Cover Image: Bread Over Troubled Water

Bread Over Troubled Water

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i was very happy to catch up with Ivy and the cast of characters. It was another entertaining and well written mystery that kept me guessing.
Highly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher for this arc, all opinions are mine

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Another reasonably fast paced read with clues, red herrings, detective work, and a willingness to realise when they were wrong. And good characters! Also, some delicious recipes.

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I know starting a series at book eight is not the best idea but I nearly drowned in the flood of characters introduced in the first few pages. Maybe if I already knew them from earlier books it would have been better. In the end it did not matter anyway because most of them were not important.

Ivy Culpepper is the main character, a photographer who works in Yeast of Eden, a very exotic bread shop. She is busy planning her own engagement party when her dog discovers the dead body of one of the shop's regular customers. Ivy feels obliged to find out who killed him and why.

The story is good and there are plenty of red herrings to confuse the reader. I had no idea who it might be. Altogether a pretty good book although it tried too hard, introduced too many things and I have no interest in fancy bread shops. I would try another book from this author but not this series.

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This is my favorite of the series so far, mainly because the multiple girlfriend thing is afternoon talk show guilty pleasure kind of thing. There were so many characters to keep up with that it was difficult at times but I just kept going, knowing it would all work out in the end. The mystery was well-paced and kept me guessing until the end. I also like the little snippets of information about other cultures. Ivy is growing on me a little more, too, so looking forward to the next.

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Bread Over Troubled Water is book #8 in the Bread Shop Mystery series by Winnie Archer.

Ivy’s busy holding down the shop at as Olaya cares for her orphaned niece. When there is a murder, she has to get involved with the investigation.

I enjoy this series and it is great catching up with Ivy and the others at Yeast of Eden. There is a lot going on at first, so it could be a little confusing for people not familiar with the series, but it is worth it if they hang in with the story. It is interesting seeing a new side to some characters and how foreign the idea of having to take off work is to Olaya. The victim seemed like a popular person, but as the investigation continues, it turns out he isn’t so likeable and trying to figure out who killed him isn’t so easy.

Thank you to the author, Kensington Cozies, and NetGalley for the Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) copy of this book and I am voluntarily leaving an honest review.

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This is the eighth in the series and surprisingly the first I’ve read. The first chapter was awfully busy and kept me scrambling trying to figure out who the players were and the activity going on.

Once I got past that, the story was a good one with plenty of twists and turns. Can’t say I liked the victim but we’re not suppose to like the victim most of the time.

I enjoyed the book so much, that I have started the first in the series and have purchased the others.

Thank-you to the author and Netgalley for allowing me to read this installment. These are my own opinions and I am not required to leave a positive review.

Even though I own the first in the series, I am listening to it via Hoopla from my library.

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A delightful cozy mystery that has relatable characters with real life events to live through, mouthwatering restaurants and food offerings and an entertaining murder plot entwined throughout to really flex your puzzle solving brain cells! Ivy and Miguel are getting ready for their engagement party with the help of their friends and family, but everything goes awry before the party when a regular customer at the bread shop shows up murdered and the shop gets blamed! Not everything is as it seems when the customer turns out to be a bad apple and a lesson in not jumping to conclusions is definitely on the docket for this book! I love how there are underlying themes in cozy mysteries to remind us to do better in real life. I also have to give this author a shout out for remembering those of us who can't have gluten when posting delicious recipes in her book as cozy authors often do! I am thrilled to report that the recipes are either naturally gluten free or suggestions for adapting them to gluten free are written in! From those of us that are celiac or gluten intolerant really appreciate not being left out! I can't wait for the next book to come out so we can see where things go in the lives of these characters next!

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This is a cozy series that, with eight books so far, never disappoints me. As soon as I got my hands on the advance copy I knew that I would be carving out a chunk of time to spend time with "old friends". Ivy is a wonderful character, a person one would like to have as a friend. She works part time a Yeast of eden in the California coastal town of Santa Sofia. She is also what some would call at murder magnet. She has a knack of stumbling across bodies and this time it hits close to home when the accused killer is a possible connection to the bakery.
The list of suspects is lengthy as it seems that the dead man, a regular bakery customer, had, shall we say, a dishonest side, hidden by good looks and a load of charm. Ivy would be happy leaving the investigating to the police. She is juggling a lot - planning her pre-wedding party in the park, helping run Yeast of Eden while Olaya is out of town and doing her photography. Unmasking a killer isn't a welcome addition.
This is a very well crafted mystery with loads of twists and turns that can be read as a stand alone. There are many characters to keep straight but there is enough backstory to make it clear to the reader new to the series. If you like cozies set in small towns, food themed mysteries and want to fall in love with a cute Pug named Agatha, this series is for you.
My thanks to the publisher Kensington and to NetGalley for giving me an advanced copy in exchange for my honest review.

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This is your typical quaint cozy mystery. Checks off all the boxes and has 3 (yes I said 3!) recipes at the end. The recipes seem straight forward and easy.

The biggest issue that detracted from the book for me was the beginning 3% on my kindle. 9 characters introduced at 3%, 5 additional by 5%; for total of 14 characters
AND then we find out the main characters name

This messes up the ability of a person to pick up the series in the middle. The hallmark of a cozy is that you can find a new series and start mid series. This is really important to the series success- especially when you get farther along than book 5. Most stores are not going to stock older books or people are going to pick up mid series....and not realize they are doing that. The first 5% of this book has too much description. There is no way you can keep track of all these characters and their appearances. They do not all need to be here; bring them in when they come INTO the story with a INTERACTION with the main character.

Of first 9 characters introduced ONLY 3 really needed to be described. Only 2 others were relevant to the story. There are plenty of further characters introduced to make the mystery good. Please get rid of the excess. This story has everything a great cozy needs, but this issue makes it less accessible to a greater audience.

If insistent on having every character listed and would be better to just do a glossary of series regulars at the beginnning with short description.

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I arrived late to the party in Winnie Archer's series set in a bread Shop in Santa Sofia, Northern California, starting with book four, Flour in the Attic. I jumped at the opportunity to read this one, Bread Over Troubled Water as I enjoy a well written cosy and this looked like it fitted the bill perfectly.

Known for its mouthwatering traditional bread, the Yeast Of Eden owned by Olaya Solis employs baking assistant Ivy Culpepper. Ivy is home in Santa Sofia with her fiancé, Miguel and they will be marrying soon, but she will still be working at the bread shop. Ivy is also a freelance photographer. Things go pear-shaped for Ivy when, covering for Olaya because of a family emergency, the death of a regular, handsome Josh Prentiss is deemed as murder after eating Olaya's sourdough rolls.

Bread Over Troubled Water was a compelling, charming, and fun cosy read. Winnie Archer does a fantastic job providing some backstory, making this a great standalone novel though you'll want to read the other instalments. Sold from the very beginning, it contains solid characters, great writing and a marvellous mystery that provides a good sprinkling of clues. The cast is quirky, and busy protagonist Ivy is spirited, peppy, curious and amusing, and she has a lot going on in this story. Ivy's trusty sidekicks make a welcome return; Ivy's adorable pug, named Agatha, Miguel helps when he can, and Ivy's wonderful octogenarian next door neighbour, Penelope Branford deserves a mention. The mystery itself is well done and there are enough red herrings and twists to keep me guessing the culprit's identity. The food throughout the book is deliciously described. Overall, a marvellous cosy and a very worthwhile read. I can't wait to see what Winnie Archer has in store for Ivy next, in book #9.

I received a complimentary copy of this novel at my request from Kensington Books via NetGalley. This review is my own unbiased opinion.

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Bread Over Trouble Water: A Bread Shop Mystery
By Winnie Archer
November 29, 2022

Review by Cynthia Chow

Ivy Culpepper’s to-do list is growing longer by the day, and it’s getting harder for her to decide what should take priority. Not only haven’t they finalized the menu or bread wall for Ivy’s engagement party to celebrate her upcoming nuptials to Miguel Baptista, they still haven’t even decided which of their respective dream homes to live in. Moving back home to Santa Sofia, California had given Ivy the opportunity to pursue her career as a photographer while also helping out her pseudo-grandmother Olaya Solis in the Yeast of Eden bread shop, where their artisanal bakes have made it the community-gathering place. Ivy has even categorized their customers into those who drop in and go and those who hang out all day, of which Josh Prentiss has become the latter. Making it his de facto office as he charms and flirts with other customers, Josh seems to be irresistible to all. At least that’s until Ivy’s rescue Pug Agatha sniffs out his body in a bed of poppies, dead from an apparent poisoning.

With accusations flying and protests quickly condemning Yeast of Eden for having provided killer bread, Ivy is not about to sit idly by and watch her loved ones’ suffer. That is especially crucial when Olaya’s sister Martina becomes a suspect, as she was one of many lured in by his online dating profile that promised much but ended up taking them for all they were worth. It seems that Josh had a habit of dating older women and conning them into making sketchy investments, which is why Ivy soon finds herself on hoping to track down his heartbroken and now financially broke victims. It seems that Josh’s reputation as a financial whiz and fundraiser wasn’t as clean as everyone thought, with their high school football team taking one of the biggest hits. Love, money, or a combination of the both may have finally been enough for someone to take revenge and deal out a form of lethal justice.

This 8th in the series brings back familiar characters who have grown accustomed to Ivy’s amateur detecting, with even Police Captain Craig York resigned to the fact that she’s either a serial killer or an effective investigator at proving people innocent. Ivy’s bestie Sheriff Emmaline Baptista also helps out as long as Ivy keeps the law informed, as arresting her future sister-in-law would make for awkward family dinners. Having already hired at-risk women from her charitable Bread of Life mentoring program to work in the bread shop, Olaya finds herself far more challenged when extending that help closer to home. Her niece just lost both of her parents due a tragic accident, and now Olaya is attempting to raise a devastated 14 year-old girl. What makes Santa Sofia, and especially Yeast of Eden, so special is how they band together to help one another out, even if there are a few initial speed bumps along the way. An unexpected visit by a character from a mystery series written under the author’s other name Melissa Bourbon teases and may promise even more clever and witty fun in the future for readers who love food and fashionable reads.

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Bread Over Troubled Water is the 8th Bread Shop Mystery. Ivy Culpepper is the central character around whom the action revolves. Olaya owns Yeast of Eden. She has two sisters and a niece Pilar who enters the series in this book. Miguel is Ivy’s fiancé and owner/chef of a Mexican restaurant in Santa Sofia, the California coastal town where the bread shop mysteries are set. Mrs. Branford is Ivy’s neighbor and partner in sleuthing.
There is a great deal of activity that occurs during the first chapter of the book with some odd things happening at the bread shop the day that Josh Prentiss dies. Clues that help to unravel what happened to Josh are buried cleverly in the things that happened at the bread shop. The stories surrounding Josh Prentiss involved many moving pieces that reveal the complex mind behind the creation of this mystery.
The ending at the engagement party is such a sweet moment. I felt that the moment cut off too soon. I wanted it to linger a bit longer. That disappointed me just a little.
This series has been hit or miss for me as to how much I like the mystery in a particular book. This one is definitely hit. I recommend reading Bread Over Troubled Water.
Thanks to Netgalley and Kensington Cozies for the opportunity to review this book.

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Ivy didn't poison the handsome Josh but someone did and now she's determined to find out who did. She's got a lot on her hands already- she's engaged to Miguel, she's a photographer, but most of all, for the moment, she's juggling everything with increased responsibility at the bakery because the owner Olaya is caring for her orphaned niece Pilar. Luckily, she's got a new employee Mae and some good friends (as well as her loyal pooch Agatha). The mystery of Josh is in some ways less interesting than the relationships between Ivy and her pals, as well as the small town of Santa Sofia. Cozy fans know that he wasn't as nice of a guy as Ivy thought and that there are several people who disliked him. I've read all the entries in this series so it was like spending time with a familiar troupe and I suspect that new readers will enjoy it as well. Thanks to netgalley for the ARC. Can't wait for the wedding!

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This is the eighth release in the "Bread Ship Mystery Series" by cozy author Winnie Archer. I have enjoyed this charming series from the beginning. The charcters are richly drawn and we readers love the bread shop descriptions. Thank you to Net Galley, the author and the publisher. My review opinions are my own,

Ivy and her soon to be husband are getting ready to hold their engagement party in a local park. During a walk through they find a body of one of the customers that was liked by everyone and a regular. While the murder is tragic Ivy is busy running the bakery for the owner who has a family emergency , fending off protesters who believe their products killed the customers, doing her photography business and getting ready for her party and wedding plans. Nevertheless Ivy feels compelled to investigate as only she can . Soon the clues abound and suspects are plenty. Red Herrings are many as Ivy finds this murder may be her most exciting yet to solve.

This release has a lot of activity and the sleuth was very in depth and surprising to conclusion. I loved the way Ivy cares for her community of friends including the sweet bakery owner Olaya and her elderly neighbor Penelope. Along with her adorable pug Ivy has her plate full in this next mystery with lots of action to keep every reader turning pages into the night. Well done to the author ! .

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It feels like a long time that I’ve been away from this series & I’m happy to be catching up! It’s one that has the strongest & most loving supporting characters for the lead.

This time around the victim was a regular at the bakery & when eyes turn towards them as the killers, Ivy has to step up again. The press starts coming for the bake shop so that creates a lot of havoc. This one is one of my favourites of the series so far. Its really fast paced & the mystery was quite strong. Loved some of the suspects & motives! The bakery as the main setting has always been one of its strong suits, you will feel as though you know it’s denizens & get wrapped up in their lives.

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Winnie Archer has another winner in the Bread Shop mysteries series; I was so excited to receive an early copy to read and review. This is a long running series, eight books, but this could be read as a standalone---I like the character development one gets when starting at the beginning.
BLURBA regular who used Yeast of Eden as a workspace, Josh Prentiss always turned heads with his startlingly good looks and thousand-watt smile. But Ivy can't help noticing one morning that he seems distracted and off his game. Later, during a visit to the park where she and Miguel plan to hold their engagement party--with plenty of baked goods on the menu--her rescue pug, Agatha, sniffs out Josh lying in a bed of poppies...scone cold dead.

There's no reason for Ivy to get involved. She's busy enough holding down the fort as the shop's owner, Olaya, cares for her recently orphaned niece, not to mention the stress when a new employee is fired and storms out in a rage. Then a band of rabble-rousers starts picketing the bakery, claiming that Olaya's sourdough roll is what killed Josh--and Ivy hears some salacious gossip about her beloved boss. She doesn't think there's a grain of truth to the seedy rumors--but to prove it, she'll have to start sleuthing . . .

Oh my gosh! The story hits the ground running and hardly slows down--a pace that I enjoy. The characters are well fleshed out and and feel like friends, so it was great to catch up with them. The small town and the bread shop are places I would love to visit --- so warm and inviting. I think the blurb gives nothing away, I will try not to either. The red herrings are well planned---so much so, I did not correctly guess the culprit. Plus there is a bonus in the book that I won't give away , but was excited to see. The recipe for gluten-free breakfast cookies is a winner!

Thank you to Winnie Archer, NetGalley, and Kensington Cozies for granting me the ARC I requested. My opinions are my own. I love to recommend great reads to friends and followers!

#BreadOverTroubledWater #NetGalley #KensingtonCozies #WinnieArcher
#YeastOfEden #SantaSofia

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Thank you to NetGalley for an ARC of this title.

Photographer Ivy Culpepper is soon to make a home with her husband-to-be in the California beach town of Santa Sofia—but the Yeast of Eden bakery remains her second home. It’s not just a place to work, but a community. And now one member of the community has been murdered . . .

A regular who used Yeast of Eden as a workspace, Josh Prentiss always turned heads with his startlingly good looks and thousand-watt smile. But Ivy can’t help noticing one morning that he seems distracted and off his game. Later, during a visit to the park where she and Miguel plan to hold their engagement party—with plenty of baked goods on the menu—her rescue pug, Agatha, sniffs out Josh lying in a bed of poppies…scone cold dead.

There’s no reason for Ivy to get involved. She’s busy enough holding down the fort as the shop’s owner, Olaya, cares for her recently orphaned niece, not to mention the stress when a new employee is fired and storms out in a rage. Then a band of rabble-rousers starts picketing the bakery, claiming that Olaya’s sourdough roll is what killed Josh—and Ivy hears some salacious gossip about her beloved boss. She doesn’t think there’s a grain of truth to the seedy rumors—but to prove it, she’ll have to start sleuthing . . .

The idea of a sourdough roll killing someone is loafable. Butter check your rolls, I guess. Heehee. This was cute, I enjoy cozy mystery stories a lot so I don't have a lot of new things to say but the book was good.

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Bread Over Troubled Water is the eighty installment of Winnie Archer's Bread Shop Mysteries. I enjoy the world that Archer creates in Santa Sofia and her almost paranormal bakery. People always say there's magic in those baked goods, but it's just good, old fashioned know-how and love.

In this book, Ivy and her trusted sidekick-pug, Agatha, are once again embroiled in a murder. While out scoping out where Ivy and Miguel will be hosting their upcoming engagement party, Agatha finds a dead body. Not just any dead body, the dead body of a womanizing regular to Yeast of Eden. Before we know it, Ivy is on the search finding the culprit while trying to get the police to consider suspects beyond just someone she knows (not giving away any secrets here).

Of course, when Ivy decides to open a can of worms, wow does that can get opened. This book is filled with a TON of drama and more suspects than Ivy can shake a stick at. In fact, one of the biggest problems Ivy faces when trying to hunt down the murderer is there are a lot of people who wanted the deceased dead.

Overall, I enjoy Archer's writing style and how easy it is to get through one of her books. I think she is consistently one of the best in this genre. She weaves a good mystery into the cozy world she creates while giving the reader a clear wink-wink, Ivy's found herself wrapped up in another murder. But lovers of cozy mysteries know they have to suspend belief because most of us will never find a dead body let enough dead bodies in one small town to fill an entire series with.

I want to thank the author/publisher for the opportunity to read an advanced reader copy of this book. The above comments are 100% mine and not driven by their generosity.

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I enjoy my visits to Santa Sofia, especially Olaya's Bread Shop and the recipes included. There was a lot going on in 'Bread Over Trouble Water' that had me guessing until the end as to who killed Josh, a regular Yeast of Eden customer. The pace was a little frantic, as evidenced by the bizarre behavior of Mae with her mother Kristin, and the was a detriment to full enjoyment for me. I enjoyed the usual cast of characters along with the others that were introduced. It will be fun to see how Olaya's niece/godchild and Coach Bruno are featured in future offerings. I look forward to the wedding and more.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

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As a bread lover, I enjoy reading about the breads. Only wish I could make them. This was an interesting adventure. There were many red herrings thrown in to keep you guessing.

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