Cozy mysteries are, most often, fun reads that are set in quaint towns with charming protagonists. BEARLY DEPARTED, the brand new book from Meg Mims (who also writes as part of the D.E. Ireland team) clearly takes the award for the most adorable premise and cover I’ve seen! I love that the series is called ‘A Shamelessly Adorable Teddy Bear Mystery‘ and the book lives up to its name. Having taken my two granddaughters to Build-A-Bear numerous times, I enjoyed the insider’s view of running a teddy bear factory and shop. The bits and pieces on how the bears are created added to the authenticity of the story.
The protagonist, Sasha Silverman, manages her family’s Silver Bear Shop and Factory in Silver Hollow, Michigan, working alongside her sister and her uncle. She has a very close relationship with her family and I enjoyed seeing their interaction and care for each other. The author takes time to set the stage by introducing the reader to the town, the people who live there, and to the teddy bear shop. While it might seem a tad slow starting out, I appreciate having the chance to get to know the characters and envisioning the town. I personally think it strengthens future books in the series by having a solid foundation. I also loved the tours of the teddy bear factory that Sasha conducts, particularly her interaction with the group of Girls Scouts. She comes across as a caring person, genuinely interested in the girls and in the impact her family business has on the community.
Once the Silver Bear Shop’s arrogant sales rep, Will Taylor, is found murdered in the factory, the story takes off and the pace picks up, keeping the reader turning pages to find out what happens next. With Sasha’s uncle a suspect in the murder, she becomes invested in finding the killer while trying to save the shop from financial ruin. There is a suspenseful ending that wraps up all the loose threads of the story together, making for a satisfying conclusion. This adorably cute book has it all: charming characters, suspense, a quaint town, and a story line that keeps the reader guessing. The only downside? I have to wait for the second book to be released before I can read more of this series!
While there aren’t any recipes in the book, Meg asked me to develop Teddy Bear Rolls based on a photo she had seen. These darling rolls are reminiscent of conchas, with their sweet bread and cookie dough accents. While there are a lot of steps to making these, the process really isn’t difficult. It’s kind of like playing with play dough 🙂 My granddaughters loved them and I think they would be adorable to serve at a tea party or at a children’s party where a meal is served. And I’ll have to admit, I had the children’s song “Picnic Time for Teddy Bears” running through my head the entire time I made these Teddy Bear Rolls…
The Silver Bear Shop and Factory might be the cutest place around, but there’s nothing warm and fuzzy about murder . . .
As manager of the family teddy bear shop and factory, thirty-one-year-old Sasha Silverman leads a charmed life. Well, except for the part about being a single divorcée with a ticking biological clock in small-town Silver Hollow. And that’s just kid’s stuff compared to Will Taylor, the sales rep who’s set on making drastic changes to the business her parents built from scratch—with or without Sasha’s approval . . .
But before Will digs his claws in, someone pulls the stuffing out of his plan . . . and leaves his dead body inside the factory. Reeling from shock, Sasha’s hit with more bad news—police suspect her hot-tempered Uncle Ross may have murdered him. Sasha knows her uncle would never do such a thing, and she’s launching her own little investigation to expose the truth. As she tracks Will’s biggest rivals and enemies for clues, Sasha can’t get too comfy—or she’ll become the next plaything for a killer . . .
A huge thank you to Meg Macy for providing a print copy for one lucky winner! Contest ends Monday, May 29, 2017 at 11:59 pm PST and is limited to U.S. residents. Please use the Rafflecopter box located below the recipe to enter. The winner will be announced on this page and on Cinnamon & Sugar’s Facebook page, as well as notified by email (so check your spam folder!)
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I was provided an advanced copy with the hopes I would review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.