Author: Kathy Cranston
Series: Bee's Bakehouse Cozy Mystery #1
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Publication Date: May 23, 2016
Description: Newly redundant and recently divorced, there’s never been a better time for Jessie Henderson to pack up her life in the city and move to Springdale, the small town where she spent childhood summers with her Aunt Bee.
Luckily for Jessie, Springdale is every bit as quirky and idyllic as she remembers, and Bee’s baking is just as mouth-watering.
Then the unthinkable happens and there’s a murder on the outskirts of town. Worse still, Jessie’s new friend is the prime suspect. The cops think the case is cut-and-dry, but Jessie’s gut tells her there’s more going on than meets the eye. Can she get to the bottom of it?
Baking is Murder is the first book in the Bee’s Bakehouse Cozy Mystery series. I thought this was a fun, quick and enjoyable read. I was able to read this over the course of a couple days during my lunch hour at work. This book is shorter in length containing approximately 112 pages.
The author has a very nice writing style that flowed throughout the book and kept the pace even. She has crafted some very nice characters in this story. As you know, for a first in a series it is a balancing act to give us some of the characters background without bogging down the story line. I think the author accomplishes that nicely. We get to meet Jessie, our protagonist and understand a little about her background and the circumstances that have brought her back to where she spent her summers as a child. Jessie comes across the page as a warm, caring person who is likeable. There are also secondary characters that are just as enjoyable, especially her aunt, whom Jessie finds out is not as conservative or straight laced as she thought.
I thought the mystery was well done for a shorter story. As I mentioned, the book is only 112 pages so the mystery will not be as deep perhaps as longer books, but I found it to be well plotted. The identity of the killer is someone you would expect, but the author does a good job of crafting plausible evidence to throw suspicion on another suspect. I would like to see a longer story for this author's next book so that the mystery and its conclusion could be developed a little deeper.
All that being said, I thought this was an enjoyable story with likeable characters and a pretty decent mystery for a first in a series. The author has indicated that each of the books in the series will be stand alone stories. I will be back to see what Jessie is up to in the next installment.
I was gifted a copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review. This did not influence my opinion and the thoughts expressed are my own.