This is about as cozy a cozy mystery as you can get. A professional pastry chef flees a philandering fiance in New York and escapes to a small town in Florida, where she picks up a job at a bakery, but not as a baker, as counter help. Oddly, this bakery doesn’t sell pastries or cakes or cookies, which is unfortunate because Kate, the aforesaid pastry chef, has a kind of magic ability; she can tell your favorite kind of cookie just by looking at you. She’s only working there one day before an unsavory customer dies after eating some cinnamon buns that the shop’s owner made for himself. The owner is soon arrested for poisoning the guy.
As far as the mystery goes, I had the the perpetrator, the motive, and the general means pegged pretty much from the start. As for the cozy, it couldn’t get much cozier. When Kate first comes to town, she finds the locals helpful, sharing, encouraging, and just as fond of food as she is. It’s like Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood with the warm, fuzzy addition of a friendly community dog that everyone chips into to feed and care for. (It was delightfully refreshing to read about such a lovely imaginary place. I like this about cozies. They’re a nice break from the nonstop action, conflict, and general nastiness you find in so much fiction. But, I digress. Back to the story.) So, in friendly small town spirit, Kate’s new neighbors all volunteer to help her prove her new boss innocent and get him out of jail. A lot of cooking and eating is involved.
I quite enjoyed this book even though it’s almost too cozy and the mystery is fairly predictable. It was a welcome change from the last book I read, but I won’t mention that one here.
Today I deviate from my normal blog posts on writing and reading. This is a great time of the year where I live because it’s quiet, relatively anyway. In our modern world I’m not sure it’s ever really quiet. There is always the occasional plane or siren but the constant noise that I’ve learned to consciously ignore is gone. The weather in Florida is close to ideal now, which means the air conditioning and fans are off.
There are other sounds, the tick and chime of my antique mantle clock, the sound of the wind outside my open window, a chattering squirrel or calling bird, but these are intermittent, peaceful sounds that do more to accent the silence than interrupt it. So I’m taking the week off to enjoy it. I will probably still do a little writing and, of course, reading but the writing and especially the self promotion have become to feel like a job of late, and a thankless one at that, so I’m cutting back on them for a little while.
Today I planted a garden, although a rather odd one. I was given a couple of planters that are suspended off the ground. I planted them with tomatoes, peppers, strawberries, lettuce, and herbs. This is about the extent of my agricultural expertise and I am far from certain I won’t manage to kill these poor defenseless plants. That’s them on the left, hanging there, trusting my nonexistent gardening abilities to keep then alive long enough to produce tasty and nutritious things to eat.
I have no idea if I will succeed in this endeavor. Like with all things, the risk of failure is there but it was an enjoyable experience and not terribly expensive. I’ll let you know how they’re doing in about a month or so. The oranges on the tree in my backyard should be almost ripe by then too. (The tree survives because it needs no care at all and the fruit makes the best juice I’ve ever had.)
Now though I think I’ll lay by my open window and read for a while.