Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Gingerbread Bump-Off-Livia J, Washburn

The Gingerbread Bump-Off

Livia J, Washburn

Obsidian, Nov 1 2011, $14.00

ISBN: 9780451234834

With Christmas a few days away, Phyllis Newsom is busier than usual because her close friend and tenant (in her home) Eve Turner is marrying to a man she met on Facebook. Phyllis hosts the Christmas Eve bridal shower, bakes for the New Year's Eve wedding and has her house featured in the annual Christmas Jingle Bell Tour of Homes. Because she can’t say no to her buddy, she and her only male friend Sam Fletcher scramble with baking holiday treats especially a gingerbread couple as Mr. and Mrs. Klaus.

On the night of the Home Tour, Phyllis hears something break so she goes to look. An unknown culprit took one of the gingerbread displays and cracked it on the skull of Georgia; placing the woman in a coma until she dies. Eve expects Phyllis to investigate as the baker has solved murder cases before (see The Pumpkin Muffin Murder). Once again unable to refuse, Phyllis begins to look into the homicide that has the police baffled while she also asks Sam to help her.

The latest Fresh-Baked Mysteries contains energetic senior citizens working the case, baking the treats, and hosting the tour and wedding. This character driven amateur sleuth is fun to follow as everyday people like Phyllis attempt extraordinary activities. Although she should have just said no, Phyllis questions various people before putting the recipe for murder together in entertaining whodunit.

Harriet Klausner

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