Cover Image: Against the Currant

Against the Currant

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Member Reviews

I am marking this DNF and not providing a proper review. The writing just wasn’t for me and I couldn’t get into the story. Sadly.

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Little Caribbean, Brooklyn, Lyndsay Murray is opening Spice Isle Bakery with her family, and it’s everything she’s ever wanted. The only thing getting a rise out of Lyndsay is Claudio Fabrizi, a disgruntled fellow bakery owner who does not want any competition. On opening day, he comes into the bakery threatening to shut them down. Fed up, Lyndsay takes him to task in front of what seems to be the whole neighborhood. So, when Claudio turns up murdered Lyndsay is the prime suspect. To get the scent of suspicion off her and her bakery, Lyndsay has to prove she’s innocent.
This story was a great Introduction to a wonderful new cozy mystery series. I love the Caribbean food and the vibe of the setting/bakery. Lindsay is a likable character and uses her intelligence and her wits to solve the mystery. I also like her relationship with her family. I will definitely read more from this series. Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for this ARC. This review is my unbiased opinion.

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Sweet like the pastries described in its pages, this down-to-earth family drama of a daughter trying to launch a bakery that honors her family and heritage is suddenly disrupted first by a despicable annoying neighbor and competitor and then by him promptly dropping dead after their public argument.

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I received this book as an ARC from NetGalley.

Lyndsay Murray has always had the same dream - open a family bakery highlighting their Grenadian roots. She has scrimped and saved to purchase a building and have her family work along side her to make this happen. The day of the soft opening, another bakery owner, Claudio Fabrizi, comes in and starts a scene that he was NOT happy she opened a competing bakery in the neighborhood. He has been harassing her since she started working on the building and today she has had enough. She tells him to leave, and if he returns again, it will not end well, in front of a bakery full of people. The next day, Fabrizi is found dead and now the police are looking at Lyndsay as the only murder suspect.

As Lyndsay starts to look for other suspects because the police are only looking at her, she comes to realize that she may be in for more than she thought.

What a great story - loved the family line and the mystery that went along with it. Looking forward to book #2.

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This book started strong! I enjoyed getting to know the FMC, her family, and exploring her cultural heritage. However, I was slightly disappointed at the pacing and figuring out the killer early in the story. I wish this book had more of a twist because, at 80% in; I didn't feel compelled to finish reading once I could skip ahead and see I was right.

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This was such a cute and fun new series! I adore Lyndsey's story and the fact that she started a small business to bring a spotlight to her background and culture. And I learned so much about both of those things and the food!! I absolutely love all the people that surround her, and I felt like the murder mysteries were a little bit harder to solve--which is not a bad thing! I cannot wait for the next in this series!

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In this beginning to a cozy mystery series, Lyndsay Murray is forced to investigate a murder when she becomes the prime suspect in the death of a fellow shop owner.

I love a good cozy mystery series and this was exactly that. The author instantly pulled me into this story with Lyndsay, her family, and her Grenadian roots. I loved the descriptions of the food they were making in the bakery - I swear books like this always leave me so hungry. And the mystery (plus Lyndsay's reaction to it) actually felt realistic. For example, her worries over being charged and arrested for something she didn't do. It all combined into one page turning mystery that I couldn't stop reading. I've already continued on with this series (I'm just super behind with reviews) but am definitely looking forward to reading more in this cozy series whenever they release.

Readers who enjoy cozy mysteries or just mystery readers in general should give this book a try. I really enjoyed my time with this one!

Disclosure - I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher and NetGalley. Honest thoughts are my own.

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A cute, cozy food related mystery. I've read a few food related mysteries and they all kind of seem to be the same. I enjoyed the book, but it just didn't seem very unique. Kind of slow which was off putting as well.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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This was a cute cozy mystery following Lyndsay a new bakery owner who made another Caribbean store angry as he considered her moving in on his territory. The bakery owner confronted her in her bakery where she told him off and to get out. Next thing we know the bakery owner ends up dead and Lyndsay ended up on the top of the suspect list. Trying to save her business reputation Lyndsay sets out to make sure the police get this right !

This was a cute cozy mystery but it felt very similar to others in this genre. The characters were ok but a few of them I really had a hard time caring about. The writing was fast paced and easy to understand and there were a few quirky moments that had me laughing. If you are a fan of cozy mysteries I could see this being a little forgettable but still a fun time. I would like to thank NetGalley and the publishers for a chance to read this book for an honest review.

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I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

Embark on a journey to the Spice Isle Bakery, where the essence of Caribbean heritage permeates through every recipe. Lyndsay Murray, the mastermind behind this enchanting bakery, is determined to share her family's culinary secrets with her new home in Brooklyn. Yet, on the day of its opening, a disgruntled neighboring bakery owner threatens to shut her down, leading to a heated argument. The next day, the same bakery owner is found murdered, and Lyndsay becomes the prime suspect. With her family by her side, Lyndsay sets out to clear her name and uncover the true culprit.

Against the Currant by Olivia Matthews is the captivating first installment of the Spice Isle Bakery Mystery series, brimming with charm and humor. With each book in the series containing a standalone mystery, readers can delve into any of them without fear of missing out. As Lyndsay navigates through the twists and turns of the case, we witness her growth from a timid wallflower to a fierce protector of her family and business. The inclusion of diverse characters and the mouth-watering descriptions of Caribbean cuisine add to the allure of this cozy mystery.

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What a way to start a series. Lyndsay Murray and her family has decided to bring a bit of home in the Caribbean to Brooklyn, by opening up a new bakery called Spice Isle. And their opening goes great, until another restaurant owner comes to threaten them. Things get worse when that same person is found dead, and Lyndsay is the main suspect due to the argument they had at Spice Isle. Lyndsay decides to take matters into her own hands, and with the help of her family, is determined to clear her name.

This book is full of family and food, especially treats from the caribbean which sound so tasty and delicious. This was such an enjoyable cozy mystery and I truly enjoyed this story, and I can't wait for the series to be continued.

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I always need a good reminder on why I love cozy mysteries and this was it! The balance of culture, food and mystery was perfection and great job to Olivia Matthews for capturing the Caribbean essence. Bonus points for having the currants roll recipe at the end! I wish there was more humor involved. Otherwise, great story! I'm excited to see where this series goes

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This story is a fun and cozy mystery about Indian fusion bakeries and rival businesses. I enjoyed the premise, the descriptions and inclusion of cultural foods, and of the family. While I enjoyed the story, it was a bit difficult to get into the writing style which became quite repetitive. Overall, a solid cozy mystery.

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I’ve read several food related murder mystery books/series. I don’t think this one has anything unique to pull me in to continue the series. The mystery was a bit slow with quite a bit of character development, which for the first book in a series is okay, but again it didn’t keep my interest. Writing was fine, and I enjoyed the recipes.

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Thank you St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for the e-ARC of the book.

Lyndsay Murray's dream is about to come true - she and her family are opening Spice Isle Bakery. The soft opening was a success except the little fight with neighbor baker Claudio Fabrizi. As Lyndsay celebrates the success and makes plans for her bakery future Claudio was found dead and she is the main suspect. As a result Lyndsay has to find Claudio's killer to clear her name.

The mystery line was slow, I feel like author was focused on character development as Lyndsay was becoming more confident in herself. Additional thank you to the author for recipes because the food description made me curious about it. I'm glad that thus is series, I will be looking forward to next books.

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As the first book in the series, I am not sure I will read any additional books. This was okay, but I was not invested in the story or the lives of the characters. I like cozy mysteries, but this one was lacking in several ways … murder mystery was cheeky, the bantering among the family members was irritating, etc. I’m sure there are those out there who would appreciate the story, but for me it was not a big hit.

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Paperbacks for my advanced review copy. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

For more reviews, please visit my blog at: Over 1000 reviews posted!

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This was an interesting spin on a culinary murder mystery. Some parts were hard to get though but I powered through. There could have been a little more detail to some scenes

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This new series celebrates the culture, food, and people of the Caribbean. One aspect that I enjoyed was how close the family was in this book. They supported one another through all of the ups and downs, especially when Lyndsay is a person of interest in the death of a competitor. It is all circumstantial, but the police detectives don't seem to know how to search for other possible suspects. Luckily, Lyndsay is able to sniff out the killer, but almost too late!

The story moves at a slower pace. I did feel like it took a long time to get to the point of Lyndsay investigating to try and clear her name. But perhaps that is indicative of the lifestyle of those from the Caribbean, not in a hurry.

I thought Lyndsay was a unique character with her interests and her desire to open a bakery since she was young. The author does a wonderful job of describing everything, and I felt like I was there and could imagine what the different dishes tasted like.

I did not like the reporter, Jose. While I get he has a job to do, it is like he has a vendetta against Lyndsay and only seems to report things that could hurt her vs. help. 

I think this will be a fun but laid-back series. I look forward to seeing what happens next for the family and their bakery.

We give the book 4 paws up.

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Against the Currant is the first book in a new shopfront cozy mystery series, written by Olivia Matthews. Released 24th Jan 2023 by Macmillan on their St. Martin's imprint, it's 304 pages and available in mass market paperback, audio, and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links and references throughout. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately.

The author is prolific, talented, experienced in her craft, and most importantly genuinely readable. This is a breezy fun shopfront cozy with a confrontation avoiding introverted young baker who nevertheless has to put on her big girl pants and deal with a competing baker who's a bully and owns a bakery just across the street. When the bully winds up dead a day after a public confrontation, Lyndsay is the prime suspect.

As with most cozies, the emphasis is on the characters and the puzzle mystery. This is a well constructed and easy to read cozy, with clean language and no over the top violence. The addition of a likable protagonist and her family with roots in the West Indies gives the whole a Caribbean flair. It's nice to find a new series with well written PoC in central roles with positive representations. Lyndsay's family are adorable and fun to read.

The author/publisher have even included some recipes for yummy baked goods in the back of the book.

Four stars; a promising start to a new series. Book 2 released from the same publisher 23rd May, 2023. It would be a good choice for a mini-binge or buddy read.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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I have voluntarily read and reviewed a copy of this title given to me via NetGalley. This was just a wonderful book to read and it was just easy to lose yourself in the story. I can’t wait to read more from this author.

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