Cover Image: Macarons Can Be Murder

Macarons Can Be Murder

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Member Reviews

This is my first book by this author and I have to say that it was the cover that sold me. Unfortunately I didn't love the book. It started off great and I was really enjoying it; but for the rest of it - not so much. It leaned a bit to the French for me... It was just too much.
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Oh Merci....or should I say Marci. Marci Beaucoup (our MC).  The first 28% of this book really flowed for me. I loved how the characters and plot were established. Yes it's a little cheesy, a little too Frenchy, there's a bakery and the obligatory bakery dog/cat.  But I was happily plodding along checking all my cozy mystery boxes.

Until ...Marci. I've heard some people say it was the French-iness that got them in the reviews. Also had some imply that Marci was silly or dumb. I did not get that impression at all. My impression is that she has TOO much anxiety, inability to focus and.....goodness gracious, I do not need to know EVERY thought that goes through her head. It actually took away from some great scenes.  The plot had great buildup...but when she goes to search an office....half the search is her going "oh I'm scared", but wait "oh I'm very daring", then "oh it smells like him in this room", "omg do I want to make out with him if I'm the killer", "oh wait I need to focus", "oh no is someone coming", "oh gosh he was soooo cute".  Literally, this makes it so hard to follow the story and get through the scene.   This type of back-and-forth made me wonder if the author was just trying to fill pages. 

I would have much rather NOT heard Marci's every wayward thought.  Would have liked a red herring in the office search, more of a reason for the "kidnapping" or follow through/lead up to that, or even some sneak peaks into a character's past (for a reoccuring long term character). 

Instead Marci's every thought simply eclipsed what could have been a great mystery. Please cut out all of Marci's self dialogue in the future. Build the story up...because that was great.  A short good book is just as good as a longer one if done well (look at Kathi Daley mysteries). 

Thanks to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for this ARC.  I would love to see this author as she improve because there is so much potential here for a cozy series.
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** spoiler alert ** This book started off really well, Marci loves everything French which makes sense why she would open up a pâtisserie bakery. Her Aunt Barb helps her run her shop. She's a lovely lady even though she seems to annoy Marci most of the time.

But then as we go along there are some things that start to bug the heck out of me: such as this: we never find out why she's so into everything French, we never truly find out why she won't forgive Maverick for something that clearly happened eons ago but she won't let it go, she states that Maverick is always dating someone new yet there seems to be no actual proof of that.

Then there seems to be a whole entire change in her countenance as well. One minute she's shy and demure, the next minute she's pushy and overly self-assured. So, the question begs asking, which one is she really?

Then there is also a lot of the dumb things she starts doing that are completely reckless, such as *spoiler alert* her running off into places and not telling anyone, her running off during the fall festival with a killer on the loose and doesn't bother to take her phone? Then this one is the one that really made me start to dislike her and the book: she gets out of a trunk of the car after being kidnapped, ends up running to her friend Kristina's dress shop and ends up buying a dress? A killer is literally looking for you and you're shopping? Smack me in the head that's dumb. And on top of all of this, she starts getting notes, getting followed by some cretin and doesn't bother telling the police? Why? How is the police supposed to even have a chance at cracking this or any other case if you keep ALL of the clues you have found to yourself?

Now, I have no problem with cozies that have the MC help the police or have to figure things out themselves because they are the main suspect, but she was neither. She ended up making the police department look bad. And as if that wasn't bad enough then she ends up dating the main suspect and the detective? Jiminy Christmas, this woman cannot make a decision to save her own life.

She's a jumble of nerves, ego, mangled conclusions, lies, and lucky breaks. And don't even get me started on all of the mistakes just dealing with the murder husband is a Gunsmith, so I am fully learned on gun lingo. First off, if you're going to mention a gun then actually be specific on the type. And then there is a difference between shot gun shells and bullet casings. There are no shell casings. Shells are for shot guns and bullets are for pistols and rifles.

Then you're going to go into a gun shop with a receipt and then ask the proprietor about who he sold the gun to? Not going to happen. Legally, he cannot do that without getting himself into trouble with the law, plus if you have the receipt then it would already have the person's name on it because of the fact that they have to call in and check his record to see if the person is legally able to purchase a gun. If there is a receipt, then the sale went through which means that it would legally have that person's name on it.

I really hate to sound harsh because I love authors and I love to read. I just feel like that this book needed more research done. And yes, I am sure most people are going to say, 'but this is just a cozy, what difference does it make.' Well, without the correct facts, etc. then the story itself falls apart.

I believe the author gave a good effort but since it did not resonate with me then no, I cannot recommend this book.

Thank you to Net Galley, the publishers, and to Rose Betancourt for the ability to read and review this book. All opinions are mine and mine alone and are completely honest.
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Marci Beaucoup lives in Paris and runs a bakery, that's Paris, Kentucky, where she has gained a reputation for baking sweet treats which provide good fortune for all who try them. When a handsome French newcomer to town hints he may be buying the building where La Belle Patisserie is situated, Marci doesn't know what to think. Soon though she’s wishing that was her only problem after discovering a dead body on the sidewalk outside her front window. 

Detective Maverick Malone, who Marci has known for years, is soon on the case and her Aunt Barb is dropping hints into most conversations as to why they should be dating! Determined to ignore her aunt's suggestions, get to the bottom of what happened, and why her shop was targeted, Marci soon finds herself knee deep in trouble with no real idea how to save herself. 

As the first book in a new series this has a lot going for it. Unfortunately it also has some things which didn't work for me. A potential love triangle and some protagonists who were difficult to relate to, (this doesn't include Marci, who I did like), made the going a bit of a struggle at times but overall I will see what happens in the second outing before discarding it.

I was able to read an advanced copy of this book thanks to NetGalley and the publishers but the opinions expressed are my own. I'm glad I gave this a chance.
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Unfortunately I didn't love this one. The first person POV didn't work for me - the main character made bad choice after bad choice and I think I might have liked her better with the extra distance of being third person. I found the plot a bit forced, and all the characters a bit one dimensional or something.
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Loved reading this book. Looking forward to the next book in the series. If you haven't read it yet I highly recommend her and her books
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Macarons Can be Murder by Rose Betancourt is a cozy mystery novel that introduces us to a pastry shop owner turned amateur detective. The protagonist, Marci Beaucoup (yes that is her name), has a knack for solving mysteries and is aided by her aunt, who is also her pastry assistant.  When a woman is killed the morning after an argument with a charming Frenchman in Marci’s shop, she sets out to clear the man.

The pacing of the story is generally well-maintained with the mystery gradually unfolding. However, the supporting characters lack depth and development, often falling into clichéd roles that don't contribute much to the story. While the book is a bit lackluster, it does offer delightful descriptions of the pastry shop and its macarons. (I reviewed an advance reader copy and all opinions are my own.) Sadly, I’m not so sure that I would read other books if this series, if it were to continue.
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Warning: stay away from this book! 

It's is not often that I completely pan a book, but this mystery was absolutely dreadful. 

I tried, I really did. I gave it 6 chapters and the first murder. But the dialogue, the reactions of our amateur detective and her aunt to finding a dead body literally on the door step of her business, the repetitious conversation of Marci's aunt--all annoyed the heck out of me. 

Aunt Barb is like a 12-year-old girl whose best friend has a boy that Barb thinks has a crush on her friend and that's the only thing she can talk about. Aunt Barb, upon learning that a woman who was in the bakery the day before has been murdered outside their door, doesn't gasp with horror, doesn't say "Oh no, poor thing!," doesn't say "Marci, are you OK? You just found someone dead; here, sit down, let me get you some tea or a shot of whisky." No, Aunt Barb say "you should ask the detective out. You have the hots for him, admit it. He has the hots for you. You should ask him out." And she repeats this conversation about 7 times in the pages following the arrival of the police. We haven't even had the body removed from in front of the shop yet, so it's been what, an hour or two in fictional time?

Marci, bakery shop owner and pastry chef whose baked goods are said by everyone in Paris, KY, to have magic in them (the first customer we meet wants to buy something because she's heard as soon as someone buys one of Marci's pastries, they find their true love. Insert eye roll here.) gets caught by the detective (you know, the one that has the hots for Marci) with evidence that she removed from the crime scene and Marci asks herself if she should lie and not tell him. Because--why? Presumably because the man whose business card she found is the boss of the Frenchman who was the murder victim's ex-boyfriend and whom Marci has the hots for? Marci muses to herself that she should call the boss and ask him about the murder, because--why? Because that's definitely the way to impress someone you have the hots for, by lying to them? 

Why does Marci think she might be a suspect? She met the victim once for 5 seconds in her bakery. Surely the 'lovesick' detective wouldn't find that a convincing reason to suspect her. Why does Marcy vacillate between swooning over the detective's dreamy brown eyes and the Frenchman's attractive accent within the same paragraph? Why does she fall head over heels for the Frenchman at first sight? I'm not adverse to love at first sight, but there was no description of a sudden onslaught of tingly feelings down to her toes, no feeling that all the breath had left her lungs, no sentence that time stopped when Antoine smiled at her, none of the tropes bad romances or even good ones use to describe the instant attraction one might feel to a stranger. Nope, just a chapter that sounds like a 13-year-old girl writing in her diary about two boys she has crushes on and the vapid discussion about them in the locker room with her best friend, and oh yea, someone was murdered in front of my door, but let's ignore that because he's dreamy...

Do not read Macarons Can Be Murder by Rose Betancourt. Do not waste your time or your money. The author lists 15 or so series in the front matter that are written under various pseudonyms, and clearly that shows in the quality of the book. Dreadful. Avoid at all costs.  If I could leave a no-star or a minus-star rating, I would.

To be fair, as noted by other reviewers, the cover is attractive.
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This review of Macarons Can Be Murder by Rose Betancourt is courtesy of NetGalley
Rating 2/5 #MacaronsCanBeMurder #NetGalley

From the description of the cozy mystery provided on NetGalley, this should have been a delectable cozy mystery.  After all, French pastries, a sprinkle of French words and at least one handsome man all sound positively yummy.  Instead it was one of the first books I've picked up from NetGalley that I wanted to put into the DNF pile.  I would have except I'm trying to raise my feedback ratio.

It's written from the standpoint of the main character, Marci, who is a baker with a very popular bakery where some of the residents in town believe eating the pastries will make the person fall happily in love.  It made me wonder if I missed a potential magical element in the description.  It's a teaser that even shows up later in the book, but it's just a mundane novel.  That's not what gives the book the low rating though.

Compared to some cozies where the death doesn't take place until halfway through, the dead body is found about 10% of the way into the book.  I can't stand Marci's thought processes and if I was a character in the book, I'd want to be the victim just to avoid her.  The book must have been written when there was a sale on question marks.  I read it on the small screen of my phone and every screen had at least 1, but usually many, many more than 1 question marks.  I'd expect there to be questions in a mystery but not the amateur detective questioning everything she does and flipping sometimes 180 degrees in thought process.

This "genius" business woman, Marci, who does things like places an ad for availability of a "strawberry-and-mascapone mille-feuille" on a certain day decides to go in early the day the product is supposed to become available "to perfect [her] recipe."  I did find humor in the book, like this gem that showed up after the mille-feuille info.

"I wasn't a police officer or detective, but I had some skills.  I'd read a lot of mystery books, and I watched those true crime shows.  I was a smart woman.  If I could run a business, then I could solve a crime if I tried hard enough."  This coming from Marci, the same woman who advertised a product before perfecting a recipe and also has basically has mental panics about if messes up item, loses business etc.  Or who decides to start investigating because she'd never find another location as good for her bakery.

A lot of times though the investigation is deciding that some person or place needs investigating.  If it's a person, they may end up providing a name of another character and then Marci presses them and wishes she had more clues.  For locations, it's getting in (often in shady ways) and bumbling about while mentally questioning herself and her actions.

The book also has some very questionable/weird situations, like :
* Marci's pets running around her bakery, in its kitchen area as well as where customers are.  Can I say, hello health code violation?
* Key to Marci's bakery having been handed out by a landlord to someone who is likely to buy the property so they could look around.  Where did renter's rights go?
* Marci making a left turn in a corn maze.  Then mentioning making a "right turn again" (implying the first was a right turn).
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I am a macaron baker so I thought it may interest me. It just wasn't for me. Thank you for the ARC and best of luck!
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I am fan of the Haunted Craft Fair mysteries, so I was excited to see Rose Pressey /Bentancourt had a new series, A Paris Kentucky Bakery Mystery.

Marci Beaucoup lives up to her name and loves all things French. She runs a bakery specializing in French pastries in Paris Kentucky. She has a French poodle name Fifi and a cat named Pepe Le Pew and her Aunt Barb, a former army cook, helps out at the baker. A woman is murdered in front of her bakery and the prime suspect is her ex-boyfriend Antoine who may become Marci's new landlord.

I liked the story even through the killer was kind of obvious half-way through the book. What I found annoying is the TSTL moments Marci has throughout the book and her childish reactions to situations involving Detective Maverick Malone. Also there is a potential love triangle that seems on the horizon.
Given that this is the first in this new series, I interested in seeing where this series is going in the next installment.

Thanks to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for the chance to read this book.
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This is a bit of a mixed bag for me, because I did like some things in this book but not others.

The cover drew me to this book, so I jumped at the chance to read it before release. It sounded fun and exciting, and I love cosy mysteries of any theme. Early on, I thought it was going well. I wasn't over the moon about the writing style. It felt a little over-explanatory, and a bit stilted. But the dialogue seemed good at the start and the characters a lot of fun. We had early intrigue with the strange Frenchman in town, and Aunt Barb was fun in those first few chapters. Also, we had the usual quirk characters in this small town, and they added some colour to the story. It all felt very promising.

Then I'm not sure what happened. Something changed in the book, and the characters felt different and the dialogue too over polite and perfect. It didn't feel natural. And with the changes in the book, the writing style did start to frustrate me a little. And you get that at times. Sometimes the writing style of a book just isn't for you. It doesn't mean it's a bad book, your just not a match for it.

I thought the concept of the mystery was fine, and liked that we had one or two red herrings, but they did seem a little obvious. The way the clues were discovered felt a little repetitive, as we had many dropped pieces of paper and documents left in the open. There is some investigation, so we do see the protagonist flexing her investigative muscles, and there are a few thrilling scenes.

I've not read a book from this author before, and would be interested to try another. I noticed the author has many books, and that doesn't happen unless you're doing something right. Maybe in a different series, or maybe this just first book in a series jitters. Sometimes the second book really packs a punch. It was the same with the Hamish Macbeth series for me. The first book didn't work for me, but after that the series was wonderful.

Thanks to the author, the publisher, and Netgalley offering this as an open read. All views are my own.
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I love a good cozy and being from Kentucky, I was really looking forward to this one. I felt like it was a rough start, the characters (especially Marci) need to be a little stronger and lose the top dumb to live personality flaw. It has the potential to be a great series and I know it will improve with each book because the author has an entertaining writing style and throws in humor throughout. I will definitely read more in this series!
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I really loved this book in a new to my series and author. I can't wait to read the next one. The characters and location really add to the plot. This book keeps you guessing until the end
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I was initially deterred from this piece by the low reviews on Netgalley, but since it is a debut series, I really wanted to give it a try. And overall, it’s not that bad. The concept isn’t super strong, but it’s still fun and quirky. Yes, the female lead sounds and acts a bit naively sometimes, but she’s quite alright and endearing personality-wise, and has room for character development in the next installments.

I hope the author will improve the dialogues which sometimes felt a bit forced and unnatural. But otherwise, it was actually a fun, easy read mystery novel. I really enjoyed the very strong persona of Marci’s aunt Barb, she’s a very entertaining, original character. I’ll definitely give the sequel a try and hope that Maverick and Marci finally make it happen.
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Macarons Can Be Murder by Rose Betancourt is the first book in the Paris Kentucky Bakery Mystery series. This is a fun cozy mystery. I really liked the characters. Amateur sleuth Marci Beaucoup does a good job helping to solve the murder. I just wish she wasn't so flighty and there weren't two guys in the picture. .Aunt Barb is a real hoot! I like the names of Marci's cat: Pepe Le Pew. This looks like it will be a fun series to follow.
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Fun, cute cozy mystery! The bakery sounds adorable and I want all the sweets now. Plus a dog and cat animal sidekicks? Double the fun. This was a cute story and it would be fun to see more of these characters.
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If you're looking for a quick, easy cozy read, check this one out. The premise was rather cute, an "all things French" protagonist who names her cat Pepe le Pew, and Fifi is her dog's name. She calls her bakery La Belle Patisserie. Oh, and Marci's full name? Marci Beaucoup. So, yes, she's into all things French, so much so that it got a bit cheesy. A French cheese, I'm sure. And, oh, she's living in Paris, that is Paris, Kentucky. Customers seem to think there's a bit of magic in her bakery offerings. Then a body is found outside her shop.

Although I've read author Rose Betacourt before and fully enjoyed her work, unfortunately I had a hard time connecting with Marci. To be honest, it's probably because Marci annoyed me more than she intrigued me. Someone says "Good Morning" to her and she says "Bonjour", for instance. Very heavy handed with the all things French thing. I see possibilities with it but hope it is dialed back a bit as the series progresses.

Marci also spent way too much time musing in her head, totally ignoring the reality of her situation at any given time. In many cases, her mind wandering off into fantasies of the two main men in her orbit. I swear, if this were a tv show, they'd show stars in her eyes every time she spies a good looking guy. Anyway, the few times she actually questions a suspect her questions are, well, less than subtle. Needless to say, she finds herself in danger.

Don't get me wrong. I didn't dislike this book. I just didn't love it. There's promise in here for the series as it progresses and we get to know the supporting cast better. For instance, I'd love to know more about the supporting characters, especially Aunt Barb. A military cook? And, hey, is that a romance we see budding for Aunt Barb as the book ends. I'm not a fan of love triangles, so I won't even comment on Marci's status. To each his own.

Bottom line, an easy, reasonably quick read. Sure I rolled my eyes frequently but I kept reading. So, give it a try. Thanks #NetGalley and #CrookedLaneBooks. I'll definitely be curious to see where this one takes Marci's story next.
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First in a new series that I look forward to seeing how it moves forward. Marci is desperate to prove that the handsome stranger in town is not a murderer so that her bakery does not have to move. The plot is fine but the characters are not exceptional.
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"Macarons Can Be Murder" by Rose Betancourt has the makings of a good cozy mystery series first book. Most of the characters are enjoyable and a majority of the story was well thought out.

I really hope the "love triangle" is worked out in the next book. I find it more annoying than intriguing. It doesn't really add to the story. I say drop the French guy as a love interest and work out the Sherif backstory/path a bit more.

Only other big complaint is that Marci needs to be flushed out as a main character a bit more. Through out most of the book she self describes herself has pretty impulsive and stubborn. Then after she's kidnapped she thinks to herself that people wouldn't think she's spontaneous. So, which is it?

I really hope we get a couple Aunt Barb centered books. She seems like a character with a lot of history that could be worked with.
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