Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
Today I am featuring Macarons Can Be Murder by Rose Betancourt!
Macarons Can Be Murder (A Paris Kentucky Bakery Mystery)
1st in Series
Setting – Kentucky
Crooked Lane Books (July 11, 2023)
Hardcover : 288 pages
ISBN-10 : 1643859765
ISBN-13 : 978-1643859767
Kindle ASIN : B09J9X7BD7
Living in Paris, Kentucky, and having a sidekick cat named Pepe le Pew gives Marci Beaucoup’s life a certain je ne sais quoi. Combining her love of baking and France, Marci opened La Belle Patisserie to bring her small Southern hometown a bit of French flair and lots of croissants. Everything is sunshine and macarons at the bakery until her landlord calls to tell her she’s selling the property. Marci’s relieved to hear that if the top bidder, an enchanting Frenchman named Antoine Dubois, gets the property, he’ll renew her bakery’s lease. Charmed by Antoine, Marci figures this development isn’t half bad and sees a handsome new landlord in her future—but then Antoine’s estranged ex-girlfriend Kelly turns up dead in front of her bakery. Sacrebleu!
Everyone calls Marci’s pastries “to die for,” but nobody’s actually died at La Belle Patisserie before. Antoine quickly becomes the main suspect to everyone in Paris—including to womanizing detective Maverick Malone. Who else would have killed Kelly but the ex-boyfriend she was just seen fighting with on the day of her death?
Marci finds out from her landlord that if Antoine is arrested, his purchase of her building will fall through—and her landlord will sell to developers instead, who plan to demolish the building and construct a strip mall in its place. Enamored with Antoine and with her patisserie dreams hanging in the balance, Marci is determined to prove Maverick and the rest of Paris wrong and find the true killer before Antoine winds up in jail—and she has to say au revoir to her bakery.
Now Marci finds herself mixed up in the murder investigation, and she must find the killer before her half-baked theories result in her untimely death.
Marci Beaucoup loves everything French and she combines that with her joy of baking at her La Belle Patisserie in Paris . . . Kentucky. But it is not smooth sailing, her landlord has put the building up for sale. One interested party plans to tear it down and another, a Frenchman, Antoine Dubois, has told her if he gets the property he will renew her lease.
But then Marci finds Antoine’s ex-girlfriend dead in front of her bakery, which definitely isn’t good for business but it is worse for Antoine because he is Detective Maverick Malone’s prime suspect.
Could the handsome Frenchman be guilty? Marci intends to find out but if she’s not careful she may have baked her last macaron.
I have been looking forward to reading this book since I first heard about it a long time ago. I love the theme and had really high hopes for Marci Beaucoup and her Aunt Barb but this book really was a difficult read and I stuck with it to the last page pulling for it to turn around.
Most of the book is Marci’s internal dialogue. Everything she thinks, she rethinks and thinks again and then makes the absolute worst decision. She is just really naive about the world around her and even with all the thinking she does she never has a backup plan. I hate to say she falls into the TSTL category but she continued to put herself in danger and didn’t learn anything from her decisions. She also has a real problem with Detective Maverick Malone. They have a history but she thinks she can do his job better than he can. Her Aunt Barb is like a bull in a china shop. She is very overbearing and it is best to just get out of her way. The love triangle that is just getting started really didn’t work at all either. There is absolutely no chemistry between these characters.
The mystery was very straightforward and very easy to solve. There really was no suspense. Again the internal dialogue of Marci destroyed any flow that was trying to emerge.
I did like the French pastry theme and the food descriptions did make me crave macarons and croissants. While I don’t speak French I didn’t mind the terms casually placed throughout the story since they were pretty basic phases but I feel they need to be used sparingly so they don’t go against the flow of the story.
Sadly, Macarons Can Be Murder was a book I couldn’t escape into. I think Marci needs a sleuthing friend so they can bounce ideas off each other. Someone that can keep her from making horrible decisions. This would cut down on us reading all of Marci’s thoughts. All the characters need more development and the mystery needs to be a lot more complicated.
I am rounding my rating up to 3 stars. There are some good ideas here and I think some changes to the writing style and a good editor could save this series.
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About the Author
Rose Betancourt is a USA Today bestselling author. She enjoys writing quirky and fun novels with a paranormal twist. When she’s not plotting her next mystery novel, she loves reading, painting, spending time with family, and listening to oldies. Her writing is fueled by Diet Coke and dark chocolate. Rose lives near Louisville, Kentucky.
While this book wasn’t my “cup of tea” it may be yours.
Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
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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.”