Genre: cozy mystery
Cover: I bought this series for the covers, so yes I love it.
Olivia Greyson is the proud owner of The Gingerbread House - a quaint shop that specializes in all things cookie - and her best friend, Maddie, is her sidekick, baking up scrumptious treats for their cookie-themed parties. But now they must take a break from baking and turn their attention to re-creating a recipe for murder…
No one is more shocked than Olivia when prominent business owner Clarisse Chamberlain is found dead. It was Clarisse who encouraged Olivia to open The Gingerbread House – and she was one of her best customers. The sheriff is ready to call the case an accident, but Olivia’s convinced there’s a murder to solve.
Then word spreads that Clarisse left Olivia a large sum of money, along with a collection of valuable antique cookie cutters. Suddenly, Olivia is the prime suspect, and when the local postman falls ill after sampling one of their cookies, all eyes are on the Gingerbread House. If the cookie-loving duo doesn’t find the real killer, their reputation – and quite possibly their lives - will be battered for good…
Cookie cutters is one thing I have zero experience with. My mother is not one of those homey types that spends time in the kitchen when not necessary to make dinner. The only time I spend in the kitchen with my mother was when she thought me and my twin sister how to cook, while she went back to work. We had to make sure dinner was ready by the time she got home at 5.30. So, having no love of cooking herself, she did not install it in me or my sister. It was a chore for us, which cut into our play time with the other children. And baking cookies? It is less expensive to buy them at the grocery store. So I have never even touched a cookie cutter.
Still, cozy mysteries are fun that way, discovering other people’s hobbies and learning details about them, without having to do it yourself.
I liked Olivia, or Livie as she wants to be called. She is recently divorced from a very controlling husband, for whom appearances are everything. So now she is slowly discovering herself, and allowing herself to do the things she likes and he did not. He liked to criticize her, wanting her to be the perfect arm candy and hostess to his associates. A dog was totally out of the question, so one of the first things Livie did, was adopt a little puppy.
Olivia loves baking, and she has been collecting cookie cutters for a while now. So with some help from her friend Clarisse Chamberlain, she has opened her own cookie cutter store, The Gingerbread House. She deals in antique cookie cutters, but also modern ones and cookbooks, and she and her friend and co-worker Maddie give workshops in baking and decorating cookies.
But now her friend is dead, the police rule it an accident or suicide, and Olivia just can’t believe it. Clarisse was a strong and smart woman, she would never have accidentally mixed sleeping drugs with a whole bottle of wine, when she never ever drank more than one glass a day. As she did not crumble when her beloved husband died, and left her with their many business and two sons, she will not crumble now, when she has discovered some upsetting news. And if the police detective and her childhood friend Del does not want to investigate murder, she will do it herself. With the help of Maddie of course, who is a whiz on the internet.
I really enjoyed Maddie and Olivia as the main characters in this book, with Olivia’s mother and Del as nice secondary characters. A vicious gossip reporter and an other childhood friend who is a prime suspect as well. The mystery was something I had no clue in solving before the big revelation scene in the end. I did not see that coming.
I did enjoy the story, and the mystery, and am glad that I have bought the other books as well. A good first book in a cozy mystery series with an unusual hobby as the focus.
© 2013 Reviews by Aurian