Cover Image: Against the Currant

Against the Currant

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Member Reviews

In this new series our protagonist, Lyndsay, and her family are opening a new bakery. This bakery’s West Indian food celebrates the family’s heritage. Most of the neighborhood is supportive but one store owner is set out to see the bakery fail. So when is is found dead Lyndsay is the number one suspect.

The character’s heritage was new to me. It was interesting to learn more about the West Indian foods and some customs. The mystery had plenty of surprises. I look for to see how this series develops over time.

All thoughts and opinions are my own, and I have not been by anyone.

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I read a combined audiobook and digital arc edition of this book so I got the best of both worlds!

Lyndsay Murray has always dreamed of opening up her own bakery, and after years of planning and saving up she can finally do just that. Lyndsay along with her family are opening up Spice Isle Bakery, but on opening day a competing bakery owner comes in and accuses them of stealing customers and threatens them. Soon after that, this other bakery owner ends up dead and the police think Lyndsay is suspect number one because of the argument that they had that so many people saw happen. It is up to Lyndsay to clear her name and ensure that the family business isn't hurt by this accusation.

Overall I loved this story so much. I adored Lyndsay and her family and how they were finally getting to live out a dream and share their culture with others through food. You could tell that they were all really passionate about it and just wanted to do and share what they loved with their neighbors. The way that Lyndsay went about trying to figure out what had happened to the other shop owner, and how she was able to get people to talk to her was interesting because the entire area knew she was being accused of being the killer by the police. For some, this helped get them to talk more, and for others, it made them suspicious of why she was asking so many questions which was understandable. I loved getting to see all the different interactions that Lyndsay had with her family, especially her grandma who always believed in her and was so proud of her.
The ending of this book was surprising, I still had no idea who was the real killer until it was revealed and I was absolutely shocked in some ways because of how they had been acting throughout the story.

I cannot wait for book two in this series now because I have no idea what is going to happen next, or how Lyndsay is going to get involved in another mystery. Hopefully in the next one shes, not the one being accused for a change.

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A punny title and a culinary mystery are enough to draw me to read a book, and like other fans of this subgenere, I appreciate the relaxation of a cozy. I'm looking forward to see what Olivia Matthews writes next.

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A sweet little culinary cozy that will not only make you hungry, but have you wishing that you could be in the bakery with this family just breathing in the good smells coming from their oven!

I liked the Caribbean theme to this cozy and the tough grannies.

Thank you to NetGalley for an advance copy of this book. I wish it was a real bakery and that I was lined up outside waiting to get in!

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I was thrilled to get an advanced readers copy and dive into Olivia Matthews’ latest cozy mystery, Against the Currant. With a full cast of characters and an enticing premise, I wanted to enjoy the story but found myself comparing it to Arsenic and Adobo throughout. I wasn’t able to make it fully through this novel as the parallels ran high and the main character consistently kept comparing herself to her high school years.

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This is a charming beginning to a new cozy mystery series! Lyndsay is a relatable, endearing protagonist. I love that she is independent and loves her family and culture. I love that this followed the cozy mystery framework but included diversity about the family's culture and food! Family is important in this one, and I adored that. The food descriptions were to die for, and I love that we get recipes in the back of the book. I highly recommend this one!

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📖My Thoughts📖

Calling all fans of culinary cozy mysteries! This is the first book in the new series Spice Isle Bakery Mystery. I love a good cozy mystery, especially a culinary one. They always have this rando Hallmarkish theme similarity to me. This one did not disappoint! I always enjoy seeing how the main character steps into the role of an amateur sleuth. I always find it intriguing. Granny is probably one of my favorite characters, and having the family play as much of a role in this just gives it a little extra that I don’t typically see in the typical cozy mysteries I’ve come across. This was a fun one. Complete with recipes at the end (bonus points for that), it was a quick and easy read. I’ll be looking forward to the next book in this series to see what other mischief Lindsay finds herself in.
Thank you Netgalley, Olivia Matthews and St. Martin’s Press for the opportunity to read and review this delightful book. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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This is a very promising cozy mystery series debut featuring a sleuth who opens a West Indian bakery in Brooklyn and, after an argument with a rival baker, is framed for the crime and spends the book trying to exonerate herself with the help of her loving family.

This book offers a tremendous cast of fun, interesting characters and I'm very eager to read more in this series.

I'd highly recommend this book to cozy mystery fans or anyone who loves a mystery with a bit of a Caribbean flair.

Very enjoyable!!

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I struggled to stay engaged in this book. It really felt like more of a book about someone starting a restaurant and the pressures that go along with that responsibility. It didn't feel like a comfort mystery at all.
I kept waiting for something to actually happen. Even the murder that occurs was lackluster. I kept waiting for the main character to stand up and advocate for themselves. Which eventually happened... at around the 71% mark and then BAM everything was resolved. Just a very slow book of nothing until you were almost done. And even that... was not much.

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Against the Currant by Olivia Matthews is a cozy mystery set in Brooklyn, NYC and the first in the Spice Isle Bakery Mystery series. I listened to the audiobook, which clocks in at a little over seven and a half hours and is narrated by Janina Edwards.

Lyndsay Murray's lifelong dream to open Spice Isle Bakery with her is finally coming true. On opening day Claudio, another bakery owner who hates competition, threatens to close her down and they have a verbal altercation. When he is murdered the next day Lyndsay decides to seek out further evidence to clear her name.

I'm definitely a sucker for culinary cozy mysteries. This one was cute, and I'll definitely continue on with the series.

Lyndsay and her family immigrated from the Caribbean (Grenada) and this book feels steeped in that heritage to an outside observer. I really enjoyed how close-knit they were, and how easily they would go to bat for one another. A few potential future relationships are drizzled throughout this book, with our main character and also her cousin.

I was also pleased that recipes are included in the back of the book! I'm definitely going to be making some of these because they were described so well in the prose that I really wanted to try them.

I identified with Lyndsay in part because she was a bit of a nerdy outsider in high school, and over the course of the book starts building up her confidence.

Some downsides to this book include the fact that Lyndsay sometimes acts younger than her stated age, including being kind of hung up on what happened to her in high school. There were also things that were repeatedly mentioned, which could get annoying.

Tropes in this book include: cozy mystery, bake shop, immigrant community

CW: murder, firearms, attempted abduction

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I’ve been loving cozy mysteries lately. Give me a cozy mystery with a Carribean flair, and you surely have a recipe for success with me.

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Against the Current by Olivia Matthew’s was lovely. Lyndsays dream has been to open a bakery and that she has she’s being framed for murder? What’s a girl to do but roll up her sleeves and investigate! Set in Brooklyn with a host of supportive friends and family.

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Pub date: 1/24/23 (out now)
Genre: cozy mystery (1st in a new series), ownvoices
Quick summary: Lyndsay and her family are on top of the world as they open Spice Isle Bakery - but the sweetness turns sour when competing baker Claudio ends up dead - after a very public spat with Lyndsay.

I love cozy mysteries, especially those that center on food! This one had a great twist - turns out that Lyndsay has a great mind for business, but the family currant roll recipe is beyond her skills (at least at the beginning of the book). I loved seeing her persevere in her dream and take her place in the community she loved - providing delicious Grenadian food for all. Note - don't read this book while hungry!

The mystery was compelling - there were certainly plenty of suspects in Claudio's death, and Lyndsay did a good job investigating. I really enjoyed this strong start to the series, and I'm excited to continue to follow Lyndsay's adventures! Both audio and text were great, and I recommend both!

Thank you to St. Martin's Press for my e-ARC and Audio for my ALC!

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In Against the Currant, the first installment of the Spice Isle Mysteries, Lindsay and her family open a bakery that has been her dream only to be threatened by another bakery owner in the neighborhood who feels threatened by her presence. As he falsely accuses her of trying to steal his business, he also threatens that she will be sorry. Standing up to this neighborhood bully, Lyndsay surprisingly threatens him back to never enter her business again. Then there is a murder and Lyndsay is the prime suspect. Not confident in the police investigation, Lyndsay sets off to prove her innocence and find the murderer. Lots of red herrings but delicious clues, makes this a cozy mystery to satisfy your taste buds. The story was enjoyable to read and kept my interest from the first page and I enjoyed the family and community support for Lyndsay. Some parts predictable, there were plenty of unexpected moments that made the reader go “ah-ha”. I look forward to hearing more cozies connected with this bakery.

Many thanks to #netgalley #againstthecurrant #oliviamatthews #st.martinspress for the opportunity to read and review this book.

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really loved this intro to a new series. loved the mc, grandmother, recipes and the small town quirks, excited to read the next in the series

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This is a cute cozy mystery, the first book in a series to come. It’s set in a Brooklyn in a Caribbean bakery, owned by the Murray family. Their competitor, Claudio Fabrizi, is a cranky baker who threatens to shut the new bakery down. Lyndsay Murray, the owner’s daughter, argues with him about his threat. Unfortunately, Claudio is found dead the next day, and Lyndsey is the prime suspect.
She has to investigate to clear her name.
This was a fun, easy read. 4 stars.

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed as in this review are completely my own.

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There is nothing that I love more in a cozy then when there is food added. And Indian food?! Be still my heart! We need more diverse cozies in the genre and I’m so happy this one stepped up to the plate. I want all of the food in this book. And Grandma is literally my spirit animal. She was feisty and fun! I also loved the whole entire feel of Lindsey’s family and how much family meant in the book. I highly recommend this.

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Really fun interesting read! Loved the family aspect of the story! Looking forward to the next book in the series.

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I ended up listening to the ALC instead of reading the earc. This was an easy cozy mystery that held my interest the whole time.

thank you publisher and netgalley for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.

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I do love a food-related mystery and this debut novel did not disappoint! Here's what I liked:

1. Lynds and her family. Every family member felt unique and had a clear personality and voice. I could see that the author was setting up some possible plot hooks for the future. I liked all of the family and enjoyed "hanging out" with them in this book.
2. How the mystery was handled. Lynds did enough sleuthing to learn more information and even get herself into a bit of trouble, but she wasn't breaking into people's houses constantly or interrogating people who had no reason to talk to her but who gave her information anyway. She went through her lawyer to get information to the police when she had information to give. Although her family was concerned about her efforts (for good reason) she didn't act like an idiot to solve the mystery.
3. A lot of the information that was gathered came naturally through the bakery patrons. The author set up Spice Isle Bakery early as community gathering place, and people naturally talked with each other while waiting in line and to Lynds as she rang up their orders. She also heard things through family members or friends instead of having to sneak around getting a lot of information. In this way, she had an advantage over the police because the community was comfortable interacting with her and talked with her freely.
4. Spice Isle Bakery! It's a family business with Lynds as one of the decision makers. She used her marketing knowledge to make the business opening a success and the food did the rest. In my town we don't have any Caribbean restaurants any more as far as I know and I did miss that as I was reading the book. If you are in the same boat as me, consider taking this book on vacation with you if you head somewhere warm or to a city where you've got better access to this food, because my mouth was watering as I was reading! Although the store is a bakery, it also provides savory foods and lunches, so I not only got to read about currant rolls and coconut bread, but about fish bakes and callaloo. Plus some teas that I am not familiar with and I very much appreciated learning more about this cuisine.

This author seems to have thought about the food cozy mystery and made an effort to address some of the plot weaknesses that these books can have. I really enjoyed this book and will happily read the next one in the series!

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