As the Christmas Cookie Crumbles (Food Lovers' Village Series #5)

As the Christmas Cookie Crumbles (Food Lovers' Village Series #5)

by Leslie Budewitz

Paperback

$14.39 $15.99 Save 10% Current price is $14.39, Original price is $15.99. You Save 10%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Thursday, November 15

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780738752419
Publisher: Llewellyn Worldwide, LTD.
Publication date: 06/08/2018
Series: Food Lovers' Village Series , #5
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 39,539
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.60(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Leslie Budewitz is passionate about food, great mysteries, and her native Montana, the setting for her national-bestselling Food Lovers Village Mysteries. The first, Death al Dente , won the 2013 Agatha Award for Best First Novel. She also writes the Spice Shop Mysteries, set in Seattle's Pike Place Market. A practicing lawyer, Leslie is the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. A past president of Sisters in Crime, Leslie loves to cook, eat, hike, travel, garden, and paint—not necessarily in that order. She lives with her husband, Don Beans, a doctor of natural medicine and musician, and their cat, an avid bird-watcher.

Visit her online at www.LeslieBudewitz.com, where you can find maps of the village and surrounding area, recipes, and more.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

As the Christmas Cookie Crumbles 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Marla-Bradeen 8 months ago
A relatable heroine, an intriguing mystery, and a small-town sense of community combine to make AS THE CHRISTMAS COOKIE CRUMBLES a delightful holiday read. This story felt a bit more tragic than the average cozy mystery, but there's no denying that Budewitz's smooth writing style draws you in from the start. My only struggle was with keeping all the characters straight, something I expect would be a non-issue for those already familiar with the series. Overall, I found this to be a charming read, one easily enjoyed at any time of the year. Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book.
bookwomen37 9 months ago
I really enjoyed this Christmas Cozy. Jewel Bay merchants are getting ready for Christmas and Erin is putting the finishing touches on her Christmas Wedding. When a young woman who has returned home is found murdered Erin is determined to solve the crime. I really enjoy the characters and the small town setting. The author does a very good job with the Christmas setting. Reading this story made me want to bake Christmas Cookies. The mystery was good and the who did it was a surprise. Enjoy this Christmas Cozy
MeezCarrie 11 months ago
The town of Jewel Bay, Montana is the quintessential cozy mystery small town and is the perfect spot for a Food Lover’s Village! I would love to visit the various shops, particularly the Merc that Erin owns and stocks with items (including, of course, food) from local vendors. Shops like that are right up my alley, next in line to independent bookstores, that is. Erin and her family and friends and employees are realistic characters who, in spite of the quirks that go hand-in-hand with cozy mysteries, feel like people you could easily befriend in real life. The murder mystery in As the Christmas Cookie Crumbles kept me guessing all the way until the big reveal. I changed my mind umpteen times about who I thought did it, even circling back around a time or ten to characters I thought I had already eliminated as suspects. Some of my suspicions ultimately proved right but I was also way off on a couple of points – not easy for an author to surprise me like that. A very nicely crafted mystery plot indeed! Bottom Line: Cute, Christmasy and cozy, As the Christmas Cookie Crumbles is entertaining and heartwarming. The murder mystery is superbly plotted out, and the town full of suspects will keep readers on their toes! Great characters to befriend and local shops to sample – this series from Leslie Budewitz has it all! (While this is the 5th book in the series, it can also be read well as a stand alone.) (I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book)
arkieclown More than 1 year ago
As The Christmas Cookie Crumbles by Leslie Budewitz is the Book #5 in the A Food Lovers Village Mystery Series. It’s Christmas time in Jewel Bay. Erin Murphy, the Merc (Murphy’s Mercantile) manager is busy along with all the other “elves” to get the town ready for Christmas while working on the finishing details to her upcoming marriage to Adam on Christmas Eve. Everyone is surprised to see Merrily Thornton return to town. However, Erin finds a kinship of sorts and hopes to become friends with this once gone astray girl. Gossip flows after the scene between Merrily her Mother. Then her sudden disappearance along with money found in her desk drawer at work and discrepancies with the company bookkeeping makes it look like she had went back to her old ways. Erin just “feels” that people are jumping to the wrong conclusion. When Merrily is found dead, she is determined to find out not only who killed her but to prove that she is innocent of stealing and book tampering. This story is full of twists and turns that keep you interested and turning the pages. There are plenty of suspects and you will change your mind throughout the book as to whodunit which I love in a cozy mystery. I love the way the author mixes just the right mixture of holiday spirit and the upcoming wedding with the event towards solving the murder. She made it the perfect Christmas cozy mystery that everyone will enjoy. She shows how happy and loving a family can be but also that some families are highly dysfunctional as it is in real life. I really enjoyed the spunk of Erin and how she shows her loyalty to family, friends and the town she loves and how you must swim upstream sometimes to defend a friend – even a new one. Her marriage to Adam is the icing on the Christmas cookie with all the ups and downs of preparing for a wedding but the undying devotion of her husband to be including his little remodel surprise. There are several great recipes in the back of the book that were talked about in the story. If you are anything like me, you be trying them. I know they made my mouth water when I read about them while reading the book. I highly recommend AS THE CHRISTMAS COOKIE CRUMBLES to anyone that loves a great cozy, enjoys a good Christmas story or just appreciates the work of a wonderful author.
WisReader More than 1 year ago
Christmas holidays, planning a wedding, families coming together - can all add stress to anybody's life. Add in a murder and your holiday lights won't shine as brightly, especially when the bride seems to find herself also in the killer's line of sight. Erin Murphy should be at her happiest. In less than a month she is marrying the man of her dreams. They have finished the noisy and dusty remodel of their home together. She loves the holiday season and the atmosphere at the Merc, her business. Many elements of family life come together in this wonderful book. It is a season of forgiveness and Erin believes in giving second chances. Her future husband's nervousness about his twin brothers arriving for the wedding is contagious, but Erin is so busy, especially when she adds investigating some money mismanagement and a murder to her ever growing to-Do List, that Erin, who believes in the best in people, and has grown up with a supportive, loving family, has to have faith all will work out in the end. As it turns out, the end does not come swiftly or via a straight, smooth path. Erin, and the reader, have time to contemplate their own beliefs, faith, trust levels, and family relationships before any chance to walk down a wedding aisle. Jam packed with spicy twist and turns, this is a delicious addition to an excellent series. Throw on a carol or two (beware of earworms) and enjoy.
GratefulGrandma More than 1 year ago
It is almost Christmas in Jewel Bay and there is so much happening. Adam and Erin are getting married on Christmas Eve, there is a town wide decorating day to bring in shoppers for this make it or break it time of year, and the cookie swap is coming up. Erin and Adam have bought her mother's house and are renovating it along with everything else. Erin is surprised to see Merrily Thornton has returned to town and offers to help her parents decorate. She is shocked when her parents shout at her and tell her to leave. When Merrily fails to show up at Erin’s house for the cookie swap, or at work the next day Erin becomes concerned. When Merrily's boss finds out that his bank deposit was short and that there might have been some embezzling, they immediately suspect Merrily of the crime. Later that day, she is found dead with Christmas lights around her neck. Now there are two mysteries, who killed Merrily and who is embezzling from the Hardware Store. The characters in this series are very realistic and ones that I would love to have as friends, in fact, I would love to live in Jewel Bay. Family issues arise in this story as they do in all lives. We actually get to meet some of Adam's family and that is kind of fun. The mystery really kept me guessing. Throughout the story, I think I suspected just about anyone who knew Merrily except Erin. There were so many twists, red herrings and clues scattered about that it was a real stumper. By the end of the story, I was surprised about some things, and relieved about others. I was worried that the wedding might not take place, but that all turned out in the end. The story has a great plotline and it was well paced. I finished this story in a few sittings, yet it was complete, well described, but not rushed. I definitely recommend this one to any cozy mystery lover. Several of the recipes have been added to my Christmas baking section of my recipe book, they look so yummy. Thanks to the publisher for generously providing me with a copy of this book via Netgalley.
VWilliams More than 1 year ago
In this fifth book of the series, Erin Murphy is diving headlong into the Christmas season by participating in the annual Decorating Day with the downtown merchants of Jewel Bay, Montana, when Mrs. Thornton (another shop owner), begins raging against her daughter, Merrily, diverting everyone's attention away from their decorating efforts. Erin feels awful for the young woman and invites her into the shop to help with her lights and then to her cookie exchange on Sunday. Merrily left home almost twenty years ago after a scandal in which she was sent to prison, but she is finally back and hoping for a reconciliation. Unfortunately, Merrily does not show up for the cookie exchange and Erin feels something is very wrong. When she gets a call from Greg Taylor, who hired her as a bookkeeper at his building supply store, they go out to her parents' home and find her murdered in her parents' barn. Greg asks Erin to quietly look into the facts of Merrily's death but to do so would also have her investigating the original embezzlement. Erin and her fiancé, Adam Zimmerman, are planning a Christmas Eve wedding, have been rehabbing her old family home and are busy with the Merchants Association, as well as dealing with a historic building in need of repairs. She must also continue to manage her shop, while interviewing persons associated with Merrily. There is a host of characters, townspeople, shop employees, as well as Erin's mother and fiancé who provide a developed sense of small town, winter conditions in Montana. Protagonist Erin presents a strong, independent, and level-headed nature. She tackles the murder mystery as she plans for her shop by Excel spreadsheet. There are twists, little surprises, and red herrings that add to the spicy fun of a well-plotted storyline. Also, as with most cozy reads, the plot begins rather slow and slow and steady sets the pace, while preserving that downtown Holiday atmosphere. Christmas in June! This entry in the series would still work well as a standalone. Even so, it was difficult for me to remain engaged in the storyline as it progressed so slowly. Also, I felt there were a couple of contradictions and that the conclusion was a little weak. I was presented with a copy of this ebook for the book tour through the tour host, the publisher, and NetGalley and appreciated the opportunity to read and review. 3.5/5 stars
bluegreen91 More than 1 year ago
This is probably my favorite in the Food Lovers' Village mysteries, and that's saying something! In As the Christmas Cookie Crumbles, main character Erin is a busy bee. She's running her family's Montana specialty food shop, the Merc, preparing for Christmas, getting settled into her new home, and planning her upcoming wedding. And because of her past experience with helping solve murders, she can't help investigating the latest Jewel Bay mystery. There's a lot going on in this book, though instead of being overwhelming, it keeps the story moving at a good pace. I had a hard time putting this book down - in fact, I was up later than I should have been to finish it. The mystery to be solved is a multi-faceted, and I figured out part of it on my own, but didn't figure it all out before it was revealed. The recipes included at the end look great, especially the Shrimp Florentine! I was thrilled to receive an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Dollycas More than 1 year ago
Dollycas’s Thoughts Time to celebrate Christmas and a wedding in Jewel Bay. Adam and Erin are getting married on Christmas Eve! That is after she gets Murphy’s Mercantile all ready for the holidays. The community has turned out for Decoration Day and Erin is surprised to see Merrily Thornton has returned to town. She is even more surprised about how Merrily’s family is treating her. She immediately invites Merrily to her cookie swap the following Sunday, Merrily fails to show up at Erin’s house or at work the next day. Then her boss notices his bank deposit was short the cash Merrily was supposed to take to the bank. The woman is reported missing and sadly her boss is the one to find her dead eerily with a string of lights wrapped around her neck. Erin is rocked by her new friend’s death and decides she must find her killer. Hopefully, she doesn’t cross the killer or Adam may be left standing at the altar all by himself. It was a lot of fun to read a story set at Christmas when the temperatures outside were climbing way past 90 degrees. Decorating Day is Jewel Bay sounds like the perfect way to get in the Christmas Spirit. The characters in this series are some of the most realistic I have ever read. It is very easy to get invested in their lives. Even though Merrily’s family wasn’t the nicest they still come across as real. I don’t agree with the way the handled things in their family, but we have all met people we don’t agree with. The mystery this time really keep me guessing. Truthfully at one time or another, I suspected everyone the victim had come into contact with. Red herrings, there were a bunch. Several twists too. I was right about one part of it and totally surprised about everything else. I enjoyed how Erin jumped right into her investigation even with the holidays and her wedding coming up quick. I loved her method for keeping all the facts and suspects straight. The story has an excellent pace. Many events take place within the 288 pages, but nothing is rushed or missed. The author describes people and places so clearly that pictures formed quickly in my mind. The dialogue was wonderfully written too. A loving family and a family pulled apart come together in this terrific cozy mystery. The author also includes recipes in the back of the book. The one I am excited to try is the Classic Italian Lasagna. Several differences from ours but without the Murphy’s sauce, it will probably be hard to duplicate.
C_Fowler More than 1 year ago
Even though it's almost summer, As the Christmas Cookie Crumbles transported me to the snowy, cozy town of Jewel Bay, Montana at Christmastime where all the citizens have the Christmas spirit and are working together to transform the town into a holiday haven. Unfortunately in the midst of the festivities -- Christmas Cookie Exchanges, store decorations, and even a wedding -- a tragic event occurs. Leslie Budewitz has captured the Christmas Spirit wonderfully in this book, and her characters are warm and emphatic. I could picture myself walking the streets of Jewel Bay, shopping at Murphy's Mercantile -- the Merc -- and immensely enjoying the atmosphere. I was with Erin Murphy every step of the way as she prepared for her Christmas Eve wedding, ran the Merc, and also investigated the murder of her new friend. Merrily Thornton. I was guessing right along with Erin right until the very end of this very well written mystery. Although As the Christmas Cookie Crumbles is not the first book in the Food Lovers' Village series, it can definitely stand alone, and I think is a perfect read for any season of the year. I received a copy of this book from NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are solely my own.
CozyOnUp More than 1 year ago
Erin Murphy and her fiancé Adam are getting married during one of the busiest seasons for a retailer, Christmas. But the season is about friends, family, and neighbors and when another resident of Jewely Bay, Montana returns home things begin to get even more interesting when she turns up dead. Being a rather successful amateur sleuth, Erin finds herself trying to figure out what happened to the woman she felt was going to be one of her new friends. Things are never what they appear to be at face value and Erin soon figures out there is more than meets the eye here as well. But will she find the killer and make it to her wedding in one piece? While this is the fifth book in the Food Lovers Series, this is the first one I have read and there was no disconnect at all. This is a great standalone, though I WILL be reading the first four books soon! 

The author’s writing style is fantastic and she has been added to my list of authors I follow. The plot is well written, the characters multidimensional and the pace moves at a good clip. I wasn’t quite sure who did it close to the very end…fantastic! I highly recommend this book!
Deana0326 More than 1 year ago
I love reading holiday themed books all year round. This one was fun to read as the author makes the town come to life with decorations that make you smile. I would love to visit the Merc and hang out with Erin. She sounds so fun and oh my does she have wonderful things to buy in the store. When Merrily was introduced into the story I instantly liked her. She has had a hard life but I really think she is trying to change things for the better. I was so angry when her mom made a scene in front of everybody and basically rejected her. What happened to forgiveness and giving someone a second chance? I was very angry when Merrily came up missing. I could see the writing on the wall of her demise. The author does a great job of giving readers several suspects. The town is pretty much in shock and Erin steps into help the investigation. I hope she remembers she has a very important event coming up on Christmas Eve. The tension over the years between Merrily and her parents was very well written. I felt a little tug on my heart for her father. He wanted to make amends with his daughter, but for some reason Merrily's mother wouldn't budge. I would hate it if I had a strained relationship with one of my kids. The action and intrigue in the story is fast paced and I really enjoyed trying to figure out who the killer was. Erin has attracted someones attention regarding Merrily's death because she finds herself in unexpected danger. The story is very well written and I loved finding out more about Merrily when she was younger. There were some twists that I didn't see coming and was very surprised at who the killer was. Don't miss this great adventure and the wonderful recipes at the back of the book. I received a copy of this book from The Great Escape Virtual Book Tour. The review is my own opinion.
Deana0326 More than 1 year ago
I love reading holiday themed books all year round. This one was fun to read as the author makes the town come to life with decorations that make you smile. I would love to visit the Merc and hang out with Erin. She sounds so fun and oh my does she have wonderful things to buy in the store. When Merrily was introduced into the story I instantly liked her. She has had a hard life but I really think she is trying to change things for the better. I was so angry when her mom made a scene in front of everybody and basically rejected her. What happened to forgiveness and giving someone a second chance? I was very angry when Merrily came up missing. I could see the writing on the wall of her demise. The author does a great job of giving readers several suspects. The town is pretty much in shock and Erin steps into help the investigation. I hope she remembers she has a very important event coming up on Christmas Eve. The tension over the years between Merrily and her parents was very well written. I felt a little tug on my heart for her father. He wanted to make amends with his daughter, but for some reason Merrily's mother wouldn't budge. I would hate it if I had a strained relationship with one of my kids. The action and intrigue in the story is fast paced and I really enjoyed trying to figure out who the killer was. Erin has attracted someones attention regarding Merrily's death because she finds herself in unexpected danger. The story is very well written and I loved finding out more about Merrily when she was younger. There were some twists that I didn't see coming and was very surprised at who the killer was. Don't miss this great adventure and the wonderful recipes at the back of the book. I received a copy of this book from The Great Escape Virtual Book Tour. The review is my own opinion.
KrisAnderson_TAR More than 1 year ago
As the Christmas Cookie Crumbles by Leslie Budewitz is the fifth novel in A Food Lover’s Village Mystery series. Erin Murphy is the manager of Murphy’s Glacier Mercantile (aka The Merc) in Jewel Bay, Montana. The town is getting ready for Christmas with Decorating Day. While switching out a tub of lights, Erin witnesses (along with the rest of the town) an unpleasant scene between Taya Thornton and her daughter, Merrily. Erin is shocked at the bitterness expressed by Taya towards Merrily after eighteen years. Erin invites Merrily over to The Merc and to the cookie swap at her house on Sunday. Merrily does not show up for the cookie exchange, and she is AWOL from Building Supply where she works on Monday. Not only is Merrily missing, but cash from the business is as well. Many say that Merrily failed to change her ways. Then Merrily is found dead with a string of Christmas lights around her neck. With Greg Taylor as a prime suspect, Erin starts snooping (not that she needed a reason). Who would risk going on Santa’s naughty list by killing Merrily? Can Erin wrap up the case before her wedding? As the Christmas Cookie Crumbles is well-written and has a steady pace. I found Ms. Budewitz’s conversational writing style to be pleasing. I was drawn into the story and my attention was held throughout. Jewel Bay is a charming, small town that goes all out for Christmas. I loved the descriptions of the shops and the decorations (I wanted to visit and do some shopping). I like how everyone pitches in to help with various activities. The characters are nicely developed and, for the most part, are friendly and relatable. Detective Bello is the grinch of the story (I could imagine him saying Bah Humbug). I enjoy Erin’s approach to sleuthing with her Spreadsheet of Suspicion. The mystery was well-crafted and multi-faceted. There are many gratifying cozy moments in As the Christmas Cookie Crumbles. Erin is preparing for her wedding, buying Christmas presents, cooking, cookie exchange, Erin and Adam with their new home, baking, Adam worrying about his brothers coming to town, and spending time with family and friends. While there is a lot going on in the story, it is not overwhelming. I agreed with Erin about the cuteness of the Property Brothers. I recommend reading the books in A Food Lover’s Village Mystery in order. I am grateful for the list of characters at the front of the book (helpful). It was a pleasure to visit Jewel Bay in As the Christmas Cookie Crumbles and I look forward to returning in the next A Food Lover’s Village Mystery.
dezzy33 More than 1 year ago
Food Lovers' Village Mystery series is on my list of favorites. I like the town, cast of characters, and all the food. This is the fifth installment for the series. Erin, manager of the Merc, gets involved in the investigation of the murder of Merrily Thornton. (Her parents love Christmas, can you tell? The sister's name is Holly...) After having recently returned to Jewel Bay, Merrily has been accused of embezzlement (for which she went to jail twenty years earlier) when her body is discovered. What follows is a complicated web of lies, stealing, and just about the worst family dynamic I have seen in a cozy. All the meanwhile, Erin is trying to keep the Merc afloat during the busy holiday season and plan her wedding, which is to occur on Christmas Eve. There's a lot of different things going on here, but it's presented well and isn't confusing. I also appreciate "The Cast" listed at the beginning as it has been awhile since I read one of the books in the series and there is a large amount of characters. Also while there is a hint, it is not obvious who the guilty party is (or are...?), which I always prefer. Definitely recommended.
BeagleGirl123 More than 1 year ago
Erin and Adam are getting married at Christmastime in Jewel Bay, Montana, but all is not calm and bright as Erin's new friend, Merrily, is found murdered the day after the Christmas cookie exchange. Merrily's previous criminal record comes back to haunt her - even after her death, she's accused of embezzlement for the second time in her life - and Erin sets out to find the killer, but she's not sure that Merrily was guilty of pilfering the missing funds. Using her Spreadsheet of Suspicion (love this!!!), Erin seeks justice for her lost friend, and investigates both the murder and embezzlement. Leslie Budewitz' As the Christmas Cookie Crumbles is the fifth book in the Food Lover's Village Series, and it's simply one of the most enjoyable cozies I've had the pleasure of reading - small close-knit community, a loving family, delicious recipes, a little romance, and of course, murder - it has it all! Absolutely loved it!