Bring Your Own Baker by D.E. Haggerty
Cozy Mystery Self Published
Print Length: 166 pages
Publication Date: June 20, 2016
Anna just wants to earn enough money on the side to buy into the bakery, Callie’s Cakes, where she works together with her best nerd pal, Callie. The last thing she expects to see when she walks into Arthur’s apartment to do some moonlighting is a blood bath. Callie’s ready to jump into the investigation of Arthur’s murder, and she’s bringing another bakery worker, Kristie, into their hijinks whether Kristie wants to or not. But things aren’t as they seem. There are gang affiliations, illegal gambling dens, and ladies of the night to wade through. Will Anna and Callie discover who murdered Arthur, or will Callie’s detective boyfriend and Anna’s self-appointed protector put a stop to such aspirations?
Come join us at Callie’s Cakes, where murder investigations are on the menu, but make sure to bring your own baker, because Anna’s a bit preoccupied at the moment.Warning: This is NOT your mom’s cozy mystery. Bring Your Own Baker may be a ‘clean’ read, but if gangs, illegal gambling, and pimps make you turn your nose up at your e-reader, you might want to skip this one. Although you’ll be missing some sizzling chemistry between Anna and her protector. Not to mention a whole bunch of witty dialogue.
Anna, Callie's baker and friend gets to come out and play more in this sequel to Never Trust a Skinny Cupcake Baker, which is a great change from the norm. Normally, once a sidekick, always a sidekick. It should be noted that this was a label I applied to Anna (with whom I share a middle name), not Callie.
In fact, Callie so values Anna's contribution to the success of Callie's Cakes, that she wants to give her half the business! I don't know of many, if indeed any, business owner nowadays who would do such a thing. But then cozy heroines are kind of exceptional people, and Callie is certainly exceptional!
Anna has been moonlighting for a hacker to earn extra money so she can purchase half of the business at a fair price. I can understand that. A 50-50 partnership is a heck of a gift, no matter how much one has contributed to the success of a business. So Anna goes over to Arthur's apartment, and danged if he hasn't up and gotten himself murdered.
Unbeknownst to Anna, Arthur had connections to some shady business going down in the town. Artie has apparently been dabbling in illegal gambling and getting cozy with at least one of the larger gangs. It was a clear case of 'you lay down with dogs and you get fleas'.
Being as Anna 'discovered' the body and he was known to her, she feels vested in finding out whodunnit. And she dives deep into the investigation, to the chagrin of the local law, who would rather just lock her up and be done with the case. But Anna has a self-proclaimed protector in the guise of a hot bad biker boy.
The action gets pretty steamy once Anna gives the guy her key so he can stop breaking in the apartment. And it was apparent pretty early on that bad boy had a definite soft spot when it came to Anna. Likewise, Anna developed a soft spot for her biker, and then they started *ahem* comparing soft spots. You might not need a cold shower after bring reading Bring Your Own Baker, but do make sure you A/C is working before you crack the cover. *wink*
Overall, this was a great follow-up to Never Trust a Skinny Cupcake Baker. Callie has stopped emphasizing all the reasons she can't believe her guy would want to be with a woman like her, and has accepted his charming attentions...quite often, as a matter of fact. Now we know more about Anna, so I'm really hoping there is at least one more book coming in the series because, Callie and Anna together? That town will n.e.v.e.r. be the same!
I grew up reading everything I could get my hands on from my mom's Harlequin romances to Nancy Drew to Little Women. When I wasn't flipping pages in a library book, I was penning horrendous poems, writing songs no one should ever sing, or drafting stories which have thankfully been destroyed. College and a stint in the U.S. Army came along, robbing me of free time to write and read, although I did manage every once in a while to sneak a book into my rucksack between rolled up socks, MRIs, t-shirts, and cold weather gear. A few years into my legal career, I was exhausted, fed up, and just plain done. I quit my job and sat down to write a manuscript, which I promptly hid in the attic after returning to the law. Another job change, this time from lawyer to B&B owner and I was again fed up and ready to scream I quit, which is incredibly difficult when you own the business. Thus, I shut the B&B during the week and in the off-season and started writing. Several books later I find myself in Istanbul writing full-time.
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/bring-your-own-baker-de-haggerty/1123795411?ean=2940153018690
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(Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher via Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours in exchange for my honest review.)