Friday, November 11, 2011

A Cookie Before Dying-Virginia Lowell

A Cookie Before Dying

Virginia Lowell

Berkley, Dec 6 2011, $7.99

ISBN: 9780425245019

In the Baltimore suburb Chatterley Heights, co-owners of the Gingerbread House and BFFs since childhood, Olivia Greyson and Maddie Briggs worked late into the night on themed cookie cutter events for their business. The next morning, Olivia looks out her window to see a sea of white on her lawn in spite of the high eighties temperature. Someone dumped crunched paper on the lawn of the Gingerbread House. The note says “Sugar Kills” and invites people to attend The Vegetable Plate every Tuesday to battle against “demon sugar.”

Livie goes to confront Charlene Critch, owner of The Vegetable Plate, only to see someone racing out of the establishment. She enters the open door, sees the trashed establishment, and calls Sheriff Del Jenkins who orders her to stay in her shop. With Maddie she finds Charlene who accuses Olivia of causing trouble and trashing her store while denying papering her enemy’s lawn. Not long afterward, Livie and her Yorkie Spunky hear a dog howling louder than the noise of the storm hitting the town. When they look they see the Vegetable Plate intruder dead on their lawn.

The latest Cookie Cutter shop Mystery (see Cookie Dough or Die) is an entertaining investigative thriller. The early story line is lighthearted fun as Olivia argues with stereotypical fanatic Charlene that sugar does not kill; people kill. The tale turns deadly leading to Livie and Maddie, the amateur sleuths, making inquiries as does the sheriff. Fans of cozies will enjoy this Maryland small-town whodunit.

Harriet Klausner

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