Cover Image: A Doomful of Sugar

A Doomful of Sugar

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Member Reviews

A Doomful of Sugar by Catherine Bruns
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Genre: General Fiction (Adult), Mystery & Thrillers
Expected Publication Date: October 25, 2022

A Doomful of Sugar is the first book in the new Maple Syrup Mystery series by Catherine Bruns. This was the first book I have read by the author and I am confident that it will not be the last!

This was such a wonderful book! There was so much that I absolutely loved about it. The characters were wonderful and relatable. The story was beautifully written and captivating. The mystery had me on the edge of my seat and I loved how layered it was!

I was so drawn into this book! I didn't want to reach the end and I look forward to what will be coming in the future! I highly recommend this book! It's a great Fall read, with the beautiful setting in Vermont. What could be better than maple syrup and murder!

I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
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The first book of a cozy mystery series and I always try out the cozy mystery series. A Doomful of Sugar is one of those books, filled with all these recipes of the desserts made with maple syrup that you could try at home.

Leila Khoury returns to the countryside Vermont known as Sugar Ridge, when she heard the news about her father's death. Her father had left his will--the farm now solely belongs to Leila. However, Leila is determined to find out who actually killed her own father--suspects the own coworkers handsome Noah and Jessica, her own brother Simon and a man named Wesley. And since law enforcement had not produced any leans, Leila along with her friend Hannah must find out who is behind her father's murder. 

This was actually a really good cozy mystery book which I actually enjoyed reading a lot. The descriptions and scenes of farming and extracting maple syrup were interesting to read. I do like how everyone except for her mother and her best friend Hannah seemed to be a suspect under Leila's eye. The ending at who was responsible for her father's death was surprising and unexpected. I do like the receipes at the back using the maple syrup which prompts me to try out some. Overall, if there's a book 2, I cannot wait to read what Leila had in for her next adventure--worth 4.5 stars!

Many thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC. The review is based on my honest opinion only.
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Entertaining read with likeable characters and plenty of suspects.  This book hit the cozy mystery musts with a small town, family owned business, a great best friend, hunky guys, and enough backstories to fill several books.  Fortunately, it only skimmed the enemies to potential love interest trope, without dragging it out.  I did know who the killer was mid-way through the book but did not expect the complexity of the situation.  Cozy or not, Ms.. Bruns has a scorched earth approach to her characters, so buckle up.  I look forward to Book 2.
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Thank you to NetGalley for an advanced reading copy of this title. 

This is the first book in a new series by Catherine Bruns. Leila Khoury has always believed that everyone loved her father as much as they loved his artisanal maple syrup. But when he is murdered and she returns to her home town to take over his business, she realizes how unaware she has been of what's going on at home. Taking up investigating on her own, Leila will learn exactly what happened to lead to her father's sticky end.
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A Doomful of Sugar is the 1st book in Maple Syrup Mysteries series by Catherine Bruns. After her father is murdered, Leila Khoury returns to her hometown, Sugar Ridge, Vermont, to take over the family farm. She is determined to find out who killed her father. If she’s not careful, she may be the killers next victim.

Vivid descriptions allow the reader to picture the quaint town of Sugar Ridge in the fall. The mystery is cleverly crafter. Although I was on the right track about who the killer was, I was still surprised by the reveal, a twist I didn’t see coming. I enjoyed the mystery very much but the found the characters lacking. I felt that Noah, the apparent love interest, was the only characters that was well developed. Leila, in her late twenties, came across as childish, petty, and jealous for the first half of the book. Leila’s brother Simon also came across as childish. Leila did get better in the 2nd half of the book, but I still found it very hard to like her. I’m hoping Leila has matured in the next book in the series, which I do plan on reading. I feel that this series has a lot of potential, and I’m looking forward to learning more about Leila’s friend Heather, and meeting some of the other townspeople. 

Thanks to Netgalley and Sourcebooks for providing an advanced digital copy in exchange for an honest review.
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New series from Catherine Bruns begins with intriguing debut.  See my complete review at
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I liked the book enough to finish, but Leila wasn't the most likeable main character which is pretty important in a cozy.  She does get better towards the end.  There was also a lot of repetition.  Leila would say something, then say something to the same effect in the next chapter.  All the characters, including some of the secondary ones, could use a good therapist.  Luckily, Toast seems to have his head on straight.

I received my copy from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.
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Good new cozy mystery series set in a family owned Maple Syrup business. Good characters, lots of description about the art of making maple syrup and beautiful descriptions of foliage and countryside. Recipes included.
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New Series First
    Lelila Khoury is back in town for her father’s funeral. He’s been murdered and his will leaves the maple farm to her. She has has ongoing mother/ daughter issues with her mom and hadn’t planned on staying, bur her father requested she run the farm for a year and here she is. She has decided she needs to find out what happened and comes across a suspect or her mind at least. One of her suspects is not only innocent, but dies protecting her and that kicks her snooping into high gear.
    Her investigation leads her down paths she never expected. The family is Lebanese and we are treated to some ethnic delights and customs. The recipes sound really scrumptious.
    I recommend this culinary cozy. I requested and received a Net Galley ARC to peruse gratis and offer my opinion in the same.
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This is one of my top 5 favorite cozies of 2022.  I read this cover to cover in one sitting.  I love cozy mysteries that are unique settings that are picturesque and atmospheric. Thank you to the publisher and to Net Galley for the opportunity. My review opinion is my own. 

.Leila is a smart protagnist taking over her murdered Father's maple syrup farm . She has the determination his will requires which is to run the business for one year by herself.  As she steps into his role she is attempting to piece together the clues of his murder and find the right suspect. As she clashes with her employees who she suspects and makes inquires in town she is soon in danger.  As danger looms over her and clues abound Leila soon finds herself in further danger and solving her Father's murder.  I like Leila as a protagnist who does not hesitate to ask questions and  is savvy as a investigator .  The author has a well crafted sleuth, wonderful charcters and the perfect charming setting for a cozy series. Well; done to the author.
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I received this book from NetGalley, thank you!

Such a great cozy mystery! I really enjoyed the setting, a maple farm in Vermont. Leila is a relatable character, who has the pressures of her family to do what they expect, but she just wants to be happy and do her own thing. She's then faced with the murder of her father and having to take over the family farm that she originally wanted nothing to do with running. I found there was a great balance between Leila's personal story, the mystery of her father's murder, and how the two tied together. If there will be a sequel to this, I will absolutely read it!
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Many of my high school students are getting into cozy mysteries as a way to escape the sometimes dark YA themes they're encountering. I think this series would be a fun entry into the genre for a teenager, and any adult who enjoys a clean cozy mystery will be thrilled with this first book. Set in Vermont, Leila is a grieving daughter who unexpectedly inherits the family's maple farm. As she navigates her new responsibilities, she also is driven to figure out who murdered her father and why. Maybe it's just because I like maple syrup, but I really enjoyed the unique setting! Included at the end are several maple-themed recipes.
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This is a super fun cozy mystery set on a maple farm in Vermont. We are following Leila as she is trying to figure out who was behind the death of her father. There is no end to the number of suspects we have to work with, and trying to figure out who the killer is kept me on my toes. Every time I thought I was sure I knew who did it, another clue would come along and I had to rethink everything. 

Leila begins uncovering secrets, and as she's digging she ends up putting herself in real danger, thankfully Noah, who works at the Maple Farm and hopeful love interest, is around to help her out. 
 I loved the characters, and the running of the farm was very cool. Toast was an adorable addition, and the mystery was perfect.  I'm very much looking forward to making some Maple shortbread cookies (recipe at the end of the book) and seeing reading the next book in the series!
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Good start to a new series. More Mediterranean food than maple syrup, but that is inconsequential. The cozy mystery is clever and kept me guessing. I had my suspicions. Nice variety of characters. Some surprises. Thanks to the publisher for providing a copy via NetGalley. I look forward to reading the next one.
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A doomful of sugar is set in Vermont on a maple sugar farm.  You'll enjoy learning about the workings of the farm as you follow the characters as they try to solve the murders. Lots of  twists to unravel.
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A Doomful of Sugar is the first book in a new cozy mystery series set on a Vermont maple syrup farm. The series follows Leila as she returns home to Vermont after her father’s murder. Her father has left her the family maple syrup farm/business. She must look into his suspicious death and deal with learning the business with the help of her father's grumpy right hand man. 

There's a lot of tension between Leila and her brother. Noah also rubs Leila the wrong way and she's suspects he has something to do with her Dad's death. She also has a bit of a romantic interest in him which makes things interesting. 

Lots of potential suspects/red herrings and a very lovely setting makes for a great read!
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It’s always fun to start a new series and Bruns kicks this one off with a winner. Bruns has written interesting and complex characters in Leila, Noah and the folks of Sugar Ridge. I specifically appreciated the addition of the family’s Lebanese descent and all the yummy cultural food references, especially that rose water baklava which sounds SO good and Noah’s character and military experience is a refreshing addition. Of course we can’t forget the mystery which has just the right balance the clues and red herrings that will have you scratching you had to the end. This is the first book is the Maple Syrup Mysteries series and I for one can’t wait for the next. 

I received this eARC thanks to NetGalley and Poisoned Pen Press in exchange for an honest review. Publishing dates are subject to change.
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I've heard good things about Catherine Bruns books so I knew I had to try her out! This one did not disappoint and I'm already eagerly awaiting the next book in the series!
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A great, cozy mystery that kept me engaged the whole book.  Could not wait to see who had done it!
Leila has come home from Florida upon her father's death and learns that she has inherited her parent's maple farm.  She agrees to stay a year and help out on the farm but then she will sell it and move back south.  But while she is home, it never hurts to do a little sleuthing and try to uncover exactly what had happened to her father the night he was killed.  
The story had great characters, a plot with some nice twists and turns, and an ending I enjoyed.  Highly recommend for all the cozy mystery lovers out there.
I received an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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Loved reading this new series for the author. I couldn't wait to finish it. Looking forward to the next book in the series. Loved the culture of the foods. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
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