Ana T. Drew
GENRE: Cozy mystery
Welcome to Beldoc, a small town in the heart of Provence, imbued with lavender and fresh baked bread! You can idle around, or you can puzzle out a murder mystery.
When a man dies on her watch in her pâtisserie, newly divorced chef Julie Cavallo is dismayed. It isn’t that she’s a suspect. The local gendarmerie captain signs off the death as a natural event. A heart attack. But for a reason she won’t discuss, Julie suspects Maurice Sauve was poisoned. What’s a girl to do? She’ll ignore the risk and seek justice for Maurice on her own!
Well, not quite on her own. Julie’s eccentric grandmother, her snarky sister and her geeky sous chef are keen to help. The team’s amateurism is a challenge. But there’s also the pesky matter of no evidence, no clues, and soon, no body. The murder—if it was a murder—was planned and executed flawlessly.
Can a small-town baker solve the perfect crime?
The Murderous Macaron is a twisty whodunnit mystery perfect for fans of Janet Evanovich, Alexander McCall Smith, Jana DeLeon and Lilian Jackson Braun.
I sit down across a round table from the gendarme, Capitaine Adinian, and begin my sad tale of yesterday’s macaron-making workshop that didn’t go as planned.
He listens, barely taking any notes.
When I get to the part where I asked my students to mix the ingredients I’d prepared for them, Capitaine Adinian leans forward. “Who prepared and laid out the ingredients?”
“Shortly before the class began.”
“Did you leave the shop, even for a brief time, after you had everything ready for the class?” he asks.
He scribbles something in his little notebook. “Please continue.”
“Most participants struggled to get their batter to stiffen,” I say. “Some gave up, claiming it was impossible without an electric mixer.”
“Did Maurice Sauve give up?”
“Quite the contrary. He whisked unrelentingly, switching hands but never pausing. He was the first to complete the task.”
Capitaine Adinian writes that down.
“I gave him one of these.” I show Adinian the remaining badges that Flo had made for the workshop.
“Great Baking Potential,” he reads aloud.
“Then I went around with his bowl and had everyone admire the perfect consistency of the batter.”
“Did anything stand out or seem unusual at that point?”
I gaze up at the ceiling, picturing the scene of me praising Maurice Sauve’s firm, satiny batter, students giving him their thumbs-up, and him smiling, visibly stoked. But he isn’t just smiling, he’s also… Panic squeezing my throat, I zero in on his face. He’s panting.
Oh. My. God.
I clap my hand over my mouth. “What if he’d whisked too hard? What if that exertion caused his heart attack?”
“An intense workout, especially at freezing temperatures, can trigger a heart attack,” Adinian says.
“He whisked intensely.”
“Madame Cavallo, I’ve never heard of anyone whisking themselves to an early grave.”
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Ana T. Drew is the evil mastermind behind the recent series of murders in the fictional French town of Beldoc. When she is not writing cozy mysteries or doing mom-and-wife things, she can be found watching “The Rookie” to help her get over “Castle”. She lives in Paris but her heart is in Provence.
>>> Visit ana-drew.com for a free cookbook and a game!
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3.75 out of 5 stars
The Murderous Macaron by Ana T. Drew stars Julie Cavallo, whose gluten-free bakery has been the site of a death. Julie’s sense that there is more to it than meets the eye puts her at odds with Capitaine Gabriel Adinian, who wants to get this cut-and-dried case off of his plate.
This cozy mystery with paranormal elements is part of the ‘Provence Cozy Mysteries’ series, and has the typical kooky cast of colorful characters, including a grandmother who teaches doga (doggy yoga), and a smart-mouthed and sometimes wise younger sister (I love her advice that…. “if you keep mentally photoshopping the ugly truth out of people, you’ll surround yourself with friends you can always rely on to backstab you.”)
The special talent that Julie evidently shares with her estranged twin was unexpected and added an odd element to the story, which already has its share of twists and turns. I enjoyed following the investigation and the red herrings as well as the opportunity to armchair travel to a small town in France, plus who could resist the sexy capitaine? Julie will undoubtedly have more adventures to come, and I look forward to reading about more of her madcap adventures and their alliterative titles.
A copy of this title was provided for review