Risky Biscuits

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 12 Jul 2019

Member Reviews

Sugar and Spice are working on another cookbooks for a fundraising group when one of the members is found dead.  The pair find themselves in the middle of a mystery which includes the return of the town bad boy.  My absolute favorite part of the book was the mention of "city Southern" which rural Southerners will understand very well.  The solution to the mystery was a bit too obvious, but I still enjoyed the book.
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When Alma, a local resident, is found dead in the city park it is initially thought to be an accident.  But it is soon determined that she was run over (twice, no less), and this now becomes a murder investigation.

Sugar and her business partner Spice just can't help get involved in trying to find the murderer.  Their naturally inquisitive minds will not rest.  Things really heat up when there is a second death.  What is going on in their beloved hometown?

I'm really enjoying this series.  Sugar seems to do most of the investigating.  I like her sometimes self deprecating humor and how she has an inate ability to follow clues.  This was a quick and entertaining read.

My thanks to Kensington Books and Netgalley for this ARC.
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It was so good and so funny, full of humor and with many tasty recipes, a must try.
Sugar and Dixie run a publishing house that publishes cookbooks but their main business is solving homicides. In fact they are often found in the midst of some trouble. This time they have to help their elderly neighbor, she has disappeared suddenly and the police seem to underestimate it.
I love all the characters but Sugar is really nice and very nosy. St. Ignatius is a small, very welcoming community, where everyone lends a hand but is also full of gossip.
It is very well written and manages to capture the reader's attention to solve the mystery. The plot is interesting, well developed, with many twists.
It  can be read  as a standalone, I can't wait to read the first book in the series

Highly recommended for those who love cozy culinary mysteries
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Thanks NetGalley for this free advance copy. Here is my review. I really enjoyed this cozy mystery. This is the 2nd book of the Sugar and Spice mysteries and this loaded with fun references and excellent writing. We all gather in the village of St, Ignatius where Sugar and Spice are working on publishing a cookbook for a local senior citizens fund raiser. One of the elderly ladies is killed and our mystery begins. Sugar is new to the town and goes out of her way to help everyone and especially the old ladies at the Good Life Center. Why not always trying to help solve the murder, she always seems to get clues as to the identity of the killer. Lots of fun plays of words and characters. Again very well written and paced well with little slowdown in the middle. If you enjoy a nice cozy mystery this one is for you..
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Risky Biscuits by Mary Lee Ashford is about a woman named Sugar. She launched a cookbook publishing company. When Nick, the town bad boy, returns to town, the gossip is stirred. Sugar and her friend, Spice, need to sift the guilty from the crowd. This is a good book. I recommend it. A nice cozy mystery. It was well-written with friendly characters, who shared their high school stories. Don’t read it on an empty stomach as there is lots of talk about food, especially biscuits. Thank you to Net Galley for allowing me an advanced readers copy of this book.
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Sugar and Spice Publishing is made up of two dynamite ladies with most excellent names. Rosetta Sugarbaker Calloway aka Sugar and Dixie Spicer aka Spice or Spicy (but most people just call her Dixie) have my dream job, putting together cookbooks and testing the recipes. Speaking of recipes, you will find 3 must try breakfast recipes at the end of the book. Before you get those yummy recipes you will be tantalized by the descriptions of Dixie's cooking which must be good because Disco their retail neighbor seems to make an almost daily appearance. Everyone is quite neighborly as would be expected in a small town where everyone knows your name and if you skipped your usual muffin at breakfast they will be talking about before brunch rolls around. Small town but big secrets. Talking about rumors, the mill is churning when the prodigal Marchant boy comes home driving his fancy jag and fighting with his twin. In addition to being the designated taste tester, Sugar is also a designated driver for a group of lively seniors who take care of their own and fully expect Sugar to get to detecting when Alma becomes the victim of a hit and run.....with her own car...Needless to say, local law enforcement does not agree with Ms. Greer and her gang. You have got to love a story with lively seniors, they add a great touch of zest and small town seniors are the best! Great story line excellent characters!
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This is a series that I enjoy and really liked this book.  It's an quick, easy read that is just perfect a Sunday afternoon.  The characters are growing and I'm looking forward to see the way they develop in future books.
The ,mystery had twists and turns and kept me reading.  I can't wait to try some recipes!
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Another fun cozy mystery in the Sugar & Spice series! I enjoyed getting to know the characters Sugar and Dixie better. Their profession of a cookbook publishing business is unique and interesting. I love how everything comes together from the recipes to the pictures. This cozy contained a well planned mystery that kept me guessing to the very end. I am looking forward to the next book in this series!
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This was a quick, fun read. I enjoy cozies very much and this did not disappoint. I am looking forward to reading more by this author. I would recommend.
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I have no idea how I had missed this author and series, but I am glad to be catching up and I hope there will be a lot more to come with this wonderful couple of female sleuths.

Sugar and Spice are helping set out a fundraiser cookbook for a local breakfast club, there are a couple of hiccups but they don't expect the largest hiccup of all to be the death of the organiser, Alma, and when it turns out that her death wasn't the accident that everyone thought Sugar in particular starts to look more closely at people around St Ignatius, one of which appears to be the prodigal son, who is trying to smarm his way back into people's good books. Does he know more about the death than he is letting on, does Alma's grandson? and can the Sheriff sort it out quickly!
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Risky Biscuits by Mary Lee Ashford
Book #2: Sugar and Spice Mystery Series
Source: NetGalley and Lyrical Underground
Rating: 4½/5 stars

The girls are back with a new project, the prospect of several future projects, and another dead body or two 😊 

Following the success of their first cookbook and crime solving foray, Sugar and Dixie are back in business with a small but significant project.  The morning breakfast group at the senior center is intent on refurbishing one of the building in the park and to raise funds, they intend to sell a cookbook full of nothing but yummy breakfast foods.  Trouble is, just as the project is getting off the ground, the senior charge is found dead, run over by her own car.  

With only one case behind them, Sugar and Dixie have no intention of becoming involved in this newest St. Ignatius crime.  Unfortunately, because of their involvement with the cookbook, they’re smack dab in the middle of the mess.  If the cookbook is going to move forward and be completed, Sugar and Dixie are going to have to do some poking and prodding.  Poking and prodding usually means discomfort, especially for the person responsible for the crime.  

Poking around into this new murder has Dixie and Sugar digging up secrets at least two local families would much rather stay buried!  From an illegitimate birth to a set of twins with clear and present issues, the murder of one little lady has stirred up a hornet’s nest of trouble.  With each new revelation, Dixie and Sugar discover some people/families will go to any lengths necessary to preserve the status quo.  To Dixie and Sugar’s dismay they dig deep enough, accidentally discover just enough, and ask just enough questions to trigger a second death.  With a load of guilt and great sense of responsibility, the ladies work harder than ever to uncover the truth behind all the awful.  

The Bottom Line:  In case y’all didn’t know, I LOVE breakfast foods which makes this the perfect book for me 😊 Dixie and Sugar are a bit more experienced with the crime solving and because they were involved by default have a vested interest in solving the crime.  What I liked most about this installment of the series, beyond the food, of course, is the subtle little ways the author is setting up story lines for future installments of the series.  For example, Sugar is interviewing with another group for a future cookbook project, Max the photographer is more committed than ever to staying in town, Sugar’s neighbor is pesky as ever and not going anywhere, and Dixie’s love life is slowly making a comeback following the death of her husband.  All of these bits and pieces play out as the girls work on their current project and solve yet another crime.  All is blended together seamlessly to create yet another totally yummy cozy mystery.
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Who would murder Alma? And where are those recipes?
Risky Biscuits by Mary Lee Ashford is a marvelous mystery, filled with small-town life, lots of humor and plenty of baked goods.

Sugar Calloway is our main character and point of view. She and Dixie Spicer run the Sugar & Spice Publishing Company, where they publish cookbooks. They also dabble in the investigation of local murders. Even though the local Sheriff, Terry doesn’t like or appreciate their assistance.

I like Sugar and Dixie. They make a good partnership. The problem they have is that they are nosy. Neither Sugar nor Dixie can let a mystery go. At least they turn over their findings to the Sherriff.

Greer Gooder is my favorite character. She is a hoot, who drinks coffee until she is buzzing, has to be everywhere early and she is nosier than Sugar. Here is a quote from the story.
“She’s been on edge. Like the other day we were going to the bakery over in Marston and she turned the wrong direction on the highway. When I said, ‘Hey Alma, wrong way!’ she slammed on the brakes so hard that poor Freda Watson’s wig ended up in the front seat on top of Nellie’s pocketbook. It’s lucky we didn’t all have whiplash.”

The mystery is superb and had me guessing throughout the story whodunit? There aren’t a lot of suspects but the culprit was a surprise. I like the tie back to old small-town secrets.

Recipes Included
•	Jeri Beetles Cat’s Head Biscuits
•	Alma Stoller’s Heart Attach Hot Dish
•	Greer’s Better Than Robert Redford Cake
•	Diane’s Blue-Ribbon Made-from-Scratch Biscuits

I can't wait to try these recipes.

4 Stars for Risky Biscuits by Mary Lee Ashford
My rating for Risky Biscuits by Mary Lee Ashford is four stars. The story is entertaining with well-developed characters and the mystery is top-notched. I recommend this cozy mystery to all.

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy from the Great Escapes Book Tours. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Thank you for dropping by! I hope you enjoyed this review of Risky Biscuits by Mary Lee Ashford.

Anyways, until next time, 
Karen the Baroness
Happy Reading

If you would like to see other reviews like this one, check out BaronessBookTrove.com.
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Dollycas’s Thoughts

Biscuits and Gravy cooks from the St. Ignatius Crack of Dawn Breakfast Club have been hosting breakfast events to raise money for the park shelter where they hold their events. The decide to bind their recipes together in a cookbook put together by Rosetta Sugarbaker Calloway and Dixie Spicer aka “Sugar” and “Spice”. When the de facto leader of the Breakfast Club goes missing and is later found killed, Sugar’s landlord, a member of the group begs Sugar to look into the tragic death. Sugar does have an in as she needs to attend meetings and contact members to keep the fundraising cookbook on track. Plus the gossip chain has ratcheted up with the return of Nick Marchant to town. He and “Spicy” have some kind of a past that Sugar knows nothing about but keeping her ears open and putting a little pressure on her friend she just might find out. The good sheriff is sure not thrilled the man is back in town either.

After reading Game of Scones recently I could wait to sink my teeth into Risky Biscuits. Author Mary Lee Ashford sure didn’t disappoint. She has written strong characters and enveloped them in a stellar mystery.

Sugar & Spice Publishing is getting more clients and Sugar is using her organizational skills while Spice refines a bunch of recipes all to make their next cookbook publication a huge success. Photographer Max Windsor wasn’t as present at the beginning of the story as I had hoped but he doesn’t let the ladies down when it is time to take the food photos needed for the book. We also meet several residents from Greer’s retirement community. While mourning their friend they are still a fun and feisty group.

Ms. Ashford takes a bit of time introducing the new characters and showing readers how they fit with those we had already met. But then Sugar gets hot on the trail to find the killer. Red herrings, yes there were a few. I made the mistake of thinking I had the culprit pinned down early only to be shown the error of my ways. Twists and turns led to a shocking reveal.

Aside from the murder, this little town in Iowa is a fun place to visit. I love all the friendships that are blooming.

I can’t finish this review without mentioning the food. Spice is always baking up something good. Even things she considers flops are downright tasty. She always seems to have plenty of people dropping by their shop for samples too. I wish she could pass them out from the pages, especially the Better Than Robert Redford/George Clooney cake. The author does include recipes in the back of the book but I don’t have the skills Spice has. Then again the recipe of the above mentioned doesn’t look too complicated 🙂

Culinary cozies readers will love this story.
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I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this story. We have the standard formula of small-town life, a new transplant with a golden heart and an interesting cat. You will have to take my word for the fact that this was a very well written version of the cozy murder mystery genre(plus cat). That is until you read and confirm the tale's efficiency for yourself.

Each action and behavioural quirks are explained in painstaking detail and should have had the effect of explaining a joke after the crowd has heard the punchline but it does not. I cannot place my finger on how that worked but it did. We have cutesy names for all the characters and I did not feel like cringing because their behaviour was above board and intelligent and the names are just coincidences of their lives in general. This is not the first book in the series but apart from the (almost non-existent) love life of our leading lady Sugar (see what I mean about the names?) who is a partner in a cookbook publishing company, the story can be read as a standalone. I only felt I missed something in the first story when she mentioned the 'guy' who was absent from the first half of this tale and I wanted to know more about their original meeting. 

In this installment, Sugar is trying to settle on friendly terms with her neighbour and solve a local murder when it turns up because she cares for the people involved and she might be holding all the clues in her hand. Once again with books like this, the plotline is not the main focus. the narrative tone, the comic timing and of course the random mentions of the cat and commentary of the interpretation of his actions or the lack thereof. I would definitely read the next in the series only to spend time with Sugar and her friends and keep my fingers crossed on Dixie (her partner) finding her happily ever after soon. If I have to mention the investigation in this one I would say it progresses at an acceptable pace and has a few twists that I thought I saw coming but was wrong about (in the best way).

I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley and the publishers but the review is completely based on my own reading experience.
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“Risky Biscuits” earns 5/5 Breakfast Treats...Entertaining and Clever!

Former magazine editor “Sugar” Calloway has partnered with award winning baker Dixie “Spicer” to launch a unique publishing company, “Sugar and Spice” Cookbooks. They help communities and organizations create cookbooks as a fundraising event. The current project is for St. Ignatius senior’s Crack of Dawn Breakfast Club who hope to refurbish the aging shelter house at the park. However, their cookbook has...a recipe for murder! Deliciously entertaining! Mary Lee Ashford has stepped up her game with book two in her Sugar & Spice Mystery making me an eager fan! Her entertaining writing style includes descriptive language and dialogue that illustrates well the setting, characters, tone, and personalities along with a delightful sense of humor, some a little too quirky but fun. Ashford follows a traditional cozy formula with a first-person narrative from “Sugar” Calloway’s perspective sharing her inner thoughts. And for a delicious bonus...start your own “breakfast club” with these easy-to-follow recipes each including informative tips: Jeri Beetles Cat’s Head Biscuits, Alma Stiller’s Heart Attack Hot Dish, Greer’s Better Tan Robert Redford Cake, and Diane’s Blue Ribbon Made-From-Scratch Biscuits.
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Risky Biscuits, is the second book in this series but it can read as a standalone.  This book is well written, its well paces, the characters were well developed, and the mystery has a few red herrings.  All the things that make a cozy mystery worth reading.  I liked this book and hope to try some of the recipes included..
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Sugar Calloway and Dixie Spicer are once again mixing delicious comfort food with murder in Mary Lee Ashford's second Sugar & Spice Mystery, Risky Biscuits.  The Crack of Dawn Breakfast Club is putting together a cookbook when one if its members is found run over in the park.  Who killed her and why, and is there any connection to former bad boy Nick Marchant's sudden return to St. Ignatius, or the proposed real estate development happening in town?!?  Yummy recipes are included at the the end of this cozy mystery, and I absolutely recommend it.  I loved the first book in the series, Game of Scones, and Risky Biscuits did not disappoint!  5 stars!!!
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Risky Biscuits is the second book in this series but can be read as a standalone. The characters are likeable. The suspense is well-maintained and the story is well-paced. Throw in a couple of twists and red herrings, add some more butter to it, give it a quick mix, and what you get is a Risky Biscuit. 

If you love cozy mysteries then this book is not to be missed.
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Although RISKY BISCUITS is the second book in A Sugar & Spice Mystery series by Mary Lee Ashford, it reads just as well all on its own. Just like “Sugar” Calloway’' I felt right at home in the small community of St. Ignatius, Iowa. 

While the business Sugar runs with her partner, Dixie,"Spice" Spicer, is not open to the public, like other shops on the main street, the delicious smells coming from Dixie's kitchen keeps a steady stream of visitors walking in their door. And with them comes town news and gossip.

Sugar is renting a house from an elderly woman. In return, they have a friendship that has extended to the other residents of the independent living retirement community in which Greer lives. That includes offering rides and a helpful hand at times. Sugar and Spice are also working on publishing a cookbook of recipes from those same elderly residents, and members of The Crack of Dawn Breakfast Club. Fortunately for us, several of the top recipes are included at the end of this book!

When one of the elderly women goes missing and the police won't take it seriously for at least 48 hours, Sugar is recruited to help the other women investigate. After all, it isn't breaking and entering if you know where the key is kept, is it?

Lots of small town hijinx history, high school remembered romances, and a bad boy returned home, without this leopard changing his spots, it seems, as well as colorful idioms and phrases inspired by Sugar's Aunt Cricket, make this a fun read as well as a well shrouded mystery. When you feel you have it figured out, something else comes to your attention.

I can't wait for my next visit!
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This is a fun cozy mystery set in an interesting community of characters.  Sugar, one of the main characters, is a Southern gal living far from  The South, and she adds charm to the story.  The mystery was interesting and well-paced.  This will be a good series to look forward to each book.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.
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