The best books involving muffins and murder

Why am I passionate about this?

My degree in archaeology taught me life is a giant puzzle. People leave behind fragments, giving hints but never definitive answers. My deductive skills when piecing together broken pottery or looking at renderings of hominid skulls to determine how they lived, evolved my desire to write mysteries. One of the many things I love about cozy mysteries is that everything looks peaceful on the outside, but like real life, you barely need to scratch the surface before you discover dark deeds and secrets. And who doesn’t enjoy that?


I wrote...

Cream Caramel and Murder

By K.E. O'Connor,

Book cover of Cream Caramel and Murder

What is my book about?

With its stunning turrets and beautiful rose gardens, I always thought Audley Castle was perfect, set in the idyllic English village of Audley St. Mary. It’s a place I love to call home. But behind the trimmed hedgerows, stately gardens, and birdsong, a killer is waiting…

Cream Caramel and Murder is book one in a nine-book culinary mystery series set in an enchanting English paradise and featuring a corpse buried in the castle grounds! Each mystery features your baking sleuth, Holly Holmes, her cute clue-sniffing dog, Meatball, and a cast of quirky villagers.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Bed, Breakfast & Bones: A Ravenwood Cove Mystery

K.E. O'Connor Why did I love this book?

This is a delightfully fun twisty mystery that fulfilled my fantasy of inheriting an amazing property in a beautiful small town and being involved in a wonderful community (with a few murderous intentions lurking beneath the surface!)

Ravenwood Cove is a fabulous town and the author does an amazing job of making you feel like you’re there, with vivid descriptions of the setting and lively, realistic characters with fascinating pasts.

A delightful giant of a series that’ll keep you entertained for weeks. And there are bonus recipes if you love to bake along as you discover whodunit!

By Carolyn L Dean,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Bed, Breakfast & Bones as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Amanda Graham inherited a rundown bed and breakfast, a starving cat, and some dead guy who’s buried in her garden!What should’ve been a simple remodeling project and a new business in a small Oregon beach town winds up with her uncle named as the number one murder suspect, a slew of odd neighbors and problematic townspeople, and Amanda wanting to just sit down and eat her weight in chocolate pie. Sure, she could pack her bags and travel back to LA…or should she dig in, heal from her failed romance, and find a whole new set of friends and adventures…


Book cover of Ganache and Fondant and Murder

K.E. O'Connor Why did I love this book?

If you’re a fan of Best British Bakeoff, this one’s for you! Patti Larsen writes fab, well-rounded, funny characters that’ll have you rooting for them and rolling your eyes.

In this book, your sleuth, Fiona, is helping her mother, Lucy, enter a televised baking show. But when the cupcakes come out funky and the head judge scolds her, Lucy is devastated and abandons her dream of being the next top cupcake queen.

Then the judge is murdered and all eyes turn to Lucy! Fiona is a loyal, supportive, and determined sleuth, letting nothing stand in her way of keeping her mother out of prison.

If you enjoy great world building, full, flawed, funny sleuths, enjoy a slice of mystery muffin with this great book.

By Patti Larsen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Ganache and Fondant and Murder as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A Tasty Kind of Afternoon

Not to be indelicate about it, but if Mom made me eat one more bite of cake, I was going to throw up. I’d honestly ingested enough dessert in the last hour to sink a submarine with no end in sight.

Don’t get me wrong. I loved my mother’s baking. But a girl has her limits, and I had finally reached mine, groaning, burping softly around the chocolate, vanilla, red velvet, buttercream and banana that swam on the surface of a variety of other flavors I’d rather not taste again in reverse.

With renovations of…


Book cover of The Murder Before Christmas

K.E. O'Connor Why did I love this book?

Cupcakes are nothing without the perfect drink, which is why this book is an ideal accompaniment to the cake cozies – and it’s set in the 1980s, so is chocked full of nostalgia for people of a certain age.

The setting may be festive but the mystery will leave you pondering whodunit until the end. And there are lots of lovely easter eggs (or should that be festive treats) hinting at more puzzles in future books.

By Michele Pariza Wacek,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Murder Before Christmas as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

If you've got a problem, Charlie Kingsley probably has a tea that’ll help make it right.

EXCEPT when it comes to love. She does NOT do love potions.

Not even for Courtney, her pregnant new client who showed up three weeks before Christmas seeking a love potion because her husband was cheating on her.

So, Courtney asked about poison, instead.

She said she was joking. That's what happens between wives and husbands. They get angry and talk about killing each other. They don't really mean it.

It seems to make sense ... until Courtney’s husband turns up dead on Christmas…


Book cover of Pork Pie Pandemonium: Albert Smith's Culinary Capers

K.E. O'Connor Why did I love this book?

It’s not so common to have a male sleuth take the lead in cozy mysteries. And an older male sleuth with a retired (failed) police dog who has a few things to say during the investigation is a delight.

For me, Rex the dog is the star! I love a feisty, smart sidekick who comes with fur and an attitude.

This book is light-hearted, funny, with interesting twists along the way.

Book cover of A Scone To Die For

K.E. O'Connor Why did I love this book?

The characters make this book fabulous – the Old Biddies are a hoot with their less than subtle comments and snooping. And Gemma’s tea room is divine, set against a charming Oxford backdrop. And there’s a delightful, plump, adorable cat. Muesli is a fluffy angel with a naughty side.

Funny, clever, and the scenes in the café will have you craving a slice of dessert to go with your murder.

By H.Y. Hanna,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked A Scone To Die For as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“They say you have to make sacrifices to follow your dreams. I just didn’t expect the sacrifices to involve an American tourist and a killer scone.” ~ Gemma ditches her high-flying job and returns to Oxford to pursue her dream of opening a traditional English tearoom. It means giving up her savings, moving back with her parents and coping with her bossy, matchmaking mother, but she’s sure it will all be worth it. In fact, business is already booming… that is, until she opens up shop and finds an American tourist murdered by one of her signature scones!

Now Gemma…


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Rip Current

By Sharon Ward,

Book cover of Rip Current

Sharon Ward Author Of In Deep

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Even as a kid, I was intrigued by the underwater world, so as an adult, I learned to scuba dive. I took to it like a fish to water, and my husband and I spent the next several years traveling to tropical islands to experience the local dive conditions whenever possible. I loved learning how every island had a different culture and a different undersea environment. Since I love tropical islands, scuba diving, mysteries, and adventure stories, these books really hit my sweet spot.

Sharon's book list on mysteries set on a tropical island

What is my book about?

Unsettled weather has caused life-threatening rip currents to sprout up seemingly at random in the usually tranquil sea around Grand Cayman. Despite posted warnings to stay out of the surf, several women lose their life when caught in the turbulent waters. Fin attempts some dangerous rescues, and nearly loses her own life in the process.

Meanwhile, Fin and the team at RIO are struggling to find more sources of funding for the Institute’s important research, and danger arises from an unexpected source while Fin and hot movie star Rafe Cummings are filming an upcoming documentary. When a young internet influencer goes missing and is feared drowned, Fin realizes that someone lured all the dead women into the dangerous rip currents. But who, and why?

Rip Current

By Sharon Ward,

What is this book about?

Unsettled weather has caused life-threatening rip currents to sprout up seemingly at random in the usually tranquil sea around Grand Cayman. Despite posted warnings to stay out of the surf, several women lose their life when caught in the turbulent waters. Fin attempts some dangerous rescues, and nearly loses her own life in the process.
Meanwhile, Fin and the team at RIO are struggling to find more sources of funding for the Institute’s important research, and danger arises from an unexpected source while Fin and hot movie star Rafe Cummings are filming an upcoming documentary.
Soon after a young internet…


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