. I was able to figure out the killer before I was halfway through the book. There are quite a few characters and it is a little hard to keep them all straight (there is an all-male maple sugaring group, college professors, college students, Barton Farm employees, Kelsey’s friends and family). The good characters (the main ones) are likeable and the bad guys you want something to befall them (especially Eddie’s fiancé). Overall, The Final Tap was an enjoyable cozy mystery, and I will definitely be reading the next book in the series. I received a complimentary copy of The Final Tap from the author and publisher in exchange for an honest review of the novel.
MaureenST More than 1 year ago
The Final Tap is the second book in the living history museum mystery series, and can be read as a stand-alone book, there are enough references to the previous book The Final Reveille. Kelsey Cambridge is in charge of the Barton Farm, and all of its events, including the big maple syrup festival, including the big pancake breakfast, and lots of school tours. When the head instructor ends of dead, the farm seems to be in jeopardy of loosing it funding. So many people depend on Cassie, and she believes in them as much as they do here. There is a bit of romance here, if Cassie is willing, and we find some people begin to show their true colors, like we rather expected they would. What a real surprise to find out whom the real murderer is, I never guess. You’re in for a real treat, and if you enjoy good mysteries, this is for you! I received this book though the Publisher Midnight Ink, and was required to give a positive review.
CozyMysteryLover1 More than 1 year ago
This is the second book in this series by the talented Amanda Flower. I wasn't sure what to expect when I started the book, I have not read the first in the series. From the time I began the story, until the moment I finished, I was living my life on Barton Farm. Writing a series based on a working maple sugar farm is brilliant, I felt like I was back in elementary school on a field trip. As the Maple Sugar Festival is about to begin, Kelsey has her hands full making sure everything runs smoothly. Her neighbor is complaining about noise, her ex husband is making her life difficult and now the instructor hired to teach the tree tapping class has been injured. Did someone intentionally hurt Dr. Beeson or was it an accident? Kelsey feels responsible and has no choice but to find the answers and keep the festival on the right path. I was stunned at the end, I was sure I knew who the bad guy was, lol. When I read a cozy mystery and I find a character that I dislike, I know I'm going to love the series. There is definitely a character I don't like so I will be keeping up with this series to see what happens. I highly recommend this book, it was fantastic. Thank you to NetGalley and Midnight Ink for allowing me to receive an ARC of this book.
KMorgan73 More than 1 year ago
I wasn't sure about this book when I received it. It sounded like a good read but I wasn't totally sold on the Living History Museum aspect. After reading this book though I am a fan of the series and want to get the first book to see how it all started! The main character in this book, Kelsey, is instantly likable and easy to relate to. She comes across as someone you could be friends with and want to know. I also liked the relationship between Kelsey and Chase. This was well-written and was a fun part of the story. As always, the mystery aspect of the story is wonderful. Amanda Flower always keeps me guessing 'til the end who the killer is and then I'm always surprised when it's revealed. I love this about her books! I also liked the way (and I hope I'm on the right track here) the storyline for the next book is hinted to towards the end of this one. I can't wait to read it and find out if I'm right! It was fun to read about the maple sugaring process. It was evident that the author did a lot of research on the subject and wrote it into the story in a way that made it fun and never boring or out of place. I recommend this book to fans of the cozy mystery genre and to people who have never read the genre before. By the end of the book, you will be a fan of the author and looking for more of her books. I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest opinion which I have given.
TessT More than 1 year ago
Ohio's historical Barton Farm seems to be the place that dreams are made of, at least my dreams. There is nothing I would rather do than visit an historically correct farm. Kelsey Cambridge is the director at Barton Farms and has invited the locals to attend a Maple Sugar Festival. The Festival will shoe people how to tap their own maple trees, how the sap is made into syrup and what is was like to live in the 1860s compared to life today. When a tree tapping expert is murdered and then what seems like several harmless pranks are done, Kelsey has to move quickly before the board discovers the trouble at the farm. FTC Full Disclosure - A copy of this book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.