#FlashbackFriday – Game of Scones (A Sugar & Spice Mystery) by Mary Lee Ashford #Review / #Giveaway @lyricalpress

On Flashback Fridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

Game of Scones (A Sugar & Spice Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Iowa
Lyrical Underground (December 4, 2018)
Paperback: 194 pages
ISBN-10: 1516105052
ISBN-13: 978-1516105052
Kindle ASIN: B07BD1XJ8V

As co-owner of Sugar and Spice Cookbooks, Sugar Calloway has seen simple confections bring friends together and spark fiery feuds. Except this time, the recipe truly is to die for . . .

After losing her job as food editor at a glossy magazine, Rosetta Sugarbaker Calloway—aka “Sugar” to friends—isn’t sweet on accepting defeat and crawling back to her gossipy southern hometown. So when she has an opportunity to launch a community cookbook business with blue-ribbon baker Dixie Spicer in peaceful St. Ignatius, Iowa, she jumps at the chance to start over from scratch . . .

But as Sugar assembles recipes for the local centennial celebration, it’s not long before she’s up to her oven mitts in explosive threats, too-hot-to-handle scandals, and a dead body belonging to the moody matriarch of the town’s first family. With suspicions running wild, Sugar and Spice must solve the murder before someone innocent takes the heat—and the real culprit gathers enough ingredients to strike again . . .

* Includes delicious recipes! *

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Rosetta Sugarbaker Calloway and Dixie Spicer aka “Sugar” and “Spice” have teamed up and opened a community cookbook business, Sugar & Spice Publishing. Former food editor Sugar handles the logistics and blue-ribbon baker Spice tests the recipes.

Their first client is the committee for the local Founder’s Day Centennial Celebration. Sugar meets with the committee to discuss a duplicate scone recipe. Working with adult women, Dixie’s Aunt Bertie and Ellie Farmer, she is sure they can work it out. What happens is a shouting match that almost comes to blows. The meeting ends with no resolution. Hoping individual meetings with the bakers will solve the issue Sugar sets up a meeting with Ellie. But she finds the woman dead clutching a scone.  With the ladies’ ongoing feud Bertie quickly becomes the prime suspect. When Bertie leaves town telling no one of her plans Sheriff Terrance Griffin turns up the heat while Sugar and Dixie worry if someone has hurt Bertie too.


This was a delightful cozy mystery. I have been on a few fundraiser cookbook committees so this story excited me from the start. Thankfully our cookbooks were completed without any dead bodies but there were some heated conversations. People take their recipes seriously! The author includes 3 recipes at the end of the book.

Sugar and Dixie have their work cut out for them in making a business like this flourish, especially if this one is any indication. Both women have the expertise needed except they need to bring in a photographer. Enter Max Windsor, a friend of Dixie’s brother. We also meet Sugar’s pain-in-the-butt neighbor and her landlord who recently moved to a senior living community. There is a palpable tension between Dixie and the sheriff, which plays out throughout the story. These characters have a real small-town feel with gossip running rampant and a bit of Southern charm from Dixie. The dialogue is strong. While we have been given a great introduction to these characters, the author has left a lot of room for them to grow.

A little cooperation from Bertie would have removed her from the suspect list but in lieu of that Sugar and Dixie find themselves right in the middle of the investigation. It was easy to find additional suspects because the victim rubbed several people the wrong way. I enjoyed tagging along for each clue, twist, and turn. The pace had a couple of dips but quickly got back on track. The ending was exciting.

I love that this series is set in Iowa. Not too far from home for me and not a common setting for cozy mysteries even though it is full of small towns that could host this genre.

I found Game of Scones to be a very entertaining story. I am excited to see where Ms. Ashford takes her character next. Risky Biscuits will be out July 9.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent


About Mary Lee Ashford

Mary Lee Ashford is a lifelong bibliophile, an avid reader, and a supporter of public libraries. In addition to writing the Sugar and Spice series for Kensington Books, she also writes as half of the writing team of Sparkle Abbey, author of the national bestselling Pampered Pets mystery series from Bell Bridge Books.

Prior to publishing Mary Lee won first place in the Daphne du Maurier contest, sponsored by the Kiss of Death chapter of RWA, and was a finalist in Murder in the Grove’s mystery contest, as well as Killer Nashville’s Claymore Dagger contest.

She is the founding president of Sisters in Crime – Iowa and a board member of the Mystery Writers of America Midwest chapter, as well as a member of Novelists, Inc., Romance Writers of America, Kiss of Death the RWA Mystery Suspense chapter, Sisters in Crime, and the SinC internet group Guppies.

She loves encouraging writers and is a frequent lecturer and workshop presenter for writers’ groups. Mary Lee has a passionate interest in creativity and teaches a university level course in Creative Management to MPA candidates, as well as presenting workshops and blogging about creativity.

She currently resides in the midwest with her husband, Tim, and Sparkle, the rescue cat namesake of the Sparkle Abbey pseudonym. Her delights are reading and enjoying her two sons and daughters-in-law, and six grandchildren.

For more information, visit her website at www.MaryLeeAshford.com

Find her on  –  FacebookTwitterInstagramPinterestGoodReads 

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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.”

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