Wednesday, January 18, 2023

ARC Review: Against the Currant by Olivia Matthews

Against the Currant

Olivia Matthews
Series: A Spice Isle Bakery Mystery (Book 1)
Publication: St. Martin's Paperbacks (January 24, 2023)

Description: In Olivia Matthews's Against the Currant, the first Spice Isle Bakery Mystery, investigating a murder was never supposed to be on the menu…

Little Caribbean, Brooklyn, New York: Lyndsay Murray is opening Spice Isle Bakery with her family, and it’s everything she’s ever wanted. The West Indian bakery is her way to give back to the community she loves, stay connected to her Grenadian roots, and work side-by-side with her family. The only thing getting a rise out of Lyndsay is Claudio Fabrizi, a disgruntled fellow bakery owner who does not want any competition.

On opening day, he comes into the bakery threatening to shut them down. Fed up, Lyndsay takes him to task in front of what seems to be the whole neighborhood. So when Claudio turns up dead a day later―murdered―Lyndsay is unfortunately the prime suspect. To get the scent of suspicion off her and her bakery, Lyndsay has to prove she’s innocent―under the watchful eyes of her overprotective brother, anxious parents, and meddlesome extended family―what could go wrong?

My Thoughts: Lyndsay Murray's lifelong dream of opening a Caribbean inspired bakery with her family is near to coming true. But Claudio Febrizi is harassing her because he feels she is deliberately trying to undercut his own bakery a couple of blocks away. They have a loud argument in front of many customers when he attends her soft opening. 

When Claudio is found dead in his home, stabbed with a bread knife, and with Lyndsay's charm bracelet on the scene, it looks like a slam dunk for her high school crush, now turned homicide detective and his partner. But Lyndsay is determined to clear her name and her reputation because she has put too much of her own money, hopes and dreams and those of her family too into her new business. 

There are a number of suspects other than Lyndsay. Claudio was not at all well-loved. His son might have wanted him out of the way. Then there's the blogger who is convinced that Claudio scammed her mother out of a fortune. And a woman whose relationship with Claudio's son was sabotaged by Claudio. 

Despite the bidding of the police and her own family, Lyndsay begins her own investigation of Claudio's death which puts her in some danger. 

I enjoyed the Caribbean culture, the delicious sounding treats (with recipes at the end), and the strong relationships in Lyndsay's very supportive family. 

Favorite Quote:
Confrontations. I've tried to avoid them all my life. So it was even more absurd that I was suspected of killing Claudio because of an argument. One of the few times I stood up for myself, I end up a person of interest in a homicide investigation.
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

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