Ivy Culpepper, photographer and part-time employee of famed bread shop Yeast of Eden in beautiful Santa Sofia, receives an opportunity of a lifetime when she is asked to document Eliza Fox’s holiday party. As fitting a Hollywood starlet, Eliza’s asked guests to come dressed costumed as characters from Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.
Shortly after Eliza makes her grand entrance, a scream brought guests outside to find one of the caterers gesturing over the cliffs: a man had fallen—or been pushed—to his death.
The man, paparazzi Ed Yentin, had no shortage of enemies. He had already published one scathing article about Eliza’s husband and was rumored to be writing a second more shocking piece. Eliza’s wasn’t the only career or marriage he devastated. Actress Cordelia Knight, who also had secrets exposed by Yentin, was rumored to be in attendance.
Ivy, no stranger to investigations, becomes embroiled in the case when her photographs from the party become important evidence. Though Ivy wants to prove Eliza innocent, she may have the strongest motive of all.
All year, I read cozy mysteries but they seem particularly fitting during the holiday season! This is the seventh book in the Bread Shop Mystery Series, and though I had no problem starting here, I might have missed some background on the recurring characters: Emmaline, the no-nonsense sheriff and Ivy’s best friend, Olaya, the talented owner of Yeast of Eden and Ivy’s mentor, Mrs. Branford, Ivy’s older neighbor and partner-in-crime, and her boyfriend, Miguel.
The mystery—Hollywood intrigue exported to a small costal town—was fun with many possible suspects. I was surprised by how things wrapped up.
All the descriptions of baked goods were so tempting, but the book includes several recipes (including one for a fun cocktail that I am definitely trying soon). Best of all, the animal sidekick is a pug!
Thanks to Kensington Books and NetGalley for providing an advanced reading copy in exchange for an honest review!