Sunday, March 20, 2016

REVIEW Cookie Dough or Die by Virginia Lowell

Cookie Dough or Die
Author: Virginia Lowell
Cozy Mystery

Olivia Greyson runs The Gingerbread House with her friend Maddie. They sell cookie cutters and lovely decorated cookies.  Most days,their only concerns are running the business and developing new cookie designs, but when local businesswoman Clarisse Chamberlain is found dead, they find themselves embroiled in a murder mystery. Olivia inheirits a large sum of money and a prized collectible cookie cutter collection from Clarisse's estate, and the local gossip mill starts rumors that Olivia may have killed the woman for money. Maddie & Olivia need to work together to find the real killer, before Olivia is charged with a murder she didn't commit.

The mystery portion of this book was well written and nicely paced. I just had a couple problems with the plot. In a small town, the chances are slim that a specialty shop that sells only cookie cutters or decorated cookies for parties would make enough money to stay in business. And I found it a bit implausible that a woman who bakes wonderful cookies for a living can't cook anything else and must resort to constantly ordering pizza because she can't cook.

Other than those two rough spots, the characters were likable and engaging. I enjoyed the added kitsch of the cookie business and cookie cutter collecting. I was a bit amazed that a collection of antique and collectible cookie cutters could be worth $30,000 but after some curious reading online, I found that it's actually a very popular item to collect with older limited edition cutters or antiques being very valuable.

I wish the book would have included a recipe or two. By the time I finished the story, I was in the mood to bake after reading about the characters making cookies all through the story. :)

All in all, an entertaining cozy mystery, despite my questioning the plot a couple of times. I'd like to read more in this series to see how Lowell progressed in her writing after this first book, and to see how her characters develop. The series has six books so far.

My rating: 6/10
Ages 10+

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