I just finished this cozy mystery, Cookie Dough or Die by Virginia Lowell. The theme is not cookie baking, although there is some of that going on, but rather a shop that sells all things cookie related with an emphasis on cookie cutters, both antique collectibles and the everyday kind.
The sleuth, Olivia or Livie as she prefers to be called, is a divorced woman living with her mother who owns The Gingerbread House, the cookie and everything cookie related shop. She has a dog, Spunky, and a partner/sidekick, Maddie. Livie had a mentor in starting her business, Clarissa Chamberlain, who dies in what Livie feels are suspicious circumstances. The police seem convinced it is an accident or perhaps suicide and Livie sets off to investigate.
I found the characters of Livie, her mom, and Maddie fun and interesting. They are well drawn, not just stereotypes. The mystery is interesting although there are few “real suspects”, pretty early on the pool of suspects is narrowed down to three probable villains.
I did find that the victim, Clarissa, seemed to be somewhat contradictory character. She is Livie’s mentor and seemed to single-handedly pick her up and push her into a business of her own, yet she also seemed to be a somewhat ruthless and calculating business woman, controlling with her sons, manipulative, and yet mawkishly sentimental over her collection of antique cookie cutters. Certainly interesting to read about.
Well done cozy mystery. I am sure I will read more in this series.