Thursday, November 03, 2011

The Gingerbread Bump-off -- Livia Washburn

This is the latest of Livia Washburn's "Fresh-Baked Mysteries," and it's another winner. Pretty soon, Phyllis Newsom is going to have to quit thinking about entering baking contests, though. Too many people get killed when she does.

This time the victim is Georgia Hallerbee, who persuades Phyllis (at the last minute) to include her home on the annual Christmas Jingle Bell Tour. Phyllis reluctantly agrees, but her home's not on the tour, after all, since someone clobbers Georgia with a ceramic gingerbread man on Phyllis' front porch.

Phyllis finds herself being drawn into the investigation of the crime, much to the chagrin of a local cop who thinks Phyllis would be a lot better off in the kitchen. Phyllis doesn't like his attitude, and neither does her friend Sam, but they both realize that Phyllis isn't a law-enforcment officer, after all. That cop does seem rude, however.

As usual, Washburn manages to make everybody involved seem to be a likely suspect, and when Phyllis works everything out, she discovers . . . well, that's something I won't reveal. There's a good bit of humor in the book, too, and when I read the "get off the lawn" joke, I knew this book would entertain me all the way. And there's more: the recipes will make your mouth water. Definitely a cozy to read during the holidays or any other time.

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