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09 February 2017

Rambling About.. Kneaded to Death by Winnie Archer

Title: Kneaded to Death
Author: Winnie Archer
Publication: 28 February 2017 - Kensington
Amazon Description:
Everyone swears by Yeast of Eden, the Mexican bread shop in town. But tonight, the only thing on the menu is la muerte . . .

Struggling photographer Ivy Culpepper has lots of soul-searching to do since returning to seaside Santa Sofia, California. That is, until the thirty-six-year-old enters a bread making class at Yeast of Eden. Whether it’s the aroma of fresh conchas in the oven, or her instant connection with owner Olaya Solis, Ivy just knows the missing ingredients in her life are hidden among the secrets of Olaya’s bakery . . .

But Ivy’s spirits crumble when a missing classmate is suddenly discovered dead in her car. Even more devastating, the prime suspect is Olaya Solis herself. Doubting the woman could commit such a crime, Ivy embarks on a murder investigation of her own to prove her innocence and seize the real killer. As she follows a deadly trail of crumbs around town, Ivy must trust her gut like never before—or someone else could be toast!

First Lines: Santa Sofia is a magical town, nestled between the Santa Lucia Mountain Range and the Pacific Ocean on California's Central Coast. I've always seen it as the perfect place.

Faves on 4s:
(text from Advanced copy -- final print may vary)
4% - I listened, enthralled. Her words seeped into me, and I understood completely. It was all about passion.
24% - I'd bet my life that she was the most self-sufficient, organized, and capable eighty-six-year-old woman on the planet. In fact, if she were pitted against any woman of any age, I'd lay odds on Penelope Branford.
54% - I waited for the tug of sorrow I'd grown accustomed to feeling whenever my mom was mentioned, but for the first time it didn't come. Instead, I felt pride. It started as a sliver of a feeling in my heart and spread outward, giving each of my limbs a pleasant sensation of warmth.
84% - Billy and I had spent our childhoods climbing fences, sneaking through backyards, and being as stealthy as we could to stay out as late as we could. Now, nearly twenty years later, I was reliving those moments on Pacific Grove Street.

Ivy Culpepper's mother was killed in a hit-and-run accident about 6 months ago, crushing herself, her brother and her father. Soon after Ivy returned to Santa Sofia and is still struggling to pick the pieces of her life back up and put them together. She signs up for a baking class at the local bread shop, Yeast of Eden, and on the first night of class not only does she find out that her high school sweetheart who cut-and-run on her almost twenty years ago is also back in town ... but one of her baking classmates is murdered in the shop parking lot.

Ivy doesn't believe that the prime suspect had anything to do with the girl's demise and is determined to help prove her innocence. Her best friend is the Deputy Sheriff so that makes it a bit easier to butt her nose into things. Through it all, she's also helping a new friend (the amazing elderly spitfire, Penny Branford) investigate a neighbor and questioning whether her mother's "accident" was an accident at all. 

The girl has a lot going on.

Luckily for readers, Winnie Archer never lets the chaos in Ivy's life distract from a good story being told. Too often an author tries to add too much and it ends up a muddled mess. Somehow, though, it never gets overwhelming -- as though she has just the right recipe and knows when to let things settle on their own and when to give them an extra little punch.

I don't want to give too much away but I will say that this is definitely a 5-star series debut for me. 
Great characters? Check. 
Steady pacing? Check.
Twists and turns that kept me guessing? Check and check.
Am I already looking forward to book 2? CHECK!

(Just an FYI : "Winnie Archer" is also Melissa Bourbon, Melissa Bourbon Ramirez & Misa Ramirez, so there are more books and series already out there!!! HOORAY!)


  1. I am glad you liked this one, as I have it to review as well. :)

  2. BBOF got off to a late start this week, but it it up and running now. Sorry for the delay! Hope to see you there!