Book Review: MURDER GONE A-RYE by Nancy J. Parra

Series: A Baker’s Treat Mystery, #2
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: May 6, 2014
Source: Review copy from publisher
Rating: ★★★★

Toni Holmes is the best gluten-free baker in Oiltop, Kansas—okay, she’s the only one—but when her grandmother becomes a murder suspect, she’s more concerned with keeping Grandma free…

When Toni’s beloved—and eccentric—grandma Ruth is arrested for the murder of her archenemy, Lois Striker, it’s time for a senior moment of truth. Telltale tracks from a scooter like the one Grandma Ruth rides lead the police to suspect the outspoken oldster, but Toni knows her grandmother wouldn’t burn a cookie, let alone extinguish a life.

In fact, the case has Grandma more revved up than her infamous scooter. A former investigative journalist, she decides to solve the murder herself—with help from Toni—by digging up long-buried town secrets. But as Grandma scoots in where others fear to tread, Toni needs to make sure she not only stays out of jail but out of harm’s way…

It was fun getting back to Oiltop, Kansas’ new gluten-free bakery in MURDER GONE A-RYE. This time around, Toni Holmes has to split time running her shop during Thanksgiving rush and keeping her ornery Grandma Ruth out of trouble. Ruth is a suspect in the murder of Lois Striker, who was the secretary of Oiltop’s mayor decades earlier. The mystery was intriguing and well-crafted, blending the Lois Striker case with a cold case murder from 1959. This town has been hiding some juicy secrets over the years, and someone in particular wants them to stay buried at any cost.

The residents of Oiltop are a delightful bunch, and their antics had me giggling several times. We’re introduced to Aunt Phyllis who’s as quirky as Grandma Ruth. When those two get together, plenty of mischief-making ensues. Toni is her likable, down-to-earth, and patient self, running a successful gluten-free bakery in the middle of wheat country. Getting divorced has made Toni leery about love, but she’s got a couple of local men with eyes on her when she’s ready to date again.

A highlight of this book was getting to experience the workings of Toni’s bakery as she prepared for Thanksgiving sales. I could smell the fresh coffee and sweet treats. Yum! Also included in the book are several gluten-free recipes to try.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.