A Cookie Cutter Shop Mystery, Book 1
April 2011/ ISBN 978-0-425-24067-0
by Laura Hinds
spent her divorce settlement on a house. Not just any house; but
a double entry duplex in Chatterley Height’s, MD. She lives
upstairs with her Yorkie dog, Spunky, and in the separate downstairs
she runs The Gingerbread House, a business she operates with her
long time best friend Maddie. The Gingerbread House sells primarily
cookie cutters, but also cookie cookbooks, aprons, and best of all
Maddie’s wonderfully delicious, baked- with- love cookies.
Chamberlain, Olivia’s guiding hand in starting the business,
dies suddenly, and her death is ruled a suicide or accidental overdose,
Olivia is stunned. She cannot believe that Clarisse would do such
a thing. To make matters worse, after Olivia has let it be known
she doesn’t believe anything but that Clarisse was murdered,
the news spreads that Olivia is the beneficiary of a sizable amount
of money and valuable antique cookie cutters. As Olivia copes with
the realization that people, even the sheriff, might believe she
is a killer, the mail carrier becomes very ill after eating a cookie
from The Gingerbread House.
This is the
debut novel of a new series by author Virginia Lowell, and she has
done a fine job of introducing likeable characters, a believable
premise and a cozy small town setting that comes more alive with
each chapter. I really enjoyed this book and found it to be a relaxing
and comfortable read. Sure there is a fair share of murder and some
mayhem, but it is low key enough that I read it over the course
of one evening and finished it up just before I put my light out
in bed and then slept well with the feeling of satisfaction born
from reading a well-written mystery and of having met some new friends.
I look forward
to the next book, which I understand is due out around Christmas
time 2011. This is a great way for readers to get in on the beginning
of a new series, and I’m confident in recommending this book
to mystery buffs, especially those who love a cozy, and to foodies.
You’ll be wise to have a stash of cookies on hand when you
sit down to read this, but you won’t need ingredients for
baking. No recipes are included, which is not a bad thing because
you’ll be able to buckle down and read and enjoy the story
without pesky interruptions like oven timers going off.