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Against the Currant

Olivia Matthews latest is the first book in the promising new Spice Isle Bakery Mystery series. It was charming and fun!

Against the Currant centers on Lyndsay and her family, who are realizing her lifelong dream of opening a West Indian bakery in their neighborhood in Brooklyn's Little Caribbean. However, a rival baker threatens to shut them down to avoid competition, Lyndsay defends herself, but their disagreement is public and witnessed by several people. Soon after, Lyndsay becomes the prime suspect in this man's murder. Setting out to clear her name and save her bakery, Lyndsay sets out to catch a killer.

I loved the characters in this book! Lyndsay is relatable, intelligent, and very likable. No spoilers, but I enjoyed one scene where she researches online how to investigate a murder. It made me laugh, thinking many of us would do the same! Surrounding Lyndsay is a lively cast of characters, including her loving and supportive family. Her grandmother, Genevieve, stood out as a character full of warmth and wisdom. Strong bonds are explored in the book, family, extended family, and community. Even though set in Brooklyn, the neighborhood is tight-knit, making it feel cozier. The writing is very descriptive with the strong world-building you expect in a first in a series. I enjoyed learning about the culture and foods of Grenada and how Lyndsay and her family wanted to share their culture with the community. The food descriptions were fantastic and had me dying to try a currant roll and coconut bread! Combining this with the twisty murder plot makes for a delightful book. Very much looking forward to future installments of this series!

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for the chance to read and review this ARC.

Publication Date: January 24, 2023

My steep was Black Currant tea by Harney and Sons, a NY-based tea co. This tea is one of my faves and great hot or iced, and with currants mentioned so much in the story, I couldn't resist. Several tea varieties are mentioned in the book, which was fun for me, and I hope to try bush tea and mauby.

Official Synopsis: In Olivia Matthews's Against the Currant, the first Spice Isle Bakery Mystery, investigating a murder was never supposed to be on the menu… Little Caribbean, Brooklyn, New York: Lyndsay Murray is opening Spice Isle Bakery with her family, and it’s everything she’s ever wanted. The West Indian bakery is her way to give back to the community she loves, stay connected to her Grenadian roots, and work side-by-side with her family. The only thing getting a rise out of Lyndsay is Claudio Fabrizi, a disgruntled fellow bakery owner who does not want any competition. On opening day, he comes into the bakery threatening to shut them down. Fed up, Lyndsay takes him to task in front of what seems to be the whole neighborhood. So when Claudio turns up dead a day later—murdered—Lyndsay is unfortunately the prime suspect. To get the scent of suspicion off her and her bakery, Lyndsay has to prove she’s innocent—under the watchful eyes of her overprotective brother, anxious parents, and meddlesome extended family—what could go wrong?

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