The small community of Frog Ledge, Connecticut, is all abuzz about the big engagement party their mayor, Tony Falco, and his fiancé, Patricia Conner, will be having. All their friends and family members will be attending this event of the century not to mention bigwigs from the area.

Everyone is excited except for Kristan “Stan” Conner, Patricia’s daughter. It’s not that she doesn’t like her new stepfather-to-be it’s just that maybe he isn’t her favorite person and to be honest she isn’t all that enthralled with her mother either. Of course Stan loves her mom but Patricia can make it hard for Stan to always like her much. But Stan will be at the affair with her boyfriend and bar owner, Jake McGee, even though Stan would much rather continue setting up for the grand opening of her organic pet patisserie and café but a daughter has to be there for her mom so she gussies herself up and goes to the party.

Unfortunately, wherever Stan goes there’s bound to be a murder and that’s exactly what happens at the party. Eleanor Chang, the mayor’s executive coach, was found in the bedroom, strangled and Patricia’s engagement ring was found in her mouth. Making matters worse is that Mayor Falco isn’t at the party yet, at least no one has seen him. The murder brings the affair to a grinding halt as the police are called in to investigate.

Who killed Eleanor? Could it have been her troubled daughter, Monica or anyone else who attended the party? And just where was Mayor Tony Falco and why was Patricia’s engagement ring in the deceased woman’s mouth? Before her cafe opens, Stan plans to find the answers to these questions.

“Custom Baked Murder” by Liz Mugavero is the fifth novel in her Pawsitively Organic Mystery Series. I ran across the first book a few years back and honestly only picked it up because I needed something to read. I knew it was about a woman who left her well-paying job in New York and moved to a small community in Connecticut and ended up opening a home-based business baking treats for cats and dogs. The description of the book didn’t actually appeal to me but it was a cozy so I thought I’d give it a try. I’m not too proud to admit that I was totally wrong. This is one good series. The characters are interesting and I enjoy the relationship Stan has with her boyfriend’s two sisters. Stan’s personal family dynamics with her mother and sister are spot on too. The people who live in Frog Ledge add a lot to the series, especially Char who owns the B & B.  She’s a gal after my own heart.

Ms. Mugavero also adds recipes in her books. I’m pretty sure these recipes can be baked for your pets and can be enjoyed along with their pet owners.

You don’t have to be an animal lover to love these books. Give the first in this series a try and you might find yourself as taken with it as I was and end up looking forward to reading the others.





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