Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Kneaded to Death: A Bread Shop Mystery

Happy Book Release Day and Fat Tuesday!  It is the last day before Lent begins. A Ghostly Mortality by Tonya Kappes, Everything Belongs to Us by Yoojin Grace Wuertz, Kneaded to Death by Winnie Archer, Banana Cream Pie Murder by Joanne Fluke, More Than A Marriage by Amy Lillard, Annie's Recipe by Lisa Jones Baker, Murder at an Irish Wedding by Carlene O'Connor, and Treasured Grace by Tracie Peterson are a few of the books that were released today.   I hope you find a few books to add to your TBR pile.

Kneaded to Death by Winne Archer is the first book in A Bread Shop Mystery series.  Ivy Culpepper has returned home to Santa Sofia, California after the unexpected death of her mother, Anna.  She was killed in a hit-and-run accident in the high school parking lot, and the killer has yet to be apprehended.  Ivy’s grief has only been soothed by the bread from Olaya Solis’ bakery, Yeast of Eden.  When Olaya offers a breadmaking class, Ivy is quick to sign up.  Ivy is hoping it will help provide her with inspiration for her photographs and photography blog.  She has not been able to get inspired since the death of her mother.  Ivy and six other students are in the class.  Just before the break, Jackie Makers, a fellow student, must take a call.  They are getting ready to start up again, but Jackie has yet to return.  The group hears raised voices outside, and they head outside to find out what is happening.  Ivy sees her old high school beau, Miguel Baptista arguing with Randy Russell, co-owner of the local antique mall.  Miguel is attempting to calm the man down.  When Randy is finally subdued, the group notices Jackie sitting in her car.  It looks like Jackie will not be finishing the class.  When it is discovered that Jackie was poisoned, Olaya ends up at the top of the suspect list.  Ivy knows that Olaya would not harm a soul, and starts asking questions around town.  Ivy gets pulled into a controversy on historic Maple Avenue where Jackie owned a beautiful house (that Ivy would love to own). Santa Sofia is not the quiet town Ivy left when she went off to college.  Will Ivy be able to capture the killer or will she end up getting burned?

I found Kneaded to Death to be nicely written and easy to read.  I liked the characters (especially Mrs. Branford) and the hint of magic.  The description of Maple Avenue was delightful.  There are some beautiful historic homes on the street (especially Mrs. Branford’s Victorian).  I thought the mystery was well crafted, and it kept my interest (hooray).  The author provided some nice clues that will help the reader identify the killer (you must pay very careful attention).  I give Kneaded to Death 4 out of 5 stars (are you shocked)!  My one complaint is Ivy’s obsession with Miguel Baptista.  They dated in high school, but Ivy has never gotten over him (in eighteen years and now we understand why she is divorced).  I thought her ogling of Miguel to be a little over-the-top (once would have been fine).  I hope that Ivy’s grief is lessened in the next book.  It is quite prevalent in Kneaded to Death which is understandable.  There is another subplot in Kneaded to Death that is equally intriguing.  There is not, though, too much going on in the book.  I could keep track of the storylines and the characters.  I thought Kneaded to Death was a good first cozy mystery.  The series has potential, and I am looking forward to the next book in A Bread Shop Mystery series.

I hope you have a delightful and fun filled Tuesday.  I have review work to do today (posting reviews and sending the links to the publishers).  I am currently reading Bel of the Brawl by Maggie McConnon.  I will see you tomorrow when I review another new novel.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

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