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Newly redundant and recently divorced, there’s never been a better time for Jessie Henderson to pack up her life in the city and move to Springdale, the small town where she spent childhood summers with her Aunt Bee. Luckily for Jessie, Springdale is every bit as quirky and idyllic as she remembers, and Bee’s baking is just as mouth-watering. Then the unthinkable happens Newly redundant and recently divorced, there’s never been a better time for Jessie Henderson to pack up her life in the city and move to Springdale, the small town where she spent childhood summers with her Aunt Bee. Luckily for Jessie, Springdale is every bit as quirky and idyllic as she remembers, and Bee’s baking is just as mouth-watering. Then the unthinkable happens and there’s a murder on the outskirts of town. Worse still, Jessie’s new friend is the prime suspect. The cops think the case is cut-and-dry, but Jessie’s gut tells her there’s more going on than meets the eye. Can she get to the bottom of it? Baking is Murder is the first book in the Bee’s Bakehouse Cozy Mystery series. Each book is a standalone mystery.


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Newly redundant and recently divorced, there’s never been a better time for Jessie Henderson to pack up her life in the city and move to Springdale, the small town where she spent childhood summers with her Aunt Bee. Luckily for Jessie, Springdale is every bit as quirky and idyllic as she remembers, and Bee’s baking is just as mouth-watering. Then the unthinkable happens Newly redundant and recently divorced, there’s never been a better time for Jessie Henderson to pack up her life in the city and move to Springdale, the small town where she spent childhood summers with her Aunt Bee. Luckily for Jessie, Springdale is every bit as quirky and idyllic as she remembers, and Bee’s baking is just as mouth-watering. Then the unthinkable happens and there’s a murder on the outskirts of town. Worse still, Jessie’s new friend is the prime suspect. The cops think the case is cut-and-dry, but Jessie’s gut tells her there’s more going on than meets the eye. Can she get to the bottom of it? Baking is Murder is the first book in the Bee’s Bakehouse Cozy Mystery series. Each book is a standalone mystery.

30 review for Baking is Murder

  1. 5 out of 5

    Bárbara

    2 stars 🌟🌟 This book was exactly what it promised it would be - a cute quick read! Pros: - The small chapters; - Good writing; - Adorable small town setting. Cons: - Not very descriptive (I was expecting, as this was a cozy mystery, that there would be more descriptions of the small town); - Annoying ass main character that thinks she knows more than lawyers and police 🙃

  2. 4 out of 5

    Lola

    I received a copy in exchange for an honest review Baking is Murder sounded like a fun and cute cozy mystery and that's exactly what I got. It's also surprisingly a very short cozy mystery, I don't think I have read a shorter cozy mystery before. And while I liked that it was short on the one hand as I was in the mood for a shorter read, but I also felt that it was a bit too short for the story the book wanted to tell. It didn't feel rushed, but it did feel like things moved very fast, I would al I received a copy in exchange for an honest review Baking is Murder sounded like a fun and cute cozy mystery and that's exactly what I got. It's also surprisingly a very short cozy mystery, I don't think I have read a shorter cozy mystery before. And while I liked that it was short on the one hand as I was in the mood for a shorter read, but I also felt that it was a bit too short for the story the book wanted to tell. It didn't feel rushed, but it did feel like things moved very fast, I would almost say it moves a bit too fast paced for what I expect from a cozy mystery as they are usually slower paced. Which isn't bad in and of itself, but I felt like there were a few things I would've liked to see expanded on a bit. Like the search for who the murderer was and getting to know the town and the characters. The mystery is quite straightforward. A murder is committed and someone gets arrested, but main character Jessie doesn't believe the person who got arrested is the murderer even though the evidence points to her direction. I though it was a tad strange how Jessie had just arrived into town and already decided this women she hardly knew wasn't a murderer based on nothing and I did like some doubt crept in later as I felt that was realistic. Who was the murderer didn't come as much of a surprise, but I did consider other suspects for a bit as well and I thought for a second the story would go into an interesting direction and was sad and happy it didn't at the same time. Most of the plot focuses on Jessie trying to prove the women they arrested was not the murderer instead of finding the actual murderer, which was a nice approach, but it felt like finding the murderer came a bit as an afterthought and the resolution got wrapped up a bit too fast. The only mystery is caused by how we don't get to know Jessie her completely thoughts when she goes to confront someone. We don't get a motive or anything much else about the murderer, she just figured it out and it got solved. And that's where the book end with a short wrap up chapter after that. I also thought the police seemed a bit dump in this book, yes it's a small town and they don't get many murder cases out there, but the things Jessie came up with where quite simple and I would've thought the police would've thought of that themselves as well. I did like how Jessie her relationship with the police was handled, it felt sort of natural, although Jessie was a bit too pushy and jumped to conclusions a bit quickly. With the fast pace of this book and the main focus on the murder mystery I felt like there was little time to really get a feel for the characters, which is a shame. I never really cared about any of the characters. The book is very story focused and we get to know a few things about the main character and some side characters, but they never really felt alive. I wouldn't liked to get a more feel for the small town, the bakehouse and the characters. we get the basics of Jessie her past and reason why she moved her and I liked how she cared about the dogs, but I just felt it could've used a bit more. I never quite got a good feel for her character. There is a set-up for a potential romance, but it doesn't really go much further than a small hint in this book. To summarize: this was a quick and fun read. The book strongly focuses on the plot and the murder mystery and moves forward pretty straight forwardly. I did enjoy reading the book, but it was quite short and I felt like some scenes or plot liens could've been expanded a bit more. I also felt like we got to know very little about the characters and I would've liked to get to know them better and a get a better feel of the town. Most of the focus was on why someone wasn't the murderer and less so on who was the murderer and the why and how. Overall it was a nice start of the series and I kinda liked the short length, even though it also caused some of the issues I had with this book, as it was a quick read and that was exactly what I was in the mood for.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sally Whiteside

    Cozy indeed. This does what it says on the tin. Short and sweet and full on nosy busy bodies in a close knit community. Great little story.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Denn

    Selecting a great cozy mystery isn't always easy. I've read quite a few of these quick reads and mumbled to myself afterwards, "Say what?" Baking Is Murder is one of those times when I pondered, "Why did I download this book?" Kathy Cranston's book, Baking Is Murder, left me confused. Unemployed divorcee Jessie Henderson, plays amateur sleuth when local dog trainer Lydia Mackenzie is murdered and her competitor Clarice Jackson is arrested. I didn't quite understand the author's selection of Jessi Selecting a great cozy mystery isn't always easy. I've read quite a few of these quick reads and mumbled to myself afterwards, "Say what?" Baking Is Murder is one of those times when I pondered, "Why did I download this book?" Kathy Cranston's book, Baking Is Murder, left me confused. Unemployed divorcee Jessie Henderson, plays amateur sleuth when local dog trainer Lydia Mackenzie is murdered and her competitor Clarice Jackson is arrested. I didn't quite understand the author's selection of Jessie as the book's amateur investigator. She was merely an acquaintance of the accused and questions herself on more than one occassion why she is actively looking for clues to clear Jackson. The lack of reasoning for Henderson to be playing P.I. was a stumbling block I couldn't break past. The author's decision that Jackson's character would be uncooperative in clearing her name was another block in the road for me. No logical motive for Henderson to involve herself in solving the crime and Jackson's unwillingness to clear her name made no sense. The storyline didn't work for me.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Reynolds

    Baking is Murder (2016) by Kathy Cranston is the first book in the author’s Bee’s Bakehouse Mysteries. In the book, we are introduced to the protagonist and narrator Jessie Henderson. Jessie has recently got divorced from her husband and been let go from her insurance job in New York. She has returned to the small town of Springdale where she grew up to stay and help out in her aunt Bee’s café while she thinks out what to do with her future. She meets a woman called Clarice who is a local dog bre Baking is Murder (2016) by Kathy Cranston is the first book in the author’s Bee’s Bakehouse Mysteries. In the book, we are introduced to the protagonist and narrator Jessie Henderson. Jessie has recently got divorced from her husband and been let go from her insurance job in New York. She has returned to the small town of Springdale where she grew up to stay and help out in her aunt Bee’s café while she thinks out what to do with her future. She meets a woman called Clarice who is a local dog breeder and becomes an acquaintance of Clarice agreeing to walk her dog Toby for her. But then a fellow dog breeder Lydia is murdered who Clarice recently had an argument with which was a spot of gossip in Springdale. Clarice is arrested for the murder and her future looks bleak. However Jessie is not about to let this woman who she believes to be innocent of the crime end up in prison without a fight. Jessie begins to suspect that animal rights activists are behind the murder of Lydia and the setting up of Clarice. There is also love possibly on the horizon for Jessie in the form of Mayor Stevens and a continuing romance for her aunt with a mystery man. This added interest to the story. It worked very well and provided some light and fluffy fun which I really enjoyed reading. Jessie’s and aunt Bee’s interactions were fun to read and I liked their relationship. The idea for this story was very good. But its delivery didn’t always work. The main issue was the character of Jessie. Being honest, I didn’t take to her. And I think for a book to often work for you, you have to like the main character and feel like you are rooting for them. Sure I wanted her to solve the case to get Clarice off if she was innocent but in terms of herself I wasn’t overly pushed. A lot of the issues I felt with Jessie came from the way she was about the animal rights activists especially the head of the protests Kyle. Now I’m all for people debating what they believe in and up to a certain point in the book, I found nothing wrong with her. He had his say. She had her say. But then she went and ruined it by taking the poster out of Jane Waverly’s knitting shop and was too adamant that because someone had a different view to her they were a dangerous, overly angry murderer. What was worse was that I felt she thought she was a great one taking the poster down when in reality what she was doing was stopping Kyle and his fellow protesters from protesting how they wanted to and stopping Jane Waverly (even though her motives for allowing Kyle to put the poster up were shady to say the least) from displaying what she wanted to display in her own shop. Now there was a few issues with Kyle too. He was protesting on land he shouldn’t have been on but he didn’t get up with a ladder and paint over the sign of her aunt’s shop or break the window or anything. In truth I liked Kyle better than Jessie which doesn’t really work for the story. To make it worse Jessie is 37 and is trying to stop the freedom of speech and expression of a lad years younger than her. This would be alright if she was a character you were meant to dislike but I think she was supposed to be a likable character who everyone was saying had a great heart. In her actions she often came over more as someone who wanted her way and wanted no one else to be allowed to contradict anything that was important to her and those she loved and cared for. She comes over as very bratty and childish often. Lastly she contradicted herself because she said that it was awful that Clarice was arrested just because a fellow dog breeder was murdered because dog breeders don’t just go around murdering each other as they are in competition but didn’t even question her own feelings that a dog breeder is murdered so automatically it’s an animal rights activist as apparently animal rights activists go around killing dog breeders on a regular basis. As much as I wasn’t fond of Jessie, she has good traits as well. She does love animals and is very good to Toby who is the most adorable, little mischievous pug and agrees to look after Clarice’s dogs for her while she is in custody. Even though it brings out some of her bad traits, she has a good trait in being loyal to those she loves and cares for and always looks out for them. She shows a very caring side especially to her aunt Bee who it is obvious she loves very much and vice versa. She also put herself in the firing line to help a woman she didn’t know well which was kind and admirable. The author captured the small town atmosphere very well. The way everyone knows your business, knows everyone and knows someone in your family is very authentic. There was also many characters that are staples of small towns in it like the local cop, the local woman in the café, the gossip, the Mayor and the cankerous older lady. I love the setting for the book and thought it was realistically written. It was a very good setting for a murder to take place in as everyone knew something about Lydia and could give Jessie pieces of the jigsaw to put together. I didn’t love the book but I didn’t dislike it either. I was intrigued to find out who the killer/killers was and loved following the twists and turns that occurred. I also felt that how Jessie figured out who it was in the end was cleverly written and very believable. A good read.

  6. 5 out of 5

    QNPoohBear

    kindle freebie at time of download Jessie Henderson is starting over after losing her job and her husband. She is returning to her beloved childhood summer home of Springdale and her aunt Bee. Bee owns a bakeshop in Springdale and Jessie is hoping to help out there for a time until she gets back on her feet. She only has one problem - Jessie hasn't told Aunt Bee she's coming! Beatrice Martin is a Springdale institution. To Jessie, she was always a loving but stern aunt. What will she think of Jes kindle freebie at time of download Jessie Henderson is starting over after losing her job and her husband. She is returning to her beloved childhood summer home of Springdale and her aunt Bee. Bee owns a bakeshop in Springdale and Jessie is hoping to help out there for a time until she gets back on her feet. She only has one problem - Jessie hasn't told Aunt Bee she's coming! Beatrice Martin is a Springdale institution. To Jessie, she was always a loving but stern aunt. What will she think of Jessie's choice to return to Springdale? Right away Jessie becomes involved in life in Springdale making friends through the bakery and getting to know the local residents by walking a neighbor's Pug puppy, Toby. When Toby's breeder Clarice is accused of murdering a rival, Jessie is certain the older woman is not a killer. Jessie feels it's up to her, for Toby's sake, to clear Clarice's name and find the real killer. Jessie doesn't count on Clarice being too stubborn to give the police the information they need. She'll just have to do a little digging and work harder to clear her new friend's name. I really like this series. I love the bakeshop and the town of Springdale. Most of the residents are kind and welcome. I like Jessie. She's sensible, even when investigating and loves dogs. Too bad she can't bake. Aunt Bee is a tough older lady who pretends not to have her nose in everyone's business but it's well known in town that Bee's Bakehouse is the place to go for all the town gossip. Bee may be a bit stern but she loves her nieces and wants them to be happy. Jessie's cousin sounds like she was a mischievous child but she doesn't appear in the present day narrative. I love how how Aunt Bee is secretive about her own romance but wants to fix Jessie up with someone. The plot moves quickly. The killer's identity is easy to figure out but there are several red herrings that make it harder. Clarice may be a recluse but she loves her fur babies and works hard to find them the right homes. She is even more stubborn than Aunt Bee. I don't understand why she insisted on hiding information from the police that could have easily cleared her name. The police should have figured out she didn't do it sooner because it sounded impossible given the murder weapon. I adore Toby and love that he finds the crime scene. He's so sweet and adorable. Julia is an eccentric middle-aged lady who seems to be a friend/mother figure to Jessie. She's quirky and her daughter Tania is more of an adult than Julia. Mayor Stevens is a great guy. He loves his town, he's friendly, loves animals, is good looking and single. Of course Aunt Bee thinks he's the perfect match for Jessie and Jessie isn't interested in a relationship right now. There seems to be good chemistry between the two though and I think they may get together eventually. Lydia, the victim, may not have been the most ethical breeder or the easiest person to get along with but she didn't deserve to die. What happens to her furbabies now? Her husband seems mismatched with her. He's kind of a sad-sack and a slob. Miss Waverley is a good suspect. She is a nasty woman who sticks her nose in everyone's business just so she can complain. The other suspect is a young animal-rights activist (PETA style), Kyle, who protests the bakehouse and the farm they buy their dairy and produce from. Chief Daly seems to be the detective in charge of the case and Aunt Bee's secret boyfriend. He's nice but he is in way over his head with a murder investigation. Maddie Sweet, farmer, has a good sense of humor and isn't bothered by much. I like her a lot even though she only has one brief cameo in the book. I'd love to read more of this series if I could get it. I need some recipes!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kaley

    This was a quick and easy read. I liked the character of Aunt Bee, and I liked that it was a cozy mystery and a decent amount of time is spent in the bakery. However... overall, it has some problems. A lot of the dialogue was unbelievable. Almost none of the conversations seemed like things people would actually say to each other in real life, so it was hard to get through. Also, there are some crazy choices in this book that aren't even considered crazy in this book. (view spoiler)[For example: 1) This was a quick and easy read. I liked the character of Aunt Bee, and I liked that it was a cozy mystery and a decent amount of time is spent in the bakery. However... overall, it has some problems. A lot of the dialogue was unbelievable. Almost none of the conversations seemed like things people would actually say to each other in real life, so it was hard to get through. Also, there are some crazy choices in this book that aren't even considered crazy in this book. (view spoiler)[For example: 1) Jessie was walking a dog, Toby, and then couldn't get back to the owner's house to return the dog. So, instead of keeping the dog overnight, she leaves the dog with someone she met that day. Really? After knowing someone for the time it takes them to give you a ride home, you trust them enough to leave someone else's dog in their care? You don't even know this person! He could disappear and never be seen again, and you would be an accessory to dognapping. 2) Why does Clarice even let Jessie take care of her dogs? She first lets her walk the dog after meeting her one time, and then she just lets Jessie take care of all the dogs when she goes off to jail? Does she not have friends? If anyone ever hauls me off to jail, you can bet I'm not letting some stranger take care of my doggies. 3) How was Jessie even allowed to go into Clarice's house so many times? Wasn't it considered a crime scene since that's where they found the evidence? (hide spoiler)] The reveal of the murderer was disappointing. And there was never really an explanation of motive for the crime (view spoiler)[ and the framing (hide spoiler)] so while it wasn't necessary to the story, it definitely would have helped, in my opinion.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sheri

    Baking is Murder (Bee's Bakehouse Mysteries #1) by Kathy Cranston Jessie' newly divorced decides to leave the city and go to Springdale, where her Aunt bee lives. Soon there is a murder and Jessie is determined to find out who did it and why. A fast paced fun story. I liked Jessie and Aunt Bee. The plot was charming, and had all the makings of a light cozy mystery. Although shot, the story was not short on mystery and laughable moments. Overall I enjoyed Baking is Murder and feel hose who enjoy t Baking is Murder (Bee's Bakehouse Mysteries #1) by Kathy Cranston Jessie' newly divorced decides to leave the city and go to Springdale, where her Aunt bee lives. Soon there is a murder and Jessie is determined to find out who did it and why. A fast paced fun story. I liked Jessie and Aunt Bee. The plot was charming, and had all the makings of a light cozy mystery. Although shot, the story was not short on mystery and laughable moments. Overall I enjoyed Baking is Murder and feel hose who enjoy this genre should enjoy it as well

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sandee

    Cute little cozy. Likable characters and fairly typical plot. This one is more about the characters than the mystery which wraps up very quickly with almost no clues. A sweet, light read.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Beth Gibson

    This is what you would call a "cozy mystery." No detectives or police really, just ordinary citizens getting drawn into strange happenings in their town. In this, the first of the series, Jessie Henderson is divorced and has been fired. She returns to Springdale where she used to spend summers with her Aunt Bee. Aunt Bee seems to be the queen bee in this small town. Anyway, a local dog breeder gets killed, and a rival dog breeder is accused of the crime. Jessie is certain she did not do it, but This is what you would call a "cozy mystery." No detectives or police really, just ordinary citizens getting drawn into strange happenings in their town. In this, the first of the series, Jessie Henderson is divorced and has been fired. She returns to Springdale where she used to spend summers with her Aunt Bee. Aunt Bee seems to be the queen bee in this small town. Anyway, a local dog breeder gets killed, and a rival dog breeder is accused of the crime. Jessie is certain she did not do it, but she's just an unemployed insurance adjuster. How does she get the police to listen to her and stop them from putting away an innocent person? I give this book three stars, because i really enjoyed the author's writing style. Warm and friendly, with a hint of humor. She portrays very human characters and a quirky plot. What brought it down for me, though, is for a 37 year old woman, Jessie acts like a teenager. Her actions and thought process often lacks in maturity. I could swear I was reading Scoobie Doo, and this was Daphne. I would like a heroine with a little more intelligence. In addition, the writer gives no background whatsoever on her main character. Why did she go to her aunt instead of her mother? Where's her father. What happened to her parents? Where is the cousin she spent summers with? She was divorced a year prior to moving, but no information is given about it. This character was given much less attention than other minor characters in the story. She needs to be fleshed out. I do like the premise though, so hopefully these problems are corrected in the next installment.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Peggy R

    This was a very enjoyable first book in a new series. It is a fun, quick read that I read over the course of a couple hours on my lunch breaks. The plot is well thought out and the characters are pretty well developed for a first in a series. The author does a nice job of giving you background on the main character Jessie without slowing down the story. Jessie, the main character, comes across as a warm hearted, kind person that makes her very likeable. She doesn't start out trying to solve a mu This was a very enjoyable first book in a new series. It is a fun, quick read that I read over the course of a couple hours on my lunch breaks. The plot is well thought out and the characters are pretty well developed for a first in a series. The author does a nice job of giving you background on the main character Jessie without slowing down the story. Jessie, the main character, comes across as a warm hearted, kind person that makes her very likeable. She doesn't start out trying to solve a murder, but she can't let someone she thinks is innocent go to jail. The mystery is pretty good. While the culprit is someone you would suspect, the author wrote the clues in a very plausible way to throw suspicion on someone else. The cast of secondary characters were very enjoyable as well. I really like Jessie's Aunt Bee as well as the Mayor and the Chief. As I said, this is a quick read and is shorter than other cozy mysteries, but I enjoyed it and would be very interested to see what the author has planned next. I was gifted a copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review. This did not influence my opinion and the thoughts expressed are my own.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia

    3 stars almost feels generous, but I didnt hate the story so, okay. I wasnt paying attention to the page numbers on this book as I read it and i was really confused when out of nowhere the murder was solved and the book was over. To say this came from nowhere is an understatement. It had zero substance - Jessie found out whodunnit and thats all, folks. This really ruined an otherwise mindless read that I was enjoying despite it being a little too cookie cutter cliche. It is what it is.. a novella 3 stars almost feels generous, but I didnt hate the story so, okay. I wasnt paying attention to the page numbers on this book as I read it and i was really confused when out of nowhere the murder was solved and the book was over. To say this came from nowhere is an understatement. It had zero substance - Jessie found out whodunnit and thats all, folks. This really ruined an otherwise mindless read that I was enjoying despite it being a little too cookie cutter cliche. It is what it is.. a novella churned out with the typical know it all auntie, the heroine who knows the accused is innocent despite knowing jack all about them, and dont forget the romance between two characters with zero personality! On second thought? 2.5 stars.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    Title unrelated to plot. Cozy. Cartoonish cover indicates fluff.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    Great little mystery book Very cute book!!! I just loved reading it!!! Great start to the series!!! Can't wait to read more books in this series

  15. 5 out of 5

    Bloss ♡

    This book requires a MAJOR suspension of disbelief. I had so many questions about the actions of various characters and mismanagement of a police investigation: • Why did Jessie even care? She had been there for like two days when this happened. Why take it on? • Are we supposed to believe that instead of detaining her for interfering with police work that the chief of police would simply throw money around (literally) and “hire” Jessie in the most dodgy way possible? • Why was Jessie able to poke This book requires a MAJOR suspension of disbelief. I had so many questions about the actions of various characters and mismanagement of a police investigation: • Why did Jessie even care? She had been there for like two days when this happened. Why take it on? • Are we supposed to believe that instead of detaining her for interfering with police work that the chief of police would simply throw money around (literally) and “hire” Jessie in the most dodgy way possible? • Why was Jessie able to poke through Clarice’s house? Should it not have been sealed? • Why was Jessie the one given permission to look after the dogs? A) she was very new to town and B) Clarice barely knew her much less trusted her enough to look after her main income source of puppies under nine weeks old. • Jessie keeps asking herself why she’s snooping and being belligerent to the chief of police but then just keeps doing it. We’re told it’s out of character but it seems pretty natural as she just keeps doing it repeatedly. • How the police apologized to her once they “realized who she was” when she was trying to poke around a crime scene. Being from a small town, I can tell you that this ridiculousness is plausible. It’s quite the commentary on small town mentality and cliquey-ness. “Oh, your aunt is popular in the community, we better give you special treatment too as rules don’t apply to your family.” It happens but that didn’t make it any easier to stomach reading. On the other hand, the writing was fine, the storyline moved well (this was a relatively short story) and ignoring all the points above, it was an okay story. I don’t know, maybe I just don’t “get” these “cozy mysteries”. I just get so frustrated by how unlikely and ridiculous they can be. It’s just getting more and more difficult to find free iBooks to read before bed that aren’t utter tripe.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Frank Carver

    This was my second “cozy mystery” as I try and explore the genre. I picked it mainly because it was free at Amazon. A straightforward story, with nothing particularly surprising. Protagonist comes to a small town for a somewhat nostalgic “fresh start”, then (apparently because the believes that anyone who loves pugs can’t be a murderer) bumbles around trying to solve a mystery and clear her dog-breeder friend. You know from the conventions of the genre that she will eventually be successful and t This was my second “cozy mystery” as I try and explore the genre. I picked it mainly because it was free at Amazon. A straightforward story, with nothing particularly surprising. Protagonist comes to a small town for a somewhat nostalgic “fresh start”, then (apparently because the believes that anyone who loves pugs can’t be a murderer) bumbles around trying to solve a mystery and clear her dog-breeder friend. You know from the conventions of the genre that she will eventually be successful and that there will be hints of romance along the way. What I found slightly disconcerting about this book was the unbalanced way it dealt with male characters. Men in this story fell neatly into two stereotypes: love interest or suspect. The only males with any pretence of depth are The Mayor (Protagonist’s crush) and The Chief of Police (Aunt Bee’s crush) but they seem like cardboard cutouts compared to any of the women. I understand that these books are squarely aimed at women readers, but I don’t think this approach makes for a particularly interesting mystery. To me it just came across as slightly cynical and exploitative, and lacking in “heart”. I might try another in the series if it were free, just to see if there is any more depth to the writing, but I’m unlikely to spend any real money.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    The title is misleading Not what I was expecting. Jessie, newly divorced, and currently jobless decides to move near her Aunt Bee. Aunt Bee owns a bakery where Jessie begins working while staying with her Aunt. But aside from meeting Clarice there, nothing about the murder revolves around baking.. The bakery is a popular place with its regulars, which includes the police chief so perhaps that is the premise for the title. While walking one of Clarice's dogs, Jessie stumbled upon a murder scene wh The title is misleading Not what I was expecting. Jessie, newly divorced, and currently jobless decides to move near her Aunt Bee. Aunt Bee owns a bakery where Jessie begins working while staying with her Aunt. But aside from meeting Clarice there, nothing about the murder revolves around baking.. The bakery is a popular place with its regulars, which includes the police chief so perhaps that is the premise for the title. While walking one of Clarice's dogs, Jessie stumbled upon a murder scene where it turns out Clarice is the only suspect. When evidence begins to build against her, Jessie takes it upon herself to look into things because she just can't believe a fellow dog lover could possibly have committed the murder. A cute story, thankfully in a small town given no amateur could have figured it out when the police didn't. Granted, she did a good job with finding clues.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ferne Miller

    Jessie just moved back to her hometown after being divorced and losing her job. She is planning on staying with her aunt Bee until she gets settled. Everyone in town knows Bee because she runs the best coffee shop in town. Jessie runs into an old friend, Clarice, who is now a dog breeder. Clarice is having a problem with another resident, Lydia, who is also a dog breeder. The day after Jessie and Clarice get reaquainted, Lydia turns up murdered and Clarice is arrested. Jessie to the rescue. Thes Jessie just moved back to her hometown after being divorced and losing her job. She is planning on staying with her aunt Bee until she gets settled. Everyone in town knows Bee because she runs the best coffee shop in town. Jessie runs into an old friend, Clarice, who is now a dog breeder. Clarice is having a problem with another resident, Lydia, who is also a dog breeder. The day after Jessie and Clarice get reaquainted, Lydia turns up murdered and Clarice is arrested. Jessie to the rescue. These "Cozy mysteries" are all pretty much the same, murder, friend gets arrested or nobody gets arrested and anothe friend solves it because the police are satisfied with their conclusion. They are hokie stories but for a quick fun read they are good. You can't take them seriously just enjoy it without too much thought.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Penney

    Very good, Newly redundant and recently divorced, there’s never been a better time for Jessie Henderson to pack up her life in the city and move to Springdale, the small town where she spent childhood summers with her Aunt Bee. Luckily for Jessie, Springdale is every bit as quirky and idyllic as she remembers, and Bee’s baking is just as mouth-watering. Then the unthinkable happens and there’s a murder on the outskirts of town. Worse still, Jessie’s new friend is the prime suspect. The cops think Very good, Newly redundant and recently divorced, there’s never been a better time for Jessie Henderson to pack up her life in the city and move to Springdale, the small town where she spent childhood summers with her Aunt Bee. Luckily for Jessie, Springdale is every bit as quirky and idyllic as she remembers, and Bee’s baking is just as mouth-watering. Then the unthinkable happens and there’s a murder on the outskirts of town. Worse still, Jessie’s new friend is the prime suspect. The cops think the case is cut-and-dry, but Jessie’s gut tells her there’s more going on than meets the eye. Can she get to the bottom of it? Baking is Murder is the first book in the Bee’s Bakehouse Cozy Mystery series. Each book is a standalone mystery

  20. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    Baking is Murder was a free book I had downloaded at one time on my Nook. I randomly choose it because I was in the mood for cozy mystery. The story was short with no real filler which was nice. Jessie is recently divorced and between jobs, not sure what to do she decides to head to her Aunt Bee hoping to work at her bakery for awhile. Quickly hired she is enjoying the small town when a murder suddenly occurs. Determined to help Jessie works at finding clues to help her figure out who the real mu Baking is Murder was a free book I had downloaded at one time on my Nook. I randomly choose it because I was in the mood for cozy mystery. The story was short with no real filler which was nice. Jessie is recently divorced and between jobs, not sure what to do she decides to head to her Aunt Bee hoping to work at her bakery for awhile. Quickly hired she is enjoying the small town when a murder suddenly occurs. Determined to help Jessie works at finding clues to help her figure out who the real murder is. The story was corny but I expect that in a cozy mystery. Very little character development just a clear cut story line, short, and a fast read. I am still in the mood for a cozy but since I have a stack of library books that will have to wait for a bit.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Justine Peroni

    What a delightful murder......! Compared to all the other books I read it was a delight to read what I can only describe as a gentle murder!!! Nothing too strenuous and easy to read in two days! Out main character Jessie has returned to the place she grew up and to stay with her aunt who owns and runs the local cake shop. Before long Jessie gets caught up in a murder case and feels she has a duty to help out. Throw in some other interesting characters and a love interest makes for a charming read What a delightful murder......! Compared to all the other books I read it was a delight to read what I can only describe as a gentle murder!!! Nothing too strenuous and easy to read in two days! Out main character Jessie has returned to the place she grew up and to stay with her aunt who owns and runs the local cake shop. Before long Jessie gets caught up in a murder case and feels she has a duty to help out. Throw in some other interesting characters and a love interest makes for a charming read. I shall look forward to reading more in the series.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sharon M. Turner

    Easy read Noise easy little story. Jessie moves home to help her aunt and gets involved with a customer of her aunt's that has been accused of murdering a rival for her dog raising business. Jessie follows some clues and solves the case. The only thing that I couldn't figure out was that the title didn't follow the story line as the murder had nothing to do with baking, but the story was interesting.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Chrystine

    3.5 ⭐️ for the first in the series of this cute little cozy. I really connected with the characters immediately, which is always a good sign. I enjoyed that there was just enough back story about Jessie without rehashing her past over and over. I found Aunt Bee to be superficial and lacking development. I am hopeful that we learn more about her in the upcoming releases. Was exactly the light, quick, fun read I was searching for.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    the cute short read about a young woman who moves back to her hometown after losing her job and her husband. it was kind of odd because you never heard about her parents only her aunt. she had no qualms jumping right back into everybody's business and solving the local murder. overall it was a cute read it just didn't give you much to get attached to.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    The premise had promise - two dog breeders, one dead, all evidence looks like the other dog breeder murdered the first. Beyond that, it was fairly formulaic - divorced woman goes back to a town where she was happy as a youth; believes she is more competent than the police; police shares evidence and acts on her 'hunches'. At least it was only roughly 130 pages.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    I was hoping for a romance between her and the mayor.... My title says it all! The mystery was good, I kind of figured it out early, but second guessed myself a few times. Not bad story, wish there was more with aunt bee and police chief...and more dialogue leading to a romance with Jessie and the mayor, Mike.

  27. 5 out of 5

    LDYFuji

    Quick, easy and fun read Cranston's writing is so carefree. The story reads so easy that you are swept up immediately that you feel like you are part of the story and are sorry when you finish the last page and have to come back to the real world. A fantastic way to spend an afternoon.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Patricia

    I received this book free from one of the book sites. I do not remember which one! This is my honest review. This was an okay cozy mystery. I can't say that it was great, but it compared a little less than the cozies I tend to read. Guessed it right as soon as husband's alibi was stated. Might have been due to personal insider information. I just can't get excited about this one.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Caroline Torbjørnsdal Engeland

    2.75 stars I read this as something short and fun between readathons and that was what it was. Short and fun. Buuuut it felt a little too silly at times and I think it would have been better if it was longer. I will probably read the rest of the series though when in need of an quick and easy read :)

  30. 4 out of 5

    SANDYE

    Fast, Entertaining read Very glad I started this series! I absolutely love feisty 60-something Aunt Bee Martin! I also love Jessie's tenacity, and love for nostalgia, her aunt, and cute dogs!! Instantly fell in love with these two main characters, and couldn't stop reading until I'd found out whodunnit!!

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