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Brownies & Betrayal: A Sweet Bites Mystery, Book 1 | [Heather B. Justesen]

Brownies & Betrayal: A Sweet Bites Mystery, Book 1

Pastry chef Tess Crawford thought moving from Chicago to quiet Silver Springs, Arizona would simplify her life. That was before she found the body of a woman with whom she had traded heated words the previous night, left her fingerprints on the murder weapon, and came under attack for trying to clear her name.
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Publisher's Summary

Pastry chef Tess Crawford thought moving from Chicago to quiet Silver Springs, Arizona would simplify her life. That was before she found the body of a woman with whom she had traded heated words the previous night, left her fingerprints on the murder weapon, and came under attack for trying to clear her name. When her cheating ex-fiance shows up, intent on convincing her to come back to work for him, Tess - armed with an extra batch of eclairs - decides to take control and solve the mystery herself, with the help of friends and frenemies alike. But will that be enough to save her when she gets too close and the killer decides it's safer to get her out of the way?

©2012 Heather Justesen (P)2013 Heather Justesen

What Members Say

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4.1 (29 )
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  •  
    K. April Holgate Moosic, PA, United States 06-16-14
    K. April Holgate Moosic, PA, United States 06-16-14 Member Since 2012

    Take a look it's in a book...Reading Rainbow!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great start to a promising series"

    I really enjoy cozy mysteries, the cooking genre is a touch different than my norm. There were things I really liked and things I was not so keen on.

    I generally liked the lead character Tess, she is spunky and upbeat and way to curious for her own good! Perfect for a cozy mystery. She is mostly joined by her BFF Honey, another sassy gal! I loved this pairing because it really helped give a sounding board for the progress of the case.

    The overall mystery was intriguing, some parts were super obvious but it did surprise me in the end. I really thought I knew who the murderer was, turns out I was way off base! I really enjoyed the end, unfortunately it took a stretch to get past the beginning. The whole premise of why Tess thought she would be a suspect was beyond unreal. She met the chick for like five minutes and exchanged a handful of sentences. Whatever, it was silly but not so far as to turn me off the book.

    Terrific supporting cast. I count at least three romantic prospects in the mix. Definitely things to watch in the future of the series. Loved her friends Honey and Lenny, always great to have a hacker on hand! Sean is a delicious player and Jack has hunky Alpha written all over him! I also enjoyed the interactions with the detective.

    I listened to the audiobooks narrated by Pamela Almand, who is terrific. She has a great pace in the read that really keeps the story moving. There is the perfect touch of sass in her voice to really compliments the lead character and feel of the story. The other voices were consistent throughout the read. The men could have been a touch deeper, but were distinct and easy to discern who was speaking. I adore the energy she adds to the read!

    The other thing that was a touch disconcerting were the recipes throughout the book. I would have liked it better if they all lined up with chapter/section breaks. I do not cook and was not so into them, it would have been nice to skip that option. I also thought the addition of the recipes meant the story need not have to contain as many cooking details when the character was having conversations. I distracted from the important details in my opinion.

    Overall, I enjoyed this book. It took time to get past the issues in the beginning of the book. Thankfully things even out and the story becomes more real. I am eager to see where the series is headed and what is in store next for plucky Tess!

    Disclosure - I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts, opinions and ratings are my own.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Holly 06-11-14
    Holly 06-11-14
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    "Good Beginning to a Fun, Lite Mystery Series"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I would recommend this book to a friend. It is a "fun listen."


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    I wouldn't change anything so far. Can't wait to see where it leads.


    What about Pamela Almand’s performance did you like?

    Terrific narration. Perfect voice for the subject.


    Could you see Brownies & Betrayal being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    I like the blond from Drop Dead Diva for Tess,


    Any additional comments?

    I am looking forward to listening to more in the series. I have already downloaded the second book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Beatrice Houston, TX, United States 06-14-13
    Beatrice Houston, TX, United States 06-14-13 Member Since 2009
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    "It was okay"

    I almost gave up on this book. It began slow and did not catch my interest. However, I like books that include recipes so I persevered. I'm glad I did. The recipes sounded good and the book was enjoyable.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Terri B. GAS CITY, IN, United States 10-22-14
    Terri B. GAS CITY, IN, United States 10-22-14

    eBooks / audiobooks

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    "Wow, great story!"

    What a great story! It had action, adventure, mystery, humor, danger & even recipes! This book is fully loaded! I especially liked the recipes. The recipes made me imagine the cake, brownies & other goodies like I could taste them!
    A wonderful adventure thru a wedding, a murder and even more danger. I loved the plot. This story had so many twists and turns in it, always had me guessing who could be the murderer. The narrator was fantastic! What an awesome voice!!!
    The ending & whodunit? Well, I didn't see that coming! I love how the author wrote this story with so much heart & humor too! Poor Delilah, she sure got tossed around. Honey & Tess were great! Tess is my favorite character of all. Tess is witty & adventurous and can cook too! Well done & Kudos to both the author & the narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth L. Liberty, SC, United States 07-02-14
    Elizabeth L. Liberty, SC, United States 07-02-14
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    "a sweet little mystery ..."
    What was one of the most memorable moments of Brownies & Betrayal?

    I really enjoyed when Tess put her ex fiance in his place ... he deserved it! I also liked the relationship that she has with Honey. I would love a friend like her.


    What does Pamela Almand bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Ms. Almand's smooth, rich voice brings out the nuances in both male and female characters. I really enjoy listening to her read me a story.


    Any additional comments?

    I liked this book. I felt the relationships between the characters were real and that they mystery was solid. I figured out some things but others were a surprise. I can't wait to listen to the next book in this series. I would recommend this to my friends looking for a cozy little mystery.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kenna Brentwood, CA, United States 06-29-14
    Kenna Brentwood, CA, United States 06-29-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Sweeties without the Calories"
    Any additional comments?

    I received this story in exchange for an honest review.

    As with any mystery I spent the entire story figuring out "who dun it" just to have the character I was sure did it cleared. I didnt figure it out until the reveal. The narrators voice was a little annoying, it sounded like she was smiling through the whole book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Reecia Arlington, TX, United States 01-03-14
    Reecia Arlington, TX, United States 01-03-14 Member Since 2007
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    "Enjoyable"
    If you could sum up Brownies & Betrayal in three words, what would they be?

    Cute, enjoyable and a good book.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Honey because she has a cute daughter and is a good support to the main character!


    Have you listened to any of Pamela Almand’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, I have listened over a week or so--walking, driving, etc.


    Any additional comments?

    Please save the recipes until the end of the book. I don't like the story broken up.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ann M. 06-07-13
    Ann M. 06-07-13 Member Since 2013

    Audiofile

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    "Great summer read!"
    If you could sum up Brownies & Betrayal in three words, what would they be?

    Fun summer read


    Which character – as performed by Pamela Almand – was your favorite?

    Tess


    Any additional comments?

    Lots of fun characters and an unexpected twist at the end that I didn't expect!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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