[REVIEW] Bread of the Dead

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Series: Santa Fe Cafe Mystery #1
Ann Myers
 adult, mystery, cozy mystery
Published: September 29, 2015
Publisher: William Morrow

Purchase: Amazon | B&N

The Day of the Dead is approaching in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and cook Rita Lafitte is busy decorating sugar skulls, taste-testing pan de muerto (bread of the dead), and refashioning her post-divorce life. She loves her job at Tres Amigas Cafe and feels like she’s found a good home for herself and her teenage daughter…until her kindly landlord is found dead next door, seemingly from suicide.Although Rita discovers evidence of murder, the police aren’t convinced, especially one of the lead detectives who’s also Rita’s ex-husband. To uncover the truth behind her friend’s death, Rita teams up with her octogenarian boss Flori, the town’s most celebrated snoop. Soon, their investigation encompasses other crimes, including break-ins and the murder of their number-one suspect. Rita won’t feel safe until the killer is caught. But when she unearths a long-buried secret, will she become the next victim?

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Delicious sounding food. Engaging heroine. Well introduced and nicely written characters. Intriguing mystery. A hit of romance involving a hot lawyer. 

Mystery! Rita's friend and landlord, Victor was found dead in his house, gun on hand and his door locked. The police (specifically Rita's ex-husband, Manny whom I really disliked. ugh!) is convinced that it's suicide. Rita, on the other hand, along with her boos at Tres Amigas Cafe thinks that there's someone involved in Victor's death - that it's murder.

Nothing new to the premise I tell you but it's all about how things go, right?

Solving the Case. What's charming about Bead of the Dead is the setting itself and how Ann Myers wrote it. While reading, it really feels that I'm there. It's such a lovely place with such mouth watering food. Aside from the food, it's really fascinating to read about the culture of Santa Fe. (I highlighted several lines because of this!).

Rita, the heroine, is such an engaging lead. She's friends with the murdered and really wants the mystery solved. She's a bit careless about the things she does and she snoops around (mostly with her boss, Flori). I like how there's also that bit of her personal life. She deals with her daughter, Celia, who's at her rebellious stage, and her ex-husband, Manny, who's handling the murder case (together with his partner). And I generally hated because he's always close minded when it comes to Rita's insights about the murder. 

I like that there's a hint of romance. Nothing bit going around at the moment but you know that it's there and I would love to see where things would go :D

The mystery is very intriguing. It kept me reading non-stop especially when important developments happen. I keep on guessing who the culprit once new things come up or something suspenseful happens even though I already have my eyes set to someone.

Revelation. There's that suspenseful pace that would make you so eager to know. Since I've already guessed who the culprit is, there's no surprise on my part. If you've read enough cozy mystery, I think that there won't be much surprise but it's still a satisfying revelation nonetheless. 

OVERALL, Bread of the Dead is a MUST READ for cozy mystery fans. It has a well written setting mixed with food and culture lessons. It has a nice set of characters and a satisfying ending. 

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What I Like: (1) the setting - the cuisine, the culture, the place, (2) Rita and how she deals with things, (3) Secondary characters like Flori just because she's Flori, Celia because she cool:P, (4) the hint of romance, can we just jump there like right now?, (5) how everything was really nicely laid down - really helps for that satisfying ending :)

What I Didn’t Like: (1) the lack of focus on the Day of the Dead Bread contest at the latter part - somehow it matters because it's one of the driving factors of the book aside from the murder,

~this book was provided in exchange for an honest review~

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Ann Myers, her husband, and extra-large housecat live in Colorado but, like Rita, feel most at home in Santa Fe.

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