“Cinnamon Toasted” by Gail Oust evokes the delightful aromas that can be created with spices and demonstrates the combination of science and magic that goes into making a palatable dish. The requisite murder that sets wheels in motion and the quirky cast of characters are all present, but things felt a little too predictable for me. I wasn’t thrilled by the love triangle, and I was frustrated by the daughter’s deliberate obtuseness about the state of her parents’ relationship, although I sympathize with her wishful thinking. There are fascinating tidbits about various spices and fun glimpses of life in a small town, plus several recipes at the end. All in all, this is an entertaining light read that will probably make you want to look for your own spice shop and experiment.
Part of the ‘Spice Shop’ mystery series, this cozy continues the adventures of Piper Prescott as she continues to provide wares from her Spice It Up shop while defending her ex-mother-in-law, comforting her daughter, dealing with the specter of her ex-husband’s impending nuptials, and juggling the attentions of two professional men. Discovering unexpected depths to her mother-in-law, Piper is stunned when the woman ends up in the center of a murder investigation. Prepared to do whatever is necessary to prove her mother-in-law’s innocence, Piper enlists her best friend to help her convince Chief McBride to search for a new suspect. Too bad she can’t give orders to her wayward heart to pick one man to love, but the danger she finds herself in may make that a moot point.
Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks? Case in point: Piper Prescott's former mother-in-law Melly. Beneath her twin sets and pearls beats the heart of a geek?a geek whose programming changes for the point-of-sale software in Piper's shop have the owners of the program ready to make her an offer she can't refuse. "Trusty" Rusty Tulley and Chip Balboa swing by Brandywine Creek?just in time for the town's annual Oktoberfest, which has cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom flying off Piper's shelves in record numbers. News spreads faster than a text message, and Melly is the toast of the town.
But it isn't long before Melly's status changes to public enemy number one when Chip's body is found at the foot of her basement stairs. Questions start to pile up when handsome police chief Wyatt McBride arrives on the scene and the coroner sets the time of death for the previous evening. McBride wants to know why it took Melly so long to report the incident?especially after she admits to arguing with Chip about the contract he wanted her to sign. Piper knows Melly would never hurt a fly, so she enlists the help of her BFF Reba Mae to clear her name?but can they find the real killer before Melly gets sent away for good? A mouth-watering entry in Gail Oust's delicious Spice Shop series, Cinnamon Toasted is sure to delight cozy fans of all stripes.