Sunday, January 3, 2016

Book Review: Cinnamon Toasted

Cinnamon Toasted: A Spice Shop MysteryAuthor: Gail Oust
Publication Date: December 15, 2015
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Series: Spice Shop Mystery # 3

Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks? Case in point: Piper Prescott's former mother-in-law Melly. Beneath her twin sets and pearls beats the heart of a geek—a geek whose programming changes for the point-of-sale software in Piper's shop have the owners of the program ready to make her an offer she can't refuse. "Trusty" Rusty Tulley and Chip Balboa swing by Brandywine Creek—just in time for the town's annual Oktoberfest, which has cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom flying off Piper's shelves in record numbers. News spreads faster than a text message, and Melly is the toast of the town.

But it isn't long before Melly's status changes to public enemy number one when Chip's body is found at the foot of her basement stairs. Questions start to pile up when handsome police chief Wyatt McBride arrives on the scene and the coroner sets the time of death for the previous evening. McBride wants to know why it took Melly so long to report the incident—especially after she admits to arguing with Chip about the contract he wanted her to sign. Piper knows Melly would never hurt a fly, so she enlists the help of her BFF Reba Mae to clear her name—but can they find the real killer before Melly gets sent away for good? A mouth-watering entry in Gail Oust's delicious Spice Shop series, Cinnamon Toasted is sure to delight cozy fans of all stripes.

  Cinnamon from Ceylon. Nutmeg from Grenada. Cloves from Madagascar. A regular United Nations lines the shelves of Spice It Up!

Melly raised her cup. “It’s five o’clock somewhere, son Care to join us?”

I wouldn’t spoil Melly’s time in the limelight for all the spice in Grenada.

I decided to take some time off from reading and reviewing near the holidays, but this cozy mystery was just what I needed to get back into the swing of things! Gail Oust has been one of my favorite authors since I discovered her first Spice Shop Mystery novel. What I loved most about getting back into this series is to see how much the secondary characters are developing. This story focuses more on Piper’s ex-mother-in-law, Melly, and I must say that I LOVE her character. Melly is actually the leading suspect in the murder that takes place this time around. I love seeing Piper and her mother-in-law being able to work so well together. Piper is one of the best female sleuths and her characteristics make her seem all the more relatable and realistic.

My biggest complaint regarding this story is that I wish I would have been given more clues as I was reading the mystery. That is not to say that I did not enjoy the story; it was just not my absolute favorite. As always, I feel that Piper makes the story what it is: relaxing, cozy, and entirely warm-hearted. Her life is not ideal, but that is what makes her great to follow as a female lead. She is living a good life and doing what she loves, and getting back at her ex-husband by doing it. Of course, another plus with Oust’s books is the incredible weaving in of spices and baking. Don’t read this bad boy while you are hungry!

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

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