Cover Image: Against the Currant

Against the Currant

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Princess Fuzzypants here: Lynds has dreamt all her life of opening a West Indian bakery and now with the support of her family, her dream is coming through. When an obnoxious man who doesn’t want the competition bullies into her soft opening, mild mannered Lynds gets up the gumption to answer him back. Unfortunately, that was the least opportune time for her to do something so out of character. When the man, Claudio, is found murdered and someone has planted evidence, the cops in charge focus on her as their prime suspect.

While the community continues to support her, she soon realizes if she is not proactive in finding the real killer, she might end at trial and she has no doubt whatever the verdict, the stain will follow her and her business. She is asking the questions the cops have not asked and the villain is not happy. In fact, the killer is willing to do whatever it takes to stop her including another murder. Will Lynds be the next victim?

Here is where the story really kicks butt. Lynds is quite capable of self defence. It is a highly satisfying resolution to a good story. I love the characters with their tight knit family. And while I suspected the murderer, there were enough twists before the big reveal. Five purrs and two paws up.

Was this review helpful?

Thoroughly enjoyed this cozy mystery that offered up a unique and distinctive culture and setting. At times it did seem repetitive but as a first book in the series it does not disappoint. I am invested in the characters and looking forward to the next title in the series.

Was this review helpful?

This was a DNF for me even though I was past the halfway mark. The thing was: I still didn’t really care. I was reading out of obligation, which is never a good sign or a good reason to continue. For a cozy mystery, it took much too long to get to the meat the story for me, there was too little direction in the investigation side, and the whodunit/thriller aspect felt flat and safe. I must like my cozies with a bit more danger in them. I wanted to like it more because I loved the atmosphere and the idea of the novel but overall it just didn’t quite pull me in.

Note: I received a free electronic edition of this book via NetGalley in exchange for the honest review above. I would like to thank them, the publisher, and the author for the opportunity to do so.

Was this review helpful?

3.5 stars.
Olivia Matthews' "Against the Currant" introduces us to the Spice Isle Bakery and its owners Lyndsay Murray and her family. Lyndsay is a little awkward, and shy, unlike her older brother, and not someone whom people notice, or when they did in the past, for example in school, did so to bully her.

Though not always willing to stand up for herself, Claudio Fabrizi's words rile Lyndsay up because this new business is not just a labour of love for the whole family, it's been something Lyndsay has been working incredibly hard toward for many years.

Lyndsay gives the man a piece of her mind, and her parting words to the bully are unfortunate, as they sound threatening, which brings her to the police's attention when Claudio turns up dead.

When it seems that the police have no intention of looking further than Lyndsay, she decides she needs to clear her name, against her family's wishes, who want her to wait for the police investigation to conclude.

Nope, is pretty much what Lyndsay says, and begins looking into Claudio's finances and business practices by asking around the neighbourhood with people affected by Claudio's actions. Lyndsay quickly finds others with equal or better motives, and eventually discovers who the real killer is.

I liked Lyndsay a lot. She's quiet, determined, and also physically able to take care of herself. She's also incredibly dedicated to her dream, and is willing to go against family and police to discover truths about the dead man.

I loved how well Matthews characterized the different players in the book. Lyndsay begins somewhat naïve, but definitely adjusts her view of things as the book progresses, and I loved all the different baked goods that featured throughout the book. This is a fun cozy, and I look forward to more Lyndsay adventures.

Thank you to Netgalley and to St. Martin's Press for this ARC in exchange for my review.

Was this review helpful?

Favorite new cozy of the far!! FANTASTIC start to a series!
This series has so many great things going for it....diverse characters (grandma is a new favorite), a bakery INDIAN bakery...forget about it!! The food descriptions are mouthwatering, and to top it all off a fun mystery!
I recommend this to all cozy lovers and for those of you that love culinary'll want to pick this one ;up today!
I received an arc of this book in exchange for a honest review. I would like to thank netgalley, the author Olivia Matthews, and the publisher for the opportunity to review this book!

Was this review helpful?

This debut novel wasn't for me. It was a little too cozy in its slow pace. There are a lot of characters are introduced all at once, so it was hard to make a substantial connection even though family and community were a big part of the book. I did enjoy the setting and descriptions of the book and would be willing to give the sequel another shot.

Was this review helpful?

Against the Currant is the first book in the Spice Isle Bakery Mystery Series. Lyndsay Murry has convinced her family to help her open a bakery in Little Caribbean in New York. And, being a cozy mystery, a body soon shows up. For the most part, I liked this book. I wanted something quick and light and Against the Currant fills the bill. I did feel Lindsay seemed a tad immature for someone who had graduated from college, worked for a marketing firm and was able to start and manage her own business. But, again, cozy mystery. Everything doesn’t always make sense. I will be looking forward to the next installment.

Was this review helpful?

There are so many cozies centered around food that sometimes they start to feel the same. This was was fresh and very enjoyable. The author did a great job of blending the main character’s West Indian culture without bombarding you with it. You really feel like you know this family personally. The mystery was good, but the family dynamics really bumped up the enjoyment of this book for me.

Was this review helpful?

I cannot speak to the Caribbean rep - though, after reading Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson, it gave me the impression that it wasn't well done, particularly the accent of the narrator chosen for the audiobook. Choosing a Caribbean-American narrator was too much effort?Again, Black Cake was right there.

Anyways. The reasons why I dnf'd:

1. the sheer naivete and ingenuity of the main character that almost bordered on stupidity and I couldn't get over it; that whole speech about community and the need to point out that yes, they were Caribbean but hey they had their American citizenship and they integrated well and wanted to share their culture with... ugh, please. Just spare me. When these themes are shoved down your throat in such a blatant way, it means you as a writer are failing. You aren't able to create nuances, to show it and have it come to the surface to the pages instead of telling it point blank. Nope.

2. the way in which Claudio Fabrizi was your typical cookie-cutter overbearing villan with no layers whatsoever just pissed me off. It was so extreme and cartoonish I was picturing foam at his mouth and his face as read as a tomato, it was so utterly unbelievable and annoying.

I couldn't bring myself to keep going. Noppity nope.

Was this review helpful?

When Lynds and her family prepare to open their Caribbean bakery, a rival business owner tries to stop their business going forward. He ends up dead, and Lynds is accused of his murder. Who is really responsible, and how will Lynds and her family manage their business while trying to remove suspicion from Lynds?

This cozy mystery includes a lot of detail about the characters and the bakery items. For readers who enjoy this kind of story, this book will prove to be a treat!

I received this novel from the publisher and from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed here are entirely my own.

Was this review helpful?

An excellent beginning to a new cozy mystery series. Throughout the read, all I could think about was baked banana pudding. I liked the diversity of characters and that Lyndsay was determined to advocate for herself and her business.

Was this review helpful?

I had a hard time getting into this one. It reminded me a lot of the Tita Rosie’s Kitchen Mystery Series. It was good.

Was this review helpful?

This cozy mystery series is very enjoyable to read! The characters and setting made this series different and fun. The author did a wonderful job of introducing her series to read, and making me feel like I'm solving the mystery as well with the characters.

I recommend readers give this series a try!

My thanks to St. Martin's Press and NetGallery for a digital copy of this book for my review. I look forward to more of this series!

Was this review helpful?

Lindsay has opened a bakery with her family in her Little Caribbean neighborhood in Brooklyn. Spice Isle Bakery specializes in Caribbean treats and it has been a dream for Lindsay to open. Opening day is going great, and customers are lining up out the door, until Claudio Fabrizzi shows up. Claudio is a local rival baker who owns a bakery in the area but isn’t a local to the area. Claudio comes in making a huge fuss and threatening Lindsay, due to his fears of losing customers to her. Lindsay kicks Claudio out of her bakery and warns him if he returns his son will be carrying him out. The next day Claudio is found dead, Lindsay is suspect number one, and the police aren’t looking at any other suspects even though Claudio was not liked well in the community. Lindsay has invested her life savings into the bakery and she knows if she doesn’t take matters into her own hands and find the real killer she will be charged, and could lose everything. As Lindsay sets out to find the truth, she begins to put herself and her family in danger. Everyone wants Lindsay to let the police figure it out, but she knows she can’t leave her freedom in their hands and must do whatever it takes to crack the case.

I am not usually a mystery fan and to be honest this book was a bit cheesy to me. Fan of mysteries will probably enjoy this book as it was good, just not my favorite genre. Thanks you St. Martins Press and NetGalley for this ARC.

Was this review helpful?

I really wanted to like this one, but it just wasn't for me. The female MC really annoyed me. I had high hopes for this one and was really excited to read it, but I think I ended up being more upset with it as the story went on, because I just didn't like the main character. This doesn't mean that others won't enjoy this story, and I loved the premise and the other characters, just not the main one and that kind of ruined it for me.

Was this review helpful?

I voluntarily agreed to read and honestly review this book.
When an author mixes a cozy mystery and cooking you know you’re going to get a good read. The heroine in the story has just opened a new bakery with her family, and the “villain” is a man who has another bakery just down the street. After arguing with our heroine he is killed, and unfortunately she is accused of the crime. Now she has to do all she can to prove her innocence and figure out who is the real killer. Along with her family there are quite a few quirky and hilarious characters that you can’t help but like in this story. Plus, at the end of the book there is a recipe that we can copy down and make. Yum!

Was this review helpful?

Against the Currant by Olivia Matthews is the first book in the new cozy Spice Isle Bakery Mystery series. As with most cozy mysteries each book in the Spice Isle Bakery Mystery series will contain it’s own mystery that will be solved so they all could be read in any order or as a standalone if choosing to do so. There will be of course some character development that carries over from book to book.

Lyndsay Murray’s family originally came from Grenada, a small Carribbean island, and now they are living in Little Caribbean, Brooklyn, New York. Lyndsay wants nothing more than to finally open her new Spice Isle Bakery that her family will help her run and bring some of her heritage to her new home.

Just as the opening day at the Spice Isle Bakery comes comes though the day is ruined for Lyndsay. Claudio Fabrizi who also runs a bakery in the neighborhood comes into the shop and threatens to shut the new bakery down before it can even begin causing a loud argument between Claudio and Lyndsay. When Claudio’s body is found murdered the next day of course Lyndsay becomes a suspect and want to clear her name.

Against the Currant by Olivia Matthews was a fun opener to this new cozy Spice Isle Bakery Mystery series. I’m always on the lookout for charming and humorous new cozies and this one certainly fit that mold. While I enjoyed the main character in here I really enjoyed having the family involved and showing their Carribbean roots too. Will definitely be interested in continuing on with the next in the series.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

Was this review helpful?

This book had a few things going for it that I always look for in a cozy mystery:

1 - a foodie workplace (I’m looking at you A Seaside Café & Ice Cream Shop Mysteries), in this case a bakery. A library or bookshop would also be an ideal setting.

2 - a strong, tight knit community. This could be either a small town, close family, or just plain features engaging side characters. In this case, Lyndsay has a super close family who is working together to launch their West Indian Bakery in a joyful, friendly community.

I really enjoyed this one (minus the use of “mommy” and “daddy” that Lyndsay always referred to her parents by). I loved how the author weaved Grenadian culture throughout this book and had many cultural touch points that added richness to the story.

The mystery was a bit of a slower start, as the first part of the book is more focussed on getting the family bakery set up. There was a lot of focus on making their business viable, which I appreciated as it just raised the stakes of this mystery. I also love that after struggling so much, Lyndsay was able to come into her power, try new things, and take risks, finding she is stronger than she expected.

Thanks so much St. Martin’s Press and Netgalley for an ARC of this cozy mystery—I definitely plan to continue on with this series!

Was this review helpful?

This was such a fun cozy mystery book! I enjoyed the fast pace and great characters. I thought the writing was great and loved all the detail. In addition, I enjoyed reading about the relationship Lyndsay had with her family. I can't wait to read more from this author!!

Was this review helpful?

A family who investigates together stays together! This first book in the Spice Isle Bakery Mystery series checks all of the boxes for an engaging cozy mystery. You have a bakery, a family, and a murder!
I loved Lyndsay and the rest of the gang. Little Caribbean, Brooklyn is a great setting and I enjoyed hearing about all of the things the family makes and sells in their shop. The mystery was well planned and I was kept guessing until the end. I was delighted that the author included a recipe for the currant rolls that sounded delicious! I definitely plan on reading the next book in this series.

Was this review helpful?