Publication Date: 08/06/2013
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley Prime Crime
Genre: Cozy Mystery
(Received for an honest review from Berkley Prime Crime)
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound
Paige Shelton on the WEB: Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads
Books in the series:
If Fried Chicken Could Fly (2012), If Mashed Potatoes Could Dance (2012), If Bread Could Rise to the Occasion (2013)
Coverart: Click the image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.
Excerpt from If Bread Could Rise to the Occasion, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature.
At Gram’s Country Cooking School, Isabelle “Betts” Winston and her grandmother share their home-style culinary secrets. But what they keep to themselves are the secrets of Broken Rope, a quiet little Missouri town, that isn't nearly as quiet as it seems...
A fresh school year begins as Gram and Betts anxiously await the arrival of their new crop of students. But their enthusiasm is thwarted when a stranger named Freddie O’Bannon arrives and claims to have proof that he was accepted to the school despite what is in their files. And when the ghost of Cylas Gent, a young man who might have a romantic past with Gram, also appears, there are suddenly two mysteries demanding their attention.
But just as Gram and Betts start sifting through the past, one of their new students is murdered. Does the seemingly sweet Freddie O’Bannon have something sinister to hide, or are Gram’s ghosts trying to teach her a lesson? Either way, it’s up to the country cooks to catch a killer before another living soul gets burned.
Paige Shelton's Country Cooking School series is a cozy series with a paranormal twist. If Bread Could Rise to the Occasion is the third book in the series and features Shelton's razor sharp wit and overall knowledge of farm to table cooking concepts. The heroine's ability to talk to those living and dead adds a paranormal element that is both entertaining and insightful. Readers who love a little romance with their mysteries will not be disappointed with this one, as one of the love interests could be a ghostly cowboy!
Paige Shelton has done a remarkable amount of research for the titles in the Country Cooking School series as well as her Farmers Market series. One thing is for sure... Shelton knows food. She is able to describe food and add it into her stories like a master. When she writes about certain dishes readers find themselves almost salivating. Her descriptions are just that realistic. I love the fact that the author has chosen something that is obviously important to her to write about. I just don't think someone who couldn't cook, could write about food that well.
As always, I love a cozy with a paranormal twist and this one really hits the spot. The entire series is based on the fact that Betts and her grandmother have a knack for talking to those alive and dead. The dead seek them out and ask for help solving mysteries from the past and even help solve some current crimes as well. The cemetery out back, doesn't seem like a scary place with this kind of gift. I like the way that Shelton uses this aspect of the series to give the reader books that include more than one mystery at a time. Double the fun!
If Bread Could Rise to the Occasion is a clever mystery that will have readers trying to solve the crime right along with the book. I liked the return of the ghostly cowboy from the first book in the series. He added a certain amount of romance that was completely unexpected. Betts and Gran end up trying to solve not only the current murder of one of their cooking school students, but a murder from the past that is tied to Gran's early girlhood. It was fun to learn more about Gran's life and the earlier days of Broken Rope.
I loved the fact that Shelton has also added a new paranormal element in this book as well. She throws in the possibility of time travel as a way to help Betts solve the crime involving the bakery. Sometimes I think authors add to many of these kinds of elements and that takes away from the overall effect. But that doesn't seem to be the case with this one. Shelton wrote this aspect of the story in such a way that it seems almost natural that Betts' abilities are changing and getting stronger. It added so many new possibilities for readers who enjoy this kind of book.
If Bread Could Rise to the Occasion is probably one of my favorite books by Shelton and I think readers will be really pleased with the direction the series seems to be going. It's one of those series' that has you waiting with baited breath for the next book to come out. A wonderful addition to an intriguing and ghostly series.
If Bread Could Rise to the Occasion is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.
I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!
About the Author:
Paige Shelton is also the author of the national bestselling Farmers’ Market Mysteries. She lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, with her husband and son. When she’s up early enough, one of her favorite things is to watch the sun rise over the Wasatch Mountains.
The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of If Bread Could Rise to the Occasion by Paige Shelton.
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