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Bran New Death
A Merry Muffin Mystery #1
Victoria Hamilton

Berkley Prime Crime
September 2013 / ISBN 0425258831
Mystery / Cozy


Reviewed by Cheryl Green

Merry Wynter has returned to Wynter Castle, which is located upstate New York. This is her first visit in 34 years. She has been fired from her job as assistant to super model Letrice Pugeot. Right now she can’t get another job in the fashion industry. So, Merry needs to sell the castle and get on with her life. Strange how things never go as planned. Gogi Grace has manipulated her into making muffins for the residents of Golden Acres. Shilo Dinnegan, one of her besties, has moved in to keep her company. Merry has visions of the castle being turned into a beautiful country inn.

Merry will have a tough time getting the locals to like her. Seems they are siding with local baker Binny Turner and her brother Tom. They think Merry’s Uncle Melvyn had something to do with the disappearance and possible death of their father, Rusty Turner. Gogi Grace wants Merry to look into Uncle Melvyn’s death. Merry better be careful or she could end up minced.

Things to ponder: Who is digging the holes on the Wynter Castle property? What were Merry’s mother and Uncle Melvyn arguing about all those years ago? Was Melvyn’s death really an accident? How did Sheriff Grace get the scratches on his face?

Victoria Hamilton has another winner on her hands. I love the main character and her eclectic group of friends and neighbors. It is well plotted and will keep you turning the pages well into the wee hours. The author has thoughtfully provided recipes of some of items that Merry baked/cooked in this book. If you like your mystery with some delicious recipes, then you should be reading Bran New Death. Victoria also writes the Vintage Kitchen Mysteries which you will also enjoy.


Reviewed 2013