Cover Image: Macarons Can Be Murder

Macarons Can Be Murder

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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 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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I really enjoyed this cozy mystery! My first book by this author and I hope to read more. I liked the characters thought the story was fun! Enjoyed the mystery!
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This is the first in the A Paris Kentucky Mystery series, and I had high hopes for it.  I’ve read the author’s other works and enjoyed them.  And the cover is adorable, because, KITTY!  And MACARONS!  I admit to being confused as to whether this is the first in this series as the main character, Marci, alludes to other mysteries and friends. 

In my opinion, the characters could be much stronger, especially Marci. It feels as if she’s very naive in the ways of life. She’s constantly running scenarios through her head, and second-guessing herself.  The characters sound too much alike, no individuality. 

I feel that the series could have great growth with a strong editor partnering with the author.  There is potential for this series, and I’m hopeful about reading future books. 

Thank you to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for allowing me to read a copy of the book.
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I wanted to really enjoy this read, but it was just meh. The main character's behavior didn't feel believable. And the murdered wasn't a surprise. The end felt a little abrupt.

This was an advanced copy via NetGalley.
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I really enjoyed this cozy mystery. I didn’t guess the twist at the end but I could see the clues that led us there by the end. I like both love interests and am curious to see where the relationships go in the rest of the series.
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Through NetGalley, I received a free copy of MACARONS CAN BE MURDER (Book 1 of the Paris Kentucky Mysteries) by Rose Betancourt in exchange for an honest review.  Marci Beaucoup owns and operates a bakery called La Belle Patisserie in Paris, Kentucky.  When a woman is killed in front of her shop and Marci's new beau becomes a person of interest, Marci finds herself trying to figure out whether the new beau is un bon homme or persona non grata.

I liked this book and thought it was a good start to a new series.  I recommend this book to fans of cozy murder mysteries featuring bakeries.

#MacaronsCanBeMurder #NetGalley
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This was a pretty standard cozy mystery. Perhaps Betancourt was setting the groundwork for a new series in this debut for the series. 

I'm not surprised by anything that happened. It's a pretty easy-to-believe story and nothing stood out to me as groundbreaking. It's the book you should read if you're in the mood for normalcy. 

Thank you to the author and NetGalley for the opportunity to review.
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This book was unfortunately not for me. My expectations of the book based on the cover and the descriptions did not get met. It's a nice read, but it didn't have the super cozy vibe I expected it to have, the story was mostly super predictable and the characters didn't manage to grab my attention either.
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When I heard about the series, I just had to give her a try. French/Paris themed shop and pastries, a striped cat named Pepe, and a cozy mystery all wrapped into one book? Yes, please! 

I'm glad I decided to give this series a try. I really enjoyed reading this book and you can't help but root for the protagonist Marci and her shop. This book was different and refreshing to read. I recommend readers check out this book! The author did a wonderful job with introducing this series to readers.

My thanks to Crooked Lane Books and NetGallery for a digital copy of this book. I look forward to reading more of Rose Betancourt's works!
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