Thursday, September 10, 2020

Book Review: Murder Most Sweet by Laura Jensen Walker (Bookish Baker Mysteries #1)

Stars: 3 out of 5
Pros: Great setting and characters
Cons: Mystery was weak
The Bottom Line:
Author as suspect
With fantastic characters
Plot could be stronger

Sweet and Light, but Could be Stronger

When I stumbled upon Murder Most Sweet, I was hopeful I’d found the first in a delightful new series.  After all, I do love culinary themed cozies, and I also enjoy the literary themed cozies I’ve read, so a combination of the two seemed like it would be right up my ally.  Sadly, it wasn’t as strong as I had hoped.

After surviving breast cancer five years ago, Teddie St. John made a choice to pursue her passions.  One of those has led her to writing a culinary cozy mystery series, combining her loves of mysteries and baking.  It has a modest following, and Teddie is quite happy writing about her character’s latest adventures.

One of Teddie’s best friends owns the bookstore in the small town of Lake Potawatomi, Wisconsin, and she has scored an appearance by bestselling author Tavish Bentley.  Teddie is looking forward to the event and isn’t surprised to find that it brings in not only locals but also a crowd from all over Wisconsin.  However, the event ends with tragedy when Teddie finds Tavish’s fiancĂ©e strangled in the ally next to the store.  Worse yet, the murder weapon is one of Teddie’s scarfs.  Teddie doesn’t like finding herself cast in the role of suspect, so she sets about trying to figure out what really happened.  Can she do it?

The book starts out well, introducing us to a few characters before Teddie finds the dead body.  I was quite intrigued about who might have committed the murder.  However, the plot didn’t keep up that level of intrigue the entire way through, which lead to a weak climax.

The characters will certainly entertain you as you read the book.  I love Teddie, and her two best friends are also great.  Her love interest is also a fun character, and I couldn’t help but root for them.  Her mother annoyed me at times, but I am hopeful their relationship will grow as the series progresses.  The suspects are also memorable and stand out from each other.

As a guy, I found some of the discussions about the aftermath of Teddie’s breast cancer a bit much.  But that’s a personal thing that I’m sure others won’t have an issue with at all.

If you love sweets, you are in for a treat here.  Since the book is set in Wisconsin, it features some Norwegian and Danish goodies, and there are a total of six recipes at the end to enjoy after you’ve finished reading the book.  They all sound mouth wateringly good.

Those who love a small-town setting and great character relationships will enjoy Murder Most Sweet.  I enjoyed those things, but I do wish the mystery were stronger.

NOTE: I received an ARC of this book.

1 comment:

  1. That's too bad that the mystery was weak as the premise sounds fantastic. Maybe it's one that will get better as the series goes along?