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Brownies & Betrayal

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Pastry chef Tess Crawford thought moving from Chicago to quiet Silver Springs, Arizona would simplify her life. That was before she found the body of a woman with whom she had traded heated words the previous night, left her fingerprints on the murder weapon, and came under attack for trying to clear her name. When her cheating ex-fiance shows up, intent on convincing her Pastry chef Tess Crawford thought moving from Chicago to quiet Silver Springs, Arizona would simplify her life. That was before she found the body of a woman with whom she had traded heated words the previous night, left her fingerprints on the murder weapon, and came under attack for trying to clear her name. When her cheating ex-fiance shows up, intent on convincing her to come back to work for him, Tess—armed with an extra batch of éclairs—decides to take control and solve the mystery herself, with the help of friends and frenemies alike. But will that be enough to save her when she gets too close and the killer decides it’s safer to get her out of the way?


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Pastry chef Tess Crawford thought moving from Chicago to quiet Silver Springs, Arizona would simplify her life. That was before she found the body of a woman with whom she had traded heated words the previous night, left her fingerprints on the murder weapon, and came under attack for trying to clear her name. When her cheating ex-fiance shows up, intent on convincing her Pastry chef Tess Crawford thought moving from Chicago to quiet Silver Springs, Arizona would simplify her life. That was before she found the body of a woman with whom she had traded heated words the previous night, left her fingerprints on the murder weapon, and came under attack for trying to clear her name. When her cheating ex-fiance shows up, intent on convincing her to come back to work for him, Tess—armed with an extra batch of éclairs—decides to take control and solve the mystery herself, with the help of friends and frenemies alike. But will that be enough to save her when she gets too close and the killer decides it’s safer to get her out of the way?

30 review for Brownies & Betrayal

  1. 4 out of 5

    Diane ~Firefly~

    Good start to the series. I liked the characters, but there are some issues. What I enjoyed: * The characters. Tess and Honey are great BFFs. Dahlia was adorable. The guys were likeable. * Good mystery * Recipes sound amazing What could be better: * I hate love triangles * Some things were a bit too convenient. (view spoiler)[Tess just happens to have a friend who can and will hack for her. A photo of Tad and Dahlia leads her to question parentage even though many have seen them together for 6 years. Good start to the series. I liked the characters, but there are some issues. What I enjoyed: * The characters. Tess and Honey are great BFFs. Dahlia was adorable. The guys were likeable. * Good mystery * Recipes sound amazing What could be better: * I hate love triangles * Some things were a bit too convenient. (view spoiler)[Tess just happens to have a friend who can and will hack for her. A photo of Tad and Dahlia leads her to question parentage even though many have seen them together for 6 years. (hide spoiler)]

  2. 5 out of 5

    Grandma Mush

    A quick pleasant read. The ex fiancée was a bit too cloying for my taste. The new boyfriend too silly about it all. I guessed at the baby’s genetic situation correctly a while before it was revealed but only one half of it. So there was a surprise for me at least. Nor did I guess the murderer. Wouldn’t mind some brownies though.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Deborah Black

    An easy read. Decent story line. An easy read. Decent story line. I was frustrated by some spelling, grammatical and even a plot error. All in all, it's worth reading when you want something lighter to read.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Shelly

    Really good. "Real", as in dialogue both spoken and internal. Some of the mystery too easy to solve but good chase anyway. Enjoyed recipes, real food for real people. Will be following this series...like the romance possibilities!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ppcfransen

    This book was a struggle to get through. It picked up a bit in the last one hundred pages or so, but before that ... Meh. Too much whining about Bronson, her ex-fiancé, who, it seems during the time they were dating was as often a jerk to her as really charming. What does that say about you when you agree to marry someone that is only nice to you some of the time? (And how many hands does that guy have? At some point he is holding a bunch of flowers, her hand and manages to lift a bag of take-ou This book was a struggle to get through. It picked up a bit in the last one hundred pages or so, but before that ... Meh. Too much whining about Bronson, her ex-fiancé, who, it seems during the time they were dating was as often a jerk to her as really charming. What does that say about you when you agree to marry someone that is only nice to you some of the time? (And how many hands does that guy have? At some point he is holding a bunch of flowers, her hand and manages to lift a bag of take-out.) Tess sets out to find out the murderer, because her fingerprints are on the murder weapon and she doesn't want to go down for a crime she did not commit. As if a jury of her peers would not think the evidence against her was a little bit thin. What bothered me was that she just stepped up to people asked them questions and they answered them. Hardly anyone made a fuss. Why did Millie take Tess and Honey up to her hotelroom with her when they said they came to talk to her. She could have also said: "Well, I'm not in the mood to talk to you. Good night." (view spoiler)[Never mind that she left Valerie's jewels on her night stand. She wouldn't leaven her own jewelry out in the open like that. Why do it would jewelry she stole? (hide spoiler)] I'm surprised Analise was not considered more of a suspect, apart from that she probably didn't want to ruin her own wedding. (view spoiler)[If Tad really took out Dahlia twice a week for visits to the park and such. Then Analise probably already had her suspicions. (hide spoiler)] What bothered me in the end (and still does every time I see this cover) is (view spoiler)[ why did Lidia and Valerie decide Valerie should be Dahlia's mother? Valerie doesn't seem to be the motherly type (and that is after she took care of a child for several years.) Couldn't they have spun a different yarn for Lidia's husband where Lidia takes care of the child? It would have made everyone a lot happier. (hide spoiler)]

  6. 4 out of 5

    QNPoohBear

    Tempest "Tess" Crawford has moved back to the quiet town of Silver Springs, Arizona to open her own bakeshop. A week ago she was working at one of the grandest hotels in Chicago and engaged to the hotel owners' grandson. That was before she caught the lying bastard kissing her enemy and left for the place she always enjoyed, her late grandparents' hometown. Tess's first gig is a wedding rehearsal for which she makes brownies. When the maid-of-honor insults Tess's brownies, Tess is incensed. She Tempest "Tess" Crawford has moved back to the quiet town of Silver Springs, Arizona to open her own bakeshop. A week ago she was working at one of the grandest hotels in Chicago and engaged to the hotel owners' grandson. That was before she caught the lying bastard kissing her enemy and left for the place she always enjoyed, her late grandparents' hometown. Tess's first gig is a wedding rehearsal for which she makes brownies. When the maid-of-honor insults Tess's brownies, Tess is incensed. She knows her brownies are better than her cheating rival's. She tries to ignore the hate and focus on the love and making the most special wedding cake for her childhood playmate. Unfortunately everything goes wrong when Tess discovers the bloodied body of the maid-of-honor lying under the table where the cake should go. The detective seems to zero in on Tess as the killer. She hopes he has other suspects but just in case, she decides to investigate anyway, if only to obtain justice for Valerie's sweet, little four-year-old daughter. Tess understands the child's pain all to well, having lost her parents in a train wreck. With her best friend Honey by her side, Tess is sure she can help the police crack the case. This is a really good cozy mystery with amazing sounding recipes. I bookmarked almost all of them so I can add them to my collection. Since I am a chocoholic, most of these recipes appealed to me! I don't think I'll be baking chocolate cheesecake or eclairs but I can handle brownies and Snickers bar cookies! I tried not to review the recipes that carefully so I wouldn't crave chocolate at bedtime. The plot is pretty tight. I did not guess who killed Valerie. The thought flitted across my mind but I dismissed it for the same reasons the police did. Tess's investigation gets a little silly and dangerous at times. I didn't think she really needed to investigate but I'll let that go because that is what makes a cozy mystery cozy. The small town charm is there a bit but Tess is still settling in so I don't get a clear picture of Silver Springs just yet. Quirky locals are nowhere to be found aside from the people Tess knows from childhood or meets at the wedding. None of them are all that likable or quirky. They are a bunch of rich people with some rich people problems. I wasn't super crazy about Tess's rebound fling. It seemed a little sleazy to me even though she didn't let it get past flirting and dinner. I also picked up on a hint of a potential romance for Tess with a paramedic named Jack. The romance bogs the plot down and I had to skim ahead to find out what happened! I would have preferred a little less romance right now as the world building has just begun. A little hint would be better. Tess is a likable character. She is extremely passionate! She loves baking and I really got a sense of how passionate she is from this story. I don't know why she started baking and if that has something to do with how much she loves it. Tess is also passionate in her relationships. I love her friendship with Honey and how it has withstood the test of time. They're always there for each other and support each other. It's very refreshing to read about a positive female friendship. I love Honey's vibrant, energetic personality. She encourages and supports Tess in whatever Tess chooses to do but I think she does sort of egg Tess on to investigate. Honey also seems fond of gossip. The wedding party people are mostly all awful, especially the bridezilla and her so-called best friends. Valerie, the maid-of-honor is a nasty witch. She seems to delight in making other people miserable. I highly doubt someone like her would even eat a brownie so why criticize them? Why even criticize your friend's choice in the first place? I wouldn't mourn her at all if she didn't have a young daughter. Because of Dahlia, Valerie's murder is very sad. Analesa is a bridezilla. Her reaction to her friend's death is very telling. Tad is extremely charming and nice. He'll make a great husband and father but not with Analesa. She's super snippy and even though she defends Tess, she just seems superficial and annoying. Millie, the third roommate and friend, is not likable either. She has her reasons for her feelings towards Val, and they are very valid ones, but her behavior leaves a lot to be desired. Tad's mother is a bit too possessive of her son. She'd do anything to make sure her children are happy. Does that include murder? Jeff, the best man, is a bit secretive and he too has reasons to hate Val. Lidia, Val's older sister, is not a wedding guest but must deal with the aftermath of the murder. I feel so very sorry for her. She not only has to deal with settling her sister's estate but also with a traumatized child. I don't agree with her plans to bring the girl back to Long Beach. If her husband is away all the time and she works from home, can't she stay awhile until Dahlia gets to know her better? Bronson Daniel DeMille the third, Tess's ex-fiance, is a weasel. He's weak willed, obviously, and grovelling for Tess to return to him. He doesn't understand her or her dreams.I do not like him any better than Tess does. She would have made a huge mistake marrying him. Detective Tingey seems fair and not incompetent. He does overlook something that he should have considered but it's something I dismissed as well. Shawn, Ana's younger brother, is a flirt. I didn't like him at first, thinking he was sleazy, but he grew on me. I think he really likes Tess for her own sake as he gets to know her better as an adult. Besides Tess and Honey, the only other really likable characters are minor characters and children. Little Dahlia can't understand what happened to her Mommy. She barely knows her aunt and is confused by all the changes. Tess is incredibly sympathetic to the little girl's feelings. I guessed who her Daddy really is. It is so obvious I don't know why it isn't a well-known secret. Honey's son, Chase, and his family history project adds some humor to the story. He's so into it. I love it! Genetics for a science fair project is pretty sophisticated for a 10-year-old. He isn't your average 10-year-old. I like him. Jack King, a paramedic and wedding guest, gets off on the wrong foot with Tess. The reader doesn't know why until the end. He's devoted to his career and good at it but for some reason, he rubs Tess the wrong way. This book has the added bonus of not containing the grammatically incorrect "alright" and is mercifully free from proofreading errors. I would love to see what Tess bakes up next!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    Brownies and Betrayal by Heather Justesen is a combination of delicious romantic options, baked goods, and a suspenseful mystery. We're introduced to Tess Crawford, a pastry chef who's moved from Chicago to small town Silver Springs after she's caught her fiance cheating on her. She's opening her own bakery and doing refreshments for a wedding when one of the wedding guests gets into a petty argument with her over her brownies. Tess later finds that guest murdered and she becomes a suspect when Brownies and Betrayal by Heather Justesen is a combination of delicious romantic options, baked goods, and a suspenseful mystery. We're introduced to Tess Crawford, a pastry chef who's moved from Chicago to small town Silver Springs after she's caught her fiance cheating on her. She's opening her own bakery and doing refreshments for a wedding when one of the wedding guests gets into a petty argument with her over her brownies. Tess later finds that guest murdered and she becomes a suspect when the police find out about the argument and her fingerprints are found on the murder weapon. In trying to clear her name, Tess finds herself in several dangerous situations as she zeroes in on the killer. The thing I like about Heather Justesen's books is that she writes romance really well. Family by Design had some really great romantic moments that made me sigh, and I was hoping for that with Brownies and Betrayal. Heather does a good job of balancing the mystery with a "love triangle" of sorts, but there's not a lot of romantic resolution, instead there's more of a romantic set-up for the next book (this is the start of a new series from what I gather). The mystery was good, although I called the killer early on, but I liked the twists and turns the story took. The recipes sounded yummy and I'd definitely like to try a few of them. This is a great curl-up-on-your-couch afternoon read. Originally reviewed on http://ldswritermom.blogspot.com

  8. 5 out of 5

    LaDawn Maerin

    High on my list! This cozy mystery writer is high on my list for future collecting. The baker-investigator has good reason to get involved as the police suspect her of the murder. The credibility of both the investigation and her life issues make for a fun read. I intend to get the next book soon.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Marleen

    Brownies and Betrayal is a sweet predictable read, with cooky-cutter characters and a déjà-vu plot. The one outstanding quality that kept me reading was the writing style. Author Heather Justesen did a fine job bringing this light read to life with a very fluid pen. It’s more the content that didn’t captivate me. Maybe if I had been younger and less selective with my reading, I would have enjoyed it more, but I felt like I’ve read this book before, only with other characters. At the center of thi Brownies and Betrayal is a sweet predictable read, with cooky-cutter characters and a déjà-vu plot. The one outstanding quality that kept me reading was the writing style. Author Heather Justesen did a fine job bringing this light read to life with a very fluid pen. It’s more the content that didn’t captivate me. Maybe if I had been younger and less selective with my reading, I would have enjoyed it more, but I felt like I’ve read this book before, only with other characters. At the center of this book, and consequent series, is Tempest Crawford, a pastry chef who's moved from Chicago to small town Silver Springs after she caught her fiance cheating on her. Tess is opting for independence and opening her own bakery. Then while doing the cake and desserts for a wedding, one of the wedding guests gets murdered. The police are looking at Tess because of mild argument she had with the victim. Not being able to stand the scrutiny, or simply out of curiosity (who knows?) Tess and her best friend, Honey, decide to investigate this murder on their own, and consequently getting into all sorts of dangerous situations.

  10. 4 out of 5

    NaDell

    Exciting story (although it doesn't look very exciting from the cover) all about how the character is starting up a bakery and finds herself more than once as a suspect in a police investigation. She goes through the story trying to clear her name and only wants to open her bakery without interference, but it seems no matter what she does, the chaos follows her. Clean, fun, and suspenseful.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Nadishka Aloysius

    I loved the recipes included in the story, and all that FOOD! The best thing was that it was very balanced and the food was complementary to the murder investigation without overpowering the plot. Everything tied in at the end although some conclusions were a bit obvious and convenient. A highly entertaining read!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ariel

    Sweetness! I love a fast-paced cozy mystery; especially one with recipes that I'd love to try. 😉 This was a fun read and I'm looking forward to checking out the rest. Tess is a heroine that I enjoy.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Poon Xin Mei

    Tess is the main character in this story who cheating on her ex fiancé. So she plans to open a bakery. Her first order before she even open the bakery is a wedding cake. When she is preparing and setting up the wedding cake in a hotel, she finds a dead body under her table..... this story is a combination of romance, mystery, baked good... it is very interesting , highly recommend you to read it !!!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Karin Kratina

    Predictable. My Kindle said 50% of the book left when I figured things out. The one thing I got wrong, was not even a strong plot twist. Poor character development, I was not invested in any of them, except perhaps the protagonist, Tess’s friend, Honey. Tess was a bit inane, repeatedly saying, “I’m fine,” for instance, when the cop says: “Looks like you got in the way of her gun.” The response: ““I’m fine,” I said, but even I didn’t believe it, and the detective’s snort was more than enough proo Predictable. My Kindle said 50% of the book left when I figured things out. The one thing I got wrong, was not even a strong plot twist. Poor character development, I was not invested in any of them, except perhaps the protagonist, Tess’s friend, Honey. Tess was a bit inane, repeatedly saying, “I’m fine,” for instance, when the cop says: “Looks like you got in the way of her gun.” The response: ““I’m fine,” I said, but even I didn’t believe it, and the detective’s snort was more than enough proof that he didn’t either. Still, I tried to make light of the pain. “It grazed me. I’ll live.” He looked at it again and gave me a withering look.” Ugh. Writing was basic and uninspired. And for some reason, her use of the word “alacrity,” which she did more than once, bothered me: “The guys both agreed with alacrity.” I agree with another reviewer about the stalker ex-boyfriend who she kept lettin trail her around, even offered to cook him dinner. Gees. That said, I did finish the book, so it wasn’t a total loss. In fact, I might read this author again as I get ready for bed. I’m not that invested, so can put it down anytime.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Elenariel

    Just a cozy read, the mistery isn't really there: a lot of elements and developments are (very) predictable (view spoiler)[Dhalia's dad identity is clear from the first interaction, same for the identity of the one who sprayed the window, and his job/career related motive rather then love. And you know word for word what is going to happen during the final sequence, since Tess left Honey home, to go alone. (hide spoiler)] The killer's identity is a bit of a surprise, but it's guessable as soon a Just a cozy read, the mistery isn't really there: a lot of elements and developments are (very) predictable (view spoiler)[Dhalia's dad identity is clear from the first interaction, same for the identity of the one who sprayed the window, and his job/career related motive rather then love. And you know word for word what is going to happen during the final sequence, since Tess left Honey home, to go alone. (hide spoiler)] The killer's identity is a bit of a surprise, but it's guessable as soon as a certain information is revealed. The heroine is not that likable: I wanted to hit her myself a few times! Some of her actions resulted as plain stupid rather then guided by curiosity or a sense of justice. The romantic plot is barely there, which I don't mind, but I was a bit let down by the lack of feelings while Tess cooks. Free from Amazon (Jan 05, 2019)

  16. 5 out of 5

    Carlin

    A lovely first book in a series I'm sure I will enjoy. Tess is a feisty young woman who fled her engagement in Chicago to open a bakery in Silver Springs, Arizona. When she finds the body of a bridesmaid under a table where she was arranging brownies for the rehearsal dinner, she decides she must find the killer to take suspicion off of her (she had argued with the victim earlier). I liked Tess and the other characters, the small town setting, the hint of romance, and the mystery itself. I didn' A lovely first book in a series I'm sure I will enjoy. Tess is a feisty young woman who fled her engagement in Chicago to open a bakery in Silver Springs, Arizona. When she finds the body of a bridesmaid under a table where she was arranging brownies for the rehearsal dinner, she decides she must find the killer to take suspicion off of her (she had argued with the victim earlier). I liked Tess and the other characters, the small town setting, the hint of romance, and the mystery itself. I didn't suspect the murderer until late in the story. As is typical in cozy mysteries, the heroine puts herself at risk so many times you want to tell at herself at risk so many times you want to yell at her while still admiring her grit and determination. I would definitely read more in this series.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Anastasia

    Brownies and Betrayal by Heather Justesen is the first book in the Sweet Bites mystery series. Dessert chef Tess Crawford moves back to her home town of Silver Springs after catching her fiance cheating and looks at opening up a dessert bakery. Her first job is a wedding and she finds the body of one of the bridesmaids during the preparations. An enjoyable book with a likeable feisty main character. The recipes sound delicious. A nice start and I'm looking forward to reading more of the series.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Simona

    It was a great read for a sunny day. Fluffy, cute and sometimes funny. Also I liked that it included some receipts for desserts, that were mentioned in the book, I think I'll try some of them one day.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jennie Fortna

    ARC for honest review with no compensation Brownies and Betrayal is book 1 in the Sweet Bites Mystery series about a pastry chef, cheating fiancé, petty arguments, murder and danger all rolled into this sweet mystery book. Nice quick read to start your day with a new series!!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Shelly Reddinger

    Tess is working hard to make a better life for herself. She's had a rough go of things lately but is working to turn things around. She started off by making her fiance her ex-fiance, is starting a business, and she moved into her Grandma's old apartment/restaurant she owned before passing. Tess is an amazing baker and is working on converted her Grandma's old restaurant into a bakery. Since she moved out of the big city she thought life would be calmer and a little simpler. Little did she know Tess is working hard to make a better life for herself. She's had a rough go of things lately but is working to turn things around. She started off by making her fiance her ex-fiance, is starting a business, and she moved into her Grandma's old apartment/restaurant she owned before passing. Tess is an amazing baker and is working on converted her Grandma's old restaurant into a bakery. Since she moved out of the big city she thought life would be calmer and a little simpler. Little did she know she would find a dead body at her first wedding she made a cake for. Tess is a suspect since she found the body and they don't have many leads. Tess and her best friend Honey decide to change that and start investigating. Things don't go as planned for Tess and she ends up being targeted by the killer for snooping around. If that isn't bad enough her ex-fiance comes to town and starts messing everything up. You need to read this book to find out what happens with Tess's ex-fiance, if she can figure out who the killer is, and if she even makes it out of the whole ordeal alive to open her bakery. This is a nice paced read that will keep you interested and trying to figure out who the killer is. I recommend reading this book if you enjoy a nice a good book with humor, mystery, and recipes for baked goods!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Paula Shreckhise

    Brownies and Betrayal by Heather Justesen is a clean cozy mystery that is the first of a series. Tess is running back to her hometown from Chicago to make a fresh start with her own bake shop. It seems her ex-fiancé cheated on her. While prepping the cake for a wedding in the small town of Silver Springs, Arizona, she discovers a body under the table. She and a whole lot of other people become suspects. It seemed nobody really liked, Maid of Honor Valerie, the victim. Tess and her best friend Hon Brownies and Betrayal by Heather Justesen is a clean cozy mystery that is the first of a series. Tess is running back to her hometown from Chicago to make a fresh start with her own bake shop. It seems her ex-fiancé cheated on her. While prepping the cake for a wedding in the small town of Silver Springs, Arizona, she discovers a body under the table. She and a whole lot of other people become suspects. It seemed nobody really liked, Maid of Honor Valerie, the victim. Tess and her best friend Honey investigate in order to clear Tess and try to surmise who the real killer is. Tess can’t seem to keep out of trouble and her ex shows up to try to win her back. But what is his real motive? This was a very well written, clean cozy. Very interesting with great dialogue. The friendship between Tess and Honey is natural and familiar. All the characters seem genuine. Tess comes across as fiesty and well able to rake care of herself — after she figures out a few things including why her ex wants her back! Great quick read, it kept me guessing. *I purchased this ebook from Amazon. I was under no obligation to post a review. All opinions are my own.*

  22. 4 out of 5

    Pam

    I think this is a terrific start to a new series! This story has murder, mystery & romance all in one quick paced, witty package. Tess caught her fiancé kissing another woman, broke off the engagement & went to visit her hometown. While she was there, her best friend convinced her to transform the restaurant her grandmother left her into a high end bakery. Tess decided it was time to come home. Soon, she’s involved with renovations, flirting with the brother of one of her former classmates, tryi I think this is a terrific start to a new series! This story has murder, mystery & romance all in one quick paced, witty package. Tess caught her fiancé kissing another woman, broke off the engagement & went to visit her hometown. While she was there, her best friend convinced her to transform the restaurant her grandmother left her into a high end bakery. Tess decided it was time to come home. Soon, she’s involved with renovations, flirting with the brother of one of her former classmates, trying to solve a murder & having feelings for the paramedic that keeps having to treat her. Things get even more crazy when her former fiancé comes to town to try to get her back to Chicago. What’s Tess going to do? The plot to this story was fast paced & very involved. There were a lot of pieces but they fit together nicely. The love interests between Tess, Jack & Shawn are just getting started & I can’t wait to see how it develops & which one she decides she should be with. There’s a lot of action & twists & turns to keep the reader fully involved in the story. I really enjoyed the ratio of romance & mystery in this story & can’t wait for more!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Maria Thomas

    This is a clean, cozy mystery. There is blood involved in the murder and attempted murder but it isn't too graphic. There is an element of romance but it isn't the main focus of the story so how the romance ends up isn't that surprising. Looks like it may be an ongoing thing in the series. The mystery itself has a few red herrings and while I figured out parts of the mystery well before the reveal I did not guess the murderer correctly. I was convinced early on that it was one character and in t This is a clean, cozy mystery. There is blood involved in the murder and attempted murder but it isn't too graphic. There is an element of romance but it isn't the main focus of the story so how the romance ends up isn't that surprising. Looks like it may be an ongoing thing in the series. The mystery itself has a few red herrings and while I figured out parts of the mystery well before the reveal I did not guess the murderer correctly. I was convinced early on that it was one character and in the end it wasn't even a thing. The characters are well written. The reader likes who they are supposed to like, dislikes those who are unlikable and so forth. I confess I don't understand people who would continue to investigate a murder even though they are in danger because of it but obviously there are people in the world who are willing to do so or we'd have no detectives/cops etc.... I suppose a lay person can have that desire as well. Just not me. The recipes sound great and tempting. I think we'll be having crepes tomorrow.... Sex: some kisses Language: no Violence: yes. Murder, a physical attack and attempted murder

  24. 5 out of 5

    Valorie

    Tess returns home to Silver Springs, Arizona after catching her fiance kissing another employee. Leaving Chicago was haste but reopening her grandmother's restaurant as a bakery is her plan. However, her plans have a hiccup when she finds a dead body under the table holding the first wedding cake she has been hired to make. To make things worse, she and victim had "words" well mostly the victim toward her, the day prior. Now she feels it necessary to help investigate and clear her name. To make Tess returns home to Silver Springs, Arizona after catching her fiance kissing another employee. Leaving Chicago was haste but reopening her grandmother's restaurant as a bakery is her plan. However, her plans have a hiccup when she finds a dead body under the table holding the first wedding cake she has been hired to make. To make things worse, she and victim had "words" well mostly the victim toward her, the day prior. Now she feels it necessary to help investigate and clear her name. To make things worse her ex-fiance, Bronson, shows up trying to get her back. Shaun, the brother of the bride, and Tess hit it off which drives Bronson crazy. Tess finds herself being attacked, her not yet open bakery vandalized, all while trying to get the bakery ready to open and figure out who killed Valerie. Along the way she finds out why Bronson is really there and there is a parentage shocker. This is a quick, fun, who did it read. This is the first book in a series but can easily stand alone.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Wendy

    This was a nice, sweet little cozy mystery. Tess leaves Chicago when she finds her soon to be husband kissing another woman at the hotel where they both work. Bronson is the manager and she is the head pastry chef. She leaves to go to AZ to the place her Grandma left her when she passed away. With the encouragement of her best friend Honey she decides to open a bakery. Before the business is even open she gets a job for a wedding. At the rehearsal dinner she is insulted by the maid of honor and This was a nice, sweet little cozy mystery. Tess leaves Chicago when she finds her soon to be husband kissing another woman at the hotel where they both work. Bronson is the manager and she is the head pastry chef. She leaves to go to AZ to the place her Grandma left her when she passed away. With the encouragement of her best friend Honey she decides to open a bakery. Before the business is even open she gets a job for a wedding. At the rehearsal dinner she is insulted by the maid of honor and they have a few words. The next day as she is setting up for the wedding she finds the woman dead under her table. She quickly becomes the main suspect so she and Honey decide to solve the murder themselves. This is a light, easy read if you just want a fun story. Yes its typical of a cozy mystery in that the characters find it way to easy to get clues and are one step ahead of the police. It was an enjoyable read and I would recommend it.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Cynthia A. Call

    Lots of Betrayal and a Good Brownie Recipe! Tess is talented baker who has recently left Chicago, her job, and her fiance, Bronson, behind. She has moved into her deceased grandmother's restaurant/upstairs apartment, and is planning to open a bakery downstairs and live upstairs. She is almost sure she'll stay. She has spent many summers with grandson and New a lot of people there. The story opens as an old friend wanted her to make her wedding cake and such. While passing out brownies she made co Lots of Betrayal and a Good Brownie Recipe! Tess is talented baker who has recently left Chicago, her job, and her fiance, Bronson, behind. She has moved into her deceased grandmother's restaurant/upstairs apartment, and is planning to open a bakery downstairs and live upstairs. She is almost sure she'll stay. She has spent many summers with grandson and New a lot of people there. The story opens as an old friend wanted her to make her wedding cake and such. While passing out brownies she made contact with many old friends. It has been a while, but they remembered each other. One of the girls, Valerie made some smartie comments about her brownies. The next day when she came back to set up the cake, Tess notices things were out of place, missing napkin, brownie on the floor. She followed the clues and found Valerie dead on the floor! This was a good book. Some laugh out loud moments, some good moments and sad moments. I really enjoyed the recipes too.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kristin

    There seem way too many "mystery-and-recipes" series that come advertised for me. It seems such a particularly specific genre. And most of them, I ignore. This must have been one of the first ones to attract me (probably because I got it for free), but I was pleasantly surprised by how enjoyable a book it was! The characters seemed real. Our investigating baker had a legitimate reason for being interested in the mystery, so it wasn't too much of a stretch to imagine her interest (though, like all There seem way too many "mystery-and-recipes" series that come advertised for me. It seems such a particularly specific genre. And most of them, I ignore. This must have been one of the first ones to attract me (probably because I got it for free), but I was pleasantly surprised by how enjoyable a book it was! The characters seemed real. Our investigating baker had a legitimate reason for being interested in the mystery, so it wasn't too much of a stretch to imagine her interest (though, like all amateur-investigator-sleuthing-a-murder, there are times when they do silly things instead of cooperating with the police). And I also found myself wanting to know more about this world, this town, and this baker. I want to know what happens with her relationships (with her best friend, with people she used to know, and romantic relationships). So, this has a chance of being a series I started with a free book and go on to buy more, because this was a very promising start

  28. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    New series and author for me. Tess' best friend talks her in to moving back to Silver Springs, Arizona from Chicago to open up her own bakery after she catches her fiance cheating on her. Everything is going great, she has found a location for her bakery, the renovations are moving along until she finds the body of a woman that she had met the night before and had a disagreement with her. As if this wasn't enough her ex-fiance shows up in town to convince her to come back to Chicago and it doesn' New series and author for me. Tess' best friend talks her in to moving back to Silver Springs, Arizona from Chicago to open up her own bakery after she catches her fiance cheating on her. Everything is going great, she has found a location for her bakery, the renovations are moving along until she finds the body of a woman that she had met the night before and had a disagreement with her. As if this wasn't enough her ex-fiance shows up in town to convince her to come back to Chicago and it doesn't help that she is a suspect. With the police focusing on her because of course her fingerprints were on the weapon, Tess decides to look into the murder before she finds all her dreams disappear. There are several suspects because the victim was not well liked which leads to a great cozy and interesting characters. Looking forward to the next book in the series.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Shirley

    Pastry chef Tess moves from Chicago to a small town to set up her own bakery after catching her fiance cheating on her. While setting up for a big wedding event, she has words with a snobbish bridesmaid who criticizes Tess's choice of pastries. The bridesmaid later turns up dead under the table holding the wedding cake and Tess is suspect. Upon further inspection, Tess learns the dead woman left behind not only a daughter, but a lot of people who didn't like her. Tess and her BFF Honey set out t Pastry chef Tess moves from Chicago to a small town to set up her own bakery after catching her fiance cheating on her. While setting up for a big wedding event, she has words with a snobbish bridesmaid who criticizes Tess's choice of pastries. The bridesmaid later turns up dead under the table holding the wedding cake and Tess is suspect. Upon further inspection, Tess learns the dead woman left behind not only a daughter, but a lot of people who didn't like her. Tess and her BFF Honey set out to find who would want to leave the little girl without a mother. Good clean read. Great combination of interesting characters, good plot and a hit of romance. Recipes included sound yummy. Look forward to reading the next book.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    This is the first in the series and the first time reading this author. The main character is Tess and she leaves the big city and a cheating ex fiance to re-open her late grandmother diner. She plan to open it as a bakery . Her first order before she even is open is for a wedding cake at he local hotel. As she sets up the wedding cake she finds a dead body under the table. The victim is disliked by almost everyone so the suspect list is endless and she is on it with everyone else. While she tri This is the first in the series and the first time reading this author. The main character is Tess and she leaves the big city and a cheating ex fiance to re-open her late grandmother diner. She plan to open it as a bakery . Her first order before she even is open is for a wedding cake at he local hotel. As she sets up the wedding cake she finds a dead body under the table. The victim is disliked by almost everyone so the suspect list is endless and she is on it with everyone else. While she tries to figure out who did it she deals we attacks on herself and her ex fiance who shows up to bring her back to his hotel. It is funny, sad, scary and mostly a page turner that keeps you guessing.

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