Available December 26!
Coconut Drop Dead (Spice Isle Bakery Mysteries)
3rd in Series
Minotaur Books (December 26, 2023)
Mass Market Paperback : 288 pages
ISBN-10 : 1250839084
ISBN-13 : 978-1250839084
Kindle ASIN : B0C1X6WF9K
The case in Olivia Matthews’s Coconut Drop Dead is going to be a tough nut to crack.
Brooklyn’s annual Caribbean American Heritage Festival is finally here, and Spice Isle Bakery is thrilled to be one of the event’s food vendors. After all, the Murrays have been attending the festival for years. Co-owner Lyndsay Murray hopes their West Indian pastries and finger foods draw people back to the bakery in Little Caribbean. She’s looking forward to having fun, connecting with customers, and celebrating with her family.
The day’s festivities are cut short when Camille, lead singer of an up-and-coming reggae band, dies. The police think it may be a tragic accident. But Lyndsay’s cousin Manny was close to Camille, and he believes someone cut her life short. Now Manny needs Lyndsay’s help to make sure a killer faces the music.
The Murrays have been going to the Caribbean American Heritage Festival for years. This year with the opening of their Spice Isle Bakery they are excited to be one of the event’s food vendors. Lyndsay Murray had the dream of working with her family and opening a bakery featuring West Indian foods. While they have had a few bumps along the way, they have built a solid following. She hopes the festival will bring even more customers their way.
The bakery’s booth was busy and people were enjoying the live music until the lead singer of an up-and-coming reggae band had a fatal fall. Lyndsay’s cousin Manny knew the singer and while the police think her death was an accident, he believes someone pushed her. After Lyndsay’s success in solving other murders, he asks her to help find the person responsible for his friend’s death. She knows Detective Bryce Jackson won’t be happy with her butting into his case but she believes he isn’t taking her concerns seriously, so she has no choice but to do some investigating on her own. The killer isn’t going to be happy she is investigating either.
You can’t help but get behind the Murray family. They are a close family who come together every day to realize Lyndsay’s dream. Her parents and grandmother do most of the baking but Lyndsay’s baking skills are improving under her grandmother’s tutelage. When not in the kitchen Granny holds court at a table between the kitchen and the customer area of the restaurant. Her brother Dev, has left his stressful law career for now to help at the bakery. Everyone, in this family, is dedicated to their heritage and just plain nice and willing to help anyone.
We are getting to know Detective Detective Bryce Jackson and Detective Stanley Milner better as well. Lyndsay had a crush on Bryce in high school and now he seems interested in her but with him putting her and her family on his suspect list whenever there is a murder her brain has no desire to date the man. Her heart may be a different story. I am so pleased by the way these characters continue to develop in realistic ways.
I enjoyed that the theme of this story is the Caribbean American Heritage Festival. I love learning about different cultures and their traditions. The Murray family is immersed in their culture and shares their love of their Grenadian roots through their food and the music played at the bakery. The descriptions of the food will truly make your mouth water and the music can be uplifting. Two pudding recipes can be found at the end of the book.
I was really surprised that Bryce asked for Lyndsay’s help with the case. He has finally realized that people in her community would open up to her better than talking to the “bo-bo”. Plus he knows she is not going to stop investigating and the best thing would be working together. Lyndsay accompanying Bryce when he interviewed persons of interest and suspects was a nice twist. She asked great questions and picked up on things he may have missed.
I did have my own lists of suspects and enjoyed following along with Lyndsay as she worked through all the clues. I can happily report that I had the correct person at the top and wasn’t exactly surprised by the killer’s justification of their crime. They hurt a lot of people and need to be locked up and are in need of counseling too. I really enjoyed the takedown and the way the case was discussed to tie up any loose ends. I loved the final paragraphs as well. I can’t wait for the next Spice Isle Bakery Mystery.
Coconut Drop Dead is a top-notch addition to this series. The core characters are so genuine and draw readers into this story and their lives so easily. I am invested in them and excited to see what Ms. Matthews has planned for them next. I highly recommend all three books in this series.
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About the Author
OLIVIA MATTHEWS, pen name for romance author Patricia Sargeant, is a national bestselling and award-winning author. The Spice Isle Bakery mysteries are inspired by the author’s family history and the history of her birthplace. As Olivia Matthews, she is also the author of the Sister Lou mysteries and Peach Coast Library mysteries, and writes romance as Patricia Sargeant and Regina Hart. Sign up for her newsletter on her website here.
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.”