Bran New Death by Victoria Hamilton | Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Bran New Death

Bran New Death

4.3 18
by Victoria Hamilton
     
 

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Expert muffin baker Merry Wynter is finally ready to turn her passion into a career.  But when a dead body is found on her property, she’s more worried about cooking up an alibi…
 
Merry is making a fresh start in small-town Autumn Vale, New York, in the mansion she’s inherited from her late uncle, Melvin. The house is

Overview

Expert muffin baker Merry Wynter is finally ready to turn her passion into a career.  But when a dead body is found on her property, she’s more worried about cooking up an alibi…
 
Merry is making a fresh start in small-town Autumn Vale, New York, in the mansion she’s inherited from her late uncle, Melvin. The house is run-down and someone has been digging giant holes on the grounds, but with its restaurant-quality kitchen, the place has potential for her new baking business. She even has her first client—the local retirement home.
 
Unfortunately, Merry soon finds that quite a few townsfolk didn’t like Uncle Mel, and she has inherited their enmity as well as his home. Local baker Binny Turner and her crazy brother, Tom, blame Melvin for their father’s death, and Tom may be the one vandalizing her land. But when Tom turns up dead in one of the holes in her yard, Merry needs to prove she had nothing to do with his death—or her new muffin-making career may crumble before it starts...

FIRST IN A NEW SERIES!

Includes delicious recipes!
 

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This was my first time listening to Margaret Strom and she did a good job..." —Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My!

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780425258835
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
09/03/2013
Series:
Merry Muffin Mystery Series, #1
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
479,653
Product dimensions:
4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
Praise for Victoria Hamilton’s Vintage Kitchen Mysteries
 
“[A] delightful find.”—Sheila Connolly, New York Times bestselling author

“Smartly written and successfully plotted.”—Library Journal
 
 

Meet the Author

As Victoria Hamilton, Donna Lea Simpson is the national bestselling author of the Vintage Kitchen Mysteries including A Deadly Grind, Bowled Over, and Freezer I'll Shoot. She is also a collector of vintage cookware and recipes.

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Bran New Death 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
achickwhoreads More than 1 year ago
 Bran New Death is the first book in in new series by Victoria Hamilton. I have to admit, I love any cozy mystery that involves food and this one is no different. Merry Wynter is really a unique character. She's a former plus sized model, turned PA for a Naomi Campbell type turned muffin baker. Woo hoo! I love her already! And the townspeople of Autumn Vale, New York...perfectly quirky! And her inherited property..well you know things are going to be crazy when she arrives and there are hole everywhere! Oh and the property is a castle..in upstate NY! My imagination conjured images of Bodlt Castle which is near the Canadian border...Thousand Islands, NY...sigh..now I want to go there. Toss in a dead body and let the sleuthing begin. This is the kind of book that draws you in from the first pages. As soon as see arrives in Autumn Vale the weirdness begins, with the local baker Binny accusing her uncle of murdering her father. Oh and she's a baker..and well so is Merry...so there's going to be some tension there...there has to be! But wait, there really isn't. They actually become friends as they work to find out who killed Tom and what happened to Rusty, and there's so much more involved in this book than just the murder. Oh and Tom's tied to so much more in this story than just Merry's uncle and his dad. I absolutely loved this one. Such fun! It kept you turning the pages until the very end and even after the crime is solved, Victoria sets up some new players that will hopefully figure in more in the next book. I'll have to buy this one when it comes out because I need to have the recipes at the end!  Review copy provided by net galley
CozyUpWithKathy More than 1 year ago
Bran New Death Pub. Date: September 3rd, 2013 Book 1 – Merry Muffin Mysteries Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime Author: Victoria Hamilton Review After dealing with the devastating loss of her husband and the backlash of a nasty fashion world incident Merry Wynter decides to flee New York City and head to Upstate New York to finally see the castle she has inherited. Her plan is to make the castle ready for sale, but there are problems. Autumn Vale is an odd town with odd residents. After a cool reception Merry discovers one of the reasons the castle hasn't sold-gaping holes have been dug around the property. Who would be doing this and why? Merry finds out the who soon enough, and after a confrontation the digger is found dead in one of the holes! I found this book captivating, charming, and I want to read more! Filled with unique characters Bran New Death opens a world of possibilities. Things aren't what they seem, from Uncle Melvyn's death, the missing business partner, even the residents of Autumn Vale and the town itself. Along with Merry we learn we have to question everything and see the possibilities that exist. Author Victoria Hamilton manages to create many layers to this book. It starts as a simple escape, then mystery and evolves into many mysteries with an excellent promise of more to come at the end. The characters have many layers as well, and not just our protagonist. We see glimpses of the complex man that is Sheriff Virgil Grace. Shilo is not just a model with a mysterious past, but a true friends who picks up and leaves her life to help her friend. She also brings the loveable Magic. And don't forget the muffins!!! Sweet and savory, Merry makes them and I want to eat them. I'd love to spend an afternoon in that wonderful castle kitchen, sitting by the fireplace, and munching on muffins with these characters, my new friends.
chefdt More than 1 year ago
Bran New Death is the first in the A Merry Muffin Mystery series. I think this is a very wonderful series, as is Hamilton's Vintage Kitchen series. Merry Wynter's uncle has left her his castle in upstate New York in the pretty little village of Autumn Vale. With losing her job with a NYC supermodel, Merry decides to visit the castle to see what needs to be done to finally get it sold and get some much needed cash. Upon arriving Merry finds that someone has been digging holes in the back yard, which no can explain why. Soon, she starts hearing rumors that her uncle killed his business partner. When the son of the man that has rumored to have been killed is found dead in the backyard in one of the holes that he had been digging, Merry is determined to get some answers. To help with here inquiries are her BFF from NYC, Shilo, her real estate agent Jack McGill, Gogi Grace who is also the mother of the sheriff and runs as assisted living home. Also, she has been able to overcome bad feeling from Binn the owner of Binny's Bakery. Gogi has a feeling that Merry's uncle wasn't a victim of auto accident, but was forced off the road. Binny is the surprise, it is her father that the uncle is accused of killing and it was her brother that was found dead by Merry on her property. Binny is seeking closure on her father disappearance or possible murder and she is willing to work with Merry. Wonderful believable characters and set in beautiful little town. Perfect for a great cozy. Looking forward to the next book to see how Shilo and Jack might be doing and to find out if Merry has let her male guard down any and also to see how plans for Wynter Castle are progressing. Recipes are included with the book.
ethel55 More than 1 year ago
Her career in disarray, Merry Wynter decides it's time to head to upstate New York and see just what type of property her distant Uncle Melvyn left her. Autumn Vale is very small and populated with the kind of quirky folk you would expect in the beginning of a new cozy series. They are guarded around Merry, she is a newcomer, and almost an heiress to boot. You would think Wynter Castle, it's odd holes covering the grounds and her uncle's business dealings would keep Merry busy. But, she finds a way to ingratiate herself to some townspeople by making muffins for the local nursing home. I liked Hamilton's new series and think the next book will help streamline some of these character's story lines, there was a lot going on a lot of the time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
4 STARS I had no clue about who the good guys or bad guys were. This was a very good mystery. I can't wait to read the next one in the series. Full of drama, crazy characters, lots of secrets, in a beautiful setting. It is also a clean read. Merry is the main character. Her life has just been messed up and she was fired. So she came to see why her property she inherited A Castle was not selling. In Autumn Vale, New York. She can't find her property even with GPS. First people she meets are not willing to help her. Another lady convinces her to make muffins for the people in her rest care. Before she even sees her house. Finally she is shown her house and their are lots of holes someone has been digging in her front yard. People did not like her Uncle and blamed him for another persons disappearance. Merry likes to make muffins and likes to cook to relax. So she is going to bake the muffins. Merry told no one goodbye when she gave up her apartment and put everything in storage. So she calls her good friend and tells her where she is for now. Merry's good friend shows up Shilo shows up the next day with Jack McGill who is going to fill the holes in with borrowed equipment. Jack is the one who was trying to sell the castle and was having no luck. He had been telling Merry to come see the place. Merry that night sees the backhoe is running and someone is attacked out their by a orange cat. She accuses Tom when she sees scratches on his face. It is his father that is missing. Tom blames it on her Uncle before he died. They had lawsuits against each other. Merry tells him to stop digging on her land or else. Now a dead body turns up in one of the wholes that night. The Sheriff and her find the body. The plot is full of twists and turns and it is setting up for another mystery that I want to know about and read it. Their are so many secrets around Merry is trying to figure out. I would love to see the castle and read the book about why her family built it. Without all the wholes dug up around it. I like Shilo and would love to know about her background she has lots of secrets in her life. She hits it off with Jack right away. I can see different stories lines for more books in this series. I would read them. I would also like to read Victoria's other cozy mystery books. I was given this ebook to read and asked to give honest review and be part of Bran New Death blog tour.
Dollycas More than 1 year ago
When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. Or in Merry Wynter’s case if life gives you questions you make muffins while you try to find the answers. She has not recovered from her husband’s death, she has lost her job, and she has inherited A CASTLE!! A castle that needs a lot of work before it will be ready for sale. Plus Autumn Vale is not your normal small town. Just a couple of people welcome Merry, she gets an icy reception from most of the residents. Then she find one of them dead on her property. Victoria Hamilton has written an extraordinary story featuring some very eccentric characters in some unique situations. This story twists more than Chubby Checker. These characters all have so much depth and we learn so much about them in this series debut but I feel like we are just starting to scratch the surface to their stories. Plus in addition main mystery there are many subplots intertwined and the story flows effortlessly. The reader is drawn right into Autumn Vale and into this wonderful castle and into all the drama that ensues. I want to visit this castle. It sounds like a place I would love. If Merry is baking I will probably never want to leave. Plus is sounds like in Autumn Vale you never what is going to happen next. ~There are yummy recipes included too!
InspirationalAngel531 5 months ago
Title: Bran New Death - Merry Muffin Mystery 1 Author: Victoria Hamilton Published: 9-3-13 Publisher: Penguin Group Berkley Pages: 305 Genre: Mystery, Thrillers and Suspense Sub Genre: Women's Fiction ISBN: 9780425258835 ASIN: B00DQ39E4 Reviewer: DelAnne Reviewed For: NetGalley My Rating: 5 Stars . . Merry Wynter came to Autumn Vale to start over after she inherits her Uncle Mel's castle. Strangely though someone is vandalizing the property by digging large holes in the yard. Using the home as a base she begins a new bakery business which is off to a good start with her new customer, the retirement home. As she looks into who is digging the holes she finds her uncle was not a well liked member of the community. As his heir that dislike has passed onto Merry. Topping the list of likely suspects is Tom Turner and his sister Binny who blames Merry's uncle for the death of their father. After confronting Tom, he turns up dead in one of the holes. Merry comes under suspicion. Merry sets out to prove her innocence. This is a great start for establishing a new series. Merry and her fellow characters, both from New York City and Autumn Vale are well developed and very believable. They interact with one another easily. The story line is planned out and flows smoothly scene to scene. I look forward to reading the other books in the series, Book 2 Muffin but Murder and book 3 Death of an English Muffin are available now and Much ado About Muffin which comes out August 2016. Thank you for such an enjoyable reading experience. My rating is 5 out of 5 Stars.
Debb23 More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this first in a series. Merry who is a widow and lost her job in the city decides to go get herself together and check on a castle that she had inherited from her uncle but hasn't sold yet. When she gets there she finds the grounds full of holes that have been made by someone supposedly looking for the body of their dead father, and the castle in need of repair. From there we get another dead body and possibility of past murders. Merry's friend from the city appears to keep her company. The characters are great, many quirky that made me smile and a couple of laugh out loud moments. The mystery was good and had twists and surprises that kept me guessing. I suspected who it was but I was never quite sure until Merry was. My only drawback was her mentioning/thinking about the problems from her last job, and trying to sell the castle seemed to be repeated a little too much for me, but that is minor and doesn't take away from the story. I will definitely continue on with this series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Quirky characters, solid mystery, enjoyable read. Will read the next book in this, potential, series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a good debut novel. Interestng story, intriguing mystery with likeable, quirky characters. Looking forward to the next installmen
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A+
RonnaL More than 1 year ago
Merry Wynter has lost the love of her life to a car accident, and her fabulous job in the New York fashion industry to false theft charges, but her Uncle Mel has left her a huge family castle in the small quirky town of Autumn Vale, New York.  Merry stores most of her belongings and travels to Autumn Vale to try and sell the castle.  Actually, she can vision this beautiful place as a venue for events or maybe a bed and breakfast.  With it's grand commercial kitchen, she could definitely start something with all her wonderful muffin receipts, but someone has been digging holes all over her grounds.  Who and why? As small towns go, Autumn Vale has lots of potential, but numerous stores  seem to be closed and the towns people aren't being very friendly.  Merry's Uncle Mel seems to have made a few enemies.  When the man that Merry hires to fill in the holes in her yard, winds up dead in one of the holes, Merry finds herself on a mission to find out what is going on.  Fortunately, her best friend, Shilo, comes from the city to help her investigate. This multilayered mystery is full of charming and dangerous characters.  There is murder and a few other illegal schemes confounding our heroine.  Friendships and trusts are explored in very interesting ways.  I especially loved the strange orange cat's involvement also.  Great muffin recipes, and the potential for interesting possibilities for the Wynter Castle's involvement in future mysteries. 
Carstairs38 More than 1 year ago
Merry Makes a Fun Debut After months of trying to sell it, Merry Wynter has no choice but to go visit her inheritance.  Located by the small town of Autumn Vale, Wynter Castle is just that - a castle in the middle of upstate New York.  Even after seeing it, Merry still feels the need to sell it.  The upkeep on it alone would be more than her savings would tolerate. However, she quickly realizes the grounds and house need some serious repair.  After all, someone has been digging holes in the yard.  That someone turns out to be Tom Turner, and after they have a very public fight, Tom turns up dead in the bottom of one of those holes.  Can Merry navigate the new small town and find the killer? Yes, there is muffin making in the book, but it is a sideline, and Merry falls into it almost by accident.  After a start with a bit too much back story, the book took off.  The plot kept me entertained with several good twists and confusing behavior.  The characters were quite eccentric and yet believable.  I even laughed a few times along the way. The ending definitely left me wanting to know more about Merry and her new friends, so I will be back for the next book.  This is a fun debut that cozy fans will certainly enjoy.
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Boring.