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Gluten for Punishment (A Baker's Treat Mystery) [Kindle Edition]

Nancy J. Parra
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $7.99
Kindle Price: $5.99
You Save: $2.00 (25%)
Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC


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Mass Market Paperback $7.19  
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Book Description

Gluten-free baker Toni Holmes may not cook with wheat, but when there’s a criminal on the loose, she’ll do what it takes to figure out who has their finger in the pie…

Even though Toni is used to going against the grain by preparing allergy-safe, gluten-free products for her online bakery, Baker’s Treat, opening a storefront in the middle of wheat country Kansas might be biting off more than she can chew. The town is already skeptical of her flour-free ways, but when a local wheat farmer is murdered outside her patisserie, skepticism turns into outright suspicion.

With the help of her eccentric grandmother, her handsome lawyer, and the sexy new widower in town, Toni is determined to find the real criminal before bad publicity and increasingly personal acts of vandalism shut her down. But when another suspect winds up dead, Toni realizes that this half-baked killer isn’t just trying to get her to close shop—he’s trying to make sure that she’s made her last gluten-free cookie…forever.


Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

After the death of her mother, Toni returns to her hometown of Oiltop, Kansas, where she moves into the family’s Victorian mansion and sets up her gluten-free business in a local bakery. Local residents are mostly supportive, but at the grand opening, a farmer who claims products without wheat go against God throws flour on Toni and others. When the farmer is murdered in front of the bakery, Toni becomes the main suspect. Meanwhile, a subplot involving Toni’s friend’s boyfriend provides surprises and a little edginess. Intrepid sleuth Toni and her supporting cast are believable and fun, and the gluten-free angle adds a new twist to food fiction. The motive for the murder is a bit farfetched—a common flaw in cozies starring amateur sleuths—but that doesn’t detract much from what is an enjoyable read in a promising new series. Fans of Joanne Fluke and Jenn McKinlay make up the target audience. --Amy Alessio


“A mouthwatering debut with a plucky protagonist. Clever, original, and appealing with gluten-free recipes to die for.”—Carolyn Hart, national bestselling author

“This baker’s treat rises to the occasion. Whether you need to eat allergy-free or not, you’ll devour every morsel.”—Avery Aames, Agatha Award-winning author of the Cheese Shop Mysteries
“Nancy J. Parra has whipped up a sweet treat that’s sure to delight!”—Peg Cochran, national bestselling author of the Gourmet De-Lite Mysteries
“A delightful heroine, cherry-filled plot twists, and cream-filled pastries. Could murder be any sweeter?”—Connie Archer, national bestselling author of the Soup Lover’s Mysteries
“A lively, sassy heroine and a perceptive and humorous look at small-town Kansas (the Wheat State)!”—JoAnna Carl, national bestselling author of the Chocoholic Mysteries

Product Details

  • File Size: 1099 KB
  • Print Length: 305 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0425252108
  • Publisher: Berkley (May 7, 2013)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #47,811 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
Nancy J. Parra delivers an absolute delight of a mystery in Gluten for Punishment, the first book in the Baker's Treat Mysteries.

Following her mother's death, Toni Ryder is returning home to Oiltop, Kansas. Toni is opening a new bakery in Oiltop, a gluten-free bakery. Oiltop is right in the middle of wheat country and Toni expects the locals to take a little while to adjust to her gluten-free bakery, called Baker's Treat. However she doesn't expect protests and murder, and that's just what she finds herself in the middle of.

As a newly diagnosed Celiac (those who are sensitive to gluten) I was pretty excited to find out that there was going to be a mystery series about a gluten free bakery. I love reading all the culinary cozy mysteries, but unless I take the time to adapt the recipes to gluten free I simply can't make the gorgeous food in the mysteries. Gluten for Punishment not only provides a mystery series that mystery lovers can sink their teeth, it also provides some delicious gluten free recipes!

Right from the first chapter, Toni and the residents of Oiltop had me interested. The chemistry between Toni and her family and friends reminds me of my own family, and I could tell this was one cozy mystery town I would be wanting to visit again and again. In particular, I think Grandma Ruth (who could rival Janet Evanovich's Grandma Mazur for "crazy (sorry unique!) grandma") with her antics is definitely going to be a fan favorite.

Gluten for Punishment is a dynamite mystery that I have a feeling is going to be very popular with mystery readers. Whether you have a gluten-sensitive diet or you're wanting to sink your teeth into a fantastic new series, Gluten for Punishment is definitely worth a read!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Celiac Disease & Mystery June 30, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have waited 19 years for Celiac Disease to pick up in fiction. I am avid cozy reader. I was delighted to find this book. It is well written for the first in a series. I found romance and mystery elements in the story. I had no trouble in realizing who the prep was. There is a mixture of a small town and a large city cultures. The information GF diets was good. Explanation of cross contamination could be better. Yes food GF can taste super and I might even try some of the recipes. I like the ending and it good start for the next book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gluten-Free Sleuth Solves Murders June 2, 2013
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a debut novel in a new series. The main character, Toni Holmes, has returned to her childhood home, Oiltop, Kansas, after inheriting the family Victorian home. Her career is opening a store front for her well-known on-line Gluten Free Baked Rolls and Pastries.

Toni, has old friends, such as Tasha and Kip, family, such as Grandma Ruth, and Brother Tim, and soon, new friends, Sam and Attorney Brad, not to mention, Police Dispatcher (soon to be on speed dial,) Sandra.

The book leads you in one direction and then you realize the real the ending. There is some violence that makes me not refer to this novel as a cozy precisely, however, it was done powerfully, and correctly, and it went back to a cozy ending complete with recipes, which I will be using.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Start of a Fun New Series May 19, 2013
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Who knew gluten-free could be so enticing?

Baker Toni Ryder makes her own way in the baking world preparing allergy-safe, gluten-free products for her online bakery, Baker's Treat. When she opens a gluten-free bakery in the heart of wheat country Kansas, she may have gone over the top. Skeptical residents aren't sure about her flour-free ways and then a local wheat farmer is found murdered outside her shop so suspicion grows even more.

The bad publicity and increasing vandalism could cause Toni to have to close her shop. She's determine to find the real killer so she enlists the help of her eccentric and feisty grandmother. But when a second murder is discovered, Toni realizes the killer is out to do more than close her shop. Finding the real killer is the only way to save her shop and her life.

Author Nancy J. Parra has the start of a delightful new series that not only entertains but informs readers. Parra has given her protagonist Celiac Disease providing readers with a closer look at how gluten-free can be delicious. She has made Toni likable and realistic with zany secondary characters to add to the mix.

Parra has placed the story in a small town setting having an eye for detail that makes the reader feel they are there. GLUTEN FOR PUNISHMENT moves at a good pace keeping the reader guessing as she includes a few twists and turns along the way. The plot holds the reader's attention from beginning to end.

While the story deals with living a gluten-free lifestyle, it's not overpowering. The focus stays on the cozy murder mystery and the captivating cast of characters. This is a tasty treat for the cozy murder mystery lover.

GLUTEN FOR PUNISHMENT is the first installment in the exciting new Baker's Treat Mystery Series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Toni Holmes has moved back to her hometown in Kansas and is setting up a storefront to compliment her internet gluten and allergy free bakery, Baker's Treat. Yes, it's a risk in the heart of wheat country, but since she is allergic to gluten herself, she is willing to take the risk.

However, at the grand opening, there is one wheat farmer (and might I add wacko) who is an out spoken critic of her bakery. Before they even cut the ribbon, someone is throwing wheat filled balloons at her front door. Then a body is found outside the bakery's door the next morning. Can Toni figure out who is behind the crime?

The title really appealed to this pun lover, but sadly the book didn't live up to the promised fun story. It started out fine, and the characters were great the entire way through. However, the plot dragged. There was plenty of action, but very little of it helped us figure out who the guilty party was.

Then there were the errors. The biggest one is a party that Toni is asked to cater that suddenly jumps from three weeks again (in early November) to that Saturday (in mid-October). Another couple issues (like a character teleporting across the room) make it obvious someone fell down on the job of editing.

I wish I could say I'd found another fun new series to enjoy. Instead, I'll pass on future installments.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars gluten review
It was excellent, mystery to solve, humor very relaxing for escaping from a long day. Will recommend and i am reading 2 more of her books.
Published 2 months ago by Marcia
5.0 out of 5 stars Gluten for Punishment A Treat to Read
Gluten For Punishment by Nancy J Parra is the first in a new cozy mystery series and one not to be missed. Read more
Published 3 months ago by debbie forbes
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny and real, a treat for foodies & non-foodies alike
I'm not a foodie, so it was with trepidation that I read Gluten for Punishment. I have to say that there were two surprises - the ending, and how much I enjoyed the book. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Alice in Vunderland
5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet, lite read.
I chose this book for 2 reasons....1)lite reading for vacation & 2) to give to a friend with a gluten intolerance. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Susan S. Palmer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great!
A great new series! Looking forward to more books in this series! Good recipes and characters you will like! Enjoy!
Published 11 months ago by Margie Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Gluten for Punishment
I loved Gluten For Punishment and I can't wait for book 2 in the series. Nancy Parra doesn't give up the perp early on but gives the reader several to choose from. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Misty
5.0 out of 5 stars Hungry for A Tasty Mystery?
This was a fun mystery. The main character opens a bakery which offers gluten free pastries. From the very beginning she meets obstacles...bloody ones... Read more
Published 11 months ago by AmazonWoman
4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Book Club Choice!
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Dawn

I have wondered about the fuss related to gluten free foods. It is fully expldained in Gluten for Punishment. Read more
Published 12 months ago by OpenBookSociety dot com
5.0 out of 5 stars Anxious to see how author developes this series
I am an impatient reader and I had some trouble with getting into the story until I understood that she was developing the characters for us know and understand for future books. Read more
Published 12 months ago by E. MUSSER
4.0 out of 5 stars I really enjoyed reading this book.
This is a great summer read. Enough suspense, romance and fun to keep it entertaining. The violence wasn't described in depth and there were no descriptive sex scenes, but thats... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Idaho Gem
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More About the Author

Nancy J. Parra's discovered she had a severe gluten allergy and had to give up her second favorite passed-time, baking. Six months into her forced new diet, she was back in the kitchen figuring out how to make her own gluten-free baked goods and soon posted delicious pictures on the web. When a good friend suggested she mix her two loves-baking and writing, she wrote her first cozy mystery, "Gluten for Punishment" and now there is a second book in the series "Murder Gone A-rye."
On a happy roll, she soon sold a Mackinac Island Fudge Shop mystery series. "All Fudged Up" be found under her pen name Nancy Coco. Next up in this fun series is "To Fudge or Not to Fudge."
Nancy has a third series out from Berkley Prime Crime- the first book in that series is "Engaged in Murder" available now.

Visit her website at for more information, a list of her books and full reviews. She can also be found at and would love to add you as her friend.

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