August 30, 2022

Two Parts Sugar, One Part Murder by Valerie Burns

Two Parts Sugar, One Part Murder by Valerie BurnsTwo Parts Sugar, One Part Murder by Valerie Burns
Series: Baker Street Mystery #1
Published by Kensington Publishing on August 30, 2022
Genres: Mystery
Pages: 336
Format: Paperback
Goodreads
four-half-stars

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I fell in love with cozy mysteries at a young age thanks to Miss Marple and Nancy Drew, I’m glad that trad publishers are acquiring more cozies with BIPOC sleuths because it’s long overdue.

About Two Parts Sugar, One Part Murder

Our MC, Maddy, was left at the altar during her livestreamed wedding. Then she inherits her Great Aunt Octavia’s bakery in Michigan. She wasn’t expecting the will stipulating that she needs to live in the house and run the bakery – things our privileged social influencer isn’t prepared for. Nor was she expecting to inherit a huge English Mastiff named Baby.

Things really get crazy when the town’s mayor is murdered with a knife from the bakery, with Maddy’s prints on it. Her Great Aunt Octavia’s friends, The Baker Street Irregulars, come to Maddy’s aid with running the bakery and solving the murder.

My thoughts about Two Parts Sugar, One Part Murder

This is a great kick-off to a new cozy mystery series. Valerie Burns gives us all of the classic cozy elements: 

  • Small town
  • Amateur sleuth
  • Great friends group
  • Small-town secrets and rivalries
  • MC a suspect in murder

You also get humor provided by Maddy’s fish-out-of-water experience. Maddy’s a pampered princess, provided for by her father The Admiral. Now she’s learning to problem solve and run a business. But not without some mishaps, especially in the kitchen.

Baby, the mastiff, adds charm, humor, and a LOT of drool.

There’s also a light romance with some sweet and salty flirting with the town’s vet.

The descriptions, especially of Great Aunt Octavia’s house, the baked goods, and the beauty of the lake were enchanting.

Maddy was relatable in her determination to not let people see her fail. Or to take the easy way out. I loved her kindness to other business owners and residents. I also appreciated how the Irregulars adopted her into their group.

The pacing was great – a slow burn, with hints along the way pointing to who committed the murder and why. Which is what I want – don’t make it too easy and telegraph everything but also don’t drown me in red herrings.

This is a smart and snappy series debut featuring a warm and resourceful amateur sleuth set in a small Michigan lakeshore town. You get a great group of friends, a charming English Mastiff. And so many suspects!

In closing

I hope the next book comes out soon because I want to hang out with Maddy, the Baker Street Irregulars, and Baby, especially if there’s chocolate cake or croissants involved!

Thank you, Kensington for the DRC!

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About Valerie Burns

Valerie Burns was born and raised in South Bend, Indiana.

She graduated from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science and Urban Studies. Valerie later went on to get a Master of Science in Administration from the University of Notre Dame and a Master of Fine Arts in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University.

Valerie works as an Operations Manager for a major appliance manufacturer and is a mentor in the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) program for writing popular fiction at Seton Hill University in Greensburg, PA, where she earned her Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree.

Valerie currently lives in North Georgia with her two poodles (Kensington and Chloe).

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