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Deadly Delights–too many characters

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Deadly Delights

by Laura Jensen Walker

I expected a bookish mystery since Deadly Delights is part of the Bookish Baker Mystery Series. In all fairness, the main character Teddie is an author, but she is taking a break from writing. Her good friend owns a bookshop, and her boyfriend, currently via Skype, is a famous British suspense author. So, on the surface it is bookish, but the book is really more about baking, another of Teddie’s talents, as the focus is on a baking contest at which there is a murder.

One of my main problems with this cozy mystery is the large number of characters. I actually reread the first chapter and took notes on the characters and added more as the story progressed. The author did a good job in the first chapter of introducing characters that were in the first book in the series, but there were just too many for my taste. Most of them were important to the story; there were a number that were mentioned in passing, but the reader would not know that.

On a positive note, the plot was very complex with a lot going on. As you might expect, there were a lot of suspects, and the murderer and motivation were a surprise. As underlying stories, there were wild accusations, gossip, embezzlement, mother-daughter conflicts, and even a little romance.

A theme that appealed to me was that of characters reinventing themselves at critical times in their lives. I also liked the honesty in discussing Teddie’s battle with cancer and how it affected her decisions going forward. The friendship of The Three Musketeers (Teddie and her two best friends since third grade) and their support of each other was another positive theme.

In spite of laboring through the first part, I did enjoy the book. My memory is not bad, but perhaps it would be an easier read for those with better retention of details. The conclusion focuses on a relationship, and you will end the book with a smile.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Rating: 3/5

Category: Mystery

Notes: 1. #2 in the Bookish Baker Mystery Series, but could be read as a standalone.
2. Includes 9 recipes, all related to items baked by characters in the book.

Publication: June 8, 2021—Crooked Lane Books

Memorable Lines:

Perfect is overrated. My small kitchen is colorful and kitschy. Like me.

I’d noticed Colleen Murphy arrive and open up Colleen’s Twisted Yarns. Time to pay a visit to the knitting lady and see what kind of a twisted yarn she might spin.

…the writing is sublime in literary fiction. I marvel over the gorgeousness of the language the authors use and find myself highlighting entire sections…When I come upon a perfect sentence, I stop and revel in the beauty of the author’s words.


  1. Carla says:

    Too bad this wasn’t what you were expecting, Linda. If I have to take notes on who the characters are, I think I would.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lghiggins says:

      It was just too many–a lot important to the plot and many that weren’t. I think an editor should have made suggestions. Kudos to the author though for being able to keep them all straight!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. WendyW says:

    Too many characters in a book are so confusing for me. I don’t know if I would have had the patience to take notes like you did.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Nancy says:

    I’m not fond of books with too many characters. I would stop reading it.
    Thanks for your honest review.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Too many characters and confusion would have me lost for sure! Books that require note taking and rereading aren’t the way I want to enjoy a book, I just want to be swept up in the story~ I appreciate your honest opinions!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Gretchen says:

    The story and writing sound really good… But it is frustrating not to be able to keep the characters straight.

    Liked by 1 person

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