Christmas has come early to the beautiful Poconos resort that’s the setting for the American Baking Battle’s holiday special, where chef Courtney Archer is on hand to sample festive fare—and lift the lid off a killer...
Six ambitious bakers are competing for glory and a grand prize, showcasing their most delicious candies, cookies, and desserts. Courtney detects some on-set grinchiness from her coworkers, especially judge Shannon Collins, but she’s hoping the sweet treats will restore everyone’s festive spirits. That Christmas wish swiftly fizzles when assistant director Kinzy Hummel is found strangled—with an apron from Shannon’s new product line...
Shannon insists she’s innocent. Meanwhile, Kinzy had been under pressure from a disgruntled attorney to settle her late grandfather’s estate. But could that be a motive for murder? The show must go on even as Courtney sifts through competitors and crew for likely suspects. But unless she can quickly get to the truth, there’ll be another helping of homicide amid the pinwheel cookies and fruitcakes...
I really enjoy reading cozy mysteries especially ones with such a Christmas vibe as this one has.
A beautiful Poconos resort is the setting for the American Baking Battle’s holiday special. The contestants are excitedly whipping up their best holiday cakes, pies and cookies.
The grouchy baking judge is the prime suspect when an apron from her new baking line is found around the victim's neck. Who could have such an evil intent at Christmas time when the air is sweet with the scent of baked goods? Good plot that kept me guessing.
* I was given a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions expressed are my own.
Courtney Archer is a chef who's still trying to get over finding a couple of dead bodies on her recent forays as a host on the show the American Baking Battle. In between co-hosting their new Christmas show, she's trying to put her own show together, along with her own co-host Shannon Collins. But with Shannon as one of the judges this season, something is definitely off about her. She has fits of rage and sadness, and seems to be gaining weight. When an assistant director all but tells her she's fat, she loses it and has an argument. Then, when a contestant tells her she's playing favorites, she gets into a fight with him. Things are definitely not going right on the set.
When assistant director Kinzy Hummel is found strangled -- with one of Shannon's new Christmas aprons around her neck -- all suspicions point to her. Now some of the staff is overwhelmed, others are reeling, and an unexpected source takes the reins to the show to keep it running smoothly. On top of that, Courtney is dealing with her new relationship with Eric, which seems to have its own groove to find. Can Courtney find her way with their new status, and more importantly, can she keep a killer from finding her?...
This is the third book in the series and I have read all of them. It's just as action-filled as the other two, and just as full of suspects. Not only do you have part of a cast as suspect, you have contestants, a disgruntled attorney, and maybe someone who isn't even on the radar, but is certainly at the resort. With Shannon taking long breaks, and not talking to anyone about what is bothering her, could she really have killed Kinzy in a fit of rage? The sheriff might think so, but he's not telling.
Courtney isn't taking chances. If they're focused on Shannon, they aren't looking at anyone else. But there's a few people on her radar, and she's determined to figure out the truth, even if Eric doesn't want her to. It makes for a very good mystery, and one that keeps you on your toes trying to ferret out a killer along with Courtney. But figuring out who hated Kinzy enough to kill her is a different story. She didn't seem to have a lot of enemies; sure, she could be abrasive, but that's no reason for murder -- or is it?
I do love this series, and while I think Courtney could roll it back a little on confronting people, she does get results, even if those results put her directly in the path of a killer. But it's watching how she gets out of it that's the best part. And when all is said and done and the murderer is revealed, things may not be what they seem, and what you think you know you might not. Food for thought. Highly recommended.
*I received an advance copy from the publisher and NetGalley but this in no way influenced my review.
This book is wildly entertaining. The characters are complex but loveable. The story is very intriguing and I just love a Christmas themed cozy and this one was no exception. The twists and turns are sometimes unexpected and the ending surprised me. I definitely recommend this book.