My rating: 3 of 5 stars
A Crusty Murder by J.M. Griffin is a 2013 Lachcisis Publication.
Melina runs The Hole in the Wall bakery with her grandmother in Rhode Island. When the very unpopular landlord turns up dead, Melina is implicated. Melina's best friend BettyJo is also a suspect. Melina is trying to keep her business afloat, keep an eye on her seventy year old grandmother who still thinks she is in her twenties, and stave off the ambitious detective Graham who likes Melina and her baked goods, but also wouldn't mind putting her in prison for murder. The other huge thing going in Melina's life is her attraction to Scotsman Aidan Sinclair, a man in the states for a brief time on business who decided to take bread making classes at The Hole in the Wall. When another murder occurs, and once more Melina is implicated it looks as if someone is trying to frame her. Will detective Graham believe in her innocence? What about Aidan and the other tenants? Could one of them be responsible?
This very short cozy style mystery was a cute whodunit centered around the aromas of the bakery. Eccentric characters, several suspects with clear motives, and a touch of romance round out the mystery. Melina is a sincere and honest girl trying to stay afloat in a terrible economy. She wants to be a good granddaughter and friend and business woman. She would also like a little romance with a certain Scotsman, but she is plagued by doubts about him.
While there was bit of a guessing game involved, the mystery was just a little predictable and the motive was a little dicey. The charming atmosphere and the characters made up for the holes in the mystery part of the story. If you like cozy style mysteries, I think you will enjoy this one. If nothing else you will have a craving for a fresh baked muffin. Overall this one is a B-/C+
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