The picturesque village of Kilbane in County Cork, Ireland, is the perfect backdrop for a baking contest—until someone serves up a show-stopping murder that only Garda Siobhan O’Sullivan can solve.
In Kilbane, opinions are plentiful and rarely in alignment. But there’s one thing everyone does agree on—the bakery in the old flour mill, just outside town, is the best in County Cork, well worth the short drive and the long lines. No wonder they’re about to be featured on a reality baking show.
All six contestants in the show are coming to Kilbane to participate, and the town is simmering with excitement. Aside from munching on free samples, the locals—including Siobhan—get a chance to appear in the opening shots. As for the competitors themselves, not all are as sweet as their confections. There are shenanigans on the first day of filming that put everyone on edge, but that’s nothing compared to day two, when the first round ends and the top contestant is found face-down in her signature pie.
The producers decide to continue filming while Siobhan and her husband, Garda Macdara Flannery, sift through the suspects. Was this a case of rivalry turned lethal, or are their other motives hidden in the mix? And can they uncover the truth before another baker is eliminated—permanently . . .
It’s so nice to revisit the atmospheric Irish Village again where I can enjoy the countryside and people. I always look forward to the author’s sense of humor, spicing the dialogue, particularly between herself and Macdara with wit and couple spark.
“Drop the attitude and answer the question,” Macdara said. Siobhán’s insides warmed up. She was going to bring him breakfast in bed for the rest of his life. Or at least once.”
This addition to the series is perfect for foodies in that there is to be a reality baking show just outside the town of Kilbane where the locals are expecting to sample the specialties of the contestants of a show held in the old flour mill. More than that, they are expecting to rub elbows with the well-known top contestant soon to release a memoir.
Garda Siobhán O’Sullivan is just slightly distracted by all the delightful smells, the beauty of the confections, and the heavenly tastes she manages to wrangle. And there is another distraction—that of a sugar protestor “sugar kills!” Not until the second day when a very suspicious “accident” happens to the lead contestant does it begin to look as if they have a murderous baker in the group, although to be fair, there are the judges as well as the camera crew.
Garda O’Sullivan must decide if she should shut it down (and watch her suspects split) or keep it going and risk another fatal mishap. Garda Flannery joins the fray and they begin bouncing off all the possible scenarios, which at first flush doesn’t seem to get them very far.
It seems Garda O’Sullivan is still leading the posse with speculation but defers somewhat to hubby than she has before—building consensus. It’s easy to draw your own assumptions among the theories, but not so the culprit this time so I just let it roll out to the conclusion and reveal.
I began this series with Book 4 and have read each now, including Book 8 Murder on an Irish Farm, and Book 7, Murder in an Irish Bookshop; one of my favorite go-to series. Currently on pre-order for a February 2023 release and recommended.
I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and publisher through @NetGalley that in no way influenced this review. These are my honest thoughts.
Rosepoint Rating: Four point Five Stars
Genre: Cozy Culinary Mysteries, International Mystery & Crime
Publisher: Kensington Cozies
Print Length: 304 pages
Publication Date: February 21, 2023
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
The Author: Carlene O’Connor comes from a long line of Irish storytellers. Her great-grandmother emigrated from Ireland to America during the Troubles, and the stories have been flowing ever since. Of all the places across the pond she’s wandered, she fell most in love with a walled town in County Limerick and was inspired to create the town of Kilbane, County Cork. Carlene currently divides her time between New York and the Emerald Isle.
©2022 V Williams