AND THEN THERE WERE CRUMBS by Eve Calder
The First Cookie House Mystery
Kate McGuire lost her job, her apartment, and her fiance all in one day. Leaving Manhattan behind the pastry chef has arrived in Coral Cay, Florida to start fresh. It seemed like a good idea, but with her car on its last legs, money running out, and no job in sight Kate's getting desperate. So desperate that she agrees to take a job manning the counter of a bakery that doesn't sell sweets-and she's not allowed to bake, merely man the front counter, at less than minimum wage. But when a greedy developer winds up dead and her new boss is accused of the murder Kate knows the gruff old man can't be guilty. Joined by a new group of friends Kate is determined to prove his innocence while keeping The Cookie House running and ready for his return.
The Cookie House Mystery series is off to a great start with AND THEN THERE WERE CRUMBS. A likeable protagonist, an adorable dog, and a welcoming florist team up to save a curmudgeon with a heart of gold. I love how the whole town gets behind Kate and do whatever they can to help Sam. Everyone wanted to kill the victim, everyone agrees the world, and Coral Cay in particular, is probably better off without him, and everyone agrees that Sam wouldn't do it, especially not in the manner it was done.
Oliver is an absolute charmer while Maxi is a terrific side kick/mother figure/friend. She's resilient and funny with a heart as big as Cuba! Although autumn in the mid-east is my perfect habitat, I wouldn't mind spending time on this Florida island, even in summer...as long as I could have a hunk of sourdough and a specially divined cookie from Kate.
Endearing characters, a close knit community, and an intricate mystery make AND THEN THERE WERE CRUMBS a delectable start to a new series.