Murder is a Piece of Cake

Cover of "Murder is a Piece of Cake" by Valerie Burns
Valerie Burns
Star Rating
Reviewer's Rating
Sep 5, 2023

Want a good book to read at the library but don't want to be 347th in line? Hello and welcome to #NoWaitWednesday, where we shine the spotlight on a title on our New Release shelves that's ready and waiting for you to check it out!

Cozy mysteries are a genre that every librarian needs to know about, as they are ideal to recommend to patrons at any age level, from teen readers who are just starting to explore the adult section to older readers who wish to avoid harsh language or explicit violence in their reading. Cozy mysteries also have a deep bench, as the genre is rich with dozens of critically-acclaimed and popular authors to choose from, ranging from classics like Agatha Christie and Ngaio Marsh to modern authors like Mia Manansala and Richard Osman. Finally, cozy mysteries are popular with patrons because they're, well, cozy, leaving readers with a satisfying feeling from reading a book that's filled with wit, humor, and warmth - even if there's always a pesky murder to solve.

(Oh, and some involve recipes, too!)

Speaking of recipes, patrons are going to enjoy this week's #NoWaitWednesday selection: "Murder is a Piece of Cake" by Valerie Burns. The main character in this series is Maddy Montgomery, a former social media influencer who moves from a big city to small town Michigan after she inherits her aunt's bakery - as well as Baby, her 250-pound mastiff full of attitude. While Maddy settles in to the community and slowly grows her business in fits and starts - helped out by her late aunt's friends, the appropriately-named Baker Street Irregulars - she soon realizes her small shop has competition in the form of a new bakery, owned by someone with connections to Maddy. But the body of the rival bakery owner is quickly found with a knife in his back - and it's one of Maddy's. She must juggle several plot points, including investigating the murder to clear her own name, interviewing locals to find out what everyone knows, keeping her bakery open during the media frenzy, and sparking a possible romance with a local veterinarian.

Burns' novel is full of humor, wit, and a dash of romance along with all the sleuthing. She effectively paints the atmosphere of New Bison, the charming, Michigan town that Maddy now calls home, and fills it with a likeable cast of quirky, nosy characters that readers will love to spend time with. The mystery is an easy one to follow along with, and Baby the mastiff absolutely steals the show.

Small-town charm? Check. Eccentric, engaging characters? Check. A cozy mystery filled with recipes that patrons will love? Check! Place your holds and check out Valerie Burns' other novels if you enjoy this one. And, if you need more cozy mystery recommendations, be sure to ask your local librarian, who will be more than happy to fill your holds lists with great reads, especially as fall is approaching.

Thanks for reading, and we'll see you next week!

Reviewed by Gregg W.
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