Cookie Cutter Shop Mystery # 3
Berkley Prime Crime
August 2012/ 978-0-425-25148-5
by Laura Hinds
Olivia Greyson and her best friend and business partner, Maddie
Briggs, run The Gingerbread House, a small town bakery that sells
cookies, cookies and more cookies. They also stock the appropriate
accoutrements, such as baking supplies, cookie cutters, and even
lovely hand-embroidered aprons.
House is located in Chatterley Heights, a small town where everyone
knows each other. As Chatterly Heights prepares to celebrate its
250th anniversary, the planning committee is on edge, as their self-appointed
leader, Mayor Karen Evanson, snaps a sharp verbal wit to get them
to do everything her way and do it pronto. During one of the last
planning sessions, being held at The Gingerbread Shop, two supposed
strangers enter uninvited and declare that they are Paine Chatterley
and his wife, Hermione. Reports of Paine’s death sometime
previously had been in error, and he was back to claim the family
mansion. Chatterley Mansion that is, which the town had inherited
and had been restoring for the anniversary celebration.
Paine is disagreeable
and smug, and declares Chatterley Mansion off-limits for tours.
Hermione appears flustered and easily confused, but generally is
pleasant. It doesn’t take long for someone to murder Paine,
and unfortunately for the local police, there is no shortage of
suspects. Paine had enemies from his formative years in Chatterley
and had been racking up new ones at a rapid pace. Olivia, with a
little encouragement from Sheriff Del Jenkins, does some snooping.
Del has said she could visit with the widow, and see if she might
have some success getting her to open up about her late husband.
Del, however, warns her not to go too far and put herself in danger.
As if any amateur sleuth, particularly one with a good track record
could help herself!
a knack for drawing a reader right into the heart of her stories.
I especially enjoyed the fact that I didn’t peg the killer
until he or she revealed themselves, near the end of the book. The
cast of characters are typical of a real-life small town, with a
bossy mayor, busy merchants, and a once wealthy family who has gone
between Olivia and Del continues to deepen, and their sexual tension
is palpable. This is a yummy mystery, and I loved the atmosphere
of the cookie shop. The only problem was that I hadn’t had
the foresight to stock up on cookies and had no baking supplies
at hand. So be forewarned, you’ll be right in the middle of
enjoying this story when you’ll be more than ready for some
gingerbread cookies. I suggest you either bake or get to a bakery
before you start to read.
of other titles in this series
Dough or Die #1
Cookie Before Dying #2