Cover Image: Against the Currant

Against the Currant

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Member Reviews

Huge thanks to the publisher and NetGallery for the advanced copy in exchange for an honest review!

Enjoyable cozy mystery which left me wondering who did it up to the very end. A little repetitive with the oh woo is me theme, hopefully this will lessen in future adventures. And we better find out more on the competition in the next book!

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Thank you to St. Martin's Press, NetGalley, and Olivia Matthews for this ARC in exchange for my honest review,

I love cozy mysteries so this one was right up my alley. I really enjoyed reading this. I liked Lyndsay and her family. They were so supportive of her.

A few things I didn't like was the pacing was a little too slow for me. Also, there were too many side characters and it was hard to keep up sometimes. But other than that this is one that I will recommend.

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This is a very slow read. I could not get into the storyline. I love a foodie cozy mystery but not this one. I know this has an audience but it is not me.

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Even as a youngster, Lyndsay Murray had dreamed of opening her own Caribbean bakery. With determination and her family's help, she finally realised her goal. Unfortunately, the owner of a rival bakery challenges her right to open her store. She refuses to back down, exchanging harsh words with the man. And when he's found murdered, Lyndsay becomes the prime suspect.

There was an absolute wealth of culture in this book. As I read the author's words, I could definitely breathe in the heady aroma of the bakery created by all the delicious foods on hand for the lucky patrons. At the same time, I could visualise the characters in my mind's eye - they were so well described that I could even hear their accents as they spoke. The sights and sounds expressed contribute to many powerful depictions. Such a sensory treat!

The plot was delightfully twisty. Suspects abound, and our sleuth had her work cut out for her. Though cleverly artful in disguising the killer's identity, the author embedded enough clues for the reader to uncover the unquestionable perpetrator.

Thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this eARC. As always, my opinions are my own - honest and true.

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Little Caribbean, Brooklyn, New York: Lyndsay Murray is opening Spice Isle Bakery with her family, and it’s everything she’s ever wanted. The West Indian bakery is her way to give back to the community she loves, stay connected to her Grenadian roots, and work side-by-side with her family. 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 dead a day later—murdered—Lyndsay is unfortunately the prime suspect. To get the scent of suspicion off her and her bakery, Lyndsay has to prove she’s innocent—under the watchful eyes of her overprotective brother, anxious parents, and meddlesome extended family—what could go wrong?

This was my first book by Olivia Matthews and I really enjoyed it! The mystery was good and the perfect amount of campy and well planned with some twists I didn't entirely anticipate. I love the community of Little Caribbean and I loved the camraderie between neighbors. This was as more engaging version of the Bakery themed movies on Hallmark. Lyndsay was smart without being arrogant and that cannot be over appreciated for me.

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Against the Currant by Olivia Matthews was a fun cozy mystery!

My first time reading Matthews work and I'm pleased to say I loved it!
I really enjoyed this start to a new excting series.
I was hooked pretty quickly here.
Lyndsay is a wonderful character, very realistic, smart and likable.
The writing was engaging and incredibly good.
A deliciously, enjoyable cozy mystery and I'm looking forward to more of these.

"I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own."

St. Martin's Press,
Thank You for your generosity and gifting me a copy of this eARC!

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Lyndsay Murray's dream of opening a West Indian bakery with her family has come true. The only fly in the ointment is Claudio Fabrizi, the owner of another bakery, who is determined to shut her down. When Claudio is found murdered in his home after an altercation with Lyndsay, she becomes the number one suspect. To protect her family and the bakery, Lyndsay is determined to find the killer, not trusting the police to look for other suspects.
Enjoyed meeting the family members and the descriptions of the food.
#AgainsttheCurrant #NetGalley

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I received an advance copy from NetGalley.

This is a fun start for a new cozy mystery series themed around a Grenadian family’s new bakery in Brooklyn. A local jerk/baker who is harassing them ends up dead, with main character Lyndsay as the suspect. When the police keep a myopic focus on her, she starts her own investigation. I loved the involvement of her affectionate family, and the baked goods sound incredibly good (the end of the book includes a couple recipes, too). The list of suspects is narrow and the mystery unfolds at just the right pace, leading to a pleasant resolution. I would read onward in this series.

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Kindle Copy for Review from NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press.

I received a free, advance copy of this book and this is my unbiased and voluntary review.

Her dream of opening a Caribbean bakery to focus on her roots has become a reality but a neighbouring bakery picks a fight telling her that she is stealing his business before opening day. Things get dicey when he is found dead the next day as she becomes prime suspect.

Enter a world of delicious treats and currant rolls that you must try. A charming cozy set in New York to savour.

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It’s safe to say I’m entering my cozy mystery era. I loved the strong family dynamic in this one and that it was set in a bigger city locale compared to other cozy mysteries.

My one complaint that causes me to knock this rating down is that a lot of time was spent over explaining as well as spending time on all of the secondary characters that were cafe customers. I know this is being built into a series so info is needed, but I feel like the plot could’ve moved along faster without it.

I’ll continue on in the series!

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bakery, Brooklyn, Caribbean-peoples, cozy-mystery, culinary, cultural-heritage, family, family-business, first-in-series, framed, kickboxer, multigenerational, murder, murder-investigation, new-series, read, recipes, reporter, rivalry*****

I really like these people!
Family first, heritage next, dreams always. Lyndsay Murray has dreamed and planned all of her life to open her own bakery/cafe in her home neighborhood of Little Caribbean in Brooklyn, New York where her entire family of Grenadian Americans lives and works. Now she has that business (after finishing her masters and working in her field) with the full monetary and other support. On the very first day the shop is open, a contentious man with a similar business located blocks away makes a scene and she tells him to scram. The next day he is found murdered and planted evidence puts her in the frame. The local cops fit the evidence as it suits them, and the business and family are put at risk. But Granny won't stand for that nor for the pesky journalist and convinces Lyndsay to put forth the effort to highlight other suspects and hand the facts over to the police. Lyndsay's brother is an attorney, but he recommends a friend who does criminal law and seems far too conservative to suit. So, let the sleuthing begin! The story is as great as the family, the plot twists are sneaky, and the red herrings are ingenious. Loved it!
I requested and received an EARC from St. Martin's Press/Minotaur Books via NetGalley. Thank you!

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This is a promising debut for this culinary mystery but is also about family and finding the strength within you. Lyndsay Murray is neither tough nor daring.... until it comes to defending her family. She grew up a quiet, rather fearful child, one whose lack of confidence made her a target for bullies. As a result, she'd retreated to the warmth of her family circle. Now, as an adult, a quite well-educated one at that, her dream of opening a West Indian Bakery in Little Caribbean, Brooklyn, are about to come true. Her family is with her, investing much of not just their savings into Spice Isle Bakery but their time and energy into the project that will showcase their Grenadian roots and bring people together. 

So, why is Claudio Fabrizi, a baker, yes, but with very little overlap of product, so determined to shut her down? His bakery is even a few blocks away, so no direct competition. When he confronts Lyndsay/Lynds at their opening, however, he does not find her as easy as perhaps he'd expected to intimidate. While Lynds has difficulty standing up for herself as an individual, when her family and their livelihood is threatened, some of the confidence she surely gained from years of kickboxing lessons shines through. Claudio's son Enzo even stands by helplessly as Claudio blusters and threatens to shut her down, making her courage all the more impressive in front of their opening day crowd. Her mother reminds her afterward that nothing good ever comes from taunting another, however.

Unfortunately, she is proven right. While the worst thing Lynds thought had happened had been the disappearance of her beloved charm bracelet, when Claudio is found murdered, Lyndsay finds herself suspect number one. I won't detail the plot much further except to say that the thing that impressed me throughout was the strength of family and how Lyndsay stepped up to help defend herself and her family. I am looking forward to the next book in this series.

Thanks #NetGalley and#StMartin'sPress for inviting me over to check out Lyndsay's bakery. After a day of snow here in Alaska, I think some Caribbean sunshine was just what I needed. Enjoyed meeting the family, neighbors, customers, and, well, even the police. I'll be back.

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I was honored when I was asked to read an advanced copy of this book by the publisher.
Lyndsay is a great character, I felt an immediate connection with her and read the book from beginning to end.
The description of the bakery was delightful and I could envision myself swaying my hips while listening to Bob Marley, waiting to order a delicious treat, while watching granny crochet a sweater.
The family vibe was a nice touch, they are portrayed as a typical family, which is refreshing.
I'm hoping to see this series continue.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for selecting me to read an advanced copy of this book.
#AgainsttheCurrant #NetGalley

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Lyndsay Murray has opened up a bakery with her family and it’s all she’s ever wanted... except for the small problem is that another bakery threatens to shut her business down... gets into a fight with her.... and then winds up dead and the police think she’s the main suspect. Lyndsay has finally opened up a bakery with her family in Brooklyn, New York. The West Indian Bakery is her way of giving back to a community she loves and connecting with her Grenadian roots. However, Claudio Fabrizi, a fellow bakery owner does not want any competition and threatens Lyndsay’s bakery. They get into a fight at her soft opening and the next day he turns up murdered, and now that she is the prime suspect she’s going to have to solve this one herself if she wants to clear her name. Throw in a lawyer brother, a hilarious grandma, and so many more amazing family members and you get a pretty cute mystery! The story was a cozy read and definitely makes you want to stop by a bakery and pick up some snacks.

*Thanks Netgalley and St. Martin's Press, St. Martin's Paperbacks for sending me an arc in exchange for an honest review*

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DNF - I always want to love cozy mysteries most of all those that deal with food but I could not connect with this one. I decided not to keep reading but I hope those who pick it up enjoy it! Thank you for the early copy!

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It's an intriguing, cozy mystery - but way too many details that don't amount to much and it drags on a lot in the middle. I got bored in the story before the mystery was solved.

Lyndsay Murray’s family is opening a new bakery - however, a rival baker and Lyndsay have words at their soft opening and he ended up dead the next day. Leaving Lyndsay as the main suspect in his murder. She feels the detectives aren't working hard or fast enough to clear her name, so she takes matters into her own hands and with help from her family tries to find out whodunit. The characters are great, Granny is a fun addition.

Thank you to NetGalley, the author and publisher for a temporary, digital ARC in return for my review.

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Lyndsay Murray’s dream has finally come true as she and her family open their bakery. After the soft opening, Lyndsay is excited for the formal grand opening. Unfortunately, the owner of another bakery in the area is murdered and since Lyndsay and he had an argument the day before, she’s the main suspect.

In the blink of an eye, all she and her family have worked for can be lost…unless she can find the killer and clear her name. Can she do it, or will she and her family be burned and tossed out like yesterday’s bread?

A strong start to a new cozy series. A multigenerational family of immigrants that are part of the Brooklynn fabric that makes the city go round, the Murray family resonates! Can’t wait for more in this series!

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I received an ARC of Against the Currant in exchange for an honest review through NetGalley. Against the Currant is the story of Lyndsay Murray, who opens up a bakery in her neighborhood of Little Caribbean in Brooklyn with the help of her family. A day after opening, she is accused of murdering her competitor and must clear her name and find out who the real murderer is.

There were great things about this book. Lyndsay's family is supportive, helping her pursue her dream, and her Granny is a great character. Her community is tight-knit and the feel of Little Caribbean really comes alive in the book. I also loved the description of all the food. My mouth was watering thinking of all the treats they created in their bakery.

Pacing on the book's first half was pretty slow but it picked up in the second half and ended nicely. I love cozy mysteries and the unique cultural perspective on this one was lovely. At times this book was bordering on too descriptive for me without any advancement of plot or dialogue. I had a hard time keeping up with all of the characters as well. There were many patrons of the store but I felt too much time was spent on these secondary characters in relation to how they fit into the murder and rest of the story. With all that said, if you enjoy more description in your books and a slower pace this book is for you!

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DNF 48%

I love the premise and Lyndsay’s family and the bakery and the community, but the pacing just feels so slow! I’m having trouble staying engaged; instead of feeling like a murder mystery, this feels largely like a slice-of-life story. And as much as I already really like the characters, it’s not enough to keep me engaged. I’m not sure if it’s because this is the first book of a new series so it’s setting up the characters and the setting, or I’m just not used to this kind of storytelling and pacing, but it’s a pass for me. I think it’ll find others who love it and I think it has a lot of potential, but I’m not the right audience.

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Against the Currant: A Spice Isle Bakery Mystery
by Olivia Matthews is a great first book in a new culinary cozy mystery series. I really liked this one.

This is such a fresh, interesting, and entertaining take on the classic and contemporary cozy mystery. I really like the author’s inclusion of a wonderful, full of life, and complex and vibrant extended family that surrounds our main character, Lyndsay Murray, and the whole cast really adds to the MC’s interest, personality, and vibe. I really liked Lyndsay, and I think she makes an excellent example of a kickin’ and fiery woman.

I also love that this book is centered around the area of the neighborhood that is Little Caribbean located within Brooklyn, New York. The culture, the family, the personalities, and the food…it all is excellent. The ties and homage paid to Grenada is quite lovely.

I also enjoyed the murder/mystery plot and feel that it added another wonderful dimension to an already excellent book. I amy really looking forward to the next one.

5/5 stars

Thank you NG and St Martin’s Press for this wonderful arc and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion.

I am posting this review to my GR and Bookbub accounts immediately and will post it to my Amazon, Instagram, and B&N accounts upon publication on 1/24/23.

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