Monday, February 27, 2017

Book Review & #Giveaway ~ Kneaded to Death (A Bread Shop Mystery, Book 1) by Winnie Archer #CozyMystery

Kneaded To Death by Winnie Archer


Kneaded to Death 
A Bread Shop Mystery, Book 1 
Cozy Mystery 
February 28, 2017
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages 
ISBN-13: 978-1496707727 

About the Book:
Everyone swears by Yeast of Eden, the Mexican bread shop in town. But tonight, the only thing on the menu is la muerte . . . Struggling photographer Ivy Culpepper has lots of soul-searching to do since returning to seaside Santa Sofia, California. That is, until the thirty-six-year-old enters a bread making class at Yeast of Eden. Whether it’s the aroma of fresh conchas in the oven, or her instant connection with owner Olaya Solis, Ivy just knows the missing ingredients in her life are hidden among the secrets of Olaya’s bakery . . . But Ivy’s spirits crumble when a missing classmate is suddenly discovered dead in her car. Even more devastating, the prime suspect is Olaya Solis herself. Doubting the woman could commit such a crime, Ivy embarks on a murder investigation of her own to prove her innocence and seize the real killer. As she follows a deadly trail of crumbs around town, Ivy must trust her gut like never before—or someone else could be toast!
My Review:

Ivy Culpepper is back home in Santa Sofia, California after living in Texas.  Her return comes on the heels of a tragedy and she struggles to make sense of the turn of events.  Ivy, while trying to make sense of things, finds herself on the doorstop of Yeast of Eden and becomes involved in bread making classes.  During one class, a member of the group is found dead in her car while a fight brews in the street near by.  Does one event have anything to do with the other?  When the local police names the owner of Yeast of Eden and her two sisters as suspects, Ivy knows it's not true and finds herself on a quest to clear their names.  The deeper Ivy gets involved the more secrets come out about the residents of her sleepy little town.

The author did an excellent job keeping the murderer(s) under wraps.  She cleverly brought in many people that it could be, some more prominent than others, and slid the revelation in all wrapped up with a bow.  Looking back, there are recognizable yet subtle clues and hints.

The character development and world building was done well.  We get back story as necessary but most of the book focuses on the past six months to the present.  The dialogue is conversational and characters are likable.  Ivy is strong yet emotional since the tragedy.  She needs an outlet for her grief and finds it with baking classes at Yeast of Eden.  She can focus on something else, she's in good company, and making bread is fun.  The secondary characters are unique and bring their own style to Kneaded to Death.

The pacing of the story, however, is rather slow for about half of the story.  It took me much longer to read the book than it should have.  I just didn't get engaged in the story right away.  I was able to put the book down and walk away without really feeling a pull to come back and read more.  The last half of the book was much better in terms of pacing, interest, and engagement.  The solution to the mystery was satisfying, albeit heart wrenching at one point.

Review Copy Compliments of author/publisher - I reviewed voluntarily.

My Rating:

Meet the Author:

The indefatigable Winnie Archer is a middle school teacher by day, and a writer by night. Born in a beach town in California, she now lives in an inspiring century old house in North Texas and loves being surrounded by real-life history. She fantasizes about spending summers writing in quaint, cozy locales, has a love/hate relationship with both yoga and chocolate, adores pumpkin spice lattes, is devoted to her five kids and husband, and can’t believe she’s lucky enough to be living the life of her dreams.

Visit Winnie online:

Winnie Archer is the pseudonym for national bestselling author Melissa Bourbon. Learn more at

Twitter @MelissaBourbon

Purchase Links:



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Becky Richardson said...

Love the cover. How did it come about?

ceblain said...

The story sounds great. I will definitely put this book in my list to order soon.

Celia Fowler said...

This book has definitely caught my attention -- it sounds like a great read ~

Sapphyria said...

I appreciate all of you stopping by today!

Dianne Casey said...

I really enjoyed the excerpt of "Kneaded to Death". This is a new author to me and I am definitely adding to my TBR list.

Carol Schmoker said...

On my TBR list

Sapphyria said...

So glad you stopped by, Dianne and Carol! Hope you enjoy the book!