When the Cookie Crumbles
by Virginia Lowell
Mass Market Paperback:
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Released: August 7, 2012
Source: Review copy from the publisher.
Book Description from Back Cover:
Olivia Greyson is the proud owner of The Gingerbread House--a quaint shop that specializes in all things cookie--and her best friend, Maddie, is her sidekick, baking up scrumptious treats.
Tensions are running high as Chatterley Heights' 250th birthday celebration approaches, and Olivia and Maddie are working feverishly to finish a gingerbread house modeled after the famous Chatterley Mansion. When Paine Chatterley, presumed to be dead, shows up to claim his father's house, the town gossips are driven into a tizzy. And when he refuses to allow visitors to tour the mansion during the celebration, all the preparations seem for naught.
Then Paine is found lifeless in the bathtub, his wife hysterical and their precious heirlooms destroyed. The hidden lives of the prestigious Chatterley family members begin to surface, and Olivia must unravel their dark past. As it turns out, the town's history isn't all that sweet...
When the Cookie Crumbles is a cozy mystery that left me craving gingerbread. It's the third novel in the series, but you don't need to read the previous novels to understand this one, and this one didn't spoil the previous mysteries.
I enjoyed the characters in this cozy. There was a good variety of personality types, and the characters acted in realistic ways to the different situations. Olivia was a sensible gal who handled people well and was likable. The details about cookie decorating and cookie cutters were described well enough to give a feel for what went into the job and and for the reader see the main character's passion for them but without so much detail that it slowed the story.
The suspense was created by relationship tensions and from wondering whodunit. The mystery was interesting and kept me reading to see what the next clue would be. I did finally settle on whodunit shortly before the big reveal, but I couldn't figure out the motive and I'm still not sure I follow whodunit's reasoning (though I don't think whodunit's reasoning was supposed to be logic).
There was a minor amount of explicit bad language. There were no sex scenes (though plenty of past affairs were mentioned). Overall, I'd recommend this enjoyable mystery.
If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.
I'll post a link to an excerpt when it becomes available.