When The Cookie Crumbles
Berkley Prime Crime, Aug 7 2012, $7.99
The 250th anniversary of the founding of Baltimore suburb Chatterley Heights is coming soon and the excited townsfolk prepare for the celebration. Gingerbread House co-owners Olivia Greyson and Maddie Briggs are creating a gingerbread house on the form of the vacant Chatterley Mansion where the celebrants including the two BFFs since childhood look forward to touring the place.
However, the tour ends before it begins when the last of the Chatterley brood, thought deceased Paine and his wife Hermione, who suffers from heart problems, arrive and move into their family home. He denies access so there will be no tours. Many people who looked forward to the tour are irate with Paine. Soon afterward, Hermione becomes hysterical when she finds Paine lying face down dead in the tub. The police conclude she is innocent as he was suffocated to death before the culprit placed him in the tub, something she could not have done. Though she knows to mind her business, obsessed Olivia cannot as she knows Paine made many enemies but theorizes he died due to avarice as the killer wanted his valuable Chatterley Cookie Cutter collection.
Cozy fans will enjoy the third delicious Cookie Cutter Shop Mystery (see Cookie Dough Or Die and A Cookie Before Dying). Olivia is a complex person who knows almost every town resident and they all know her; so encourage and abet her investigation as it takes a quaint village to solve a homicide case. Although Olivia has no motive beyond her bone marrow compulsion to sleuth, fans will appreciate her efforts as she escorts armchair readers on a tour of small town Maryland.