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The Gingerbread Bump-Off: A Fresh-Baked Mystery Paperback – October 26, 2011
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“Christmas and murder…delightfully entertaining.”—Armchair Interviews
“The whodunit is fun and the recipes [are] mouthwatering.”—The Best Reviews
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Top Customer Reviews
This time the victim is Georgia Hallerbee, who persuades Phyllis (at the last minute) to include her home on the annual Christmas Jingle Bell Tour. Phyllis reluctantly agrees, but her home's not on the tour, after all, since someone clobbers Georgia with a ceramic gingerbread man on Phyllis' front porch.
Phyllis finds herself being drawn into the investigation of the crime, much to the chagrin of a local cop who thinks Phyllis would be a lot better off in the kitchen. Phyllis doesn't like his attitude, and neither does her friend Sam, but they both realize that Phyllis isn't a law-enforcment officer, after all. That cop does seem rude, however.
As usual, Washburn manages to make everybody involved seem to be a likely suspect, and when Phyllis works everything out, she discovers . . . well, that's something I won't reveal. There's a good bit of humor in the book, too, and when I read the "get off the lawn" joke, I knew this book would entertain me all the way. And there's more: the recipes will make your mouth water, for sure. Definitely a cozy to read during the holidays or any other time, too.
On the night of the Home Tour, Phyllis hears something break so she goes to look. An unknown culprit took one of the gingerbread displays and cracked it on the skull of Georgia; placing the woman in a coma until she dies. Eve expects Phyllis to investigate as the baker has solved murder cases before (see The Pumpkin Muffin Murder). Once again unable to refuse, Phyllis begins to look into the homicide that has the police baffled while she also asks Sam to help her.
The latest Fresh-Baked Mysteries contains energetic senior citizens working the case, baking the treats, and hosting the tour and wedding. This character driven amateur sleuth is fun to follow as everyday people like Phyllis attempt extraordinary activities. Although she should have just said no, Phyllis questions various people before putting the recipe for murder together in entertaining whodunit.
This is my first time to read a Livia J. Washington cozy but it won't be my last. Now I want to read all of the series. This author knows how to engage you from the beginning and keep you hooked until the end. There were at least four red herrings, a hint of romance, and plenty of good cooking.
Phyllis Newson, the main character, lives in Weatherford, Texas in her house with her friends, Sam, Carolyn and Eve. She hits northern Texas weather right on the nose, and has a Sherlockian sense of deduction. She is not dumb; she takes her friend, Sam with her in dangerous situation.
She was invited to join in the Jingle Bell tour as a last moment decision and after several days of intense preparation with the help of her friends is ready to enjoy the experience. But Georgia Hallerbee, the head of the tour, gets knocked off on Phyllis's front porch with a heavy ceramic gingerbread woman.
I recommend this sweet mystery to all cozy readers; it is one of the very best.
Phyllis finds herself at odds with CJBT* group as they want her to solve the mystery and release details of her friend Georgia and Phyllis won't. Phyllis wants to let the police do their job and not investigate the murder, even if it did happen on her front porch.
This book had no shortage of who could have possibly whacked Georgia. The most simplest explanation was the one that didn't come up til the end of the book. I loved it and I loved reading more about the relationship between Phyllis and Sam I really enjoy the spark those two have together!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Really like the retired teachers who solve murders. I usually think I know "who-done it" but I am always wrong. Great cozy mystery series. Can't wait for next book.Published 9 months ago by Judy
This series of books holds your attention and you feel like you're right there with the characters.Published 10 months ago by Joanna Wilt
I have enjoyed all the books in this series. The characters are well defined and the plots are interesting. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Yvonne Gray
I like the Christmas angle with the Jingle Bell tour of homes but the story actually moves a little slow.Published on January 2, 2014 by Debra Calhoun
Sometimes you just want to sit back and be drawn in to someone's imagination,well this is the book to choose. Great characters,plotting,suspense, and twists,terrific.Published on December 26, 2013 by Msth
This is a fun book, sort of silly, sort of not. Easy to read and enjoy. not a disappontment at allPublished on April 8, 2013 by Judi Boone
Livia Washburn books are very good. I love a book that is connected with food. The way she solves crimes is fascinating.Published on April 1, 2013 by nisie