Thursday, May 29, 2014

Book Review: Murder Gone A-Rye

Murder Gone A-Rye (A Baker's Treat Mystery, #2)Author: Nancy J. Parra
Publication Date: May 6, 2014
Publisher: Berkley
Series: A Baker’s Treat Mystery # 2

Toni Holmes is the best gluten-free baker in Oiltop, Kansas—okay, she’s the only one—but when her grandmother becomes a murder suspect, she’s more concerned with keeping Grandma free… 

When Toni’s beloved—and eccentric—grandma Ruth is arrested for the murder of her archenemy, Lois Striker, it’s time for a senior moment of truth. Telltale tracks from a scooter like the one Grandma Ruth rides lead the police to suspect the outspoken oldster, but Toni knows her grandmother wouldn’t burn a cookie, let alone extinguish a life.

In fact, the case has Grandma more revved up than her infamous scooter. A former investigative journalist, she decides to solve the murder herself—with help from Toni—by digging up long-buried town secrets. But as Grandma scoots in where others fear to tread, Toni needs to make sure she not only stays out of jail but out of harm’s way…

My goal was for the community to think of tasty gluten-free baked goods first and murder last.

These days I preferred the comfort of my oversized queen bed.

I had lost my mind. It was the only reason I could think of that I would be hanging out in Phyllis’s van in the middle of the night, helping these two old women.

While this is the second book in the series, this is the first that I have read. I loved getting to know Oiltop’s gluten-free bakery owner, Toni Holmes. Toni is preparing for the Thanksgiving rush when the unexpected happens; her grandmother becomes the prime suspect in a murder investigation. Grandma Ruth is a suspect in the murder of Lois Striker, who was formerly known as the secretary to the mayor of Oiltop, Kansas. Toni has to put her shop behind her for a little while so that she can focus on freeing her rather ornery grandmother from a fate worse than death!

The murder case in this book was very well-written. It focuses on a cold case from 1959 and was extremely suspenseful. It kept someone like me, who reads mysteries all the time, intrigued right up until the end. The characters also add to the story because of their spunk and downright hilarity. In this book we meet Aunt Phyllis and when she and Grandma Ruth get together they are so much fun and constantly had me laughing. Toni gets right in the middle of them, and seeing them all interact is a very nice touch that helps me connect to each of them. They seem like a real family, flaws and all!

The bakery was my favorite part of this book. I loved listening to Toni’s wonderful creations and the time of year was perfect. This book took place during the big Thanksgiving rush, and as we head into summer here it was a nice change of pace for me to read this. I felt very comfy and warm as I imagined all the cookies, cakes, and hot coffee being served. I am looking forward to spending more time in Toni’s bakery very soon!

***A free copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at Berkley in exchange for my honest review***

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