I'm happy to welcome Ivy Culpepper to Cozy Up With Kathy today. You can find Ivy on the pages of the Bread Shop Mystery series by Winnie Archer. DEATH GONE A-RYE is the sixth book in the series and was released last week.
Bread! Olaya Solis lives and breathes bread. Since I moved back to Santa Sofia (from Austin, Texas where I left my ex-husband), I’ve learned why. Yeast of Eden, Olaya’s artisan bread shop, draws people from all over. They come to absorb the magic she infuses into her bread. If someone is heartbroken, she might give them sun-dried tomato and black olive or fig and almond loaf. If someone has a cold, traditional French bread could be the thing to cure it.
I could go on and on. Suffice it to say, Olaya is one incredible woman.
She, more than anything, drew me into Yeast of Eden. She knew what I needed before I did, and she was right. The companionship of the women in that first baking class I took at the bread shop filled me with contentment I hadn’t experienced since my mother’s death. Since then, Olaya, Mrs. Branford, and Emmaline have become my family. Of course Emmaline is my brother’s fiancé, so she really is about to be family. Of course I have Billy, my brother, and my dad. But the importance of the women who’ve shown up in my life to help heal the wound of my mother’s absence cannot be overstated. Olaya and Mrs. Branford are the family I choose.
And bread, well, it’s the comfort I need sometimes, and it’s just incredibly satisfying to make. When a baguette turns out perfectly crunchy on the outside and billowy soft on the inside, there is no better satisfaction. Cut a slice and slather on some butter or dip it in olive oil, and Oh My—perfection.
If you like bread, quaint beach towns, amazing female relationships, and mysteries—because I do manage to get to the heart of a few—give my books a try. Death Gone a-Rye is my latest. Spring Flings, school boards, and murder—what’s not to love?
The Sixth Bread Shop Mystery
As her mentor is creating Vincent van Dough Focaccia, Ivy Culpepper gets involved in another murder investigation. The school board president is murdered just before Santa Sofia's Sheriff, and Ivy's best friend, is about to leave on her honeymoon. Em leaves her new captain in charge of the case with Ivy as her eyes and ears in Santa Sofia. As Ivy begins looking for information about the victim she soon discovers the murdered woman was almost universally despised. Almost everyone who knew her had a motive to kill her, so who actually did it? Will Ivy be able to help find a killer or would she be better off staying in Yeast of Eden's kitchen?
It's always a delight to be in Santa Sofia, and especially in Yeast of Eden where bread becomes, not only tasty food that nourishes the body, but works of art that heal the soul. While looking into the murder Ivy finds herself facing several societal issues as well. Immigration, racism, and educational politics all play a part in this complex mystery. In addition to these broader issues, trust plays a major factor in the sixth Bread Shop Mystery.
One of my favorite aspects to the book, indeed the whole series, are the characters. From the feisty Mrs. Branford to hunky Miguel, and all manner of people in between, the characters add depth, meaning, and heart. Plus they're fun!
DEATH GONE A-RYE is an intricately plotted mystery that's not afraid to touch on societal issues while stressing the importance of family. A charming setting and several feel good moments add even more layers to this heartfelt story.
Death Gone A-Rye (A Bread Shop Mystery) by Winnie Archer
About Death Gone A-Rye
Cozy Mystery 6th in Series
Publisher: Kensington (April 27, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback: 272 pages
In the Northern California seaside town of Santa Sofia, a killer is trying to get a rise out of baker’s apprentice Ivy Culpepper . . .
Vincent van Dough focaccia is being touted on Instagram as the best thing since sliced bread. By strategically placing chives, olives, and yellow peppers to look like poppies and sunflowers, bakers create a mouthwatering masterpiece in the style of the great postimpressionist painter. At Yeast of Eden, where bread making has always been an art, they’re baking their own version for the school district’s Spring Fling.
But one person won’t be tasting the Mexican bakery’s latest specialty. Ambitious school board president Nessa Renchrik has been murdered. Like the rest of this close-knit community, Ivy is shocked. But she’s just as surprised to discover her beau—restaurateur Miguel Baptista—had his own fling with Nessa back in the day and now the police have this half-baked notion he might have killed her. It’s up to Ivy, her boss Olaya Solis, and eighty-six-years-young Penelope Branford to separate the wheat from the chaff to determine who the real culprit is . . .
About Winnie Archer
The indefatigable Winnie Archer is a middle school teacher by day and a writer by night. Born in a beach town in California, she now lives in Colorado. She fantasizes about spending summers writing in quaint, cozy locales, has a love/hate relationship with both yoga and chocolate, adores pumpkin spice lattes, is devoted to her five kids and husband, and can’t believe she’s lucky enough to be living the life of her dreams. Visit her online at WinnieArcher.com.