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If Bread Could Rise to the Occasion
Country Cooking School Mystery #4
Paige Shelton

Berkley Prime Crime
August 2013/ ISBN 978-0-425-25223-9


Reviewed by Laura Hinds

Betts Winston and her Gram, Missouri Anna Winston, own and operate Gram’s Country Cooking School, located in Broken Rope, Missouri. You never know what’s cooking at the school though, be it ghostly visitors or a murderer on the loose.

As a new school session begins, a new (to Betts) ghost blows into the area. His name is Gent Cylas and it seems many years ago his whole family died during a fire in the Kennington Bakery. Yet local records don’t indicate that any of the Cylas family died, and certainly none of them are buried in the area. Why, then, is Gent back in ghostly form, and how is it both Gram and Betts can visit the factory as it was in the past and speak to and interact with the Cylas family? For that matter, what about Gram’s “romance” with Gent when they were young?

When a student, Roger Riggins dies, Betts and Grams have yet another kettle on the stove to deal with. Who would kill the amiable Roger and why? Could it be the mysterious Freddie O’Bannon, who showed up insisting he’d been accepted to the cooking school when, in fact, neither Gram nor Betts had any record of him? Moreover, what of his spotty references? Then there is fellow student Brenda Plumb, whose sneering facial expressions and furtive note taking seem to indicate something going on below the surface….

This is such a unique series. Cleverly crafted with solid murder mysteries, both present and past, infused with a brew of the paranormal, “If Bread Could Rise to the Occasion,” is sure to satisfy your hankering for a delicious cozy. An added bonus is a recipe section in the back of the book Betts’s Best Banana Bread and more.

Reviews of other titles in this series

If Mashed Potatoes Could Dance #2


Reviewed 2013