Hard Dough Homocide by Olivia MatthewsHard Dough Homocide by Olivia Matthews
Series: Spice Isle Bakery Mysteries #2
Published by St. Martin's Press on May 23, 2023
Source: NetGalley
Genres: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 304
Format: eARC
Purchase at Bookshop.org
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Someone in Brooklyn’s Little Caribbean neighborhood has an appetite for murder in Olivia Matthews' Hard Dough Homicide .

Spice Isle Bakery owner Lyndsay Murray is always looking for new ways to grow her family’s business. But she already regrets agreeing to host the retirement dinner for local high school principal Emily Smith. The tyrant used to be her mother's boss and they did not get along. Six guests arrive for the celebration, but only five survive. Emily starts convulsing―right after eating the curry chicken―and dies soon after. It’s not long before the police are knocking on Spice Isle’s door, bringing the Murray family back into the heart of another murder investigation―driving away customers in the process. Lyndsay can't help but wonder if this is the end of the bakery, even though it's just begun. She must put aside her reservations about investigating another crime, because the Murrays refuse to go down without a fight.

Hard Dough Homocied picks up where the first in the series left off, with the Murray family busy running their family bakery. They’ve been asked to cater a local high school principal’s retirement party, a woman Lyndsay’s mom, Della, dislikes. And of course, when the woman dies in the bakery, Della becomes the chief suspect in the murder investigation. Lyndsay decides she has to investigate to clear her mom’s name and save the business – being connected with two murders just months apart is definitely not good for customer retention.

I can’t tell if the cops are actually incompetent or not, since we only see things thru Lyndsay’s eyes. There are several suspects and at least from Lyndsay’s point of view, the cops aren’t investigating them all as well as they should. We’ve got a few clues that definitely point to people aside from Della.

Lyndsay and her family are very close. They always have each others’ backs. The family even joins in on the quest to solve the mystery. Breaking and entering, gathering gossip, they are (almost) always up for it. I’m not a fan of the potential love interest though.

This is definitely a fun book. The mystery’s fine but the characters are where it shines.

About Olivia Matthews

Olivia Matthews is a pseudonym for Patricia Sargeant.

Patricia Sargeant is the national best-selling, award-winning author of more than 20 novels. Her work has been featured in national publications such as Publishers Weekly, USA Today, Kirkus Reviews, Suspense Magazine, Mystery Scene Magazine, Library Journal and RT Book Reviews. She’s also been interviewed on podcasts including Destination Mystery with Laura Brennan, Conversations LIVE! with Cyrus Webb, Read You Later with Lasheera Lee and Katara’s Café with Katara Johnson.

Patricia has been a keynote speaker and presenter at various events. She’s conducted numerous writing craft workshops for writers groups and book conferences, and offers online fiction writing courses.

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