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Murder Most Sweet by Laura Jensen Walker

Title: Murder Most Sweet (A Bookish Baker Mystery #1)

Author: Laura Jensen Walker

Published on: 8th September 2020

Genre: Cozy Mystery

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Rating: 5 out of 5.

Murder Most Sweet is the first book in A Bookish Baker Mystery series.

Baker and author Teddie St. John lives in Lake Potawatomi, Wisconsin. A breast cancer survivor, Teddie (or Ted) decided to leave her government job and start writing novels soon after the surgery and recovery from cancer.

Tavish Bentley, a handsome and happening bestselling author arrives at Lake Potawatomi for a book signing event at Teddie’s friend Char’s bookstore. A chemo-induced pre-menopausal hot flush leaves Teddie with a wet shirt. Embarrassed, Teddie rushes home for a quick change and on her way back to the store, stumbles upon the dead body of Tavish’s ex-fiance.

Tavish and Teddie go out for dinner and they are confronted by Tavish’s stalker Annabelle at the restaurant. A couple of days later, the people of Lake Potawatomi wake up to another murder – another woman strangled with one of Teddie’s scarves.

What an amazing, quirky start to a new series. I absolutely enjoyed every bit of this story. I love quirky stories and equally quirky characters. Teddie is sweet, weird and quirky – in brief, just the type of character I would love to see in a cozy mystery.

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Teddie is a breast cancer survivor and throughout the story, she takes the loss sportively. Even when a local gossip monger makes snide remarks on ‘milk’, Teddie gives it back sarcastically. The gossip monger has a tail -between-the-legs kinda reaction to Teddie’s sarcastic reply. 😀 I really liked Teddie’s I-don’t-give-a-damn attitude.

The mystery keeps you hooked on to the story. What is it with the murderer’s obsession with Teddie’s scarves? First, Tavish’s ex-fiance drops dead. Then, Annabelle threatens Teddie. Uff! The media is having a field day playing “who’s the killer” – Tavish or Teddie?

The motive behind the murders seems to be jealousy and revenge. But that doesn’t explain why Teddie’s scarves are used to strangle the victims. Apart from Teddie and Tavish, the other characters in the story include Brady (the local sheriff), Jim, Claire (Teddie’s mum), Melanie (Tavish’s assistant), Char and Sharon. From sneaking out in the dark to go on a date (Teddie and Tavish) to amateur sleuthing, the three musketeers (Char, Sharon and Teddie) seem like a fun group to hang out with. No cozy mystery is complete without a fur-ball. Meet Gracie, the sweet little bundle of joy.

Red herrings are plenty and sure to take the detective in you on a wrong path. The pacing is perfect and the character development is marvelous. We also have a little bit of romance – Tavish and Teddie, no surprises here. 😀

As an icing on cake, we have loads of delicious mouth-watering baked goodies mentioned throughout the story . Oh, don’t get me started on the recipes at the end of the book. I cannot wait to try them all. You are all invited for a tasting session, thank you very much!

The ending was surprising. The identity of the killer was a little shocker and there’s a little bit of action sequence as the story ends. Unlike a few first-in-the-series I have read, Murder Most Sweet is perfectly paced, has excellent character introduction and development and a murder mystery to keep you glued to the book until the end. I cannot wait to read the next book in this series.

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