Bread Over Troubled Water
Bread Over Troubled Water (A Bread Shop Mystery)
by Winnie Archer
About Bread Over Troubled Water
Bread Over Troubled Water (A Bread Shop Mystery)
8th in Series
Setting – California
Kensington Cozies (November 29, 2022)
Mass Market Paperback : 304 pages
ISBN-10 : 1496733568
ISBN-13 : 978-1496733566
Digital ASIN : B09TX2QMZY
Rising cozy mystery author Winnie Archer cooks up her latest installment in her delightful and delicious Bread Shop Mystery series.
Photographer Ivy Culpepper is soon to make a home with her husband-to-be in the California beach town of Santa Sofia—but the Yeast of Eden bakery remains her second home. It’s not just a place to work, but a community. And now one member of the community has been murdered . . .
A regular who used Yeast of Eden as a workspace, Josh Prentiss always turned heads with his startlingly good looks and thousand-watt smile. But Ivy can’t help noticing one morning that he seems distracted and off his game. Later, during a visit to the park where she and Miguel plan to hold their engagement party—with plenty of baked goods on the menu—her rescue pug, Agatha, sniffs out Josh lying in a bed of poppies…scone cold dead.
There’s no reason for Ivy to get involved. She’s busy enough holding down the fort as the shop’s owner, Olaya, cares for her recently orphaned niece, not to mention the stress when a new employee is fired and storms out in a rage. Then a band of rabble-rousers starts picketing the bakery, claiming that Olaya’s sourdough roll is what killed Josh—and Ivy hears some salacious gossip about her beloved boss. She doesn’t think there’s a grain of truth to the seedy rumors—but to prove it, she’ll have to start sleuthing . . .
Working in the hospitality industry, in what- ever form that comes, means the customer is always right. Yeast of Eden, Santa Sofia’s artisan bread shop, was no exception. So it was particularly unnerving to walk in to the scent of yeasty sourdough straight from the oven, only to be ac- costed by the raised voice of Olaya Solis, the bread shop’s proprietor, baker extraordinaire, and generally a very zen woman.
Olaya had her back to the door, the house phone clutched to her ear with one hand, and the other waving around furiously, communicating something all on its own.
I raised my brows at Zula Senai—who stood close to six feet tall in her flats, had legs that went on for miles, and worked half-time at Yeast of Eden—and mouthed, “What’s going on?”
Zula shrugged and threw out an I have no idea look as she finished up with the customer at the front of the long line of bread lovers. When a bread shop is your home away from home, the customers become a kind of family. Olaya ran her shop like a well-oiled machine. Felix Macron and his morning crew, along with Olaya, started the day’s bake. Janae Jackson, Felix’s girlfriend, who was a firecracker in a pint-sized woman’s body, Tay- lor Wilson, a long-legged and Kim Kardashian– curvy twenty-one-year-old blonde who looked and acted like she’d rather be catching a wave than kneading mounds of dough, and Mae Spelling, a short, kind of squat woman with dark hair and apple cheeks, did a bang-up job. I helped with the bake, too, but lately I’d been working more with Zula, a graduate of Olaya’s Bread for Life class, helping run the front of the store.
It takes a village.
Zula stepped back and stuck her head through the swinging door. Calling for help, I presumed. I pressed my palm to my chest. “I can help,” I said, but Zula was back, shaking her head, and already assisting the next customer with an order of two baguettes and six plain croissants.
Olaya’s voice rose above the happy sound of customer chatter. “It cannot be—”
She broke off just as the old-fashioned cash register drawer slid closed with a ding. At the same moment, Esmé Adriá glided out from the kitchen through the swinging doors. I waved at her, my face breaking into a smile. Maggie, the girl who’d worked at Yeast of Eden all through high school and her first year of community college, had gone to live in San Francisco with her boyfriend, which had left Olaya needing a new employee. She’d turned to the women who’d been in the first group of her Bread for Life program. She’d de- signed the project as a way to reach out to low- income and immigrant women in the area to help them develop hirable skills. Supermarkets, other bakeries, and manufacturers were only a few of the places where they’d be employable when they finished the program. That alone could help boost their self-confidence. The friendships they formed with one another were an added bonus. The whole thing was like group therapy centered around an activity, but instead of crocheting or bunko, they baked breads from their different cultures and back- grounds.
About Winnie Archer
Winnie Archer is the nationally bestselling author of the Bread Shop Mystery series, as well as the Lola Cruz Mysteries and the Magical Dressmaking Mystery series written as Melissa Bourbon. A former middle school English teacher, lives in North Carolina with her educator husband, Carlos, and the youngest of their five children. Visit Winnie Archer online at www.MelissaBourbon.com!
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