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Kneaded to Death: 11/13/19
Kneaded to Death by Winnie Archer (aka Melissa Bourbon Ramirez) is the first in the Bread Shop mysteries. Set in fictional Santa Linda, California — a seaside town very similar to real world Santa Cruz — it's the tale of a photographer who helps solve a murder associated with the Yeast of Eden bread shop where she has been taking baking lessons.
This Mexican bread shop, reminds me of the one described in Anna Meriano's middle grade fantasy series, Love Sugar Magic. Here, though, the magic of the bread and of baking is more spiritual, and so far, not paranormal.
Ivy Culpepper has recently returned to her childhood home because of the death of her mother. She's been told it was a tragic accident, a hit and run at the high school where she taught. It's her attempt to deal with lingering grief that draws her to Yeast of Eden the day that another student is found murdered outside after the class.
Through her friendship with the bread shop's owner, Ivy begins to investigate the death. It leads her to a historic street with a terrible neighbors who don't care for their own home but ruthlessly try to block all updates and improvements other homeowners want to make.
Are these terrible neighbors the murder? Or is there something else afoot on this otherwise quiet street?
This first offering was a quick, enjoyable read. The murder was easy enough to solve, but not so easy to make for a boring book.
The second book is Crust No One (2017).