Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Kneaded to Death

Author:  Winnie Archer
Series:  A Bread Shop Mystery #1
Genre:  Cozy Mystery
Publisher:  Kensington
Published:  February 28, 2017

Description:  Everyone swears by Yeast of Eden, the Mexican bread shop in town. But tonight, the only thing on the menu is la muerte . . .

Struggling photographer Ivy Culpepper has lots of soul-searching to do since returning to seaside Santa Sofia, California. That is, until the thirty-six-year-old enters a bread making class at Yeast of Eden. Whether it’s the aroma of fresh conchas in the oven, or her instant connection with owner Olaya Solis, Ivy just knows the missing ingredients in her life are hidden among the secrets of Olaya’s bakery . . .

But Ivy’s spirits crumble when a missing classmate is suddenly discovered dead in her car. Even more devastating, the prime suspect is Olaya Solis herself. Doubting the woman could commit such a crime, Ivy embarks on a murder investigation of her own to prove her innocence and seize the real killer. As she follows a deadly trail of crumbs around town, Ivy must trust her gut like never before—or someone else could be toast!

My Review

This is the first in a new series by author Winnie Archer.  Ivy Culpepper has returned home after the death of her mother and becomes embroiled in the death of a woman who was in her bread making class.  This was an enjoyable book and what you would expect from the first book in a new series.

Winnie Archer introduced us to Ivy Culpepper and the some of the more interesting citizen's of Santa Sofia.  I liked the Ivy. She is grieving the loss of her mother but is starting to put herself out there, and rediscover the pleasure she found in photography. The author does a nice job of crafting a relationship between Ivy, Olaya and Mrs. Branford.  Each one of these women give her something she is missing with the loss of her mother and help her to start healing.  Olaya and Mrs. Branford have a history but once they get past that they are great characters who care about Ivy and the woman who was murdered.  Mrs. Branford is feisty and funny.  She gets Ivy involved in trying to solve Jackie's murder and as she does, Ivy senses that perhaps there is more to her mother's death. There is also a hint of romance for Ivy and her high school sweetheart who left town upon graduation and broke her heart.

The mystery was done well.  The way she wove the death of Jackie together with the death of Ivy's mother was unexpected.  At first I didn't quite know how that was going to play out (one mystery vs. two) but thought the plot came together nicely.  There are some twists and turns as the reader tries to figure out who killed Jackie and why. I had a suspicion about the identity of the killer, but the author did such a good job of providing the reader with suspects and plausible motives for each that I was never able to definitively say who I thought was the culprit.  I was  surprised by how one of the mysteries was resolved.

I voluntarily read an advanced reader copy of this book which was provided by the publisher through Netgalley.  This did not influence my opinion and the thoughts expressed are my own.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing your review with us, it was great.