Kneaded to Death
(A Bread Shop Mystery)
Setting – California
Kensington (February 28, 2017)
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
Kindle ASIN: B01GBAG7KO
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!
This series is off to a wonderful start.
Ivy Culpepper has returned to Santa Sofia following her mother’s death to be closer to her father and brother and to deal with her own grief. I myself am dealing with the grief of losing my son so I clearly identified with Ivy’s grief. We all grieve differently and Ivy find herself taking a bread making class at Yeast of Eden, the Mexican bread shop in town. Before they even finish the first lesson one of the students in murdered just outside of the shop. When she learns the owner of the shop is the police’s prime suspect, Ivy starts to poke her nose into the investigation. The bread crumbs she is following lead her somewhere very unexpected. Can her theories really be true or is this just a half baked idea she has come up with to deal with her pain? She rises to the occasion as she tries to catch the real killer.
For me there was much more to this story than a cozy mystery. I was very interested to see how Ivy dealt with her grief. I was happy to see her find a support group in the woman in her bread making class. I have learned how important it is to surround yourself by individuals that have your back and are there for you whenever you need them. For me it has been family, friends and surprisingly an online support group. The theme of this story, the making, kneading and baking the bread was a great way to facilitate just what Ivy needed. Of course, a murder to solve is a great diversion that works in books, not so much in reality. 🙂
The characters in this story are all very well developed. I love the smattering of Spanish within the dialogue. Surprising how much of high school Spanish I remember. Don’t worry everything is translated in a very natural way the does not obstruct but adds to the conversations.
The mystery itself takes some really nice twists to get us to the final reveal. Secrets and surprises drive the plot to a very captivating conclusion.
Ivy grows so much within these pages. Her life is really at a crossroads. I was so happy with the way the story ended.
I am so excited for the next installment of this series. I really want to visit these characters again soon and get to know them even better.
I was nervous about reading this story last week as we hit the two year mark of my son’s death, but in a way I can’t really explain it gave me “food for thought”. Support can be found in so many places. We just need to have the courage to reach out or step into places and circumstances that may be uncomfortable at first but beneficial in the long run. I am not sure if the author’s mission was to give this type of a lesson, but I sure appreciated this story.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
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 an inspiring century old house in North Texas and loves being surrounded by real-life history. 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 Winnie online:
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. 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.”