Carlene O’Connor: Murder at an Irish Bakery

Few protagonists have ever managed to draw me in as quickly as Siobhan O’Sullivan in Carlene O’Connor’s Murder at an Irish Bakery. The Garda of Kilbane is to provide security at a bakery competition at the old mill bakery called Pie Pie Love, which is a dream assignment for the pastry addicted Siobhan. While she takes her duty seriously, Siobhan is also delighted with the prospects of samples a-plenty of both confections and coffee. Her enthusiasm is infectious, and I found myself needing a little tasty treat as I read her very relatable internal musings about her sampling expectations. Sadly, things aren’t all cakes and lemon tarts. read more

Best of 2022

I had a really, really hard time keeping this to 10 books – hence my lengthy honorable mention list this year.  This is the first year this list is all women!  That was my goal when I closed the store – to cover new series and books by women and it looks like that’s what’s happening organically.  These are the books that stuck with me all year, books that when I read them, I was entranced and transported. They appeared in different ways. Mariah Fredericks pressed an early advance copy of The Lindbergh Nanny into my eager hands at Malice Domestic last spring – it was a book I was very excited to read and I was not disappointed.  I saw the cover of Blackwater Falls and it called to me – again, I was not disappointed.  I was interested to see Deanna Raybourn doing something so different – again, no disappointment.  It’s such a fun journey of discovery. Some on this list are veterans turning in great books, some are new series or standalones – all have that great, memorable sparkle.  What a wonderful year to be a reader. I did include one reference book this year, one so exceptional it would be criminal not to give it a shout out. read more