Murder at the Beacon Bakeshop
- Author: Darci Hannah
- Genre: Cozy Mystery
- Publication Date: February 23, 2021
- Publisher: Kensington Books
- Series: A Beacon Bakeshop Mystery #1
Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of this book. I am offering my honest opinion voluntarily.
CONTENT WARNING: murder
In the first of a new series, after Lindsey Bakeswell catches her celebrity chef fiancé sizzling in the arms of another woman, Lindsey leaves big city Wall Street for small town Beacon Harbor, Michigan to pursue her own passion as a pastry baker–and gets mixed up in someone’s sweet taste of revenge…
More interested in kneading dough than adding it up, Lindsey’s breakup inspired her to set up the shop she always wanted in a place that always made her happy. She’d spent many childhood summers near this beach community and converting the old run-down lighthouse into a bakery café and home offers a perfect fresh start for Lindsey and her devoted Newfoundland dog, Wellington.
But not everyone in town has a sweet tooth. The preservation society won’t have the lighthouse’s history sugar coated by lattes and cakes–and a protest group crashes Lindsey’s Memorial Day opening. Then her ex-fiancé Jeffrey Plank and his girlfriend Mia Wong arrive to trash the place. In the ensuing chaos Mia chokes on a donut and dies.
An autopsy reveals cyanide in Mia’s bloodstream and Lindsey is the police’s prime suspect. To clear her name, she’s going to need to combine ingredients found in the town’s checkered past to uncover the identity of a desperate killer…
I’ve really started to enjoy cozy mysteries lately. In this one, I couldn’t help but like Lindsey’s character early on. She’s smart and sensible with a great sense of humor, but the quality that I found most endearing was her devotion and obvious love for Wellington, her huge, doofy dog, aka Welly.
I was immediately taken in by the quaint, small-town vibe of Beacon Harbor, and I honestly wanted Lindsey to do well even though I knew from the summary that she was going to have trouble on opening day. In between cooking up some of the most delicious sounding food I’ve read about anytime recently, she managed to squeeze in some detective work, a little slow-burn romance, and trying to uncover the truth of a possible haunting. Lindsey is a busy lady!
This book had a little bit of everything (and even included recipes for some of the tastiest of the recipes at the end of the book). I found myself chuckling out loud quite a few times while reading, and enjoyed the story. There were some plot twists I honestly didn’t see coming, but there were some that were a bit predictable. It wound up being a fun, lighthearted, easy read that fit nicely between some heavier and more emotional reads that I’ve been focused on recently.
There was an issue that just didn’t sit right with me, and that was a couple of instances of misappropriation in the book. The first thing I noticed was when the MC stated “I worked my tookus off,” which incorrectly uses the Yiddish word “tuchus,” that would translate to butt. It’s almost like the author just Googled the word and didn’t bother to get it right, and it honestly would have been preferable to have said, “I worked my butt off.” The second and seriously more problematic statement was when a white character showed off a tattoo of a wolf and stated (I’m cringing to even write this) “It’s my spirit animal.” This is a Native American cultural concept with spiritual importance. Having a white character use it in reference to a tattoo just seems insensitive and inappropriate.
Overall, I enjoyed the story aside from those issues. I do plan on reading more of the series when it is released, and I genuinely hope that future books are a little more culturally sensitive, because I do like the characters, the setting, and the story.
People who have sat around with me while I’m reading, especially when there’s a surprising reveal, a shocking plot twist, or an unexpected event often look up in alarm when I gasp audibly. The gasp factor is directly related to the number of times I audibly gasp during a reading, and there isn’t an upper limit.
Gasp Factor: 7
Categories: Book Review