Once Upon A Book – Charlee Rae's Book Reviews

"Books Fall Open, You Fall In"

Gluten for Punishment (A Baker’s Treat #1) by Nancy J Parra

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I rated this book 3 1/2 out of 5 stars

Toni Holmes is a baker who opens a gluten free shop in Kansas after moving back to her hometown that she left 10 years prior. Not everyone is happy about the new bakery setting up shop in wheat country though. When a local farmer is found dead outside her store, Toni is the prime suspect. With the help of her quirky grandmother, Toni tries to solve the murder in order to clear her name. But when the person she suspects also ends up dead, all Toni cares about is not becoming the killers next victim.

Cozy mysteries are one of my favorite genres. The only issue I have with them is that I need to mix it up a bit and read other types of books because they can get a bit stale since so many of them are similar. This book was unique in some ways and pretty standard in others. I liked the main character, Toni, but I do have to say I was a little turned off by the love triangle part. It’s something that comes up in this genre a lot and it gets a bit old. Luckily it wasn’t the forefront of the story so I can overlook it. I did get irritated with Toni a few times though when she seemed to get angry over things people said that really weren’t a big deal. As an example, she talked about how she hated it when a man told her what to do. When these scenarios came up though it was general concern for her safety, not some guy telling her what she should or shouldn’t do. I felt she was overreacting. I also felt the whole “I’ll never trust a man again” backstory has been played out. I’m not sure why it’s such a hot theme in cozies, but I could do without it.

Aside from that thought the book was enjoyable and I did like it. It was an easy and fun read with a little humor mixed in….which I like. The characters were fairly well developed and I liked the small town setting which I know is common, but I live in a big city so I always love the descriptions of the little towns in these books. When it came to the mystery, I was able to figure out who the killer was pretty quickly but there was a twist that I actually wasn’t expecting. I also have to give props to the author for not having the typical “woman comes away completely unscathed” ending. Adds a bit more realism to it. And as an added bonus, there are recipes in the back! Yay! I definitely plan on checking out the next installment in this series.

Total pages: 292, paperback

Available on Amazon at the link below:

Gluten for Punishment

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This entry was posted on August 18, 2016 by in Books I've read and tagged , , , .
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