Coconut Drop Dead by Olivia MatthewsCoconut Drop Dead by Olivia Matthews
Narrator: Janina Edwards
Series: Spice Isle Bakery Mysteries #3
Published by Dreamscape Media on December 26, 2023
Source: NetGalley
Genres: Cozy Mystery
Length: 7 hrs 31 mins
Pages: 288
Format: Audiobook
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Brooklyn’s annual Caribbean American Heritage Festival is finally here, and Spice Isle Bakery is thrilled to be one of the event’s food vendors. After all, the Murrays have been attending the festival for years. Co-owner Lyndsay Murray hopes their West Indian pastries and finger foods draw people back to the bakery in Little Caribbean. She’s looking forward to having fun, connecting with customers, and celebrating with her family.

But the day's festivities are cut short when Camille, lead singer of an up-and-coming reggae band, dies. The police think it may be a tragic accident. But Lyndsay’s cousin Manny was close to Camille, and he believes someone cut her life short. Now Manny needs Lyndsay’s help to make sure a killer faces the music.

Coconut Drop Dead is the third in the series. I’ve read them all in order, which I think gives a fuller picture of Lyndsay, her family, and their community. I do think this would work as a stand alone though, and to be honest it might be the best so far.

Lyndsay Murray and her family are busy with the Caribbean American Heritage Festival when Camille Abbey falls to her death down a flight of stairs. Camille is the lead singer of DratonFlyZ an up-and-coming reggae band and seemed like an honestly nice woman. Lyndsay’s cousin, Manny, certainly thought so. He is devastated by Camille’s death and sure it was murder, so Lyndsay and the rest of the family decide to look into it.

Lyndsay is a great main character and is becoming more confident as the series continues. I like how the author incorporates the food and culture of the West Indies. Their heritage is important to the people in Little Caribbean. I also enjoyed how close Lyndsey and her family are. They make important decisions as a group and are supportive and always willing to help in any way they can. Her grandmother is a hoot. She says what she’s thinking and is the best “actress” of the lot. I also love that the bakery regulars are always willing to add their two cents.

The mystery was put together well. We had several suspects, none of whom are Lyndsay’s family members, with plenty of clues and red herrings. The whodunnit was not surprising, but sometimes the clues do just point in the right direction.

Overall, it was a fun, cozy mystery. And all the food sounds so delicious! We don’t really have authentic Caribbean restaurants/bakeries locally, so I may have to try a couple of the included recipes. I listened to the audio version and the narrator did a wonderful job. I can’t tell if the accents sounded authentic but they worked for me. She did a good job differentiating the characters and playing up the humor when appropriate.

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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