Monday, May 22, 2023

Hard Dough Homicide - Cozy Mystery Review

Goodreads:  Hard Dough Homicide (A Spice Isle Mystery #2) by Olivia Matthews

Rating: Really Liked It (4 Stars)
Source:   Publisher

Description:  Someone in Brooklyn’s Little Caribbean neighborhood has an appetite for murder in Olivia Matthews' Hard Dough Homicide .

Spice Isle Bakery owner Lyndsay Murray is always looking for new ways to grow her family’s business. But she already regrets agreeing to host the retirement dinner for local high school principal Emily Smith. The tyrant used to be her mother's boss and they did not get along. Six guests arrive for the celebration, but only five survive. Emily starts convulsing―right after eating the curry chicken―and dies soon after. It’s not long before the police are knocking on Spice Isle’s door, bringing the Murray family back into the heart of another murder investigation―driving away customers in the process. Lyndsay can't help but wonder if this is the end of the bakery, even though it's just begun. She must put aside her reservations about investigating another crime, because the Murrays refuse to go down without a fight.

Genre: Mystery - Cozy

Why I Picked This Book:  The premise of this book sounded interesting so I decided to read it on a whim.

My Impression:  Well this was a delight!  I read a lot of cozy mysteries but this is one of the few I've read that take place in a large city and definitely the first I've read that focuses on Caribbean culture and food.  

I liked Lyndsay right from the beginning and I can't blame her for keeping Detective Bryce at arms length despite his status as her childhood crush and pretty nice looking adult who is interested in her.  Lyndsay is relieved to have put the previous murder behind her and is focusing on getting her family's bakery off the ground and profitable as well as learning how to bake to her grandmother's standards.  

Against her better judgement she is pressured into catering a retirement dinner and the only surprise when the guest of honor collapses at the table is that someone waited so long to kill her.  With Lyndsay's family and bakery once again in the crosshairs of a murder investigation the family leaps into action to keep their bakery afloat and to find the true killer.  I'm a big fan of mysteries that involve collaboration investigations and while Lyndsay is definitely the lead her family pitches in and finds all kinds of ways to contribute.  Pretty much everyone had wanted to kill the victim at one time or another but who had finally been pushed to the end and why?  

The investigation was a ton of fun to read and I loved getting to know Lyndsey and her family.  While the story takes place in Brooklyn the community is so involved that it has all the charm of a small town setting.  While this is the second book in the series this is the first book I've read and I had no issue getting into the book and understanding who was who.  I will definitely be picking up the first book and will be keeping my eyes open for more books by this author.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author? Absolutely!  I really enjoyed this book and am looking forward to revisiting Spice Isle Bakery

Would I Recommend this Book?  Definitely!  If you enjoy cozy mysteries and love books with a strong community this is a series that shouldn't be missed.

* I received this book in exchange for an honest review.  As always my opinions and impressions are completely my own. *


  1. This is on my review stack. Glad to see you enjoyed it!
    Mary @Bookfan

  2. I like books featuring food and especially those which include a recipe or two.

  3. Wonderful review. Of course I love a good foodie book and the mystery sounds good too!

  4. Sounds really good with a few points of difference that just give it a bit of zest.