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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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4.3 out of 5
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  • This series just gets better and better

    When a new reality show asks to film at the bakery, Ivy convinces Olaya to go for it. Not to grow their business so much as to highlight all the good Olaya does through her shop. As soon as the crew arrives to start filming, it’s clear there is some animosity between the two cohosts. It’s going to be a long few days of filming. During a break in filming, the cameraman is injured by what looks like an intentional hit and run, Ivy becomes curious as to who hurt the kind man and why. When one is the cohosts is murdered, Ivy can only believe they are connected and puts on her amateur sleuthing hat to figure out who did this and why. Ivy has to knead the clues and see what rises to identify the killer. A great series that gets better with each and every new book that is released. This is definitely a series to add to your summer reading list...and be sure to try the bread recipes!

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  • Well done!

    small-business, small-town, law-enforcement, television, murder, murder-investigation, attempted-murder, amateur-sleuth***** The good news is that you won't seem to miss a thing if you haven't read earlier books in the series. On other news, it made me want to hunt up and read others in the series. Ivy is a character I can relate to as she is pointedly curious, not perfect, and has a sense of humor. Olaya and her bakery Yeast of Eden are the other side of the Pacific and Equator of Corinna Chapman and her shop Earthly Delights. Olaya's other mission is to empower marginalized women through making and promoting the breads of their home peoples. The mystery is well done, too! I requested and received a free ebook copy from Kensington Books via NetGalley. Thank you!

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  • Love the sense of community.

    I really enjoyed the The Bread for Life program that takes place at the Yeast of Eden. I love how supportive it is of women from other cultures, bringing them together to share their recipes and help them to make better lives for themselves. And I really liked that Winnie Archer incorporated a Women’s Shelter into Dough or Die. It’s unfortunate that shelters are so needed, but for Archer to highlight them, it might encourage some readers to volunteer however they can at one of them. In this one it felt like Ivy did all of the detecting and just handed the case over to her best friend and sheriff, Emmeline. I thought this was a bit far fetched, even for a cozy mystery. And it felt like Ivy was just accusing everyone and the sheriff just took her word, but this wouldn’t stop me from reading future books in the Bread Shop Mysteries. As far as the mystery, it was interesting how it all tied together. There were so many suspects and different things happening to get the mystery to make sense that I actually had to read slower and stop and think a bit to see how it all combined. I don’t remember having to do this before when I’ve read a cozy, so I’m not sure if this is good or bad?! The support that the characters have for each other and the wonderful descriptions of Yeast of Eden and all the yummy breads will have me returning to Santa Sofia.

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  • Highly Entertaining!

    Even though I have only read one other book in Winnie Archer's series set in a bread Shop in Santa Sofia, Northern California, I still jumped at the opportunity to read this one, Dough or Die as I enjoy a well written cosy, and this looked like it fitted the bill perfectly. Known for its mouthwatering traditional breads, the Yeast Of Eden has been chosen by a food channel to be featured in a new programme about culinary delights. Baking assistant Ivy Culpepper is looking forward to the event, expecting the crew to capture all the inner workings of the renowned bread shop, owned by Olaya Solis. But her enthusiasm wanes when the show starts filming, and Ivy, star-struck by the co-host and local celebrity, Sandra Mays, realises that filming a Reality TV show with two hosts is not a smooth process. Then she learns that the show's cameraman, Ben Nader is nearly killed in an apparent hit and run, whilst another member of the TV show is found murdered... Dough or Die was a compelling, charming, and fun cosy read. Winnie Archer did a fantastic job providing some backstory, making this a great standalone novel. I was sold from the very beginning, with its solid characters, great writing and a marvellous mystery that provided a good sprinkling of clues to satisfy even the most painstaking and diligent armchair detective. The cast was quirky, and busy photographer, artist, and protagonist Ivy was spirited, peppy, curious and amusing, and she had a lot going on in this story. There was a large number of characters in Dough or Die but I think I just about managed to keep track of all of them without being overwhelmed! Ivy's trusty sidekicks, Penelope Branford, an eager, retired English teacher, and Miguel, Ivy's boyfriend, made a welcome return as did Ivy's adorable pug, named Agatha. In addition to the filming of the show, Olaya Solis was offering bread baking courses to women from a local shelter, which added an added an interesting dimension to the entertaining plot. The mystery itself was well done and there were enough red herrings and twists to keep me guessing the culprit's identity. Overall, a marvellous cosy and a very worthwhile read. I can't wait to see what Winnie Archer has in store for Ivy next, in book #6, Death Gone A-Rye. I received a complimentary copy of this novel at my request from Kensington Books via NetGalley. This review is my own unbiased opinion.

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  • Winnie Archer’s Dough or Die

    Yeast of Eden’s bread shop located in Santa Sofia, California has been chosen to be featured on a TV Reality Show. Olaya Solis owner, founder and head baker of the shop takes the opportunity to feature her Bread for a Life Program. This program is meant to help low income and immigrant women gain confidence in themselves plus learn a skill to make each one employable. Each woman will share a bread recipe and how to make their specialty bread with the group. This group consists of a woman from Eritrea, one from Canada, on from Mexico and another from Germany. Ivy Culpepper is one of the baker’s assistants who has a dog named Agatha. Ivy is impressed with Olaya’s long rise, farm to table, every loaf by hand philosophy that goes into the bread making at this bakery. The filming of the TV show begins but it was unexpected that the two co-hosts wouldn’t see eye to eye nor did they hide their differences. Then the camera man finds himself hospitalized after a hit and run accident right in front of the bakery. Plus Olaya becomes ill and must take time off. What next?? How about one of the co-stars being found dead....murdered!!! Ivy decides to investigate. A delicious, mouthwatering read! I enjoyed learning about all the various bread. There are recipes at the end of the book for Hembesha (East African Spiced Bread) and Rosemary Bread. An array of characters that made it hard to weed out the killer. I found the twists and turns within the story kept the reader’s attention. This is book # 5 in the Bread Shop Mysteries series. It can be read as a stand alone as I felt the author presented the past and present together effortlessly. I volunteered to read Dough or Die. Thanks to the Cozy Mystery Review Crew for the opportunity. My opinion is voluntary and my own.

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