Saturday, October 3, 2020

Dough or Die

 Dough or Die is the fifth book in Winnie Archer's A Bread Shop Mystery series. While this book is part of a series, it can be read as a stand-alone novel. This book takes readers on a plot-driven mystery to discover the truth behind the near-death hit and run of a cameraman in front of Yeast of Eden bakery. With the encouragement from the local sheriff Ivy is on the hunt to figure out who tried to kill him, and why. But she's going to have her own issues from the past to come and put her on the lookout for her own dangers to come.

Dough or Die really caught my attention since I am an avid baker myself so I was excited to read this book and really enjoy the ride. The book all in all is a good read. The book is easy to get into and follow along with what is going on with the different characters. What I enjoyed the most about this book is the mystery element of it all. The cameraman is the victim of a hit and run and then the legwork of trying to discover what could possibly drive (no pun intended) to want to harm him. He seems to have such a clean record, but it's not the past that is trackable that holds the answers in this case. I love the small-town vibe of this book and how there are some real-life tie ins as well. It helps to elevate the story in places to really keep readers engaged. 

The pacing of the story is good, but I also found it a bit flat. There isn't a lot of drama and tension that I have come to expect and anticipate with a mystery, even a cozy mystery. It left me a bit disappointed. Since this book is fifth in a series, all of the relationships have already been established and so there is very little of that build in this book, so it left me feeling a bit disconnected from their relationships. There are some references to past situations and issues as well, but the author doesn't go in-depth with them. I'm sure so as to not confuse the readers on things that don't truly get addressed or have any connection to the storyline now. I was also disappointed that we didn't get a proper description of Billy's fiancee Em earlier in the book. We get multiple descriptions of Ivy, but only when Ivy asks Em how she is going to do her hair for her wedding do I get any clue that she's a black woman. 

Overall, I enjoyed this book, but it wasn't a really gripping mystery that had me frantically page-turning to learn the truth behind all the events that happened in this book. I am rating this book 4 out of 5 stars. The truth behind all the tragedy is truly heartbreaking, but the ending is decent enough. I may go back and read the series from the beginning and maybe I'll enjoy it more. But for those who enjoy a nice quiet cozy mystery with just a hint of danger here and there then this book would be a perfect fit for them. Plus, the author includes a couple of delicious sounding bread recipes at the end as well. 

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