Death Gone A-Rye
A Bread Shop Mystery
by Winnie Archer
About Death Gone A-Rye
In the Northern California seaside town of Santa Sofia, a killer is trying to get a rise out of baker’s apprentice Ivy Culpepper . . .
Vincent van Dough focaccia is being touted on Instagram as the best thing since sliced bread. By strategically placing chives, olives, and yellow peppers to look like poppies and sunflowers, bakers create a mouthwatering masterpiece in the style of the great postimpressionist painter. At Yeast of Eden, where bread making has always been an art, they’re baking their own version for the school district’s Spring Fling.
But one person won’t be tasting the Mexican bakery’s latest specialty. Ambitious school board president Nessa Renchrik has been murdered. Like the rest of this close-knit community, Ivy is shocked. But she’s just as surprised to discover her beau—restaurateur Miguel Baptista—had his own fling with Nessa back in the day and now the police have this half-baked notion he might have killed her. It’s up to Ivy, her boss Olaya Solis, and eighty-six-years-young Penelope Branford to separate the wheat from the chaff to determine who the real culprit is . . .
About Winnie Archer
The indefatigable Winnie Archer is a middle school teacher by day and a writer by night. Born in a beach town in California, she now lives in Colorado. She fantasizes about spending summers writing in quaint, cozy locales, has a love/hate relationship with both yoga and chocolate, adores pumpkin spice lattes, is devoted to her five kids and husband, and can’t believe she’s lucky enough to be living the life of her dreams. Visit her online at WinnieArcher.com.
Death Gone A-Rye by Winnie Archer has Ivy Culpepper enjoying the wedding of her best friend and her brother in Santa Sofia, California. She notices Capt. Craig York looking at his phone and then consult with the bride, Sheriff Emmaline Davis. It turns out that Santa Sofia school board president, Nessa Renchrik has been murdered. Unfortunately, Capt. York narrows his sights in on Miguel Baptiste, Ivy’s boyfriend. It turns out that Miguel dated Nessa over ten years ago and saw her the week before her death. Ivy knows that Miguel did not harm Nessa. Thankfully, there are plenty of suspects. Ivy with help from Penelope Branford, retired schoolteacher, and Olaya Solia, owner of Yeast of Eden, set out to sift through the clues and uncover the killers’ identity. Death Gone A-Rye is the 6th tale in A Bread Shop Mystery series. It can be read as a standalone if you are new to the series or if you have missed a book or two. The story is well-written with developed, likeable characters. There is a diverse cast of characters. I especially love Mrs. Penelope Branford. I hope I am like Mrs. Branford when I am in my 80s. It is always pleasant to visit Santa Sofia. The pacing is a slow for my taste. A little action would have helped. It was wonderful to see Billy and Emmaline get their happily ever after. I enjoyed the descriptions of the bread offered at the reception. The Vincent Van Dough focaccia sounded beautiful (you should look them up online). The mystery was multifaceted. There are several good suspects in the death of Nessa. I am surprised the list was not longer after learning more about the victim. Ivy questions a number of people in her quest for the truth. There are good clues (if you pay close attention to the details) to help you identify the killer. I like everything tied together and the complete resolution. The ending will leave a smile on your face. I do feel that the story needs more humor. That is the one thing lacking for me. There are recipes at the end for Van Dough Focaccia Bread Art along with helpful bread making tips. Death Gone A-Rye is an appetizing cozy mystery with fancy focaccia, a bothered bride, a surplus of suspects, a framed fella, curious clues, and a cantankerous captain.
The Avid Reader