Best friends Olivia Greyson and Maddie Briggs own the Gingerbread House in Chatterley Heights, Maryland. Their store specializes in homemade cookies, icing decorations, aprons, cookie cookbooks, and cookie cutters. In this third book in the
Cookie Cutter Shop mystery series, they are not accused of murder but help solve one.
When Paine Chatterley moves back into the town’s most famous mansion, several of the citizens grow nervous. He is supposed to be dead. Paine has a troubled past with the mayor, an attorney, the town historian, and his own “wife.” When he is found dead in a bathtub, Sheriff Del Jenkins turns to his girlfriend, Olivia, for help in questioning the suspects.
Although all the suspects have a motive and a key to the crime scene, the murderer(s) don’t reveal themselves until the last pages of the book. Lowell’s cozy mystery contains some twists that involve adoption, identity theft, and redemption. There is a surprise engagement, but romance is almost negligible amongst the characters. Much of the crime scene takes place in the Chatterley mansion, a place filled with secret rooms and shattered antiques.
Fans of culinary mysteries will miss the inclusion of a recipe in this book, but they may develop a new appreciation for vintage cookie cutters by the end of the story. Readers new to this series can read When the Cookie Crumbles without having read the previous books by Lowell (Cookie Dough or Die and A Cookie Before Dying).