Lies, Spies, and the Baker’s Surprise by Terry Ambrose

Title: Lies, Spies, and the Baker’s Surprise (A Seaside Cove Bed & Breakfast Mystery #6)

Author: Terry Ambrose

Published on: 17 May 2022

Genre: Cozy Mystery

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Rating: 3 out of 5.

Seaside Cove B&B owner Rick Atwood and Marquetta Weiss’ wedding is just a week away. Rick’s daughter Alex gets in trouble when she overhears one of the guests, Henry, talking to his wife on the phone. Well, the problem is, the women he checked in with, is not his wife – but they booked the room as a married couple.

The next morning, Alex outs Henry at breakfast. This causes a fight between Henry and his girlfriend Tara. Henry also picks up a fight with Alex and when Rick warns him, he backs off. But it doesn’t end there. The breakfast coffee has turned salty and Alex wonders if this was Henry’s idea of revenge. The same day, Henry is forced to move to a different motel. The next morning, he’s found dead in his (new) room.

Rick and Police Chief Adam Cunningham investigate the death, focusing on Tara, who was seen outside the room at the time of the murder. Alex is convinced Tara is innocent and starts investigating. Seaside Cove’s Nancy Drew is on the case and nothing can stop her – not even a nasty man who wouldn’t think twice before hurting her.

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Lies, Spies, and the Baker’s Surprise is the sixth book in Terry Ambrose’s Seaside Cove B&B Mystery series.

I have been following this series from the start. Alex, Rick’s daughter from his previous marriage plays cupid and sets up her father with the B&B’s cook and help Marquetta. The duo’s wedding is just a week away when trouble finds its way to Seaside Cove. A guest who previously stayed at the B&B and was forced to find a room elsewhere following a lover’s tiff is found dead in his hotel room.

Tara, his girlfriend (more like ex since they broke up the previous day), was seen in his room the previous evening. Nobody saw the victim alive after that. The next morning, when the housekeeper was told the room is vacated, she went in and found Henry dead. But Alex is sure Tara is not a killer. She believes McNasty aka Victor Pallett had something to do with the murder.

In the previous books of this series, we saw Alex involving herself in murder cases by doing a spot of amateur sleuthing. Her father, Rick, knows there is no point in asking her not to. She would never listen. But in Spies, Lies, and the Baker’s Surprise, Alex has no idea who she’s against. The man she dislikes – Victor Pallet, wouldn’t think twice before hurting her. After all, no adult of sane mind would purposely say rude things to a eleven-year-old child.

Alex spies in spite of being warned to not involve herself in matters pertaining to Victor. She almost gets caught once. But the second time – phew, she manages to escape with a couple of bruises on her hands and legs (and a bit of bruised ego too). I did not like this new development. Knowing that Victor was nasty, Rick and Marquetta should have been strict with Alex – she almost lost her life because of her snooping. That’s not good, is it?

Though the story began on an interesting note and small accidents that happened around town in the past week had some connection to the murder, it did feel dragged at times. He said, she said, fake alibis and lying suspects, I felt that Rick and Chief Cunningham were going round and round in circles. Beating around the bush is fine, as long as the sleuths find a break in the case. But, in this story, everything seemed like a maze with no end.

Marquetta addresses Alex as Sweetie and Chief Adam Cunningham calls her munchkin. Sounds very sweet, isn’t it? But every sentence with these words – way too sweet for my taste.

In my opinion, this book is not one of the best in the series. I have enjoyed reading all the previous installments but I cannot say the same about this one. Hopefully the next book will be interesting – especially since Alex is working on her ‘new mission’ – Operation Baby Brother. Lordy!


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