May 2013, 293 pages, Ebook, Personal Copy
Themes: starting a bakery, murder, magic, were creatures, understanding, kindred spirits, entertaining family members, scrummy sounding baked goods,
Content: mild romance, some tension and suspense, lots of humour
Summary from J D Shaw's website
Vivienne Finch is a woman of many talents. A skilled baker; She is set to open her new business, Sweet Dreams Bakery. A successful diplomat; Managing to dodge over a dozen attempts by her mother to marry off her ‘on the wrong side of 35′ daughter. Hereditary witch; She’s gifted with magic but murder and mayhem follow along all too often. When the Mayor’s wife is found stabbed to death in the dumpster outside her business the day of the ribbon cutting, a recipe for disaster soon takes shape. With a dash of double dealings, a pinch of small town politics, and a sprinkle of spells from a rare magical journal that only she and the handsome town’s deputy can read, she will face the fire in more ways than one. Add to the mix one cunning killer that would like nothing better than to see the business go up in flames and she along with it.
This is my first cozy mystery read and I love it! Any book with a protagonist opening a food shop/cafe is high on my must read pile at the moment, and that's how I stumbled across this gem of a read and a whole new genre of books to enjoy. I love how it takes time for the magical part of Vivianne's life to kick into action because I enjoyed all the details of her trying to open her bakery. I like how there are twists to the mystery part of the book but they aren't too complex for my brain fogged self to decipher, how the scary parts are intensd but don't last overly long, how hilarious Vivianne's family and friends are, how understanding her new partner is about everything.
This is such a perfect read for me that I'm grinning away as I type this review. I'm sad that for now (at the time I read the book, not at the time of posting the review) there are only 2 books in this series, but hopefully there will be more! I feel I have to point out I was genuinely surprised that this was self-published as the quality and strength of writing is high.
Find out more on J. D.'s website.
For a fun baking read check out the first baking based book I read, Meet Me At The Cupcake Cafe by Jenny Colgan (Fiction, 10E/10E)