BOOK REVIEW: Murder at the Beacon Bakeshop {A Beacon Bakeshop Mystery Book 1} by Darci Hannah

"Beacon Harbor’s changed you. In New York you were always in your Wall Street tower counting money. Now you’re frying donuts, conversing with a ghost, and chasing after a backwoods enigma who just might be a closet poisoner. You picked a strange day to give up wine, Lindsey, darling."

After catching her fiance, and rising celebrity chef, Jeffery Plank, in the arms of his pastry chef, Mia Long {on a slab of Himalayan salt, no less!}, thirty-something Wall Street megamind, Lindsey Bakewell, elects to say farewell to the Financial District, packing up her New York City penthouse, and Newfoundland pooch, Wellington {aka Welly}, and fleeing to her childhood vacation destination of Beacon Harbor, Michigan.

The wealthy daughter of an ex-model mother, and a Wall Street wiz father {who moonlights as a baker}, Lindsey has inherited beauty, brains, and baking ability - the latter of which she plans on using to open a bakery and cafe. On a tipsy night alone, Lindsey purchases a fixer-upper lighthouse in idyllic Lake Michigan online; and before she knows it, her new life path is set in motion. However, looks can be deceiving; and Lindsey soon realizes that she has her work cut our for her in getting her new home in tip-top shape for the big bakeshop grand opening.

Fast forward six months, and Lindsey's opening day has arrived - coinciding perfectly with Memorial Day Weekend. As the shop is bombarded with supportive neighbors and legion of influencer and Lindsey's BFF, Kennedy Kapoor, fans alike; it is crashed by an equal amount of haters in the form of local protestor Fiona Dickel and her cronies, and...Mia and Jeffery, here to exact revenge. As things get physical {we're talking flying pastry, stolen americanos, and loads of shoving}, Lindsey's hunky neighbor and resident love interest, Rory Campbell {who happens to be acting as her barista for the day}, takes Mia outside where she promptly collapses, and later dies. When it's determined that cyanide poisoning was the cause of death, Lindsey's shop is closed down indefinitely. Now she's made solving the mystery her mission; but it may just be the death of her.

Oh, how I wanted to love this one, as I adore a good culinary mystery; but right out the gate Darci Hannah's Murder at the Beacon Bakeshop takes a downward turn due to the timeline. Timeline leaps can brilliantly work in the Marvel and DC verses; but in a mystery novel? Absolutely not. Those six months that were completely jumped over were pivotal for understanding and getting to know Lindsey's new community and neighbors, and how they vibe with one another - especially when you're talking about the first book in a new series where you have no background information from prior installments to go on. Not to mention showing us why, precisely, Mia and Jeffery have a score to settle with Lindsey - because obvs it can't just be a breakup. Forgoing this was confusing, and set the tone for frustration as a reader.

That aside, I can't say that I ever warmed up to any of the characters. I found both Lindsey and Kennedy to be a little immature for their late-thirties age {repeatedly referring to a police officer as Officer Cutie-Pie and using social media to drag someone through the mud}; while the insta-romance with Rory Campbell felt unnatural. Not to mention the introduction of a possible ghost haunting the lighthouse and communicating with Lindsey came off as a little too hokey and ridiculous to believe. I did have a soft spot for Welly; however, he alone could not save the story. Womp womp. Had the timeline jump not taken place, I honestly feel as if I could have warmed up to the characters and locale enough to stick around for book two - unfortunately, it did not; therefore, I won't be returning to the Beacon Bakeshop.

Star Rating: **1/2



R's Rue said...

I’m sorry this wasn’t a winner. Sending lots of good wishes your way today.

ellie said...

Oh, it's terrible when a book can put you off with the characters. I know I have been having troubles too..finding a book I really enjoy. Thanks for the honest review!

Ivy's Closet said...

I recently read Lucy Foley's The Paris Apartment, and I didn't like any of the character. Perhaps, too many POVs. And it didn't feel it was in Paris, either. Thanks so much for the great review.

Caitlin'nMegan said...

Darn, it seems these mysteries are just happening too fast, lately. I usually, love this genre. Hope the next read is better. All the best to your reviews. I like them a lot.

Hollyn'Stevie said...

Good to know about this timeline. It does sound a little twisted. Thanks for the wonderful review. Here's to better reading!

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