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This is Book 1 in the *new* Seagrass Sweets cozy mystery series.

BONUS: Recipe included.

Ashley Adams is settling back into her life in Seagrass, TX after leaving a broken heart and criminal ex-boyfriend in Paris, France. Her French sweets catering company has finally landed a major job, making Ashley grateful for all that is going right – her business, her work partnership, and reconnecting with an old friend Ryan.

All that changes when Ashley overhears one of the guests arguing with a strange man in the bathroom. Things get worse when the woman is found dead the next day, poisoned by one of Ashley’s cream puffs.

Ashley must solve the mystery to save the reputation of her nascent business. She is thrust into the lives of people from her past who all have something to hide. Is the murderer a jealous lover? An out-of-towner with business interests? A local hero turned criminal? Teaming up with her old friend Ryan and her loyal dog Dizzy, Ashley sets out to solve the crime.

Will she be able to solve the murder before her business reputation is completely ruined?

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"an enjoyable and welcome addition to the genre"

Reviewer: .

Returning to her home town of Seagrass from Paris, chef Ashley Adams is running her new business with her partner Patsy. Matters are progressing nicely until they are catering for a large dinner. Shortly after hearing an argument in the toilets, Ashley finds that one of the arguers has been poisoned, shortly after she was last seen eating one of Ashley's cream puffs. Putting her pre-chef skills to good use as an IT Specialist and hacker, along with her friend Ryan who used to work with her, she sets out to find what happened before her business is ruined. In doing so, she finds herself embroiled in local politics and hidden secrets affecting all of Seagrass.

This cozy mystery seems to have all the right elements, but just seems to be missing that magical ingredient. The writing is funny, and the plot moves along with a variety of twists and turns as new suspects appear and are eliminated. The mystery is pretty clever, although the main issue with it, is that new elements keep being introduced through the story and not allowing for a clever reader to feel happy they can solve the mystery in advance. There were a few minor spelling errors and mistakes that were noticeable, but in general it was enjoyable to read. The characters are ok, but seem a little more caricaturish than usual and as a result I didn't feel that much of a connection to them, which meant that I didn't enjoy the story as perhaps as much as I could.

The background of ex-super hacker turned chef just seemed odd and while it fitted the story, you wonder why Ashley hasn't perhaps remained doing that job instead, as it isn't really explained who she became a chef in the first place, or met Patsy, other than she happened to be in Paris. A few more background details could really have helped solidify the characters and their traits.

However, it is certainly a welcome addition to the genre, and with other books in the series, if you enjoyed this one, there are plenty more to read.

Rating: 3

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