TWO PARTS SUGAR, ONE PART MURDER, is the first book in the brand-new Baker Street Mysteries by Valerie Burns. With humor woven into an intriguing murder and a sassy, social media savvy protagonist, the story kept me glued to the pages. From the very first paragraph, I was entertained by the author’s descriptive voice, which is frequently humorous, and had me laughing out loud several times. After a disastrous wedding with her being left at the alter—livestreamed no less—protagonist Maddy Montgomery finds herself inheriting a bakery, a house, and a giant 250-pound English mastiff named Baby. It’s a far cry from her globe-trotting, pampered lifestyle provided by an overindulgent, but distant, father. This sets the stage for Maddie to find self-reliance as she attempts to fit into an unknown lifestyle in rural New Bison. I enjoyed the learning curve Maddie experiences and the character arc woven into the plot. Ms. Burns does an admirable job of creating memorable characters, besides Maddie, and, by far, Baby, steals each scene he inhabits! I also appreciated the small-town vibes given off by the people who welcome Maddie into their midst, particularly her great-aunt’s friends known as the Baker Street Irregulars. They are quick to jump into action to help her out, no matter the problems that crop up.
But not everyone is happy to see Maddie move into town to take over her great-aunt’s bakery. Pressures mount for her to sell the bakery and her new home, but with the will stipulating she must live in New Bison for a year before taking any actions, she’s stuck. And when the mayor is found murdered in Maddy’s bakery with her fingerprints on the weapon, she becomes suspect number one. This fast-paced whodunit weaves Maddie’s aunt’s demise into the current murder, taking the reader on a whirlwind ride. She finds there are secrets people are loath to part with, but she must uncover them to find the clues to save herself and her aunt’s business. As she begins unraveling the clues, the pressure builds for her to abandon her inheritance. Will she stick it out to find the truth and clear her name or will her former indulgent lifestyle become a siren call she can’t refuse? With a hair-raising reveal, the author answers that question and brings together the threads of the story into a succinct and satisfactory conclusion that has me pleading for more!
While Maddy may not know how to bake, or even cook, her great-aunt left behind her recipes and a capable baker named Leroy to keep the bakery running. Be prepared for many mentions of mouthwatering treats mentioned throughout the book… I think I was drooling almost as much as Baby! Thankfully, the author includes several recipes at the back of the book for the home cook to make at home to satisfy those cravings. I was especially delighted to find a recipe for Lemon Zucchini Bread. Simple to make, the lemon juice gives it a lighter flavor and the lemony glaze makes it taste indulgent. It’s a yummy way to use up summer’s overabundant garden crop and I’ll be making it again and again to share with family and friends.
When Maddy Montgomery’s groom is a no-show to their livestream wedding, it’s a disaster that no amount of filtering can fix. But a surprise inheritance offers a chance to regroup and rebrand—as long as Maddy is willing to live in her late, great-aunt Octavia’s house in New Bison, Michigan, for a year, running her bakery and caring for a 250-pound English mastiff named Baby.
Maddy doesn’t bake, and her Louboutins aren’t made for walking giant dogs around Lake Michigan, but the locals are friendly and the scenery is beautiful. With help from her aunt’s loyal friends, aka the Baker Street Irregulars, Maddy feels ready to tackle any challenge, including Octavia’s award-winning cake recipes. That is, until New Bison’s mayor is fatally stabbed, and Maddy’s fingerprints are found on the knife . . .
Something strange is going on in New Bison. It seems Aunt Octavia had her suspicions, too. But Maddy’s going to need a whole lot more than a trending hashtag to save her reputation—and her life.
A special thanks to Valerie Burns for providing a print copy of TWO PARTS SUGAR, ONE PART MURDER! Contest ends September 7, 2022 at 11:59 pm PST and is limited to U.S. residents only. Please use the Rafflecopter box located below 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!)
- 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 cup finely shredded unpeeled zucchini (don't squeeze or dry)
- 1/4 cup cooking oil
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).
Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium-sized mixing bowl and set aside.
Combine sugar, zucchini, cooking oil, egg, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a separate bowl and mix together.
Add the dry ingredients to the zucchini mixture and stir until just combined.
Pour batter into a greased loaf pan (9"x5").
Bake at 350 degrees (F) for 45 - 50 minutes or until golden brown.
Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes, and then remove from pan and cool completely.
Combine ingredients for the glaze and drizzle over the bread. If the bread isn't cool, the glaze will soak into the bread and be even more lemony.
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I was provided with an advance copy. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Yum! I have a recipe I use with lemon Greek yogurt–this looks so good too! No huge dogs here, have a neighbor with a Great Dane! Finally see how big they are in real life!
Never had any big or little dogs. Only had 1 cat (and some fish when I was a kid.)
I need to try this recipe. Thanks.
I’ve always had small dogs. My husband had
a black lab but he was not a “pet”. Don’t have
a fur baby now. Books sounds interesting.
I have always had cats. I currently work in a dog friendly office where there are many dogs, including one very big Great Pyrenees mix.
I must make this delicious-looking bread…it will go great with tea!!! Thank you for sharing your writing talents with us eager readers Valerie!
Thank you for the recipe. I can’t wait to try it. We have a chocolate lab.
We use to have golden retriever.
when i was a kid we had a black lab but thats all .. that bread looks good
large but not huge
I’ve never had a big dog, but my childhood best friend’s family was a big dog breeder.
We would get to pet and visit with the puppies.
I will definitely be baking the lemon zucchini bread.
We had Siberian Huskies.
We have only owned small breeds – Miniature Schnauzers and West Highland White Terriers – over the years.
I’ve never owned a ‘huge’ dog, the largest was a Siberian Husky and a fox red Yellow Lab. My brother and sister-in-law have owned Great Dane’s though.
I never had a big dog. I had a Pomeranian growing up.
Thanks for the recipe! I love zucchini and lemon.
Your bread looks delicious! Thank you for the recipe and the chance to win your wonderful book!
The biggest dog we had was our Dalmatian ( Patches)🥰
This looks delicious! I have always had a 🐱
I had a medium sized dog through my teen years. Sandy was a good listener and he helped me survive my teenaged angst!
I never have!
We had Siberian Huskies. However, my BFF has two white Great Pyrenees –
one is convinced he is a lap dog.
I had a black lab. She was a great dog.
We have had labs and shepherds in the past. Thank you for this chance.
My furbaby weighs only 10 pounds; otherwise, we mainly had cats growing up. Love cats and dogs.
I have, and I love big dogs!
No I have only had small dogs.
I’ve never owned a huge dog. These days, we have cats. I would like a corgi at some point, but no big dogs for me!
We haven’t owned a huge dog.
I have never owned a huge dog.
Yes, we have. We had Collies when I was growing up. We had a stray dog that we are not sure of his breading. He was very protective of me. This was fabulous since my husband worked nights. The dog even saved my life by waking me up to get me out of our apartment when the unit next door caught fire. Thank you so much for sharing. God bless you.
My late husband and I had a Golden Retriever and a Collie Shepherd. They were the BEST dogs. Those were great times, back then.
I had a great Dane. Big, adorable, strong, cute, and wonderful!
Owned many dogs and many dogs owned my heart, but they have all been small ones. No big ones here.
I have never owned a big dog
I have never owned a dog.
Exciting new book