Yeast of Eden

Yeast of Eden

by Sarah Fox

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781516107773
Publisher: Random House
Publication date: 10/30/2018
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 92,264
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.48(d)

About the Author

Sarah Fox was born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia, where she developed a love for mysteries at a young age. When not writing novels or working as a legal writer, she is often reading her way through a stack of books or spending time outdoors with her English springer spaniel. Visit her at authorsarahfox.com.

Marguerite Gavin is a seasoned theater veteran, a five-time nominee for the prestigious Audie Award, and the winner of numerous AudioFile Earphones and Publishers Weekly awards. Marguerite has been an actor, director, and audiobook narrator for her entire professional career, and has over four hundred titles to her credit.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

My car's headlights cut through the darkness, illuminating the driving rain. The windshield wipers swished back and forth in a rapid rhythm as I carefully navigated my way along the deserted streets of Wildwood Cove. Normally I preferred to walk to work each morning, trekking along the beach so I could listen to the crashing waves and smell the salty air. Lately, however, I'd been making more use of my blue hatchback. Over the past several days the weather had been less than inviting, drizzling with rain if not outright pouring, and chilly enough that the occasional glob of slush splattered against my windshield along with the pelting raindrops.

The rain was supposed to let up in the next day or so, according to the weather forecast, so I hoped it wouldn't be much longer before I could get back to enjoying my early morning walks along the shoreline. For the moment, though, I was grateful for the warmth and shelter of my car.

When I turned into the small parking lot behind The Flip Side pancake house, I pulled up next to the only other car in the lot — a baby-blue classic Volkswagen bug belonging to The Flip Side's chef, Ivan Kaminski. He arrived even earlier than I did each morning, as did his assistant, Tommy Park. It was barely six o'clock, but I knew the two of them would have been working for a good while already.

I shut off my car's engine and grabbed my tote bag off the passenger seat, steeling myself for the upcoming dash through the pouring rain to the back door of the pancake house. As soon as I climbed out into the rain, I slammed the car door, ducked my head, and made a beeline for the slim bit of shelter provided by the recessed doorway.

Despite having spent mere seconds exposed to the elements, I had damp hair and droplets of water running down my face. I wiped them away with my sleeve and jiggled my ring of keys until I found the right one. As I put the key into the door, I caught sight of something white from the corner of my eye. A flyer lay plastered against the pavement, waterlogged and with a muddy footprint stamped across it.

I darted out of the shelter of the doorway and peeled the soggy paper off the ground. When I was once again out of the rain, I peered at the flyer, the exterior light above my head providing me with enough illumination to read by.

When I took in the bold black words printed across the saturated paper, my former good mood did a nosedive. I'd seen the flyer before. I'd seen several them, in fact, plastered all over town on utility poles, signposts, and community notice boards. I'd also received one in the mail. That one had gone straight into the recycling bin. This one I crumpled up in my hand as I unlocked the door, the words Wally's Waffle Kingdom disappearing from sight as the paper scrunched up into a soggy ball.

Once inside, I unlocked the door to my office and tossed the scrunched flyer into the wastepaper basket. If I never saw another one, I'd be happy, although I knew the advertisement wasn't the real problem. That was the Waffle Kingdom itself. The Flip Side had become a fixture in the small seaside town of Wildwood Cove, with many faithful customers who returned again and again to enjoy Ivan's scrumptious breakfast creations. There were other restaurants and cafés around town, but none of them specialized in breakfast foods like The Flip Side did.

Up until a couple of weeks ago, I'd never really worried about competition. Then Wally Fowler had moved to town — moved back to town actually, since he'd grown up here — and my mind had remained unsettled ever since. I wasn't about to roll over and give up on the pancake house just because of some competition, but I couldn't keep my niggling concern at bay.

If the Waffle Kingdom's fare was as good as the flyer proclaimed (the best waffles EVER!) it wasn't unrealistic to think that The Flip Side would lose some of its business to the new establishment. In the summertime, when tourists flocked to the small town, that might not be such a problem. There would probably be enough business for both restaurants during those weeks. But during the rest of the year? That could be a definite issue.

I'd been hoping to give each of my three full-time employees a raise in the near future. Now I was keeping that plan to myself, unsure if I'd be able to follow through. I'd have to wait and see what happened once the waffle house opened. As Wally and his flyers had been announcing to the whole town for several days, the grand opening of the Waffle Kingdom would take place next week.

It would take time to know the full extent of the effect on The Flip Side, so I was determined to carry on as usual. I just wished I could get rid of that ever-present worry lingering at the back of my mind.

With the wet flyer in the trash and my jacket hung on the coat stand, I ran a hand through my damp curls and made my way into the dining area. I flipped on the lights, and immediately some of the tension that had crept into my shoulders fizzled away. There was something so comforting about the cozy pancake house. Like the beach and the charming town, The Flip Side had easily worked its way into my heart, becoming a second home away from my blue-and-white beachfront Victorian.

Smiling, I glanced out the large front windows, seeing nothing but inky darkness and rivulets of water running down the panes.

Well, almost nothing else.

I walked quickly across the room to the front door, bone-chilling damp air hitting me as soon as I pushed it open. Staying beneath the awning so I wouldn't get soaked, I approached the two white rectangles taped to one of the windows, spaced a couple of feet apart. When I got close enough to recognize them as two more Waffle Kingdom flyers, I let out a growl of annoyance.

Ripping the flyers off the glass, I stormed back into the pancake house.

"Of all the nerve!"

Twenty-one-year-old Tommy Park poked his head out the pass-through window to the kitchen. "What's up?" he asked.

I waved the crumpled flyers. "Wally the Waffle King strikes again."

The kitchen door swung open and Ivan appeared. Tommy ducked away from the window and came through the door a second later.

"These were taped to the front window," I said, waving the flyers again.

Ivan grabbed one and glowered at the piece of paper. While an intimidating scowl was the chef's typical expression, this one was far darker than usual.

"He's rubbing your nose in it," he declared, crumpling the flyer as his large hand closed into a fist.

Tommy took the other flyer from me. "Totally not cool."

"It's one thing to open up a waffle house that will compete directly with us," I said, "but it's hitting a new low by plastering the ads all over the front of this place."

"He's trying to get under your skin." Ivan tossed the crumpled flyer toward the wastepaper basket, making a perfect shot.

"But why? Does he really think annoying us will get us to close up shop so all our business goes his way?"

"Not going to happen," Tommy said.

"Definitely not," I agreed. "But why else try to aggravate us?"

"Probably for fun," Ivan said. "Some people enjoy riling others up."

"That's true." I'd learned that firsthand several months back when a bitter and vengeful woman had tried to make my life miserable.

"And I hear Wally Fowler's a slimeball," Tommy said. "I'm not sure anyone in town actually likes him."

Ivan nodded his agreement. "Wildwood Cove would be better off without him."

If enough people believed that, maybe I had nothing to worry about. The townsfolk weren't likely to give the self-proclaimed Waffle King their business if they despised him.

"I guess it's best to ignore him and focus on keeping our customers happy, like we always do," I decided.

"Sounds like a plan." With a flick of his wrist, Tommy sent the second flyer arcing into the trash can.

He returned to the kitchen and Ivan followed after him, his scowl as dark as ever. Was he more worried about the new waffle house than he was letting on? With his bulging muscles, numerous tattoos, and dark, intense eyes, Ivan wasn't one to be easily fazed. But something in his face led me to believe he was taking the potential problem posed by Wally and his waffle house very seriously.

My worries tried to resurface, but I forced them back down, focusing on starting a fire in the stone fireplace to keep myself busy. The Flip Side would be fine, I told myself. It was a well-established restaurant, with a solid and loyal customer base that loved Ivan's cooking and the cozy atmosphere.

Surely it would take more than Wally the Waffle King to destroy what we had here. After all, how much damage could one man cause?

* * *

About an hour after opening, the pancake house was getting busy. The town was waking up, the residents heading out to brave the weather, some of them ending up at The Flip Side. All of the tables near the cheery, crackling fire had been claimed, the welcoming warmth of the flames drawing in the customers as they escaped the cold and the rain. On my way around the restaurant to offer refills of coffee, I paused to talk with two of The Flip Side's most loyal and reliable customers, Gary and Ed. They were lifelong residents of Wildwood Cove and had been best friends since they were five years old. Now retired, they split most of their time between the pancake house, the local seniors' activity center, and the bowling alley.

"What do you know about this Waffle Kingdom that's opening up next week, Marley?" Ed asked.

"I've heard the self-proclaimed Waffle King grew up here in Wildwood Cove," I said. "But other than that, I really don't know anything more than what's on those flyers he's spread around town."

"A waste of paper, if you ask me," Gary spoke up as he poured maple syrup over his stack of pancakes. "Why would anyone eat there when they could come here? It's not like anyone can compete with Ivan's cooking."

I smiled. "Hopefully you're not the only ones who feel that way."

"We're not," Ed assured me. "And I don't think it'll much matter to people that Wally grew up in Wildwood Cove. He's been away for years, and he wasn't good for much when he was here."

"I've yet to run across a fan of his," I said, topping up the coffee mugs.

Gary chewed on a forkful of pancakes. "Adam Silvester was buddies with Wally back in the day, but I don't know if they stayed in touch. And there's his sister, Vicky, of course. Half-sister, technically. But aside from those two, I'm not sure if anyone's much keen on Wally. People around here have long memories."

I wasn't sure what he meant by that, but I needed to move along and see to other customers.

"I guess we'll have to see what happens when the waffle house opens," I said, happy that I managed to sound unconcerned.

"You'll never find us over there, that's for sure," Ed declared. He lowered his voice. "Unless you want us to go undercover to do some recon."

I couldn't help but smile again. "I doubt that will be necessary, but thank you."

Gary saluted me with his coffee mug. "You can count on us, Marley."

Cheered by their support, I thanked them again and moved on to the next table.

The breakfast rush kept me and Leigh — The Flip Side's full-time waitress — busy for the next hour or so, but I eventually found time to slip into the kitchen and make myself a cup of tea.

"Are you going to the ladies' night at the hardware store tonight, Marley?" Leigh asked as she pushed through the kitchen door, bringing a load of dirty dishes with her.

"I'm planning on it. Are you?"

"No, I'll be looking after the kids. Greg's working at the store tonight."

I took a cautious sip of my hot tea. "I can't help but be amused that ladies' night at the hardware store is an actual thing."

"It's a tradition," Ivan said as he flipped pancakes on the griddle.

"It's true," Leigh confirmed. "The store's been holding this event for more than ten years now. I know it might sound a bit odd at first, but it's really popular. And good fun too. Aside from having things on sale, they have door prizes, demos, samples to give away, and really good food."

"Free food?" Tommy said as he drizzled melted chocolate over a plate of crêpes. "Are you sure your husband can't sneak me in?"

"Sorry, Tommy," Leigh said with a smile. "You'll have to wait for Customer Appreciation Day in the spring." She returned her attention to me. "It's a good chance for you to get some Christmas shopping done. Maybe you'll find something for Brett."

"Maybe," I said, "but he probably already owns at least one of everything the store has for sale." My boyfriend had his own lawn and garden care company, and during the winters he helped out with his dad's home renovation business. He had a whole workshop full of tools behind his house. "I might get something for myself, though. I'll need a few things if I'm going to make a garden in the spring."

"Don't forget to try the mini cupcakes while you're there," Leigh advised. "Greg already knows he's supposed to smuggle one home for me."

She disappeared through the swinging door. I drank down my tea and followed after her a few minutes later. I spent some time in the office between the breakfast and lunch rushes, but then I was back out at the front of the house helping Leigh.

I carried a plate of bacon cheddar waffles over to a man I'd seen in The Flip Side three or four times before. Prior to that morning, I hadn't known anything about him aside from his name — Adam Silvester — but thanks to my chat with Ed and Gary earlier, I now knew he had once been friends with Wally Fowler.

There wasn't anything about Adam that screamed or even whispered lowlife, but maybe I had a distorted view of Wally. Even if I didn't, the fact that Adam had been buddies with Wally back in high school didn't mean he was a bad guy. They weren't necessarily friends any longer, and I couldn't say that I'd always picked the best people for friends when I was a teenager.

As far as I remembered, I'd only ever seen Adam at The Flip Side on his own. While he was always polite, he kept mostly to himself, gazing out the window as he ate or reading the latest issue of the town's local newspaper. That was what he was doing today, perusing the articles as he started in on his waffles.

I cleared up the neighboring table and carried the dirty dishes into the kitchen before delivering mocha mascarpone crêpes and blueberry crumble pancakes to hungry customers. I glanced out the window on my way back to the kitchen, noting that the rain had stopped and the sun was attempting to peek through the clouds. As I was leaving the dining area for the kitchen, the front door opened, admitting three new arrivals — two men and a woman. I didn't alter my path.

Leigh darted through the kitchen door behind me, grabbing my arm.

"That's him!" she said in an urgent whisper.

"Him who?" I asked as I set down two dirty coffee mugs.

"Wally Fowler," Leigh said, keeping her voice low. "The so-called Waffle King."

"He's here?" Ivan's question boomed across the kitchen. "Why?"

"I don't know, but I guess we'll find out." Leigh hurried out of the kitchen.

I followed right on her heels, ready to finally meet Wally the Waffle King.

CHAPTER 2

I approached Wally Fowler with a mixture of curiosity and trepidation. He wasn't quite six feet tall and was on the hefty side. His head was bald on top, while mousy-brown frizz stuck out from the sides. His watery-blue eyes gave me an uneasy feeling, as did the oily smile that spread across his face when he noticed me heading his way.

"Wally the Waffle King," he said, loud enough for everyone in the pancake house to hear. He stuck out his hand. "Are you the proprietor?" I shook his offered hand but released it as quickly as I could without being too rude. "That's right. Marley McKinney."

His two companions hovered behind him, looking as though they wished they were anywhere else. The man was tall and burly with a short, dark beard and brown eyes that didn't settle on any particular point. The woman appeared to be about my age. She had the same mousy-brown hair — though much more of it — as Wally, and the same pale blue eyes, making me wonder if the two of them were related.

"Chester and Vicky and I decided to come over and check out your little place," Wally said, his gaze sweeping over the dining area.

Some of the customers continued eating, but most were watching the scene unfolding by the cash counter.

"Quaint, don't you think?" Wally jabbed his elbow into Chester's ribs.

Chester kept his expression neutral and didn't speak.

I forced myself to smile, though I wanted nothing more than for Wally to leave.

"It was nice of you to stop by," I said, doing my best to sound unfazed by Wally's clear attempt to insult me.

"I'm sure you've heard that the Waffle Kingdom will be opening next week."

(Continues…)


Excerpted from "Yeast of Eden"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Sarah Fox.
Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Yeast of Eden 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
carol223CS 1 days ago
Sarah Fox’s Yeast of Eden Marley McKinney lives in the seaside town of Wildwood Cove on the Olympic Peninsula. Marley owns and operates the Flip Side restaurant With her chef, Ivan. The Flip Side specializes in breakfast. Marley lives nearby in a house on the beach with Flapjack, the cat. You will meet also met Bentley and Angel, the dogs. You will get delicious recipes and mouthwatering descriptions of foods while helping Marley investigate two murders and a family mystery where two women went missing years ago. A very well written and plotted adventure to keep the reader glued to the book. Plenty of twists and turns and clues scattered throughout the story. Colorful, vivid, quirky and well defined characters provide an array of suspects. This is book # 4 in the Pancake House Mystery series. It can be read as a stand. The author gives the reader the past and present effortlessly. A Highly Recommended Read!! I volunteered to read Yeast of Eden. Thanks to Net Gallery and Alibi for the opportunity. My opinion is my own.
carol223CS 1 days ago
Sarah Fox’s Yeast of Eden Marley McKinney lives in the seaside town of Wildwood Cove on the Olympic Peninsula. Marley owns and operates the Flip Side restaurant With her chef, Ivan. The Flip Side specializes in breakfast. Marley lives nearby in a house on the beach with Flapjack, the cat. You will meet also met Bentley and Angel, the dogs. You will get delicious recipes and mouthwatering descriptions of foods while helping Marley investigate two murders and a family mystery where two women went missing years ago. A very well written and plotted adventure to keep the reader glued to the book. Plenty of twists and turns and clues scattered throughout the story. Colorful, vivid, quirky and well defined characters provide an array of suspects. This is book # 4 in the Pancake House Mystery series. It can be read as a stand. The author gives the reader the past and present effortlessly. A Highly Recommended Read!! I volunteered to read Yeast of Eden. Thanks to Net Gallery and Alibi for the opportunity. My opinion is my own.
BookloverUT 12 days ago
Marley McKinney is getting ready for the winter holidays at her pancake house, The Flip Side. She finds a flyer stuck to her front window announcing the opening of a new waffle house by a resident who has a bad reputation, to say the least. Wally Fowler has come back to flaunt his wealth and put Marley out of business. But, somebody pushes Wally’s head into a vat of liquid nitrogen and kills him. When Marley’s friend and chef are suspected of the murder, she starts asking questions that may get her into trouble. I loved this story and how Marley worked with not one mystery, but also figured out a mystery from the past. The plot was intense and I couldn’t figure out the culprit until the very end. I loved how Marley’s relationship with her boyfriend progressed. It was a great reprieve from the intense mystery. The townspeople were great characters and great red herrings. I have loved every book in this series and I can’t wait for the next one. I received an Advanced Reader Copy of this book from the publisher and am voluntarily reviewing it.
VWilliams 12 days ago
Protagonist Marley McKinney owns The Flip Side, a pancake diner that sounds very quaint and perfect for a small coastal town of Washington. She has the ideal support characters surrounding her, including friend Lisa and her chef extraordinaire, Ivan Kaminski. One of the town's old residents, Wally Flower (aka the Waffle King) has come back to create a state-of-the-art breakfast restaurant that would surely offer competition to Marley. My first experience with both the author and the series but functions well as a standalone. Once brought up to date, discovered the author has carefully woven in a multi-layered plot that grabbed my interest and kept me engaged. Wally is found murdered in a most bizarre way, and she is drawn in after her friend Lisa and Ivan are inexplicably viewed as persons of interest. Marley decides it is time to get up in the attic to retrieve some Christmas decorations and discovers a diary in an old trunk detailing what leads into a second mystery. Even with two opposing threads going, it's not difficult to keep up with either and they each send in some hit and run herrings. The well-plotted storyline takes on some interesting hypotheses, most sounding plausible, and I must admit I did not guess who eventually emerged as the antagonist to the murder. While the mystery of the murder was compelling, it was actually the sub-plot, that of her relative that I found of most interest, although both will have you speculating. I nailed it, albeit with just a slight twist. A satisfying outcome. So who killed Wally? I know, but..huh? A taut and head-spinning climax in the murder mystery! I was given this download by the publisher and NetGalley and appreciated the opportunity to read and review. I'll be looking forward to the first of her new series and in the meantime recommend this one to any who enjoy an engaging cozy mystery you can work on solving.
GratefulGrandma 13 days ago
Wally Fowler has returned to Wildwood Cove to open The Waffle Kingdom, direct competition with Marley and The Flip Side. He makes a lot of people unhappy with his return, least of all, Lisa, whose sister died and she was adamant that Wally was responsible. Then, one evening Wally is found dead in his new restaurant and it appears he was murdered. Lisa and Ivan, her chef, become persons of interest in the killing. Marley decides to explore Wally's death in order to clear her friends. There are other story lines going on in this story. Brett, Marley's boyfriend is dealing with a family situation when his father suffers a heart attack and must be revived. He and his family head off to Seattle while he has heart surgery leaving Marley worrying back home. The second mystery in this book has to do with a murder/disappearance from twenty years earlier. When Marley finds a set a journals from a relative, she reads about this mystery and with her curiosity in overdrive, she starts asking questions and gathering information about this long cold situation. I have read all the books in this series and have watched the characters grow and develop. I like Marley, she is a likable and relatable protagonist. She has grown as a business woman running the restaurant and has developed many relationships around town. Her romance with Brett is progressing very nicely. I thought the mystery was well done and even though there were two storylines, they meshed well together. Both are wrapped up nicely, with the mystery in present coming to a rather climatic conclusion. I had my suspicions, but was not sure about the culprit until just before it was revealed by the author. I will continue to read this series and find out what else Marley stumbles into. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book to read upon my request. The rating, ideas and opinions are my own.
lynnsreadingcorner 14 days ago
I just love the characters in the Pancake House Mystery series. Meeting up with Marley and friends again will be sure to bring a smile to your face. In Yeast of Eden, Marley is up against a not so new visitor to town, Wally, who wants to introduce the town folks to what he proclaims are the best waffles in his new Waffle Kingdom. Unfortunately Wally winds up on the floor of his own restaurant, dead. Meanwhile, Marley's friend Lisa is the prime suspect and it's up to Marley to try and prove Lisa's innocence. While Marley is involved in her local mystery, her beau Brett, suffers a family emergency, taking him away from the action and away from Marley. You will be pleasantly pleased with the outcome of this wonderful story - Marley works her magic to the very last page! I really enjoy Sarah Fox's style of writing. She makes you feel like the characters are some of your dearest friends and you care what happens next. I'm so glad this series continues and gets stronger with each new novel.
PrincessGlor 14 days ago
I very much enjoyed this latest installment of the Pancake mystery series, in fact I would say this is my favorite of the series so far. This story had a double mystery, the murder of the Waffle King as well as a historical family mystery in Marley's history. I loved the historical mystery addition. The killer was a surprise to me and that's hard to do. A great cozy mystery. I received this book on NetGalley from the publisher and was not required to post a positive review. All thoughts are my own.
BeagleGirl123 16 days ago
Sarah Fox's Yeast of Eden is the charming fourth book in her Pancake House series, and she's created the perfect balance of cozy, mystery, romance, Christmas, and recipes. Protagonist Marley investigates two completely separate mysteries - one with ties to her family, the other with ties to her business - while her relationship with boyfriend Brett continues to progress, and she stands by his side while he deals with a family crisis. Even though it's the fourth in the series, Yeast of Eden works perfectly well as a standalone for those who haven't read the other three books (including me, who'd only previously read the first), and it's highly recommended for cozy mystery lovers! 5 stars!
DanieleK 17 days ago
YEAST OF EDEN is the fourth book in the popular Pancake House Mystery series but the first I have had the opportunity to read. I do not know why I have waited so long to give the series a try, but I am glad I did. It can be read as a standalone, and, with its beautiful Washington setting, likable characters, and intriguing mystery, it is a delightful cozy read. Protagonist Marley, the proprietor of the local breakfast spot, is confident that her restaurant will hold its own against Wally Fowler, the self proclaimed Waffle King. Pompous, arrogant, and not well liked, this prodigal son of Wildwood Cove is a testy thorn in Marley’s side. However, when Marley’s chef Ivan finds Wally dead, Marley does her best to unmask the real killer and save her friends, the prime suspects. There are actually two mysteries within the pages of YEAST OF EDEN, and they work well together to make a cohesive whodunit. Marley is a smart amateur sleuth, ever mindful of not accusing suspects of anything without proof. She is quick to put the pieces of the puzzle together and handles herself in a sensible way, not falling under the “too stupid to live” category at all, when faced with danger. I was blindsided by the killer’s identity, making the climax all the better. The characters are well developed and realistic. I enjoyed getting to know them and especially like Marley, Brett, and Ivan. The pace of the writing is good and the style just right. I highly recommend YEAST OF EDEN. I received an e-ARC of this title from the publisher and voluntarily shared my thoughts here.
Mama_Cat 17 days ago
I have enjoyed this series since the beginning, and it just keeps getting better! This is fourth in the Pancake House Mystery series and is my favorite; it can be read as a standalone. Watching the characters grow closer together and stronger is a delight. The beautifully described oceanside setting of Wildwood Cove makes me want to pack up and go there! The mystery kept me guessing throughout as the suspects grew in number. Marley McKinney inherited The Flip Side, a pancake house started many years earlier by her grandmother’s cousin, who left it to Marley. It is the only restaurant in town that specializes in breakfasts. Marley and Ivan, the chef who almost always wears a scowl, develop seasonal recipes, currently signature dishes in preparation for Christmas. Wally Fowler, a former resident of the Cove, inherited millions from his great-aunt, so he returned to Wildwood Cove to start a new breakfast restaurant, Wally’s Waffle Kingdom. Wally had few friends when he grew up there and is liked even less now. Shortly before his grand opening, Marley leaves Ladies’ Night at the hardware store and sees that the tires on Wally’s van are slashed. She goes into the waffle shop to tell Wally, and runs into Ivan, who was there to tell him the same thing. Unfortunately, Ivan found Wally dead in the kitchen, possibly murdered. As Marley tries to help her friend, the prime suspect in the murder, she is caught up in another mystery. The wife of her late cousin had a sister who disappeared many years earlier. Marley finds the sister’s journals and an album of the newspaper clippings in the attic and is fascinated with the very cold case. Brett, Marley’s boyfriend, helps his father with his remodeling business during the winter. Brett’s father collapsed on a job site, and he gives his father CPR until paramedics arrive. He is transferred to a hospital in Seattle for bypass surgery; Brett, his mother, and sister Chloe will stay there with him. Each of the characters is defined well through actions and realistic dialog; Marley and her best friend, Lisa, are my favorites. Even the grumpy Ivan is a favorite in his own way. Sienna, a part-time waitress for Marley, is an enthusiastic friend and employee, who decides to be Marley’s sidekick as she listens for information about Wally. Few people liked Wally and several people despised him because of the things he did when living there before. Even so, he didn’t deserve the horrible death he died. What a great mystery! The days are fraught with tension with so many people Marley cares about either ill or falsely suspected of murder. Even as she works hard at the Flip Side, Marley pores over old journals and tries to gently ask questions about Wally without sounding like she is accusing anyone. One family takes exception to the questions, even threatening Marley. She has good instincts, and may get ahead of herself at times, especially when led down a questionable path by a distraught teen…and almost ended up in jail. I was stunned to see who the real guy bad is, someone I would not have guessed. The end is satisfactory, leaving no loose ends. I highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys well-written cozy mysteries set in the Pacific Northwest, breakfast restaurants (and recipes!) and realistic characters. From a grateful heart: I received a copy of the e-arc from the publisher and NetGalley, and this is my honest review.