KNEADED TO DEATH by Winnie Archer
The First Bread Shop Mystery
After her mother is killed in a hit and run accident Ivy Culpepper returns to her hometown of Santa Linda, California. Grieving, Ivy finds comfort in the breads at Yeast of Eden, a bakery run by Olaya Solis. Deciding to take a bread class, Ivy is charmed by the owner and the friendly comaraderie of her classmates. A dispute outside the shop during break leads everyone outside, only to discover a fellow classmate sitting in her car...dead.
The first Bread Shop mystery starts slowly, as if everything is weighed down by Ivy's grief. As the story progresses and Ivy gets more involved in investigating the murder, the bonds of grief lessen and the pace picks up. By the end, although there is still grief and always will be, Ivy discovers purpose and is free to live again.
KNEADED TO DEATH explores the mother/daughter bond. To what lengths will each go for each other and their beliefs? At the heart of this novel is the importance of a connection between women, not only mother/daughter, but surrogate mother/daughter, sisters, and friends.
KNEADED TO DEATH is a solid start to a new series. Interesting and well developed characters and the fascinating dynamics between multigenerational women provide depth and meaning to a well crafted mystery with plenty of surprises.
Recipes included. In fact, I was thrilled that the recipe I most wanted was included. While I may never attempt to bake my own baguette I shall certainly give Oyala's gruyere and black pepper popovers a try!