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Posted May 7, 2013
Gluten For Punishment is the first book in the A Baker's Treat Mystery series by Nancy J. Parra.
This is delightful new series. A good story, interesting characters and a touch of discussion on celiac disease. My favorite character has to be Grandma Ruth, Toni's grandmother, what a spunky, funny lady.
Toni Holmes has inherited her mother's home in Oiltop Kansas and after a disastrous marriage has moved back home. Toni has just opened Baker's Treats a gluten free bakery. The irony is that the Oiltop is surrounded by wheat fields and this does not set well with some of those in the community. Others just aren't sure how good items can be without flour.
The day has come for the Grand Opening of Baker's Treat and as the crowd is gathering, a George Meister started spouting off against Toni and her bakery. Then someone tosses a couple "flour bombs" at Toni's storefront. The next morning Toni has been at the bakery for a couple hours and decides to take a break out front. She finds a body in the horse trough out front. The police arrive and it is soon learned corpse is Meister.
What with the confrontation Toni had with the deceased, she immediately becomes a person of interest. Not only will this effect her storefront business, but her computer has been confiscated as well, so that her online sales will suffer too. Toni's Grandma Ruth was an investigative reporter until the paper downsized and is enlisted to help look for clues that will lead them to the guilty party. But just as they are getting a good start, there is another killing.
Parra provides the reader with a well told story and an interesting cast of characters. Meister has had run-ins with a few of the locals. The bank has foreclosed on his farms and has made it difficult for the bank to get a quick sale. Tasha, a childhood friend, helps Toni, or does she something to hide. Brad, her lawyer, is there for here and hoping that they can be better friends once the killer is caught. Then there is Sam. Hunk number 2. Sam meets Toni soon after she opens Baker's Treat and seems to always be around when something goes wrong for Toni.
Even though Toni says she is not interested in a relationship right now, I am looking forward to future books to see what happens in the romance department.
Gluten-free recipes are included in the book.
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Posted April 30, 2014
The Book Isn't a Punishment, But It's Not Very Good Either
Toni Holmes has moved back to her hometown in Kansas and is setting up a storefront to compliment her internet gluten and allergy free bakery, Baker's Treat. Yes, it's a risk in the heart of wheat country, but since she is allergic to gluten herself, she is willing to take the risk.
However, at the grand opening, there is one wheat farmer (and might I add wacko) who is an out spoken critic of her bakery. Before they even cut the ribbon, someone is throwing wheat filled balloons at her front door. Then a body is found outside the bakery's door the next morning. Can Toni figure out who is behind the crime?
The title really appealed to this pun lover, but sadly the book didn't live up to the promised fun story. It started out fine, and the characters were great the entire way through. However, the plot dragged. There was plenty of action, but very little of it helped us figure out who the guilty party was.
Then there were the errors. The biggest one is a party that Toni is asked to cater that suddenly jumps from three weeks again (in early November) to that Saturday (in mid-October). Another couple issues (like a character teleporting across the room) make it obvious someone fell down on the job of editing.
I wish I could say I'd found another fun new series to enjoy. Instead, I'll pass on future installments.
Posted January 20, 2014
Posted September 28, 2013
I have to admit the first thing that attracted me to this book was the title. My sister is on a gluten free diet and I thought wow it is about time they made a book for someone with wheat allergies. The second thing that brought my attention was the details on the back of the book. It sparked my interest. The characters are extremely engaging. I really enjoyed Toni and her best friend Tasha. You really get to know the characters and fall in love with them. I loved so many things about this book. I enjoyed how everything started with a small spat at the bakery and turned into so many other things. I really liked how many twists and turns there were that you never really know who the killer is until the very end. I really enjoyed the moments of comedy, family, friendship, and love interests. I will be recommending this book to everyone and adding it to my re-read pile. Really what an amazing read!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
This was a terrific mystery, good characters, especially Grandma Ruth. She's a hoot! The story was well plotted and kept me off balance as to "who done it." Looking forward to the next one in the series. A great debut!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 21, 2013
Posted May 30, 2013
With her mother’s death, Toni Ryder returns home to OilTop, Kansas bringing her gluten-free bakery business with her. But Toni has never felt at home in her hometown and cooking wheat-free in the middle of wheat country isn’t making her any less a fish out of water. When Toni becomes a suspect in OilTop’s first homicide investigation in twenty years, she must count on her crazy family and follow the clues to solve the mystery and clear her name.
A Fine Debut!
Parra has created a very interesting protagonist in Toni. Her gluten free bakery in the heartland adds drama and also informs about an allergy that has come to the forefront in recent years. Celiac Disease (those who are sensitive to gluten) is said to affect 1% of the U.S. Population. Her mystery shines the light in a fun and entertaining way with recipes too!
She also introduces some great supporting characters. Chain smoker Grandma Ruth was my favorite. She really has Toni’s best interests at heart and she constantly butts her way into every situation. Toni’s friend and taste tester Tasha tries to keep Toni calm but she has someone new in her life that is making her a bit crazy. Toni also has not 1 but 2 men who would like to be more than just friends.
The author makes the story current and real by blending in true life issues like farms changing how they do business today and the dangers of foreclosures in the rough economic times. Her plot is believable and has plenty of twists to keep those pages turning.
OilTop seems like a great place full of quirky people. Perfect for a cozy mystery series. I look forward to returning again soon!
Posted May 19, 2013
Who knew gluten-free could be so enticing? Baker Toni Ryder makes her own way in the baking world preparing allergy-safe, gluten-free products for her online bakery, Baker’s Treat. When she opens a gluten-free bakery in the heart of wheat country Kansas, she may have gone over the top. Skeptical residents aren’t sure about her flour-free ways and then a local wheat farmer is found murdered outside her shop so suspicion grows even more. The bad publicity and increasing vandalism could cause Toni to have to close her shop. She’s determine to find the real killer so she enlists the help of her eccentric and feisty grandmother. But when a second murder is discovered, Toni realizes the killer is out to do more than close her shop. Finding the real killer is the only way to save her shop and her life. Author Nancy J. Parra has the start of a delightful new series that not only entertains but informs readers. Parra has given her protagonist Celiac Disease providing readers with a closer look at how gluten-free can be delicious. She has made Toni likable and realistic with zany secondary characters to add to the mix. Parra has placed the story in a small town setting having an eye for detail that makes the reader feel they are there. GLUTEN FOR PUNISHMENT moves at a good pace keeping the reader guessing as she includes a few twists and turns along the way. The plot holds the reader’s attention from beginning to end. While the story deals with living a gluten-free lifestyle, it’s not overpowering. The focus stays on the cozy murder mystery and the captivating cast of characters. This is a tasty treat for the cozy murder mystery lover. GLUTEN FOR PUNISHMENT is the first installment in the exciting new Baker’s Treat Mystery Series. An added bonus is the delicious gluten-free recipes included in the back such as Gluten-Free Blueberry Coffee Cake. FTC Full Disclosure - This book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 18, 2013
Posted January 7, 2014
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Posted September 25, 2014
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Posted April 4, 2014
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