Saturday 10 February 2024

Book ~ "Coffee, Cream Pies, and Crimes" (2023) Harper Lin

From Goodreads ~ Fran's dream of winning the top prize of ten thousand dollars as a contestant on a new TV baking show is quickly shattered when one of the famous judges, Jeremy Johnson, is brutally stabbed in the middle of filming.

As Fran investigates, she uncovers a web of deceit, jealousy and betrayal among the contestants and judges. With tensions high and suspicions swirling, Fran realizes that the murderer could be someone she knows all too well. Can she find the culprit before they strike again? Or will she become the next victim in this deadly game of cooking and killing in Boston?

Francesca is in her mid-thirties and worked in New York for many years in PR.  She moved back home to run the family Italian café in a small town in Massachusetts when her mother passed away a year ago.

Fran is a big fan of baking and cooking competition TV shows. She is surprised when Matt, her boyfriend, enters her into one and she is accepted as one of five contestants. The filming is in Boston and Fran invites Matt along. The hours are long and Matt fills his time hanging out with a friend. There are two judges and the nastier one is found stabbed in his dressing room, which shuts down production maybe for good, as the police investigate.

This is the eleventh in the Cape Bay Cafe Mystery Series (I've read them all) ... it works as a stand alone (you don't have to read the others to know what's going on). It is written in first person perspective in Fran's voice. Matt was a jerk ... Fran didn't have a lot of free time and when she did, he already had made plans with his friend and she wasn't invited along. Considering it was Fran who found the body, you'd think he would be more concerned about her safety and want to spend time with her. The "whodunnit" and ending came together quickly. It was a quick light read. There are recipes at the end.

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