Baking Spirits Bright

Books on Tape. (True Confections, Bk. 2). Oct. 2023. 8:14 hrs. ISBN 9780593748763. $66.50. M
In Fox’s second “True Confections” cozy mystery (following Six Sweets Under), chocolatier Becca Ransom is preparing for the Christmas season in the small town of Larch Haven, VT. Becca enters the town’s annual Baking Spirits Bright annual contest and makes her way to the finals. But on the final day of the competition, one of the bakers is found dead, apparently having been killed by one of Becca’s kitchen tools. When Becca sets out to find the murderer, there are numerous suspects to consider, including a suspicious stranger who appears at the local art gallery, purchases an expensive painting, and then lingers in town. Jesse Vilinsky engagingly narrates the twists and turns as the mystery unfolds, from neighbors’ tightly held secrets to a stormy relationship between the dead baker and her daughter. Vilinsky nimbly balances the warm small-town atmosphere with Becca’s relentless and even reckless investigative efforts as she repeatedly puts herself in danger despite the police’s pleas to leave matters to them.
VERDICT Bursting with picture-perfect holiday charm, plenty of red herrings, and even a little romance, Fox’s latest cozy mystery is great fun.
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